Summer is on its way and warmer temperatures have us running outside to enjoy any space we have. Whether you’re working with a fire escape patio or a wide open backyard, we’ve rounded up plenty of ways to work with what you have. Read on—the perfect outdoor activity awaits.
Upgrade Your Outdoor Lounge
Hammocks have left the campground and entered our patios. Early summer launches have seen luxe macrame at Anthropologie to affordable options at IKEA to change up your WFH space.
Those with less space can opt for an outdoor version of the boho swing chair, for a space-saving version of the vacation staple.
Bond Wth the Bees
We’re all doing our part to save the bees, planting flowers and plants that will help attract and boost the population, but for those ready to take the next step and foster a hive, beekeeping isn’t as hard as it looks.
Beekeeping isn’t just for the honey, either. Owning bees can help give a boost to your garden, provide propolis, wax and other by-products for health and home, and serve as a science lesson during homeschooling.
Refresh Old Fabric
Whether you’ve been sucked into the tie-dye trend or are looking for a classic shibori, hand dyeing slipcovers, curtains, or napkins can is a fun way to customize your home goods and enjoy outdoor space. All you need are a few buckets, a clothesline, and good idea.
Keep Free-Range Chickens
As urban food deserts spread, people are turning to their backyards and roofs to host their own mini-poultry farm. The low cost of chicks and the high cost of eggs might be attractive to first time chicken farmers, but they are still animals. Just like our pets, chickens need proper care to stay healthy.
Host Outdoor Movie Night
Maximize your time outdoors by planning nighttime activities, especially for hot summer days. A big sheet, a picnic blanket and some popcorn can give you the summer screening experience we’re all missing without leaving your yard.
Go Backyard Camping
Create a backyard summer camp with tents, blankets, and nature lessons for kids. If you have outdoor space to spare, fire pits are perfect for s’mores or even tin cookware for those missing mountain days.
Our favorites blend in with outdoor decor for a stylish look when out of use.
Take a Forest Bath
Sound baths are the space-saving way to get zen at home and create a spa-like space. Forest baths, based on the Japanese shinrin-yoku, invite people to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of nature as a way to re-connect and center themselves.
The best part? You don’t need to go on a hike to experience it. Sound baths are best when the body is still, so lay a blanket in the backyard and let your mind wander.
Urban sounds interrupting your introspection? Our guide to sound bathing and home spas gives tips on how to enjoy no matter your location.
Make Clay Pottery
When it’s too hot to turn the oven on, substitute kiln or polymer-based clays with sun or air-drying clay mixtures. These can be shaped and left to dry in the outdoors and can look just as beautiful as the traditional version.
Just paint with a clear or tinted sealant to prevent water leakage if your end result is a vase. And reminder: some self-hardening clays are not food-safe.
Transform Your Shed
Extra square-footage in your yard? A fresh coat of paint and upgraded lighting can upgrade a tool shed into a she-shed or a home office space.
If you have the space, but not the structure, Amazon can ship you a DIY tiny home kit. Ranging from storage sheds to guest homes, the kits come with everything you’ll need to build an at-home escape.
Plan an Outdoor Dinner
CARL JOHAN RONNGETTY IMAGES
Now that all that hard gardening work is paying off, it’s time to bring the celebration full circle. Cook a meal with fresh herbs and vegetables, setting the table with a wildflower arrangement. Change up the table setting to match your cuisine to give the feel of your favorite summer brunch spot.
Hosting a virtual picnic can be a great way to upgrade your zoom happy hour and have everyone asking how you pulled together your backyard.
Create a DIY Swim Park
Not ready to commit to an in-ground pool? DIY options have never been better. Portables come in a variety of depths and styles, even hot tubs! Add a slip ‘n’ slide, a sprinkler ,and a pool float for an outdoor amusement park you’ll keep coming back to all summer.
Build a Sand Pit
Whether it’s for kids to build a championship-worthy sand castle or just to function as a zen garden feature, sand pits are the versatile lawn item the backyard is missing. Easily covered and hidden, sand pits are cheap and easy to assemble for hours of playtime or just giving you the feeling of a beach vacation without leaving your home.
Take the Kitchen Outdoors
Far beyond your dad’s grill, portable kitchen gadgets are coming in all types, making al fresco cooking and dining so much easier. Maybe your grill is due for a modern upgrade, or picnic ready pizza ovens are more your style. Either way, you won’t need a contractor or a culinary degree to navigate your outdoor kitchen.
Oversized Lawn Games
As the weather heats up, we’re moving on from board games by the fire. Luckily lawn games can keep the entertain going while enjoying your outdoor space. Life-size chess, painted grass twister, and lucite corn hole just a few of our favorites.
Update Old Furniture
Have old pieces laying in your garage? Maybe your entry table is begging for a trendy navy blue chalk paint. Now that we are using our masks for medical reasons, home improvement projects are better done outside, in fresh air, and by hand. No power sanders, spray paints or compressed air sprayers allowed.
It’s a good thing we can still refinish, repurpose, and repair our favorite pieces with that change of seasons.