10 Family Fun Things To Plan Outside in Your Own BackYard This Spring and Summer

Family fun backyard activites

Create a world where there are fun things to do outside in your own backyard with these ten family-friendly backyard summer activities. From outdoor yard games and family adventure to creative kids’ play backyard ideas, entertain the whole family without even leaving your property! Photo by Kampus Production/Pexels.

Summer is a time for fun, sun, and spending quality time with family. But if you’re on a tight budget or prefer to stay close to home, you might be wondering how you can find fun ways to keep the little ones entertained without leaving your backyard. Luckily, there are plenty of fun backyard activities you can do right at your own house that are sure to delight both kids and adults alike. Here are ten family fun things to do in your backyard this summer that will keep the kids busy without leaving your property.

1. Have a Fun Outdoor Backyard Movie Night

Have a fun outdoor backyard movie night! Set up a movie screen or use a blank wall, and enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars. Don't forget the popcorn and cozy blankets, Photo by Alex Litvin.
Have a fun outdoor backyard movie night Set up a movie screen or use a blank wall, and enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars. Don't forget the popcorn and cozy blankets! Photo by Alex Litvin.

Transform your backyard into a cozy outdoor cinema for a magical movie night under the stars. Set up a large movie screen or use a blank wall, and arrange comfortable seating with blankets, pillows, and lawn chairs. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere by stringing fairy lights or hanging lanterns around the viewing area.

Choose a family-friendly movie that everyone can enjoy and make sure to have plenty of popcorn, snacks, and beverages on hand. Consider setting up a concession stand with a variety of treats, such as candy, soda, and homemade goodies. Don’t forget to bring out some extra blankets in case it gets chilly later in the evening.

As the sun sets and the movie begins, immerse yourselves in the story and enjoy the laughter and shared moments with your loved ones. Feel the gentle breeze, hear the chirping of crickets, and relish the unique experience of watching a movie in the comfort of your own backyard.

Whether it’s a classic film or a new release, an outdoor backyard movie night will create lasting memories and provide an enchanting setting for quality family time. Get ready for a night filled with laughter, popcorn fights, and a touch of cinematic magic right in your own backyard!

2. Set up a DIY Water Park

DIY water park
Set up a DIY water park. Use a sprinkler, slip n' slide, and water balloons to create a mini water park in your own backyard. It's a great way to cool off on a hot summer day! Photo by luke Porter.

Turn your backyard into a refreshing oasis by creating your very own DIY water park. With a few simple items, you can beat the summer heat and have a splashing good time with your family. Start by setting up a sprinkler in an open area. Choose a sprinkler with adjustable settings, such as rotating or misting, to add variety to the water play, and position it in a way that provides an even distribution of water and creates a fun obstacle to run through.

Next, roll out a slip ‘n slide on a smooth, grassy surface. Add a gentle slope if possible, but make sure the area is clear of any rocks or sharp objects that could cause injuries.Wet the slide with a hose or buckets of water for maximum slipperiness and let the backyard fun begin!

To add some extra excitement, set up water balloon stations around the yard. Fill the balloons with water and scatter them in different areas. Encourage friendly water balloon fights or create games like water balloon toss or target practice.

As the sun shines and laughter fills the air, your DIY water park will provide hours of entertainment and refreshing fun for everyone. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s the perfect way to cool off, make a splash, and create cherished memories right in the comfort of your backyard.

3. Build an Epic Backyard Obstacle Course

backyard obstacle course
Create a backyard obstacle course. Use household objects like hula hoops, pool noodles, and cones to set up a fun and challenging obstacle course for the whole family to enjoy. Photo by Anastasia Pavlova.

Prepare for an exhilarating adventure right in your own backyard by constructing an epic obstacle course that will challenge and thrill the entire family. Transform your outdoor space into a playground of excitement and creativity using a variety of items and obstacles.

