How-To: Plan a Last-Minute Labor Day BBQ Picnic!

With schools re-opening just around Labor Day, you’re probably wondering if there’s even time or energy to celebrate this end-of-summer holiday! But what about if it’s a Labor Day BBQ picnic? Think easy, quick, outdoors, minimal clean up, and such a fun way to mark the day—and bid summer farewell—with a bang! Never mind if you’re down to a last-minute scramble to prepare. We’ve got this checklist of picnic essentials (with prices and links to buy) all ready for you. Plus simple picnic dishes, desserts and drinks recipes. Ready, get set, go!

Labor Day BBQ: Supplies and Decorations

Labor Day BBQ Party Invitations and Supplies

1 – Old Fashioned Backyard BBQ Labor Day Party Card
A fully customizable card printable on both sides, from Zazzle

2 – Tinsel cupcake toppers
Like mini fireworks’ explosions on your party treats, from Amazon

3 – Sur La Table Nantucket beverage jar
For easy drinks self-service for a crowd, from Amazon

4 – “Dress My Cupcake” blue striped paper straws
Festive way to perk up your Labor Day drinks, from Amazon

5 – Amscan Fourth of July Party Stars & Stripes Hanging Fan Decoration
Instant patriotic decorations in red, white and blue, from Amazon

6 – Beaumont Kitchenware Top Rated Plastic Silverware (BPA Free)
High-shine stainless finish plastic flatware, from Amazon

7 – Nicole Home Collection Stars n’ Stripes Paper Lunch Napkins, 40-Count
Easy themed touch for your Labor Day food wraps and wipes, from Amazon

8 – Multi-Pack Retro Stripes Square Disposable Paper Plates, 16-Count
Americana-inspired for serving your BBQ fare in style, from Amazon

Labor Day BBQ: Delish Picnic Fare & Drinks

Plan light, flavorful dishes and sides that are easy to transport, serve and share outdoors. And prepare refreshing fruity beverages—boozy ones for the grownups, and juices and slushies for the kids.

Labor Day BBQ Food and Drinks

1 – Spicy Lemon Shrimp Skewers
Sriracha (Asian chili sauce) adds a kick to these handy shrimps on sticks! Try the recipe from Food Network.

2 – Corn and Basil Cakes
These make a perfect side dish for your grilled meats. Here’s the recipe from Eating Well.

3 – Best Summer Panzanella
A gorgeous summer veggie salad with the crunch of toast cubes. Recipe courtesy of

4 – Barbecue Pulled Chicken
Slow-cooked in tangy tomato sauce, this can be served in sandwich buns for easy picnic eating. See the recipe over at Eating Well.

5 – Spicy Grilled Watermelon
Honey, lime juice and cayenne pepper make these fruit slices a flavor surprise! Thanks to Serious Eats for the recipe.

6 – Fruity White Wine and Grand Marnier Sangria
For the adults, this colorful sangria is a great way to celebrate summer. Stir some up with this recipe from Cooking LSL.

Labor Day BBQ: Refreshing Fruity Desserts

Labor Day Fruit Desserts

Plan a sweet ending to the picnic feast, with cold and light desserts that make the most of summertime fruits—from popsicles to pies.

1 – Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops
Treat the grownups to margaritas in popsicle form! This recipe from Food Network makes them with fresh strawberries.

2 – Fruit Sundae Cones
Pile chunks of your fave fruits into waffle cones, and top with strawberry puree. A fun recipe to try from

3 – Super Simple Sorbet
This can be made with any flavor you fancy. Just modify the basic recipe from

4 – Raspberry Pie Squares
Make these ahead, following the recipe from Taste of Home. Then cut into squares for easy serving at the picnic.

Enjoy your end-of-summer BBQ picnic! And Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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