Can you believe the last days of summer are here? The warmer, lighter, longer days went by in a flash. But let’s celebrate those gorgeous summer days and nights over Labour Day Long Weekend with a patio or backyard party with friends and family.


Ask yourself what kind of soiree you want to host. Host intimate outdoor cocktails with your nearest and dearest. Plan an al fresco dinner party with your oldest friends, favourite neighbours, or extended family. Invite your kids’ friends and their families for a daytime BBQ. The size of your celebration all depends on your outdoor space and the effort you’re willing to exert.


Have fun with your décor. Create a haven that welcomes guests with colour, personality, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s always fun to pick a theme for the big day – Mexican fiesta, countryside picnic, Mediterranean feast. Check out one of our older blog posts for more theme ideas.

If your party is small, make sure you have enough seating for everyone and if you’re expecting a crowd, cluster some seating areas and allow for mingling throughout. String up lighting for evening dos and arrange for shaded spots for daytime events. Consider candles, flowers, cushions, and potted plants. If you have the space, set up a kids’ play zone, complete with art supplies and toys, or games for adults, like lawn bowls or horseshoes. Have an extra supply of sunscreen on hand to keep your guests protected.

And don’t forget the music – see what the Obamas have been listening to all summer long.



Opt for a simple menu so you don’t end up in the kitchen for the whole party. Prepare self-serve appetizers, easy main dishes, and refreshing beverages. Or turn your party into a potluck and have everyone bring something to nosh on. Read our past blog posts on summer cocktails, dining al fresco, and eats for warm weather.

Keep any perishables (like meat or fish) in the shade and have a designated bar area with a cooler and ice. Find plates, cups, and utensils that are environmentally friendly (recyclable or compostable) or if you have enough, use your own tableware. You’ve heard of BYOB, but what about BYOD? Encourage your guests to bring their own dishes and cups. Check out these tips on hosting a party that’s sustainable.

Happy Long Weekend!