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Planning a Picnic

on Labor Day

Planning a Picnic on Labor Day

Fire up the grill and get ready to send summer off in style! What better way to celebrate the last three-day weekend of the summer than to host a Labor Day picnic for family and friends? Before you start packing up your seasonal gear and pool accessories, have one last party to soak up the sun and enjoy spending time with your favorite people. Let Pottery Barn's Labor Day picnic ideas help get your party started.

Labor Day Main Dishes

Go all-American with tables filled with grilled burgers and hot dogs, or add a little Southern flair to your Labor Day picnic with a can't-fail barbecue classic. Pro-tip: when you opt for main dishes that star one large protein, your cooking times are greatly simplified, which makes dishes like barbecued ribs, pulled pork or barbecued brisket convenient. To make an amazing brisket, season it with your favorite dry rub and place it in the smoker at 215 degrees Fahrenheit until the meat reaches 165°F. Then, wrap it in foil and continue cooking it until it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F.

Labor Day Picnic Side Dishes

No matter what you make for your main dish, consider mixing classic Labor Day picnic recipes like potato salad and macaroni salad with dishes that add bright flavors and vibrant colors to your Labor Day buffet. Grilled corn salad features charred corn kernels, sliced shallots, spicy chili peppers and a tangy lime dressing. Or, try a fresh caprese salad with gorgeous peak-season tomatoes as the star of the show, studded with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil. Better yet, offset your burgers and barbecue with a fresh, crisp salad and a platter of grilled potato wedges topped with garlic, olive oil and your favorite herbs.

Labor Day Dessert: S'mores Cupcakes

Serve up a campfire classic for a sweet ending to your Labor Day picnic, no fire required. After these cute cakes are cool, arrange them on a tiered stand or a platter and add them to your picnic buffet.


• 3 cups crushed graham crackers

• 12 tablespoons melted butter

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 box devil's food cake mix

• 1 cup chocolate chips

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 24 marshmallows


Line two 12-cup muffin tins and combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter in a small bowl. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each of the muffin cups. Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Pour the batter evenly into the 24 muffin cups and bake for 3 to 5 minutes less than the mix's instructions.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Once bubbles just begin to emerge at the edges of the pan, turn the heat off and pour the cream over the chocolate chips and stir it until it's smooth. Once the cupcakes are finished baking, remove them from the oven. Place a tablespoon of ganache and one marshmallow on top of each cupcake. Return the cupcakes to the oven and continue baking them for about 4 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden and soft.