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10 Cheap Ways to Bring the Beach to the Backyard

During the dog days of summer, hot weather and sunny skies may make you wish you could be at the beach every day. Unfortunately, little responsibilities, like having a job and taking care of a family, can come in the way of that. If you can’t make it to the beach, the next best thing is bringing the beach to your backyard. Check out these 10 essentials that will make lounging at home feel like you're relaxing on the sandy shores.

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Drinking Game Changer

The next time you want to enjoy your summer cocktails outdoors, leave your nice glasses inside and instead opt for the Beach Glasses. Due to its patented ball and stem design, these glasses are able to stand upright when you stick them in the grass and sand and will even float in the water. Because they are made out of unbreakable acrylic, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up shards of glass if it gets knocked over or losing a stemware from your collection. It’s the perfect choice for your next picnic, campout, or happy hour in the backyard. Available on Amazon; $12.95 per glass. 

Related: 18 Inspiring Ideas for Easy Outdoor Entertaining 

Keep Cool

Whether you are hosting a BBQ or lounging in the yard, keep your snacks and drinks close—and cool—with the classic Coleman cooler. It can store up to 85 cans and is tall enough to fit 2-liter bottles, so you can stock up for the day without having to keep running back inside for something else. The rubber grip handles make it easy to carry wherever you want to situate it, and the steel latch keeps everything in the cooler secure. When you’re ready to pack it in, release the rust-proof and leak-resistant channel to drain the cooler without having to life a finger to tilt it. Available on Amazon; $200.

Related: 8 Best Buys for an Outdoor Kitchen You Can Afford

Practice Your Paddle Ball

It’s a common sight on a busy day at the beach: two people knocking a rubber ball back and forth with bright, wooden paddles. The object? Keeping the ball in the air for as long as possible. Simple as it may sound, success requires not only individual skill and finesse, but coordinated teamwork as well. Indeed, like all the best pastimes, paddle ball isn’t fun despite being challenging; rather, the challenge is what makes it so fun! Fortunately, when you play on a level lawn, without sand underfoot or waves crashing nearby, it’s much easier to master the game. Even better: In the backyard, you don’t have to worry about accidentally sending the ball screaming in the direction of any unsuspecting sunbathers. Available at Amazon; $19.95.

Related: 9 Backyard Games to Make and Play This Summer

Stay Shady

At the beach, you pitch a tent for cooling relief and protection from the intense summer sun. You gain privacy too—and maybe something like the feeling you had as a kid, hiding out in a blanket fort. Well, even in the confines of your own backyard, a beach tent provides the exact same benefits—particularly if it’s a tent like this one. The open-sided, A-line design—and the 100% all-natural canvas covering—combine to ensure that the Summer Lovin’ beach tent doesn’t block out breezes, only UV rays. And the best part is that you don’t need an engineering degree in order to understand the instructions. Setup only takes a few minutes, and every component you might need comes included with your purchase.
Available at The Grommet; $160.

Related: 9 Creative Ways to Build a Backyard Hangout

Tropical Tiki Torches

When visiting the beach, you’ll find elements of Polynesian-inspired tiki culture everywhere, from rattan furniture to colored fabrics. Bring the tropical design theme to your outdoor space with the Luau Bamboo Tiki Torches by TIKIBrand. Constructed from handcrafted bamboo, the natural flame torches burn up to five hours to create a festive and crowd-pleasing ambience. Place the 60-inch lighting fixtures along your patio or pool to keep the party going long into the night! The torches also come with fiberglass wicks, bamboo flame snuffers, and fuel canisters—but fuel is sold separately. Available on Amazon; $24 for a pack of four.

Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting 

Lounge and Relax

During the summer months, nothing beats lounging on the patio with a cold beverage and a good book. With the Christopher Knight Home Salem Outdoor Wicker Chaise Lounge, you can turn this warm-weather fantasy into a backyard reality. The weather-resistant lounge chairs allow for adjustable reclining, and they also feature space-smart folding legs and UV protection. Made with wicker and iron, they’ll create a comfortable corner in any backyard—the perfect place for spending time alone or entertaining guests. Available on Amazon; $524 for a set of two.

Related: Best Outdoor Furniture for Under $100

Fake the Ocean Breeze

When spending hours in the blistering sun, you can count on sunscreen for protection—but less so for any reprieve from the stickiness. Keep heat wave in check, wherever you are, with another lightweight lifesaver: HandFan Portable Misting Fan. Power up its rechargeable battery in the morning, and you’ll have a personal breeze and facial mist all afternoon using its three fan speeds and two spray settings. The 20 milliliters of water it holds go a long way to cool you off, while hardly weighing down the handheld gadget—ideal for either your outdoor space or on the go! Available at Amazon; $25.99.

Related: 8 Budget Buys to Bring Indoor Comfort to Outdoor Living

Play the Summer Hits

When music is the life of your backyard barbecue or beach picnic, you want crisp audio and strong bass for your party playlist—and a device ready to withstand the elements. Waterproof, shockproof, and dust-proof, the ever-durable Soundfit Speaker by AYL promises serious quality for hours on end (up to 12, even while playing at 80 percent volume!) in almost any outdoor scenario you could set it up in. Plus, it connects with Bluetooth devices within a range of 33 feet, meaning that you won’t automatically lose your music when you and your pocketed phone walk away to take your turn playing cornhole. Available at Amazon; $21.99.

Related: 10 Genius Ways to Make Your Backyard a Blast

Bump, Set, Spike It

Ah, volleyball—a classic pastime of beachgoers everywhere. The only downside to this summer game might be the spray of sand in your face as you dive to dig the ball. No such problem when you bring the net to your backyard. Set it up for weekend fun or a summer party to turn your yard into a pop-up tournament-ready court, then roll it up when not in use to put your outdoor space back to normal. Available on Amazon; $36 (poles not included).

Related: 11 Low-Cost Buys to Boost a Boring Backyard

Summer Night Ambiance

If warm summer nights draw your brood outdoors, you know that backyard living is vastly improved by proper illumination. Add lighting and beach style to your deck, porch, or patio with this set of string lights. The unique look of beach glass makes these outdoor-rated lights the perfect companion to tiki torches, wicker furniture, hammock swings or laid-back lounger for a patio set that evokes the best of beachside living. Available on Amazon; $16.99.

Related: 9 DIY Ideas for a Summery Backyard