When you’re looking for the perfect place for your family to connect, make lifelong memories, and share laughter and love, you don’t have to look much further than your own backyard. As spring begins to sprout and warm weather rears its glorious head, chilly memories of a bitter winter are relegated to the farthest corners of your mind.
Warmer weather means you don’t even have to leave your backyard to take full advantage of the season! Here are some tips for you and your family to connect with Mother Nature without ever leaving the comfort of your property.
Soak up the sun With a Good Book
The crisp snap of a soda can top, chirping cicadas serenading you as you relax in a hammock, endless languid afternoons spent soaking up the warmth and sunshine of the great outdoors – the possibilities for lazy relaxation are endless. And what better way to pass the time in between naps than to lose yourself in the latest bestseller or finally dig into the novel that’s been collecting dust on your bedside table?
Don’t have outdoor furniture? Not a problem. Dust off some beach chairs and add flip-flops to pretend you’re spending a day at the beach, or strategically place washable pillows in the lush grass to stretch out with a book.
Both kids and adults will love to pass the time engaged with a truly riveting read. If your kids aren’t big readers, turn your backyard into a campsite by inviting them inside a tent or reading ghost stories by a “fire” of rocks and sticks spray painted orange and yellow.
Have a Backyard BBQ With Family
If your mouth starts watering after one whiff of that delicious smoky aroma that can only come from food roasting over hot coals, you’re not alone. Barbequing in your own backyard is one of the great pleasures of suburbia. It’s a way for even the most inexperienced chef to whip up luscious platters of grilled meats, veggies, and even fruits.
Get the whole family involved by creating a themed menu. Bring the tropics to your backyard with a luau complete with crackling roasted pig, grilled pineapple, and kebabs. Engage the kids by making paper leis and get them to help make a big salad dusted with coconut and macadamia nuts.
If you’re a fan of Meatless Mondays, go all out with a vegetarian burger bar: mix ketchup and hot sauce for a kickin’ condiment, chop onions, lettuce, tomato for a refreshing contrast, and grill up some big meaty portabella mushrooms for the main event.
Don’t forget dessert. After you’ve finished cooking the main course, slap some peeled bananas straight on the grill and forget about them. By the time you’re jonesing for dessert, they’ll be caramelized and gooey and ready for a creamy scoop of ice cream. Trust us, once you nosh on a grilled banana ice cream sundae you’ll never go back.
Plan an at-home Picnic
You don’t need to fire up the grill to delight in delicious food and fun with your family. Prepare lunch time favorites like sandwiches, finger foods, meats, fancy cheeses, and snacks like chips and dip or vegetables and hummus. Pack up your spread and tote these family-friendly foods to the backyard for a low-maintenance at-home escape. Just a simple change in scenery can be invigorating, especially for little ones who may be going stir crazy from too much time inside.
Lounge in lawn chairs or spread out on some soft, cozy blankets. Have some favorite board or card games? Bring them outside to enjoy some friendly competition under the afternoon sun. Don’t forget cool treats like popsicles, juice boxes, or chilled fruit for warmer afternoons.
Enjoy a Poolside Happy Hour
Those lucky enough to have a sparkling pool to enjoy at their leisure should take advantage of its meditative benefits by kicking back with a cool cocktail (or mocktail!) poolside. String up some fairy or café lights for an evening ambiance that rivals your favorite tiki bar and put on some soothing tunes to help release the tension of a stressful day. If it’s warm enough, take a quick refreshing dip and enjoy a chilled glass of your favorite wine or beer as you wrap up cozily in a fluffy towel.
When you have a pool, any hour can be happy hour! Wake up with an aromatic cup of joe or tea and enjoy the morning stillness as you watch the sun slowly rise above your pool, or take a break in the afternoon with an energizing iced tea to help you power through the rest of the day. You can even enjoy your pool long after the sun sets and the evening chill sets in. Snuggle up in a fuzzy blanket and sip a mug of something warm and comforting to unwind right before bed.
Order Delivery to Support a Local Business
As the sunsets get later and the temperature rises, the urge to cook often gets shelved along with your winter jacket. Take advantage of the plethora of food delivery options in your area to experience a range of delightful cuisines. Introduce your family to foreign delicacies by ordering dishes you’ve never tried from a country you’d like to visit or conduct your own (highly scientific) research to determine the best slice of piping hot pizza. You can even pit contenders against one another.
Gussy up the takeout by enjoying it outside on real, washable dishes and silverware and light a few candles to make for a more elegant atmosphere. Whether it’s spicy burritos, fresh chopped salads, or exotic and aromatic foreign fare, it’ll be a treat made even more delicious knowing you’re supporting your community.
When you combine warm weather with your own backyard, a little creativity goes a long way. The more activities you explore, the more you’ll enjoy your own little slice of heaven. As a famous Kansas resident once put it, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there…then I never really lost it to begin with.”