Your backyard is an extension of your home. All that extra space can be transformed into an enticing living space to entertain or just help you unwind. While we all want to have the perfect luxury backyard, creating an attractive place to entertain doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, the best way to make your backyard suitable for entertaining can be as simple as a single addition. Whatever your budget or desired end result, you’ll soon be on your way to backyard entertaining that’s the envy of all your neighbours!
Backyard entertaining is a timeless pastime. A hot tub, a barbecue, a cooler of drinks or a patch of grass for yard games are all simple ways to entertain your guests in the backyard and keep them singing the praises of their host and hoping for the next invite.
Just by looking for ideas to entertain in your backyard, you are taking the first step! Now, let’s find useful ways to make your afternoons and weekends more fun for the whole family or the whole neighbourhood.
How do you make your backyard more fun?
Any backyard has the potential to be an enjoyable space no matter how big or small. To make your backyard more fun, you can designate areas for specific activities. This will be easier with an upgrade or two such as outdoor furniture, sports equipment, a barbecue or a hot tub. Whether you prefer to use space for games for the whole family, play areas for the kids, cooking and entertaining friends, or spending some quality time soaking in a hot tub, determine what you and your family consider to be “fun” and the kind of backyard space you want to create.
What do outdoor entertaining areas need?
No matter what you choose to do with your backyard space, there are probably a few essential bases you’ll want to cover. If you want to get the most out of the space day or night, sufficient lighting and outdoor seating options are a must-have. You could add a deck or patio area, or a grassy lawn for the kids to play. A sound system, perhaps with a voice-activated smart home system, is surprisingly useful for evenings relaxing in the hot tub or enjoying some food and drinks with friends. Some areas are prone to pests like mosquitoes or flies, so some citronella candles or tiki torches might provide some welcome relief.
Garden ideas for entertaining
There are ample options for transforming your backyard into an entertainment hub, but you don’t have to completely transform it to make it a welcoming space. If you’ve got the desire, the space, and the budget, go all out and make your garden a playground for adults and kids alike! But for most of us, there are a few simple investments we can make to make sure we get the most out of our outdoor living spaces. Depending what your preferred pastimes and hobbies are as individuals or a family, decide how you want to spend your days and nights entertaining and enjoying.
Wet and Wild
One of the most obvious choices to improve your backyard entertaining game is a swimming pool. Not everyone has the space to put in a pool, or the budget as they are expensive. There are also extensive local planning regulations for swimming pools so be sure to check with your local authorities for the specifics in your locale.
The downsized and preferred option for many people is of course a hot tub or a swim spa. Without as significant an investment of money or space, your backyard entertainment could be notched up a level while your stress levels drift away in the bubbles. A hot tub is an excellent choice for someone who likes to get wet, but without the headache of maintaining a full swimming pool. Being able to use it year round is an added bonus and it can even improve your property value if you’re trying to justify it to loved ones. This is one addition your friends and family are sure to enjoy. Like swimming pools, some localities have specific rules for installing a hot tub, so contact your local authorities for the rules that might apply to you.
If you have a landscaped garden, showing it off can be half the fun of owning it and is an excellent way to entertain if you have an interested audience. Make sure you have access to the different garden areas with a proper pathway, as well as lighting if you want to enjoy it at night. Consider adding a water feature for a bit of contrast, whether a simple fountain, a small fish pond, or a babbling brook. Let your imagination soar and show off your creative spark. If you want to share that creativity, you could even designate an outdoor studio or craft space to share in the fun with your friends and family.
Another enticing option is the barbecue, a true Kiwi pastime. Whether a sizable built-in barbie or a table-top charcoal one, a barbecue is a great way to entertain your family and friends and fill your stomach at the same time. If you like to host dinners or parties, a barbecuing area and cocktail bar, a dining furniture set, a brick pizza oven, a fire pit with a s'mores station, and a sound system might be your jam. Just make sure you have the proper fire safety equipment should you choose to go this route and always follow best practices for areas around the barbecue and in disposing of spent coals.
Your Inner Child
Another great way to entertain in your garden is yard games. It doesn’t necessarily require any major upgrades or investments, but with just a patch of flat lawn or pavement, you could have your own gaming area complete with giant bowling pins, hopscotch, giant jenga, a mini golf course, or a basketball goal. If that doesn’t interest you personally, bear in mind it is a great space for kids to spend time outside in the fresh air, play, and burn off some energy. Or maybe just install a trampoline, a swingset, a jungle gym or even a bouncy castle! Again, it all depends on who you want to entertain.
Yet another fun idea for the whole family would be installing a multi-purpose building, such as a summer house, a greenhouse, a potting shed or even a mini theater. A screen projector and some comfy bean bag chairs can make for unforgettable movie nights.
The only limits you have are your mind, your space and your budget. So if you have the ability to mix it all up and have a little bit of all of the above to make the ultimate space for you, then you’re going to have a whale of a time in your backyard space from now on!
What can you do in your backyard by yourself?
To get the kids outside and playing rather than stuck behind devices, there are a few things you can do in the backyard to entice them away from computer screens. Teach them about plants and get them involved in growing their favourite fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing as satisfying as eating food you’ve grown yourself!
How can I get the most out of my small yard?
Mixing materials such as pallets, paving and turfed grass to create different levels in a small yard can make a big difference. You can even create seating this way. Having a potted garden rather than letting flower beds run wild are great for compact spaces and, if possible, keep your privacy barriers low to help open up the space around your small backyard. Keeping furniture minimal and sleek and creating a focal point with a water feature can draw the attention away from the size of your space.
What are fun things to do outside with your friends?
We’re all learning to adjust to the new normal of living through a pandemic and finding things to do outside with friends without the risk of contracting COVID might have you baffled. Here are a few ideas that might get you and your friends out and about. Flying kites or drones, enjoying a picnic, going on a walk or even a hike or bike ride enables you to distance effectively. Painting a mural on a wall or doing a park or beach clean up are activities you can do together while keeping distance. Do an outdoor workout like yoga or circuit training. Find a nice spot to watch the sunrise or sunset to unwind in nature. Start your own herb garden or vegetable patch and feel the sense of achievement as they grow and you get to eat the fruits of your labour!