31 Things To Help Make Your Backyard A More Exciting Place To Be

31 Things To Help Make Your Backyard A More Exciting Place To Be

“We’re out back.” —everyone’s mom from now until the end of time

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1.

A gazebo with curtains to provide shade for you and your friends while you ~throw shade~ about the other people in your lives.


Hayneedle

Promising review: “This gazebo was very easy to assemble if you set all the pieces out separately. I’m over 6 feet tall so I could do everything by myself except the top someone had to hold the top piece while I connected it. The large canopy fit right over the top very easy. If you line the seems up with the frame. It will go very smoothly. Only had to stretch the last one and it really wasn’t all that bad. Overall I love it. Could’ve purchased a larger one.” —Jeff from Clear Lake CA

Get it from Hayneedle for $279.99.

2.

A mini pool that fits three grown adults so you can pretend you’re on vacation in the Hamptons instead of your apartment’s tiny patio.


HSN

My cousin and I recently put one of these in the tiny patio of her NYC apartment. We’re so excited to use it all summer while closing our eyes and pretending we’re at a five-star tropical resort.

Get it from HSN for $38 (available in three styles)

3.

A supersized version of Connect Four that’ll provide your squad with hours upon hours of simple fun in the sun. The only downfall is you might never want to play the regular version again!


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “Best purchase! We bought it for the kids but my husband and I stayed up until 1 a.m. playing!! It was a hit at our party! Great quality. Yes, you can hit the bar and release the discs, but it hasn’t happened to us and wouldn’t be a big deal if it did! Totally worth it! So glad we got it!!” —Rechel B

Get it from Amazon for $76.99.

4.

Or Kan Jam, an outdoor frisbee toss game that’ll start as a casual game of catch and most likely evolve into a SUPER competitive battle for greatness.


Amazon

This is another game my friends have been playing at the beach since we were in high school — it’s always been a big hit. The rules are quite simple: break into two pairs but position yourselves across from one another. Then all you have to do is aim your frisbee toss at the “kan.” If your teammate deflects the frisbee to hit the kan, you get one point. If the disc hits the kan on its own, that is two points. If your teammate taps the frisbee into the kan that’s three points. If by some lucky chance you throw the disc RIGHT INTO THE SLOT, you win!

Promising review: “This is a ridiculously fun and easy lawn game. It’s got the strategy of horseshoes with the fun of a team activity. The rules are simple, the equipment is made to last — if you are looking for a semi-active game to bring to the beach, family barbecue, or even company picnic, this is it!” —J. Caldwell

Get it from Amazon for $38.96+ (available in three styles).

5.

A pair of lounge chairs you’d easily find poolside at a resort in Hawaii.


Wayfair

Promising review: “Very simple to put together and look great by our pool. Fairly comfortable. A great price for a good set of chairs.” —Angela from FL

Get a set of two from Wayfair for $329.99.

6.

Or a four-piece set of rattan furniture so everyone will have a spot of their own where they can unwind.


Amazon

Promising review: “We simply love our new grey set and it’s fits perfectly in our small patio. It is comfortable and a real value. It is easy to assemble it; accomplished in 1 hour and 45 minutes. We looked for a long time and and are thrilled with the set.” —Cyndi

Get a four-piece set from Amazon for $439.98.

7.

A reversible rug with checkers on one side and tic-tac-toe on the other, a must-have for any family who would rather exercise their brain muscles.


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “This is a standard item in our beach bag. Gives people a chance to interact, have fun, and take a break from the water. I like that it has three different games. Weight of items is good for outdoor use. They don’t blow away in windy weather.” —Mickey

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

8.

A portable grill you’ll be able to use to grill up a delicious feast even if you don’t have an abundance of outdoor space.


colemanusa / Via instagram.com

Promising review: “This grill is great! It has three burners so the things that you are grilling does not cook unevenly. I purchased a 20 lb-to-1lb propane adapter and hooked up my 20lb propane to it. It is easy to assemble. I usually prefer a charcoal grill over propane, but this grill came close to giving me the charcoal grill taste, it did not disappoint me. Awesome product!” —Michael S

Get it from Amazon for $249.99 (available in five colors).

9.

A classic bocce ball set like the set your grandparents had growing up that’ll bring back fond memories for them and help you all create new ones together.


Amazon

Promising review: “New game for the family! I was not familiar with bocce, but saw this pop up on Amazon and thought it looked like fun to try. Came in a nice little case, and I found as long as I left the cardboard in the case it kept it sturdy. Balls are nice-looking, and have held up after many games. This game reminds me a lot of bowling-miniature bowling. Fun family game!” —D.D.

Get it from Amazon for $39.99 (available with resin balls or soft rubber ones).

10.

A playhouse for your kids (or friends’ kids) that looks like an actual lil’ seaside shack and’ll make your backyard the go-to destination of the summer.


