With some states still seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, safe travel poses a challenge to Americans, with some choosing to staycation at home instead of hitting the road this summer.
A stay-at-home summer doesn’t need to be boring. You can turn your own backyard into a summer retreat without breaking the budget. From entertaining in style to keeping the kids busy, we’ve got tips to cost effectively maximize your outdoor space.
Upgrade your outdoor furniture.
Chances are, you’re spending a lot more time in your yard these days, and whether that means sunning on the patio or sipping lemonade under the shade of a tree, you’ll feel more of that vacay vibe with the right furniture. It doesn’t have to be pricey; a little ingenuity will really make those dollars stretch.
Make your outdoor space seem bigger by creating different seating areas for different purposes. Think a cozy coffee nook for mornings, a lazy hammock for getting lost inside the pages of a summer thriller, a pair of lounge chairs for catching the afternoon sun, and a small area for nighttime fireside fun.
If you’ve already got a nice patio set, freshen it up by replacing the cushions and adding some summery throw pillows for a whole new look.
Don’t forget to take a look at your outdoor lighting as you spruce up your patio and yard. Brighten up your outdoor space with some sconce lights along the walls or string up some old holiday lights for a truly festive feel.
Add a splash of fun.
It may be too late in the season to think of installing an in-ground pool, but you can still have your floating fun with an above-ground pool this summer. Above-ground pools can cost as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as a few thousand for a larger, upgraded model. Most take a week or less to install (barring any permits needed from your town). And then it’s an endless splashing summer!
Make it natural.
Yes, you’re already outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you’re surrounded by greenery. Even city slickers can add the natural touch to small apartment porches with some potted plants, a container garden or a trellis with climbing flowers. Stick that greenery wherever it can go for an added layer of relaxation.
If you want to go all-out to get that resort-like feel, consider building your own waterfall this summer. It may not be on your bucket list, but it’s a super-fun project with rewarding results.
Fun for the kids.
Don’t forget to create a fun space for your kids in your backyard oasis. The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor play; just have fun and let your creativity flow freely. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Put up a rock-climbing wall. If your kids are climbing the walls from being home for too long, try a DIY rock-climbing kit for endless fun that also builds strength and coordination.
Build a swing set. Swing sets provide hours of entertainment, but they can get pricey. Save money without compromising on the fun factor by choosing to build a swing set yourself instead of purchasing it pre-made. You’ll have to buy materials and maybe the tools, but you’ll still come out way ahead. Plus, you can make the construction a family project that will keep everyone involved for days.
Install a backyard splashpad. Your favorite spraygrounds might be closed this summer, but you can have your water fun at home with a DIY splashpad kit. Splash pads promise hours of fun for kids of all ages.
Create a natural playspace. According to a natural playground study by the University of Tennessee, children who play on natural playgrounds, or playscapes, tend to stay more engaged than those playing on brightly colored equipment. Building a natural playspace is easy — think a small pile of sand, a set of logs arranged as stepping stones and some tall grass or plants to act as hiding spaces.
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