The advent of daylight savings means we don’t have to give up any outdoor summer enjoyment. Cool summer evenings stretch long enough to enjoy destinations as exotic and relaxing as our own backyards. It seems we’re too busy or the weather is too messy during the rest of the year for us to sit back and relax in the garden. You don’t have to go very far to enjoy all that summer has to offer. Here are some of my favorite summertime backyard activities.
Outdoor dining in the summer is always a treat. You get to be messy, lounge on a soft blanket and find delightful fluffy bunnies in the shapes of the clouds. I find a giant tray, some great plastic ware and a giant blanket are essential to the backyard picnic party. There is nothing more enjoyable that treating yourself to a meal in the natural surroundings of your own backyard.
Have a Seat
There are just a few essential characteristics that should be considered when searching for the perfect piece of outdoor furniture.
- Comfort – the furniture you choose should be almost as comfortable as your indoor furniture.
- Find What Fits – If you are limited by space, consider what configuration of what furniture will work best and still yield the greatest rewards. Maybe all you need are two chaise lounges and a small side table. Whatever your choose, I would definitely recommend incorporating a table of some kind. It’s nice to have somewhere to put that pitcher of margaritas. If you spend a lot of time in your backyard oasis, I would also recommend splurging on an outdoor set, complete with chairs, a dining table and lounging love seats. You just may never want to go back inside.
- Added Cushion – I have never considered cushions an essential part of outdoor decor, they are a luxury. Should you add some cushion to your back(yard), consider purchasing a bench to add to your furniture collection that doubles as cushion storage. There is nothing worse that sitting down to enjoy an evening meal only to realize the cushions are full of last night’s rain storm.
A delicious home cooked burger tastes like summer to me. There is no reason to heat up your entire house to cook a meal, when you have a perfectly good grill waiting for the marinated chicken wings. Crack open some cold refreshment and flip away. A fresh, summer kebab hot off the grill has a unique taste that just can’t be replicated with your oven broiler. The plastic ware definitely comes in handy during cook-outs.
Lounging in the warm summer breeze always puts things into perspective. I find that a nap on a soft picnic blanket, a lightly swinging hammock or a chaise lounge restores a bit of my sanity. No backyard is complete without some sort of gentle relaxation. To my favorite fitness fanatics I even recommend spreading out a mat for early morning power yoga or late night meditation in the calm of your backyard instead of the sweaty bustle of a gym. You will be surprised how rejuvenating and calming giant breaths of fresh air can be.
It is summer, after all, and during the day, a bit of shade is necessary. Without an a expansive backyard and limitless budget, you just have to think creatively. If you don’t have a patio furniture set, complete with a giant umbrella, don’t fret. We love our beach umbrella. It travels everywhere that we travel in the summertime. You simply open it up and stick it into the ground or into a giant planter filled with dirt (or sand). They provide ample shade and can be easily moved around to avoid a sunburn.
Games and Toys
You will certainly be surprised how exciting (and even hilarious) croquet can be at the end of a long summer day. There are a multitude of summer backyard games that require zero concentration and are far more fun than the 1970s picture depicts on the box cover. Try some of your favorite indoor games by the light of the moon, including Twister and charades. Of course there are water toys to beat the heat on the warmest of days. Water pistols, water balloons and a run through the sprinkler never get old.
I consider it the best way to go on an adventure without really going anywhere. If you can’t afford to leave for a summer vacation, or if your schedule simply won’t allow it, consider a camp out in your own backyard. You don’t have to load the car, you don’t have to spend a fortune on gas, you can run inside should you forget anything and you can rise with the sun to flip on the coffee maker.
Summer fun is never as close as your own backyard. Be sure to enjoy it before fall sets in again and you have to admire it from your kitchen window.