Ah… summer! Is there anything better than hanging out in the backyard with family and friends on a relaxing summer afternoon or evening? Let’s look at some fun backyard events and activities to make this summer the best one yet.
If you or yours is a grill master (or if you just head to a well-equipped grocery store), having a backyard barbecue should be on your list for summer fun. If you want to keep it simple, provide the entrée and ask each guest to bring a side dish or dessert. Whether you try new recipes or go with old favorites, everyone will enjoy a barbecue. Be ready for extra visitors! The neighbors may just drop by when they smell the delicious scent waft their way.
Summer backyard games offer some of the best relaxation around (and usually lead to plenty of laughter and great stories). Bocce is a great game that is often underrated for its multigenerational appeal. If someone is old enough or spry enough to toss a ball and understands that you want to toss the larger ball toward the small ball, they can play bocce. This can be a fun one for grandparents and the littlest tykes. Frisbee is a good one for all ages, too (just be careful where it gets tossed). Badminton can be great fun if you have the space.
We all love tacos! Why not keep it easy and set up a taco bar in your backyard? A buffet-style set-up will allow everyone to add the toppings that they prefer (and stick to any dietary needs that they have) while keeping the meal fun and light. If you are a gardener or just have access to those great fresh summer veggies like red ripe tomatoes, make sure they’re part of the buffet. Especially if you have little ones in the mix, this will make clean-up easier than if you had everyone assembling and eating tacos indoors.
For a fun dessert that will make you the best-loved partner/parent/aunt/friend around, set up an ice cream buffet. One or two flavors plus lots of toppings will do the trick. Just wait to bring out the ice cream until most people are done with their tacos to avoid a melting and messier buffet. Don’t forget the spray-on whipped topping and sprinkles!
Pick a warm afternoon or evening and have the crew make tie-dye T-shirts. This can be a fun activity for all ages (and a great event to invite all the neighbor kids to join). By keeping it outside, you can enjoy the sunshine and keep all the mess out of your house at the same time.
You can be thrifty with this one by picking up T-shirts at the local craft store or picking out a favorite white women’s tank top or women’s T-shirt from your closet that could use some color. Tie-dye can be a way to repurpose summer clothes and make them more fun!
If you have an inground or above-ground pool in your backyard, yay you! If not, keep in mind that most people (or at least the most raucous and youngest in the crowd) are likely to have just as much fun with sprinklers, splash pads, and water toys. Why not cater to the kids (of all ages) with some fun and cool water fun? If you plan to host a water party, make sure to let people know so they can bring their swimsuits or a change of clothes. Have plenty of beach towels available.
Outdoor movie nights have become all the rage. Why not enjoy one on a warm and wonderful summer evening in your own backyard? Gather the outdoor furniture and picnic blankets, buy or rent a projector, hang up a sheet or other backdrop and enjoy a favorite with the whole crew. This can be a great neighborhood activity.
Whether you pitch a tent or sleep under the stars, there’s nothing quite like a backyard campout. Both the adults and the kids will make some great memories by hanging out together around the “campfire,” telling stories, playing games, and gazing at stars.
And the best part of a backyard camp out is that if it rains, little ones get too scared, or anyone prefers a soft bed, you can always call it early, come inside, and enjoy waking up in a climate-controlled home where you can brew delicious coffee with an electric coffee maker instead of over an open fire.
If you’re a couple instead of a gang (or if you have an evening sans childcare), a backyard campout or campfire can be the perfect date night. Leave the electronics indoors, and snuggle with your sweetheart by the fire. Add a throw blanket if it gets chilly, and enjoy each other’s company. The to-do list will be there when you get back to it.
Have a great summer, and enjoy your backyard!