Ah, Labor Day, our favorite holiday misnomer. What better way to celebrate all our hard work than by taking a day off to hang with friends and family?

Of course, you could crank down the A/C in our energy-efficient homes and keep everyone cooped up inside. But don’t think that just because it’s the middle of an AZ summer that you’ll be reduced to an indoor get-together while the rest of the country enjoys their backyard barbecues; you can’t easily play cornhole inside, and really – is it even Labor Day if there’s no cornhole?

If you want to throw a proper backyard bash, Shea Homes® has got you covered. Wherever you’re at on your journey to building your dream backyard, here are four tips for keeping your guests cool and comfortable during the cookout, pool or no pool.

Move the Grill
We know that firing up the BBQ is one good way to keep your home cooler during summer months, but don’t forget how much heat that cooker generates. While it’s always fun for the grill-master to be at the center of the party, the extra heat from your barbeque is sure to add some unnecessary degrees to its immediate vicinity, so move it away from the main gathering areas of your backyard.

Set Sail
The good news for Shea homeowners is that many of our homes come with shaded back patios, so cooling down out of the sun is easy. The better news is that for larger parties, there are a few easy ways to add some extra shade to your backyard. Sail shades are sheets of fabric that are inexpensive and can be set-up in minutes before that party starts and taken down just as quick. Pop a few sets of chairs below and pretend that breeze is blowing cool sea air onto your face.

Craft a Cooling Station
Hydration is number one! And whatever your sister-in-law tries to tell you, (yes, we mean you Stacy), hard seltzers don’t count – any adult beverage will dehydrate you. To keep your guests coming back to the watering hole, try a fruit-infused water pitcher – dice up some watermelon, slice up a few strawberries, or throw in some mint and let it infuse in the water for at least 15 minutes, and in no time, you’ll have deliciously refreshing water that works as a decoration too! Add a bucket of ice water and hand towels to the table for people to cool their wrists and neck, and your party will be going strong and hydrated well through the afternoon.

Summer Days, Drifting Away
Those summer nights! One of the simplest ways to keep your party-goers cool is to start the festivities around the time the sun begins to set, and the temperature starts to dip. Take advantage of that precious Monday off and think about scheduling a get-together for Saturday or Sunday evening. This way you get all the fun without any of the “oh no I should be getting home soon I have to be up for work in the morning” feelings. Plus, you can spend Labor Day relaxing instead of laboring over party-host duties. Just remember to light your backyard with the right party ambiance.

Have any tips of your own for keeping your guests cool? Let us know in the comments! For everything else Shea, visit sheahomes.com.

Sales by Shea Homes Marketing Company (AZ DRE #CO550381000), Construction by Shea Homes Limited Partnership (ROC #195895).

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