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How you can have a fun, socially distant Labor Day

Staying apart from your family and friends doesn't have to stop you from throwing an epic party.

TAMPA, Fla. — We've all heard the phrase, "(blank) will look a little different this year." That's certainly true for Labor Day, which is known for backyard barbecues and pool parties. But while COVID-19 safety guidelines will put some limits on those celebrations, the "unofficial end of summer" doesn't have to be a buzzkill.

If you want to throw a safe, socially distant Labor Day party with your family and friends, we have some ways to make your hangout stand out!

Virtual Celebrations

The safest way to throw a Labor Day party is to go the virtual route. Bring your attendees into a group meeting on an app such as Zoom or Google Meet. While you won't be drinking out of the same punch bowl, there's a lot of ways to keep things fresh.

  • Cook remotely. You can have all the people in your party cook and eat their own recipes. For an added twist, find an online cooking class everyone can do together. The best chefs in the group will make everyone else envious.
  • Host a wine tasting. The dining experts at Forbes say your party-goers can indulge in any number of wines and let people know how they like them. Coordinate which wines you want to try or let everyone pick their own.
  • Get creative with your space. Virtual meet-ups don't require everyone to sit in front of a blank white wall. Partiers can choose fun virtual backgrounds, or step outside into a real live setting. A sunny poolside look is sure to grab everyone's attention.

In-Person Parties

If virtual celebrations are not your cup of tea, you can host your Labor Day gathering in person. But, remember to follow all local and national regulations so you can keep it safe for you and your guests.

  • Stay outdoors as much as possible. The risk of COVID-19 spread is said to be higher in indoor settings, so keeping the party outside can help to ensure safety. You can also set up markers every six feet to maintain social distancing. And if someone must go inside, ask them to wear a mask.
  • Serve food and drinks individually. Doctors at the University of California, Davis suggest giving out single-use utensils, condiments and dips as well. You can even use masks as party favors in case someone left theirs behind.
  • Play socially distant games. Most board games or any other games with shared parts should be off-limits. But an outdoor scavenger hunt or a friendly round of charades will do. The family life experts at the ParentZone published a long list of game ideas that children and adults alike can enjoy.

Remember, your Labor Day party shouldn't be jam-packed, but think outside the box and it can be filled with all the fun you can imagine!