Start by planning the layout of your obstacle course. Consider the available space and use items like hula hoops, cones, ropes, tires, and other household objects to create different stations. Place them strategically to test different skills and abilities.

Here are some exciting elements you can include to help build a backyard obstacle course:

Crawling Section

Set up a designated area where family members have to crawl under or through objects like low tables, tunnels made from large cardboard boxes, or even a limbo bar made from a broomstick.

Balance Beam

Use a sturdy wooden board or a narrow path created with bricks or stones for a balancing challenge. The goal is to walk across the beam without losing balance.

Rope Swing

Hang a sturdy rope from a tree branch or a secure frame to create a swinging challenge. Family members can swing from one platform to another or aim for a specific target.

Mini DIY Rock-Climbing Wall

Create a small-scale rock-climbing experience using a wooden panel or a section of the fence. Attach rock climbing holds or sturdy handholds to provide grip and climbing opportunities.

Add Water Features

Incorporate water-based obstacles to beat the summer heat. Set up a slip ‘n slide for a thrilling slide or create a sprinkler area where participants have to dash through water streams to continue the course.

Encourage friendly competition and a sense of achievement by timing each family member as they complete the obstacle course. Keep track of the best times and celebrate individual accomplishments.

Ensure the safety of everyone by setting up proper supervision and taking necessary precautions. Check that all obstacles are secure and stable before starting the course, and encourage participants to take turns and support one another throughout the challenges.

An epic backyard obstacle course promises laughter, teamwork, and adrenaline-pumping fun for the whole family. So gather your materials, unleash your creativity, and get ready to embark on an adventure-filled day that will create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.

4. Go on a Backyard Scavenger Hunt

backyard scavenger hunt
Create a backyard scavenger hunt. Hide clues and objects around the yard, and see who can find them all first. You can make it more challenging for older kids or keep it simple for younger ones.

Embark on an exhilarating adventure right in your own backyard with a thrilling scavenger hunt. Create a list of items, clues, or riddles that will challenge your family’s problem-solving skills and spark their sense of exploration.

Here’s how to create an engaging backyard scavenger hunt:

Prepare a Scavenger Hunt List

Make a list of items, natural objects, or clues that participants need to find or solve. You can include items like specific leaves, rocks, or flowers, or hide small treasures like toys or trinkets in different locations. Alternatively, you can design riddles or puzzles that need to be deciphered to lead to the next clue or hidden item.

Set the Boundaries

Define the boundaries of the scavenger hunt within your backyard to ensure everyone stays within a safe area. Provide clear instructions on where participants can search and any off-limits areas.

Divide into Teams or Compete Individually

Divide your family into teams or compete individually, depending on the number of participants. This adds a sense of friendly competition and encourages teamwork or individual problem-solving skills.

Hand Out Clues or Lists

Distribute the clues, lists, or riddles to each participant or team. Ensure they have a bag or basket to collect the items they find along the way.

Start the Hunt

Let the excitement begin! Participants will search for the items, solve the clues, or unravel the riddles to progress through the scavenger hunt. Encourage them to explore different areas of the backyard, including gardens, trees, or hidden corners.

Celebrate the Winners

Once all the items or clues have been found, gather  together to compare the results and celebrate the winners or acknowledge everyone’s achievements. Consider offering small prizes or rewards to make the scavenger hunt even more memorable.

A backyard scavenger hunt is not only a thrilling adventure but also an opportunity to foster problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity. It encourages your family to appreciate the wonders of nature in their own backyard while enjoying quality time together.

So gather your clues, unleash your sense of adventure, and embark on a backyard scavenger hunt that will create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds. Get ready for an unforgettable journey of exploration and excitement right outside your doorstep!

5. Have a Backyard Campout

Have a backyard campout
Have a backyard campout. Pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars in your own backyard. Don't forget the s'mores and ghost stories! Photo by Samuel Chan.