Target

Promising review: “Purchased for my granddaughter. It was surprisingly easy to build. I was able to do everything aside from the roof by myself. She’s happily playing away” —ABW

Get it from Target for $299.99.

11.

Flamingo lawn ornaments you’ll love so much you’ll want to name them and make them part of the family.


amazon.com

Promising review: “I recently bought a house, and decided to place these in the yard before my girlfriend (who also owns the house) came over after closing. These were awaiting her arrival and she got a laugh out of it. I’m sure the neighbors love us too — now they know exactly the classy type of individuals we are! They have been surviving the Colorado winter pretty well too.” —George

Get a set of two from Amazon for $12.99.

12.

Globe string lights that’ll transform your backyard into the hipster haven you’ve always imagined it could be.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “This is a really nice set of lights. I used them to run along the inside of the fence around my backyard. Very well packaged, with all the bulbs individually protected with bubble-wrap sleeves in sectioned boxes. As others have noted, the easiest way was to run the cord, and then add the bulbs. All of them worked perfectly. It’s the perfect kind of light for this use — a bit of a fairyland feel — not too bright, yet turns a dark yard into something special.” —Peter Guither

Get an 100-foot strand from Amazon for $66.98.

13.

Waterproof playing cards, so you can get a fierce game of Go Fish going without fear of the moment your kids inevitably spill their drink all over the table.


Amazon

Promising review: “These playing cards are a HIT. I take them out with me for social events and when visiting people, even to the beach. We just play and play. So you can get them wet and they won’t soggy up and tear it just become a little hard to shuffle. It is so cool that they look like you can see right straight through them but you can’t.” —Tabitha

Get them from Amazon for $5.97.

14.

An oversized towel you can spread out on your lawn to catch some rays, read a book, or have a spontaneous picnic with your S.O.


bando

Get it from bando for $59.95 (available in five styles).

15.

A 66-inch tiki torch with a gunmetal finish that’ll bring chill *island vibes* to your home while also maintaining the modern style you’ve carefully crafted.


Amazon

Promising review: “If you are one of those people who wants to have the best, these are the best. They might cost more. They might burn more fuel, faster. Totally worth it. They light up the back yard and it looks amazing. The only thing I will caution you on is that the metal posts are kind of thin. One bent when I was trying too hard to push it into the ground. Other than that very pleased with these and I know they will last for years. I bought six.” —Public name (required)

Get it from Amazon for $14.39.

16.

A jumbo set of tower blocks that, just like the ones you played with as a kid, will probs stress you out as you strategize and keep you entertained for an entire afternoon — only this time you’ll get some fresh air while you’re at it.


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “Purchased these for ‘game nights’ on the terrace during the summer and they were much more popular than i expected. These are solid and seem like they will last quite a while. Solid set and bag makes storing a breeze!” —Josh

Get them from Amazon for $69.99.

17.

A hanging hammock chair for the ultimate chill spot where you can listen to your podcasts or take a nap in peace.


Wayfair

Note: you will need separate hanging hardware to ensure your swing is safe and secure.

Promising review: “We absolutely love this chair hammock! We had to order hanging hardware separately, but it is hanging in my son’s bedroom and he is in it constantly. Reading, napping, playing games. Fantastic purchase!” —Kurt from Pocatello

Get it from Wayfair for $33.99 (available in five styles).

18.

Or a classic rope hammock, in case you have ~someone special~ in your life you’d like to snuggle up with while you gaze into the night sky.


LL Bean

Promising review: “Last weekend I visited some old friends who, 29 years ago, I gave this hammock as a wedding present. Am happy to report the hammock is alive and very well after all these years! Not many products you can say that about after 29 years! Bravo!!” —Pilling

Get it from L.L. Bean for $119.

19.

A waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker, so you’ll never have to fumble with headphone wires at the beach or pool again.


amazon.com / Via instagram.com

Promising review: “I am really impressed with the output and clarity of the JBL Charge 3. Big sound out of such a small package and ours sounds really good at 50′ outdoors. I’m so impressed I’ll be purchasing another to use in stereo for our outdoor speakers rather than mounting traditional ‘outdoor speakers.'” —Me

Get it from Amazon for $99.95 (available in six styles).

20.

A glittery pool tube that’ll look absolutely spectacular in the Instagram pics you’ll definitely be taking at home in your pool this summer. Hope your mom’s photo skills have improved since last year!


poolcandy / Via instagram.com

Promising review: “I loves this pool float! It’s an awesome size and looks beautiful!!” —Stephanie

Get it from Bed Bath and Beyond for $15.99.

21.

Or a massive sloth pool float, in case you’ve always dreamt of being cuddled by one of nature’s cutest animals while soaking up some sun.


Target

Get it from Target for $20.49.


amazon.com, Amazon

The set also comes with instructions on how to make the BIGGEST bubbles possible!

