7 Ways to Create a Backyard Vacation This Summer

Vacation time doesn't have to mean traveling to faraway destinations to have fun with your family.  Take advantage of a prime location close to home—your own backyard—with Mighty Mommy's seven tips for creating a fun backyard vacation this summer.

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #337

Tip #4:  Outdoor Movie Night

One of our family’s favorite ways to spend a balmy summer evening is to host an outdoor movie night in our backyard. We pick a family-fun flick, have plenty of popcorn and other treats on hand (including mosquito repellent), and settle in for a few hours of good-old fashion family fun. We use a heavy-duty white sheet that is tacked up to the back side of our garage wall for a screen and use a projector that we made a small investment in several years ago.  For more ideas on how to create your own spin on an outdoor movie night, visit my board on Pinterest called "Mighty Fun Summer Ideas."

Tip #5:  Camp Out

While we’re on the subject of outdoor movie nights, you can take this one step further by having an actual camp out in your backyard. If your family isn’t regularly into camping, don’t think you have to invest a ton of money into camping gear. For our first camp out we borrowed a tent from a neighbor. You can also rent pop-up tents for a reasonable amount of money to see if it’s something your family enjoys before you make the investment. Or, if you’re a handy DIY type of person, you can construct your own tent with materials you might already have on hand.  Blow up mattresses are a fun and comfy addition to use along with sleeping bags. Of course, to make it an authentic camping experience, you’ll need lanterns/flashlights, bottled water, snacks. Glow necklaces and bracelets from the Dollar Store add a neat wow factor! You'll also want favorite stuffed animals, insect repellent, and a good dose of imagination to share those awesome bedtime stories you’ll be telling as you listen to the crickets chirping away in your backyard.  See Also: Domestic CEO's episode on How To Cook While Camping

Tip #6:  Al Fresco Dining

Dining on barbecued chicken or grilled hamburgers and hotdogs is a must during the summer, but even better is when you can enjoy the fresh taste of summer by eating outdoors.  Scheduling regular meal times outside can be a great way to connect as a family as well as take in a beautiful summer’s evening. Take advantage of your outdoor patio furniture for breaking bread together, and if you don’t have a set up like that or a picnic table in your yard, you can always use a card table and don it with a festive checked tablecloth and use easy-breezy paper goods to make clean-up a breeze.  A fun way to liven up your outdoor seating is to spray paint metal folding chairs in vibrant shades of teal, yellow, lime green and other bright colors. When your family is surrounded by lively colors, it just adds to the delicious fun you can share together.  See Also:  5 Tips to Make Meal Planning Easier

Tip #7:  Bring the Indoors Out

Sure backyards are great for playing on swingsets, tossing a ball around, and planning fun games like hide and seek, but they also make a great place to do some of your favorite indoor activities like arts and crafts, board games, chalkboard and painting, building castles with blocks and legos, having a tea party, and so much more.  Instead of doing some of the typical activities you would do inside in your family room or even at the kitchen island, gather up a few of your kid’s favorite toys and play things and bring them right outside to your patio or backyard. True, it might be a wee bit of extra work to tote things outside, but you’ll be giving your kids a whole new opportunity to express their creativity if they can paint a picture outdoors rather than their usual spot in the kitchen.  See Also:  10 Family Activities to do Before Labor Day.

How does your family enjoy your backyard space? Share them with us in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mightymommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Also, visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!