Escape to the great outdoors without leaving your backyard by having a delightful campout right at home. Pitch a tent in a suitable area of your yard, whether it’s on the grass or a designated camping spot. Set up your sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets inside the tent to create a cozy sleeping area.

As the sun sets, enjoy the enchanting ambiance by lighting some lanterns or stringing fairy lights around the tent. Gather around a small campfire or fire pit (ensure it is safe and follows local regulations) to roast marshmallows and create delicious s’mores. The crackling sound of the fire and the sweet taste of melted chocolate and marshmallows will bring a sense of nostalgia and joy to the evening and will make backyard camping a memory your family will never forget.

To add to the backyard adventure, indulge in classic fun campfire activities like sharing ghost stories or singing campfire songs. Encourage each family member to contribute their own spooky or funny tale, making sure to have a flashlight or lantern to create a dramatic effect. Remember, it’s all about creating a cozy and immersive camping experience.

As the night settles in, gaze at the starry sky above and identify constellations. You can use a stargazing app or print out a star chart to help with the identification process. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the wonders of the universe and appreciate the beauty of the night sky.

Sleeping under the stars in your own backyard allows you to connect with nature and experience the thrill of camping without venturing far from home. The convenience of being just a few steps away from your own bed adds an extra layer of comfort. So grab your camping gear, gather your family, and embark on an unforgettable backyard campout filled with laughter, s’mores, and heartwarming memories.

6. Host a Family Game Night in Your Backyard

Host a family backyard game night in the summer
Host a family game night. Set up classic outdoor games like ladder toss, bocce ball, or cornhole for a fun and competitive family game night. Photo by Braedon Mcleod.

Gather your family for an entertaining and engaging evening of outdoor games during a special backyard family game night. Set up a designated game area where everyone can participate and have a blast.

Start by bringing out classic outdoor games such as ladder toss, bocce ball, or cornhole. These timeless favorites are easy to set up and provide hours of fun and friendly competition. Arrange the game stations with ample space between them to ensure everyone can play comfortably.

Ladder Toss

Set up the ladder toss game by placing the ladder frames a suitable distance apart. Each player takes turns tossing the bolas (rope with balls on each end) and aims to land them on the ladder rungs. Points are awarded based on where the bolas land. It’s a game that combines strategy and skill, creating exciting moments for everyone involved.

Bocce Ball

Create a bocce ball court by marking off a rectangular area in your backyard. Divide into teams and take turns rolling the bocce balls, aiming to get them as close as possible to the target ball (pallino). The team with the closest balls to the pallino scores points. Bocce ball is a game of precision and strategy that offers a delightful experience for players of all ages.


Set up the cornhole boards at a suitable distance from each other. Each player takes turns throwing bean bags at the opposite board, aiming to land them in the hole or on the board for points. Cornhole is a fantastic game that combines skill and accuracy, creating a fun and competitive atmosphere for the whole family.

To make the game night even more fun and exciting, consider keeping score and awarding small prizes to the winners. Create a festive ambiance by playing some upbeat music and providing snacks and refreshments to keep everyone energized.

A backyard family game night offers an opportunity for friendly competition, laughter, and bonding. It’s a wonderful way to create lasting memories and strengthen the family bond while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. So grab your favorite outdoor games, invite your family, and let the fun begin on a game night under the open sky.

7. Have a Family Picnic in Your Backyard

Have a summertime backyard family picnic.
Have a family picnic. Spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch or dinner in your own backyard. Don't forget the sandwiches, fruit, and lemonade! Photo by Ron Lach.

Create a charming and relaxing outdoor dining experience by having a delightful family picnic right in your own backyard. Set the stage for your picnic by selecting a cozy spot and spreading out a large picnic blanket or a few smaller ones.

Gather your family members and prepare a scrumptious picnic feast. Prepare an assortment of sandwiches filled with your family’s favorite ingredients, such as turkey, ham, cheese, and fresh vegetables, and pack some refreshing fruits, like juicy watermelon slices or a fruit salad to add a burst of sweetness to the meal. And don’t forget to bring along a pitcher of chilled lemonade or any other refreshing beverage that your family loves.

