Originally Published on March 13, 2019. Last Updated on August 18, 2022.
Homeowners with spacious backyards, decks, and patios are counting down the days until the entire family can pack their schedule full of frolicking fun in the sun. Getting the most out of your backyard isn’t rocket science. Still, by planning ahead and with a little inspiration, you can furnish your space with durable outdoor furniture for any occasion.
6 Fun Things to Do in Your Backyard
As you begin to brainstorm fun activities to do in your backyard and on your porch, consider how to utilize the spaces you already have, and how you can accent part of your yard with key furniture pieces.
1 — Throw a Garden Party
For a child, the simple pleasures of flowers in the garden and the shrubs around the oak tree inspire imagined fairy tales and dreams of adventure. While your kids are young enough to be enthralled with the pure joy of being outdoors, throw a quaint garden tea party in the safety of your backyard.
Throwing together a fun garden party is a breeze. Bake some scones, cut the crust off some sandwiches, and boil a batch of tea for your kids to try. Dress up in floral dresses and bow ties and stretch out on chaise lounges or curl up on an oversized picnic blanket.
If one of your children is having a birthday, just add a piñata for an instantly themed outdoor celebration. For an adult-oriented garden party, situate a dining set along the border of your yard and whip up a refreshing batch of summer cocktails. The floral dresses and bow ties remain, of course!
2 — Play A Yard Game
This may seem like cheating, but there are countless fun games you can play with your children that only require basic equipment and an open stretch of grass. The following games are ideal for wide open backyards without many structural encroachments or furniture pieces.
Pick up a croquet set at your local sporting goods store and introduce your kids to the popular mallet-and-ball yard game that’s been a hit since the 1800s. You can also choose to spend even less money on equipment and host sack races across the lawn — all you need are old potato sacks or large pillowcases to have a makeshift family Olympics.
When football season kicks off, you can’t go wrong with playing cornhole against family and friends. Get a set of cornhole boards at your local store or go the DIY route and build your own. To avoid putting your beverages on the ground, bring out a few side tables to set your drinks on while you’re playing.
3 — Have a Barbecue
Barbecues are a cornerstone of outdoor entertainment for a reason. In the summer, few activities can offer more than the delicious food and relaxation of a backyard barbecue. Any yard can serve as a barbecue headquarters with some simple additions. If you’re more of a “burgers and hot dogs once a month” cook, you can buy a gas grill and call it a day. If you prefer to go all out, plan a full kitchen on your deck or patio.
If you want to use your yard as a shrine to charred meats and corn-on-the-cob, it’s crucial to invest in enough dining space to fit the number of guests you anticipate. For a family of five, blend rustic charm and contoured comfort by choosing an option like a modern six-piece rustic dining set. If only you and your partner will be enjoying the spoils of your cooking prowess, you can extend a stone counter off of your grill and add a couple of bar- or counter-height chairs.
4 — Screen a Movie
Who doesn’t love the latest Pixar movie or action flick? Your home will be the envy of the entire neighborhood if you transform a part of your backyard into an outdoor movie theater. There are many factors to consider, such as using a projector-and-screen combo or investing in an outdoor-optimized television. Luckily, you can consult our outdoor home theater guide to get your backyard looking cinematic in no time.
Add style and comfort to your outdoor screening area with a five-piece deep seating set with plush, fast-drying cushions. That way, you won’t have to panic if your outdoor living room setup gets blasted with rain in between screenings. Going with a casual deep seating group keeps you comfy for viewing marathons and provides lots of end tables for popcorn and soda.
For more portability, consider getting a set of folding Adirondack chairs. These stylish pieces of furniture provide a timeless appeal, making it a reliable choice for any outdoor space. Once the credits roll, you can easily fold the chairs up and stow them away in your closet or storage space.
5 — Build a Teepee
Don’t have a fancy playhouse at your disposal? Get your kids involved in a fun construction project by gathering wood and building a teepee in your backyard. Other supplies you’ll need to include a drop cloth, scissors, and cord or rope. Learn how to build a teepee in your backyard, so the project goes smoothly.
You can also use the activity as an educational opportunity to teach your kids about Native American culture and traditions. Your local library is a great resource for books about the Native American experience. Here’s a great list from Brightly to get you started. Have some snacks and lemonade ready for when you finish building your backyard teepee. You and the kiddos may be exhausted!
6 — Host a Board Game Night
Board games are a blast for people of all ages. Thrill your kids with a variety of the most popular board games like Monopoly, Sequence, Pandemic, and Clue. Bake a fresh batch of cookies and light the outdoor lamps to keep the party going all night long. Just don’t forget the bug spray! For adults, a few appetizers and a rousing game of Settlers of Catan can provide hours of maddening fun.
The only piece of furniture needed for an outdoor board game night is a tabletop for the boards. Sit on outdoor cushions and gather around a large coffee table or settle into a supportive outdoor dining set to really focus on the game. You can also go beyond the board and build your own backyard-size board game. Giant Jenga, spray paint Twister, and giant lawn Scrabble are some of the games you can play to make the most out of your yard.
Once you open Pandora’s box, you’ll be flooded with ideas to keep the family outdoors all spring and summer long. Ensure they are comfortable by choosing durable, weatherproof furniture built to last a generation.