Lawn & Garden Outdoor Living

10 Genius Ways to Make Your Backyard a Blast

There's no place like home, and that's true of your backyard too. It's the go-to spot for ball games, cookouts, and poolside lounging. No doubt about it, the backyard is where memories are made, so invest in your time well spent with loved ones by giving your space a double shot of fun this spring and summer. Here, we showcase some of our most coveted summer buys. Take a look to discover your new favorite outdoor toy!

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Cool Down

Party time! No matter what you’re serving—family-friendly fruit punch or tropical drinks of a different sort—entertaining at the height of summer all but requires a versatile cooler like this one. Easy to move, maneuver, and set into place, the TRINITY Stainless Steel Cooler delivers far more durability than something made of styrofoam, not to mention a dramatic upgrade in style. While the generously sized, insulated cooler compartment fits as many as 96 aluminum cans, the two-sided lid, bottle opener (and cap catcher), rear drain plug and handy bottom shelf all combine to make the unit worthy of a place on your deck, porch, or patio. Available at Amazon; $152.14.

Cozy Hideout

While its design borrows from familiar outdoor favorites like hammocks, tents, and teepees, the Cacoon reinterprets their ingredients to create an all-new backyard lounging experience. Invented by a former sailmaker who was inspired by the shape of a tropical bird’s nest, the Cacoon—comprised of lightweight, weatherproof, linen-soft synthetic canvas—hangs down from a tree limb (or any similarly strong support beam), comfortably holding up to 400 pounds, while providing a cozy and relaxing perch, ideal for reading, snoozing, or simply watching the world go by. Available on Amazon; $279.99.

Splash-Proof Tunes

Every pool party needs a playlist of catchy tunes, but controlling a radio or smartphone proves difficult when everyone is in the water. This all-too-common summertime dilemma calls for the COWIN Swimmer IPX7 Floating Speaker. The battery-powered waterproof speaker connects to bluetooth-enabled devices, allowing it to play music at a range of 30 feet. What’s more, the speaker features an underwater light show to turn any backyard pool party into a jam session. Now you can act like a DJ without ever leaving the water! Available on Amazon; $49.99. 

Putting Green

Why join an expensive country club when you can play a round of golf in your own backyard? The Blue Wave Aqua Golf Backyard Game includes a 32″ x 45″ floating green, 12 practice golf balls in two colors, a chipping mat with a rubber tee, flags, and cups. Place the floating green in your pool or on the grass for an afternoon of solitary leisure, or invite friends over for competitive fun. You’ll improve your game in no time! Available on Amazon; $69.58.

Zen-like Zome

Upgrade your tree swing for something a little more inspired: The Kodama Zome (named for tree spirits of Japanese folklore) allows you a seat in a geometric work of art. The double powder-coated steel bars come together in triangles using stainless steel hardware to create a sturdy, open-air swing that supports up to 600 pounds. Fall back on the fade-resistant Sunbrella-covered cushions, and let the unfiltered sunlight and unobstructed view of nature solidify this hangout as your new favorite. Available at; starting at $5,400.

Little Luminaries

Who says the party has to end when the sun sets? With these light-up beach balls, your backyard bash can go all night long. The inflatable balls look like your typical, white plastic beach ball on the outside, but inside are hidden LED lights that rotate between a variety of colors with the use of an on-off switch. The beach balls are safe to play with in water or on land, thanks to a plastic stopper that protects damage to the lights. Now the party will just be getting started when it’s dark out. Available on Amazon; $39.99.

Happy Hour

Experience a piece of paradise every day in your backyard with the Bali Hai Tiki Bar. Inspired by tropical islands, this teak-finished bar will provide hours of outdoor entertaining. Built from eco-friendly Shorea wood and water resistant, the bar can be kept outside all season long. Plus the unit provides excellent storage for all of your favorite bar accessories with five stemware holders and multiple shelves behind the counter. Before you know it, your yard will be the most popular gathering spot in the neighborhood. Available from The Home Depot; $564.43.

Swing a Little

Any covered outdoor area is excuse enough to install porch swing—especially one as deep and comfortable as this porch swing from Belham Living. Practically a hanging daybed, the eucalyptus wood slat frame of this swing suspends four feet from the porch ceiling or pergola. And while it comes with its comfortable upholstered cushion and two bolsters, we imagine you’ll want to pile on a few additional pillows in punchy colors to stay—and sway—here a while. Available on Amazon; $459.98.

Soak in the Sun

This pop-up spa boasts all the luxurious comfort of a built-in hot tub without the cost or commitment. The air pump included with this Coleman Lay Z Spa inflates the 6-person hot tub without the need for extra tools, while the digital control panel allows you to set the water to your preferred temperature. Activate the massage system for a relaxing soak, then empty, deflate, and store the hot tub when you’ve had enough. If ever you need an extra dose of indulgence, pull it out of storage again and set up your insta-spa in a snap. Available on Amazon; $349.97.

Night at the Movies

When you want to catch the big summer blockbuster but can’t bear to come in out of the fresh air, bring the cinema to your backyard. At 16 pounds, this outdoor movie screen is easy to set up and slim enough store in the average basement or closet. The 92-inch screen’s oxford nylon reflective material gives you a quality picture when paired with a projector. So hook up your laptop or player to your projector and stream your favorite movies right in your own backyard. Available on Amazon; $108.27.

Entertainment Right Out Your Doors

Invest in your backyard, and make a lifetime of memories.