Plan the perfect picnic setup for Labor Day

For many people, Labor Day signifies the unofficial end of summer. With kids heading back to school, the days getting shorter and the weather cooling down, you probably won’t be able to spend as much time outdoors. That’s why you definitely want your Labor Day celebration to be fabulous — so you can enjoy one of the last days of picnic season with family and friends.

If you’re looking for Labor Day picnic ideas, our favorite picnic essentials will keep you comfortable, entertained and well-fed out at the park, beach or another outdoor spot. 

Shop this article: E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II CanopySun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen and “The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket”

Labor Day picnic checklist

Picnic supplies for sun and insect protection

a canopy with a blue canvas top

E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II Canopy

Get some shade at your picnic with this 10-foot by 10-foot sun canopy. It’s easy to set up and provides  64 square feet of shade. It also has waterproof seams, so it can keep you dry in light rain. It’s also only 31 pounds and comes with a roller carrying bag.

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Best Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen

This hypoallergenic sunscreen lotion can help keep you from getting a sunburn no matter how long you stay at the picnic. The Sun Bum sunscreen offers UVA and UVB protection and vitamin E to prevent free radical damage. It’s also oil-free, water-resistant and doesn’t damage coral reefs.

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Best Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

This packable sun hat features fabric with a UPF 50+ rating, so it provides excellent sun protection. It also has a drawstring closure to keep it on your head even in windy weather. The mesh lining helps wick moisture away from the skin, too.

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Best Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent

Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent 

Keep mosquitoes and other pests away at your Labor Day picnic with this bug repellent spray. It also works on ticks, gnats, chiggers, and fleas and even contains aloe and vitamin E to nourish the skin. The 360-degree pump makes it easy to apply.

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Picnic comfort must-haves

Best ONIVA Outdoor Picnic Blanket

ONIVA Outdoor Picnic Blanket

This picnic blanket lets you stretch out comfortably at the park or on a beach picnic. Its top is made of super-soft fleece, while the underside has a water-resistant coating to keep you dry. It’s also easy to fold and comes with a tote that has an adjustable strap for easy carrying.

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Best Resort Spa Home Indoor-Outdoor Pillows

Resort Spa Home Indoor/Outdoor Pillows

These outdoor pillows can make you comfortable while stretching out on your picnic blanket. This set includes four pillows in different sizes, including a lumbar pillow for lower back support. The fabric is stain- and fade-resistant, too, so you don’t have to worry about spills or drips at your picnic.

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Best Coleman Camping Chair with Built-in 4 Can Cooler

Coleman Camping Chair with Built-in Four-can Cooler

If your picnic spot doesn’t have chairs and benches, this Coleman camping chair can make you much more comfortable this Labor Day. It holds up to 325 pounds and features adjustable arm heights. The side pockets, mesh cup holder and built-in cooler that holds four cans make it even more convenient.

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Best PORTAL Camping Table

Portal Camping Table

If you’re not comfortable eating on a blanket, this folding camping table makes it much easier to enjoy the food at your picnic. The portable picnic table comes in a convenient carrying bag for transport to your picnic destination and also has a mesh pocket underneath for storage.

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Picnic food and drink must-haves

Best The Picnic- Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket

“The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket”

This cookbook doesn’t just provide tasty recipes for your picnic but also offers tips for planning and pulling off the perfect picnic experience. It even includes menus for delicious food that make choosing recipes for your event even easier.

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Best Char-Broil Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill

This Char-Broil grill is designed for travel, making it the ideal compact propane grill for your Labor Day picnic. The small portable grill offers 240 square inches of cooking space that can fit up to eight burgers and has legs that allow you to place it on the ground or a table.

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Best YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler

Keep fresh fruit, potato salad and other perishable foods cold with this large Yeti cooler. The durable cooler will keep drinks cold, as well, with three inches of PermaFrost insulation that helps keep ice solid for several days. The heavy-duty rubber latch also keeps the items inside secure.

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Best Nature Gear Picnic Backpack for 4

Nature Gear Picnic Backpack for 4

This modern alternative to a picnic basket contains all the picnic items you need for four people. The picnic backpack comes with an insulated cooler, waterproof blanket, wine cooler and bottle opener, a wooden cutting board, plates, glasses and cutlery. There’s even a side compartment for storing a bottle of wine, making it great for a romantic picnic double date. 

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Best PICNIC TIME Promenade Picnic Basket

Picnic Time Promenade Picnic Basket

If you prefer a smaller wicker picnic basket, this canvas tote is an excellent option for more intimate Labor Day gatherings. It includes plates, wine glasses and cutlery for two and has enough space for your favorite foods. The leatherette handles also make it more comfortable to carry.

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Best Rubbermaid Easy Find Food Storage Containers

Rubbermaid Easy Find Food Storage Containers

Pack all the goodies for your picnic in these sturdy, durable Rubbermaid food storage containers. The set includes 21 airtight food storage containers with lids, which snap together to maximize space in your basket. The containers are all BPA-free, microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe, too.

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paper plates, napkins, cups and utensils with a patriotic USA theme

Juvale 144-piece Patriotic Party Supplies

These American flag-themed plates, napkins, cups and cutlery will add to the festive spirit of your Labor Day picnic. The set serves 24, and you can save any unused dinnerware for the next patriotic holiday.  

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Best ASIJIA Pop-Up Mesh Food Screens

Asijia Pop-Up Mesh Food Screens

Keep the bugs away from your food with these pop-up food covers. Each set includes six covers in various sizes that take just seconds to assemble. They’re also flexible, so they can be stretched over multiple dishes.

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Picnic entertainment must-haves

Best Nerf Supersoaker Fornite Compact Water Blaster

Nerf Supersoaker Fornite Compact Water Blaster

This is one of the best water gun options to keep kids entertained at your Labor Day picnic. You can fire easily by pumping the handle backward and forward to drench your opponents. It’s easy to refill on the go, too.

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Best Himal Collapsible Portable Corn Hole Game

Himal Collapsible Portable Corn Hole Game

The whole family can have fun at a picnic with this travel-friendly cornhole game set. It’s lightweight and easy to set up at the beach or park. It also includes eight cornhole bags and a carrying case to keep everything together.

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Best Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Ultimate Backyard Game

Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Ultimate Backyard Game

Another activity that’s fun for the whole family, this frisbee toss game sets up quickly, so you can assemble it at any picnic spot. The lawn game is easy to learn to play, making it ideal even for younger children. Best of all, it’s lightweight and easy to carry.

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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