Tips and Tricks for a Fantastic Labor Day Soiree

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In my years of planning and hosting parties, I’ve found that “keeping it simple” is what works best, especially around Labor Day.  It’s back to work/back to school time and parents are scrambling with the last minute details, including shopping for school supplies and uniforms, carpool scheduling, meal planning, school activities and much more.

For your Labor Day Soiree, take some stress out of the equation and opt for a small, intimate gathering.  Arm yourself with this list of simple steps to pull off the ultimate, stress-free celebration:

Keep your guest list small—close friends and immediate family members. Fewer people means fewer appetites to accommodate and temperaments to manage.

Select simple invitations (evites are always a great idea as they reduce waste).

Reuse that Fourth of July decor! Coordinate or mix-and-match red, white and blue plates, flatware, napkins, straws, etc. Tired of red, white and blue hues? Choose fun, bright colors to celebrate the end of summer.

Provide guests with pool floats, pool toys and stacks of cute pool towels. Make water safety a priority – always! Hire a lifeguard if lots of children are invited. It will take the stress off parents and the party hosts!

Plan lawn games. Classic yet popular games for guests of varying ages include horseshoes, cornhole, disc throwing, scavenger hunts, musical chairs, potato sack races, foot races and Jenga.

Prepare a simple menu. Chicken, steaks, ribs, burgers and hot dogs are great main meats.

Grill most of your food for easy cleanup.

Load up on fruits and veggies, taking advantage of the end of summer. I suggest veggie skewers with chimiverde sauce and farro salad with arugula, figs, goat cheese, pistachios, olive oil and balsamic glaze.

Serve fun drinks. Summer cocktails and mocktails, including strawberry fizz and mojitos; and ice-cold beer and prosecco are always crowd pleasers.

Limit desserts. Pick three simple yet satisfying desserts like magic bars, key lime pie and blackberry tart with mascarpone and honey drizzle.

For more tips and tricks on preparing delicious food for your biggest and smallest gatherings, visit us at The Mad Table website.  And be sure to like The Mad Table on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for all the latest news, fabulous recipes and gorgeous entertaining tips and ideas.