Promising review: “The wand is awesome, but even MORE awesome is that I just used regular Super Miracle Bubbles bubble solution (way cheaper, found anywhere) and it worked just as well. Maybe better. Some people in reviews have said that you must use the packets that come with the wand, but I gave it a shot anyway with regular bubbles (Super Miracle Bubbles) and it worked just fine, with no noticeable difference.” —Lauri

Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

23.

A firepit that’ll also double as a wood fire grill and help transform your not-so-manicured yard into one anyone would mistaken as an up-and-coming outdoor eatery.


Breeo, breeoco / Via instagram.com

My dad recently got one of these to test out and has been so excited to take his grilling *and* backyard game to the next level. Not only does this fire pit look awesome and provide a cozy place for your family to hangout, but because it’s made with a specific COR-TEN material you’ll be able to cook all kinds of things right along the edges. Pretty freakin’ cool. If you’d rather *not* place your steak directly on the pit, you can go for their grill grate and cook it above the flames.

Get it from Breeo for $399.

24.

And a Hershey’s s’mores kit that’ll go nicely with your firepit *and* make sure you and your family always have a sweet treat waiting to be made.


Amazon

The kit comes with 9 full-size Hershey bars, 1 bag of marshmallows, and 2 packs of graham crackers. If you’re not great at math (ahem, me) that makes 18 s’mores! You might also want to grab these reusable roasting skewers for the full experience.

Get it from Amazon for $18.

25.

A picnic table that’ll easily attach onto your fence or a tree to give your bushy-tailed buddies a comfortable place to dine.


DelgadoHCTreasures / Etsy

Promising review: “I love my new squirrel picnic table!! Just put it out last evening and they already enjoyed the corn 🙂 It was also shipped fast and free; overall great shopping experience.” —Cristina Ungureanu

Get it from DelgadoHCTreasures on Etsy for $27.

26.

Spikeball, an easy-to-transport game that is kinda like volleyball and will have your friends asking you to bring it on every beach trip.


amazon.com, Amazon

My friends are OBSESSED with Spikeball. While I’m not super coordinated and prefer to be a cheerleader (I’m accident-prone, OK!), this game is one of the most fun beach activities I’ve seen in a minute. It has been described as “if volleyball and foursquare had a baby” and can be played in a variety of ways.

Promising review: “This is a great beach game. Its simplicity as a spin on volleyball will have you and your friends be the envy of the beach. On multiple occasions I was asked where I bought this game. Great fun, and a great product. Assembly was simple enough. It’s just plastic clips and then finding a way to get the net tight enough onto the hoop. You might think it isn’t springy enough but it will be. Remember… This isn’t a trampoline!” —Btschultz

Get it from Amazon for $59.99.

27.

A pop-up tunnel play set that’ll keep little ones busy so you can kick back and enjoy an ice cold beverage.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Easy to set up and tear down, and I like that it comes with a storage bag. I also love that it can be configured different ways and you can just use pieces and not the whole thing if you want. The addition of stakes for using outside is also handy. Overall a great product and my kids love it. They got it for Christmas and two months later it is still holding up well after regular use. Even the cat loves it!” —Azure

Get it from Amazon for $64.99.

28.

Festive summer-themed melamine plates you can break out during your next BBQ to embrace the season.


West Elm

Get them from West Elm for $4.99 each (available in two styles).

29.

And an outdoor dining set to add a pop of color to your yard while also motivating you and your family to eat more meals in your yard.


Amazon

Promising review: “I wanted a small table set for a bay window that would not take over the view and this is perfect. Light but sturdy.” —Mflorence

Get it from Novogratz on Amazon for $194.99 (available in three colors).

30.

A dog ball launcher that’ll encourage your pup to get a lil’ extra exercise in their day *and* give you another excuse to breathe in some fresh air in your yard.


instagram.com, instagram.com

Promising review: “I have a young golden retriever who would retrieve balls and Frisbees all day long if my arm could take it. Bought this and love it! I can throw the ball a lot farther and for more throws, so he gets more exercise. Love that I no longer need to bend over to pick up the ball or have to touch a slimy, sandy, filthy ball! It’s quite intuitive to use and within about three throws you’ll have it down perfectly. You can also use regular tennis balls with it.” —J.Essie

Get it from Amazon for $6.27.

31.

And a snow cone cart, so on super hot summer days you can retreat to the privacy of your own yard and eat as many as your heart desires.


amazon.com, nostalgiaelectrics / Via instagram.com

Not to mention it’ll look so *cool* on your back patio.

Promising review: “I love this snow cone maker. Very easy to make a lot of snow cones in a short time. The kids at my daughters birthday party loved this. Well worth the money. Am now going to put this on my deck for days I’m out swimming and playing with my 3-year-old. ” —elizabeth givens

Get it from Amazon for $197.99.

Future me eating my weight in snow cones like:


The Walt Disney Company

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!


Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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