Labor Day Weekend is coming in hot! Throw the most legendary garden party ever with these appetizer recipes, activity ideas, and other must-haves for the September long weekend. 


Every Great Garden Party on Long Island Needs Garden-Fresh Food

We’re not talking carrots and celery sticks with a tub of ranch dressing. We mean business when it comes to summer garden party food in NY, and since Labor Day is right in the midst of harvest season, we’ve got an endless supply of fresh fruits and veggies to enjoy! Here are some easy garden party food and appetizers you can put together in time for the long weekend.  


Mini Caprese Salads

Get some of those fancy party toothpicks and stack on some freshly picked cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and mini bocconcini cheeses. Arrange them on a fancy platter and drizzle some balsamic reduction all over them. You can also add some cubed cucumber for a little extra crunch!


Dees-Nursery--Labor-Day-Garden-Party-Food-and-Activities-in-Oceanside--watermelon and feta skewersWatermelon Feta Skewers

Same thing with the party toothpicks, but this time, add cubed watermelon and feta with mint leaves. Drizzle that balsamic reduction, and they’re ready to serve. You won’t believe how quickly these flavorful mini salads get snatched up! 


Mexican Street Corn

Fresh corn at the end of the summer is ridiculously good! Grill your shucked corn on the barbecue to get a night char coating, then drizzle on some elote corn sauce and top it with cotija cheese. To make the sauce, mix ½ cup of Mexican crema or sour cream with ½ cup of mayo, ½ cup of chopped cilantro, one clove of garlic minced, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp of lime zest, and some chipotle seasoning to taste.  


Dees-Nursery--Labor-Day-Garden-Party-Food-and-Activities-in-Oceanside-snack-board-for-partyGarden Party Charcuterie

If you’re into making pickles, jams, and preserves with your garden fruits and vegetables, now is the time to show them off! Grab an assortment of fine cheeses, sliced meats, crackers, and nuts, and arrange them on a big wooden board. Add dollops of preserves and jams, and make a few piles of pickled beans, beets, carrots, and baby dills! Charcuterie boards are so simple to put together, but they always make for an impressive display at the garden party food table. 


Fresh Peach Bellinis

A garden party isn’t complete without fancy cocktails! Blend up some fresh peaches with ice and a splash of simple syrup, pour the mixture into cocktail glasses so they’re ⅓ full, then top them up with Prosecco. If you have any pansies or violas in the garden, use those as garnish—they’re edible! 


Labor Day Activities and Other Long Island Garden Party Must-Haves


Decorate the Porch and Patio for Fall

There are so many gorgeous fall plants and flowers in season right now! September scenery is so spectacular—you may as well decorate the porch to match! Fill up some planters with fall annuals like chrysanthemums, ornamental peppers, pansies, dianthus, celosia, and purple fountain grass. Stick to rich jewel tones and warm color palettes to complement all the beautiful fall foliage colors. 


Dees-Nursery--Labor-Day-Garden-Party-Food-and-Activities-in-Oceanside-bonfire-partyHave a Bonfire

Making a DIY fire pit is easy! A bonfire will ensure your party keeps rocking long after sundown. 


Play Kan Jam

All you need to play this ridiculously fun lawn game is a frisbee and two cheap garbage cans. Cut a rectangular hole in the front of each bin—kind of like a mail slot—that’s big enough for the frisbee to fly inside. In teams of two, one person from each team stands at opposite garbage cans. One player throws the frisbee, and their teammate can slap it into the garbage can. Alternate turns so all players on both teams get a chance to throw and slap. Four points if you get the frisbee in the mail slot, three points if you get it in the garbage can without your teammate slapping it, and one point if you get it in with a slap. The first team to 20 points wins! 


Labor Day Pictionary

It’s like classic Pictionary, but all the drawing prompts are different occupations! Write down a bunch of different jobs on slips of paper—some easy ones like “firefighter” and “teacher,” and a few challenging ones like “air traffic controller,” “elevator repairman,” and “obstetrician.” Put together a cool prize pack for the winning team to share, and make the losers sing an embarrassing karaoke song as punishment. 


For all the fall garden plants, decor, and backyard entertainment supplies you need for your Labor Day garden party, visit Dees’ Nursery on Long Island. Enjoy your long weekend, and try not to get too much sun!