Before you bring on the tears and mourn the last days of sunshine, it’s time for one final shindig! Since Labor Day pays tribute to the American worker, no one should have to labor on this holiday, and that includes you, Ms./Mr. party host. Need some help? Here are 5 stress-free party-planning tips.

Designate a kids’ area

Set aside a section of your backyard exclusively for the kids. Throw down some blankets and picnic mats; scatter stools and benches for a picnic atmosphere. Lay a table for kid-specific snacks and beverages next to an area for games and activities–balls, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a wading pool. Or better yet, bring on the sprinklers!

Make it even easier:
Hire a child-minder or two through Metropolitan Nannies to plan kiddie activities and keep them out of the adults’ hair!

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What are some of your stress-free party tips?

—Pat Tanumihardja

Photos courtesy of Betty Crocker via redtri.com, cinsy via Creative Commons, mamaloco via Creative Commons, backforsecondsblog.com via redtri.com, and Yung-Yi Hsieh Nindorf