Each year summer seems to go by faster and faster. After a vacation that feels short-lived (as always!), you arrive home to the stressful demands of getting the kids ready for yet another long school year. But don’t give up home on the relaxing days of summer just yet–even though you’ve left the shore or come down from the mountains doesn’t mean your vacation has to end!
To keep your summer going a little longer, check out these five ways to vacation in your own backyard. They’re sure to be a hit with the whole family.
1. SKYWATCHING PARTY
This is a great idea for those of us with a big, open backyard where a large group of friends and family can gather for some good food and cosmic viewing. This year we’re lucky enough to be able to experience, if only partially, the first total solar eclipse to stretch across the nation in our lifetime on August 21st. The event is drawing thousands to camp out along the path pf totality stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. But if you don’t mind viewing only 80% of the eclipse then don’t hesitate to invite some friends over to watch. Alternatively you can find out about other celestial events like meteor showers and throw a themed party. Just make sure it’s going to be a clear night.
Must Have Feature: A view.
A yard with a raised area that lifts you above the thickest parts of the trees is the best spot to view celestial events or just enjoy one’s expansive property. There are a lot of different options for those wishing to elevate their landscapes, like this pavilion.
Some of us have great spots to spend the night outside right in our backyard. This is the perfect idea for parents trying to keep their kid’s summer vacation going even after returning from the shore. It’s a great way to prepare your kids for future camping trips and begin to enamor them with nature. A small group of trees at the corner of your property can become the space your kids make the most memories.
Must Have Feature: A fire pit.
What better way to enjoy a campout as a family than to gather around a fire pit with some marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate? Fire pits are an elegant and affordable way for your family to enjoy summer nights and the primordial energies of fire.
3. FOOD TRUCK COOKOUT
Do you have a large number of hungry friends and family? Then there’s no better way to bring them all together, outdoors, than with a food truck. Originally reserved for factory workers and college students, these mobile kitchens have become renowned in cities across the country for their craving satisfying fare. Whether you prefer Mexican, Korean, or a fusion of both, most popular food trucks are available to come right to your house to cater any event and furnish a feast your guests are unlikely to forget.
Must Have Feature: A large driveway.
A large enough driveway isn’t necessarily a must for a food truck but it certainly would make it easier, especially if you have a ton of guests. This addition would be beneficial for any other event you may have at your home, as well as if you have a growing family who you know will be driving sometime soon.
4. FAMILY OUTDOOR MOVIE
There might not be any old fashion drive-in movie theaters around here anymore but you can still enjoy those cool summer nights watching a movie outdoors with your family, it just takes some ingenuity. A large white linen bed sheet becomes the perfect projection screen when hung from a clothes line strung between two trees. Projectors themselves have become less expensive and can be a great investment for viewing all those family memories, whether they’re on an SD Card or vintage slides.
Must Have Feature: A luscious, comfy lawn!
There’s no better feeling than the feeling of a carpet of grass beneath your bare feet, just as there is no better spot to watch a movie outdoors than laying on your perfect lawn. The last thing you want is your family to congregate outside for a movie only to suffer from wet clothes and muddy shoes.
5. GARDEN PARTY
Photo by knape/iStock / Getty Images
If you have a new perennial garden you’d love to show off to your friends then consider throwing a garden party. You should begin by choosing a theme, and don’t be afraid to get creative. Alice In Wonderland anybody? Next comes deciding on decorations. Use various fabrics and patterns, much of which you get at any party store, to create vibrant place settings, and don’t forget the centerpiece. Your guests are sure to appreciate your creativity, attention to detail, and your beautiful gardens.
Must Have Feature: A garden to gawk at!
This goes without saying, but is much easier to obtain than you may think. Landscaping professionals are able to design and install custom gardens without having to go through the stress of planting your own.