By Rachel Crocetti
Sep 03, 2016 @ 10:00 am
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The long weekend is the perfect time to host your last backyard party of the summer. Bring your friends and family together this Labor Day, and plan the best barbecue or picnic to say goodbye to summer and say hello to fall.

Read on and use our tips to make sure your backyard party goes off without a hitch!

1. Keep Mosquitos Away

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Nothing ruins a party faster than a swarm of pesky mosquitos! Use special bug-repelling items like mosquito lamps and tiki torches to keep the blood-thirsty insects at bay.

READ: 8 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Backyard Party

2. Decorate like Shay Mitchell

Monica Wang Photography

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is a pro at throwing the cutest backyard soirées, as exemplified in her lifestyle website, Amore & Vita. The actress suggests a neutral palette and mixed flower arrangements for an exotic touch.

READ: Shay Mitchell Shares 6 Entertaining Tips for Your Next Outdoor Soirée

3. Put Together the Perfect Cheese Plate

It’s never the wrong time for a classic cheese plate. This simple rendition comes from Susan Hermann Loomis, owner of the Rouen-based cooking school in France, On Rue Tatin. Get the recipe here.


It's trickier than it sounds! Award-winning food writer, Susan Herrmann Loomis suggests always starting with the mildest cheese and ending with the most flavorful.

READ: How to Put Together the Perfect Cheese Plate

4. Get the Best Picnic Must-Haves


If you're planning a barbecue for the backyard, make sure to have the best picnic accessories ready! A croquet set and playing cards are perfect ideas to spark a competitive, playful side in your guests.

READ: 31 Picnic Must-Haves for Your Next Trip to the Park

5. Build the Best Plate of Appetizers


There is an art to building the perfect tapas board, and #fitspo queen Lorna Jane Clarkson has the best tips! She suggests carefully picking your base, color-coordinating, and experimenting with shape when creating your plate of appetizers.

READ: How to Build the Ultimate Tapas Board

6. Turn Your Labor Day Party Into a Brunch

“This bean stew is a version of the classic Indian dish Rajma, which my mother made every week throughout my childhood,” said Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi. Get the recipe here. 

John Kernick

You simply can't beat everyone's favorite meal—brunch! Create Chef Stéphane Beaucamp's gluten-free lemon, poppyseed, and quinoa pancakes or Padma Lakshmi's spiced eggs for the perfect brunch menu.

READ: The Prettiest Brunch Recipes Ever

7. Plan a Backyard Party Like Style Me Pretty’s Abby Larson

Ruth Eileen

Larson, founder and editor of Style Me Pretty Living, has the best possible tips for planning a backyard party. Two of her suggestions: plan the night before and don't forget to have fun with it!

READ: 5 No-Sweat Backyard Entertaining Tips from Style Me Pretty's Abby Larson

8. End Your Labor Day with the Best S’mores Recipes

Layers of graham crackers snuggle up against homemade chocolate pudding, and the whole thing is wrapped in a marshmallow whipped cream hug. Get the recipe from Annalise Sandberg and her aptly named Completely Delicious blog.

Courtesy of Completely Delicious

Nothing screams summer more than the sticky, sweet dessert. If you can't have a bonfire in your city apartment, don't worry! You can create one of many campfire-free s'mores recipes like s'mores no-bake icebox cake or a s'mores milkshake.

READ: 9 S'mores Recipes You Can Make Without a Campfire

Here's to a Labor Day weekend full of fun and good eats.