Stepping out into your backyard should give you the same cozy feeling as climbing into your own bed after being away from home. Whether you’ve custom designed your outer space, or are working with already established features, make it a dream oasis for relaxation and entertainment. Consider the following summer backyard ideas for creating an awesome at-home venue for everyone to enjoy.
Camping is a great outdoor activity, but you can easily turn your yard into a spectacular spot for appreciating the elements. Gather up snacks and blankets, set up your tent, and take in the wonders of the night sky. If you’re short on space, make a tabletop fire bowl for roasting marshmallows and sitting back to star gaze and identify constellations. If possible, create a lounge area with air mattresses and cardboard “cars” for kids, so you can watch movies on an inflatable or a makeshift screen. Strategically place landscape lights and lanterns along the walkways, for safe, well illuminated movements between the yard and house.
A Perfect Corner Hideaway
A little backyard nook is similar in theory to personal camping, as it’s part of making a warm, inviting outdoor space. Fashioned from string lights, colorful fabrics and expressions of your interests and tastes, picture a super snugly cocoon where the world is yours. String a hammock between shady trees, make a teepee out of branches and curtains, or drape a canopy over your favorite chaise lounge or chairs. Add plants, tea lights, and pillows and make it the perfect retreat for reading, artwork, yoga, meditation, staycation picnics and whatever else serves as down time.
Outdoor Fun and Games
Sometimes the best ways to unwind are the simplest and the silliest. Use pavement chalk to leave cute messages for loved ones, or adapt the game of Twister to the lawn. Arrange directional lighting so that you can play croquet, horseshoes, miniature golf or swing on repurposed tires or chairs even when the sun sets. Kid-friendly summer backyard ideas include:
- puppet stages
- faery gardens
- water gun and bubble making stations
- scavenger hunts
- in-ground trampolines
- water balloon and papier-mâché candy-filled pinatas
- ball pits, homemade slime pits and sensory stations made out of kiddie pools
Pool Parties for Everyone
Bold, bright dishware, tiki torches, palm trees, inflatable chairs, and low-voltage pond lighting enhance pool areas, but what if you don’t have the space for swimming? Lay a tarp out under a sprinkler for a slip-n-slide, or simply set up a water obstacle course with kiddie pools. Collect stones from your yard and surround neighbourhood parks as well as make your own pebble mats for everyone to clean or dry their feet off on. Toddler wading pools are also terrific for dogs. Make sure to place them under shade so your pup can stay cool.
Part of choosing decorating and lighting ideas to make your yard more inviting for yourself is also keeping it a peaceful place for all inhabitants. Since you’re most likely sharing yard space with a few creatures, make it appealing and comfortable for them too. Designate a spot away from where you entertain, for bird-houses, bird-baths, and bat-houses. Avoid food waste by stocking a butterfly feeder with old fruit that the insects love and craft obstacle courses for squirrels to navigate as they forage for nuts and treats.
Fencing does more than establish privacy and borders, it’s also a wonderful canvas for the imagination. Use slats to mount sculptures, flower pots, or musical instruments. Transform a flat surface into a climbing wall, or use it as a background for to paint glow-in-the-dark murals. With LED garden lights to complement the perimeters, you can create quite a visual statement!
What’s your favorite thing to do in your backyard when the sun is shining? Tell us in the comments section below?