So it’s almost Labor Day, and you realize that through all of your hard daily laboring, you haven’t found time to make any actual Labor Day plans. “Never Fear!” you think out loud. "I shall throw together a last minute Labor Day extravaganza and it shall be the hit of the town!"
Luckily, you’ve got some friends who also hadn’t given their Labor Day a thought yet, so they’re down to come to your last-minute party. Now you just have to actually plan a last-minute Labor Day party. Here’s some quick tips to make it easier.
10 Quick Tips to Throw a Last-Minute Labor Day Party (That Isn’t Too Laborious)
We’re pretty sure that there are only four main things you need for a good party: food, friends, drinks and activities. You can dress up those four components by having a formal event with evening attire, filet mignon, gin martinis and ballroom dancing, or you can dress them down to being just a few friends coming over in whatever they wore to work, with chips and salsa, beer and Cards Against Humanity. Good times are bound to be had with this simple recipe.
Now for the sake of a last-minute Labor Day party, let’s detail it out a little more.
- Last-Minute Guest List. Since you’re tasked with planning this less-than-a-week-away party, we’re assuming that there has already been interest from several of your friends. Pick a time to start your party, and text everybody. You don’t need fancy invitations or “save the dates” for this shindig. Small guest list? Encourage people to bring friends. Procrastinators unite!
- Locate a Body of Water. When deciding on a location, your first thought should be to locate a nearby body of water: a pool, a lake, a pond, perhaps a rogue sprinkler. If your neighborhood or apartment complex has a pool, that’s perfect - just make sure you’re allowed to bring guests to it. Don’t have access to a body of water? You can improvise with a baby pool or slip-n-slide in your backyard, or water guns and water balloons.
- Yard Games & Activities. Speaking of a slip-n-slide, that’s a great segue into another one of our four key components: activities. Activities get the party started. They bring strangers together and get the conversations going. Yard games are some of the easiest and least stressful activities to include at your Labor Day party. Just have them set up, and people will gravitate towards them. Ladder golf, ping pong, cornhole, a table with a stack of Solo cups. If you don’t own these games yourself, ask your friends to bring theirs - they paid enough for that custom corn hole set they barely use, they’ll be happy to bring it over.
- Spike Your Own Lemonade Station. Always make sure that you have enough drinks for both people who partake in alcoholic beverages, and for those who don’t. One easy way to make both crowds feel special is by setting up a “Spike Your Own Lemonade” station. Have a large amount of lemonade made - sans alcohol - and then put your vodka or rum or whatever you want to mix with it beside it. Be extra fancy by adding some garnishes like raspberries, strawberries or mint leaves that your guests can choose between, or offer multiple types of lemonade. It’s going to be a hit, trust us.
- Un-invite Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are nasty, little blood-suckers and they definitely cannot sit with us. Have plenty of bug spray and citronella candles on hand to deter these party crashers and keep your guests from spending the whole time crowded inside.
- The 80/20 Food Rule. As the host, you want to spend the party mingling and having a good time with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen. When figuring out what food you’ll serve, follow the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the food you serve is “cold,” and only 20% of the food you serve is “hot.” Now “cold” food doesn’t necessarily have to be cold, it can just be foods that are prepared a day or two before, such as pasta salad or cookies, or it can be food that needs no prep, like chips or store-bought 7-layer bean dip. Or, simply make the party a pot-luck and have everyone pitch in and bring a dish. Voila.
- Setup Extra Trash Cans & Recycle Bins. You are not going to want to keep emptying and re-bagging one trash can the entire party. Setup multiple trash and recycling areas to make your life easier, and to keep your guests from just stashing their trash on whatever surface is closest.
- Music. Make sure you have some sort of speakers at your Labor Day party so you can have some poppin’ background music. Wireless bluetooth speakers tend to work the best. No time to curate the perfect soundtrack? All of the streaming music stations such as Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music have plenty of stations for you to choose from. Plus your resident self-proclaimed “DJ” friend will probably take over the speakers at some point anyway.
- Theme It Up. Want to make it look like you put some extra thought into your last-minute Labor Day shindig? Make it have a theme. Nothing too elaborate, but something to add a little excitement. Maybe an all-denim party with a bunch of blue jean action, or a white-out theme where everyone dresses in white. “America” is another quick and easy theme, plus we’re sure people will want another chance to don their 4th of July outfits one more time.
- Ensure A Safe Ride Home. As the host of the party, it falls on your shoulders to make sure everyone makes good decisions about their ride home. It’s not always easy to tell who has had too much to drink and shouldn’t drive home, that’s why you need to make sure you have a BACtrack C8 personal breathalyzer. The BACtrack C8 breathalyzer is a small - but mighty - police-grade personal breathalyzer that can accurately measure your guests BAC so you know who is safe to drive, and who needs to hand over their keys and call an uber or a spot on your couch. BACtrack’s patented ZeroLine® technology can even tell the user when their BAC will return to 0.00%. A party is only as good as it’s ending, so make sure yours ends with everyone home safe and sound!