As autumn ever so softly looms on the horizon it’s time to start planning your Labor Day festivities! Hosting a barbecue is the perfect way to celebrate the unofficial end of summer but planning can be overwhelming if you don’t keep organized. Use this Labor Day barbecue checklist to stay on top of your party organization!


While traditional party etiquette suggests inviting guests 2 weeks in advance for a casual get together, it may be useful to err on the side of sending invites out early due to the holiday weekend. Ask guests to RSVP and follow up a few days prior with anyone who hasn’t responded to ensure you have adequate food and seating prepared.


Consider renting a tent to use in case of inclement weather if you don’t have enough seating inside your home for your party. Even if it doesn’t rain, the shade could prove helpful in high temperatures! Folding tables are useful for larger gatherings and can be covered with rented table linens to decorate without breaking the bank.


Hosting a barbecue allows for a wide range of food options! Anything from burgers, chicken, steaks, or even kabobs can be cooked on the grill. Don’t forget to clean your grill prior to your party and make sure you have enough coals or propane on hand ahead of time. Check out this post for some helpful grilling tips and tricks and these great grilling recipes for inspiration!

Side Dishes

Consider asking guests to bring side dishes potluck style. Potato and pasta as well as traditional salads are barbecue staples and don’t forget the coleslaw!


Set up drink stations and clearly label adults only beverages in a separate area from children’s drinks. Iced tea, fruit punch and infused waters can be easily served in pitchers while coolers can hold canned and bottled drinks. Keep safety in mind if guests are drinking adult beverages and have options for guests who may not be able to drive when the party is over.


Be sure to set up outdoor speakers to play your favorite music in the background and consider having games to play. It could be as simple as having a few footballs for throwing or setting up sack races for the kids, horseshoes, or cornhole boards.

Above all else remember to relax and enjoy your Labor Day barbecue!