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Step Away from the Tongs: 5 Things You Can Do This Labor Day Instead of Cook

It’s the last holiday before the unofficial end of summer (cue loud, angry boos). Tomorrow, you’ll have to go back to school or — gasps — work, after a summer full of idyllic, far-flung vacations or low-key weekend trips to the beach.

No matter how you spent your summer…does anyone really ever want it to end? This Labor Day, drink in the fleeting hours of summer by hanging with friends and family — not flipping frozen burgers on a smokin’ hot grill.

Since you won’t be cooking — here’s six things you can do instead…

1. Blow up that pizza float and hang by the pool

Weather in September is unpredictable — is it going to stay 80 degrees for weeks on end or will you be breaking out that loud zip-up fleece your mom gave you for your birthday tomorrow? If the sun is shining, don’t take any chances and spend the whole day relaxing on the water.

2. Break out the games for some fun competition

Horseshoes, frisbee, bocce, you name it. Slip on your sweatband, do a few lunges and spice up the party with some friendly competition. Pick your teammate wisely, because you really need to crush cousin Suzy and her husband in cornhole since they “won” last year’s tournament in #Cheatergate2017.

3. Create drink pairings for your impending food delivery

Remember that time you took a mixology class in college? Now’s the time to break out those (super rusty) skills. Waiting on some baby back ribs? Stay on theme with a refreshing, bourbon-based drink: hey there, mint julep…lookin’ good. Making it a pizza party? Go Italian with a classic negroni or Aperol spritz.

4. Watch a line up of quintessential summer films

On very unfortunate occasions, it can outright downpour and ruin all the outdoor activities you had lined up. Get ahead of that party-ruining weather and have a hot list of summer classics in your queue. Possible plotlines may include, but are not limited to: a hungry great white shark causing chaos in a small New England town or a young girl falling in love with her dance instructor at a resort in 1960s Catskills. Fun fact: you can order popcorn from Grubhub too…yeah, it’s a thing.

5. Set up a DIY dessert bar

You’ve ordered the food — but did you realize you can also order the dessert? Order slices of pie — or even cookies — and pints of ice cream, varying in flavors. Guests can mix and match their favorites, making endless à la mode or ice cream sandwich combos. Stock the table with sprinkles, whipped cream and chocolate chips too…trust us.