As you all sit together on the blanket, savor the delicious food and enjoy the lovely atmosphere of your backyard. Take in the sights and sounds of nature around you—the gentle rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, and the warm breeze brushing against your skin. Engage in light-hearted conversations and create lasting memories while relishing the simple pleasures of a shared meal.

To liven up the backyard picnic experience, bring along some outdoor games like frisbee or toss a ball around after the meal for some friendly competition, or simply to enjoy some leisurely playtime together.

A backyard family picnic offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature, savor delicious food, and connect with your family in a relaxed and intimate setting. So gather your picnic essentials, choose a sunny day, and create cherished memories during this delightful outdoor dining experience.

8. Build a Backyard Fort

Build a backyard fort
Build a backyard fort. Use blankets, pillows, and other household objects to create a cozy and fun backyard fort. It's the perfect spot for reading, napping, or imaginative play. Photo by Ron Lach.

Embark on an exciting adventure in your own backyard by building a cozy and imaginative fort. With blankets, pillows, and a little creativity, you can transform your outdoor space into a magical hideaway. Start by finding a suitable spot in your backyard where you have enough space to build your fort. Look for a shady area or consider using a patio or gazebo as the base for your creation.

Gather blankets, sheets, and large cushions to use as the walls and roof of your fort. Drape them over patio furniture, trees, or any other sturdy objects in your backyard to create a secure structure. Use clothespins, clips, or ropes to hold the materials in place and ensure they won’t easily blow away.

Arrange the interior of the fort with soft pillows, cozy blankets, and even some stuffed animals for added comfort. Consider adding battery-powered fairy lights or lanterns to create a magical ambiance inside the fort.

The fort can also become a hub for imaginative play. Encourage your children to bring their toys and engage in imaginative adventures within the fort’s walls. It can transform into a castle, spaceship, or secret hideout, allowing their creativity to soar. You can also use the fort as a cozy reading nook, where you can immerse yourself in a good book surrounded by the beauty of nature, or as a quiet spot for napping or relaxation, allowing you to unwind and recharge in a peaceful outdoor setting.

Building a backyard fort is a wonderful way to encourage imaginative play, foster creativity, and create a cozy space for relaxation and family fun. So gather your materials, let your imagination run wild, and embark on an unforgettable fort-building journey in your own backyard.

9. Host a Backyard Talent Show

Host a backyard talent show
Host a backyard talent show. Encourage your family to showcase their talents, whether it's singing, dancing, magic tricks or comedy acts, set up a stage or use a simple backdrop and let the show begin! Photo by Cottonbro studio.

Show off your family’s creativity and showmanship by hosting a backyard talent show. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to shine and share their unique talents with an appreciative audience.

Start by designating a stage area in your backyard. This can be as simple as using a cleared space with a backdrop, or you can get creative and build a small stage using wooden pallets or platforms. Decorate the stage area with colorful banners, streamers, or fairy lights to add a festive touch.

Encourage each family member to showcase their talents, whether it’s singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, performing a comedy skit, reciting poetry, or showcasing magic tricks. Let everyone choose and rehearse their act in advance, adding an element of excitement and anticipation to the event.

As the talent show begins, take turns introducing each performer and create a supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere. Cheer and applaud for each family member’s performance, providing positive feedback and encouragement. You can even have family members serve as judges, using scorecards to rate each act and crown a “winner” at the end, although the focus should be on celebrating each individual’s unique talents rather than competing against one another.

Make sure to capture the memories by taking photos or recording videos of the performances. It will be a cherished keepsake for years to come.

Consider providing some refreshments like snacks and drinks for everyone to enjoy during the show. Create a cozy seating area for the audience, with blankets, chairs, or cushions, so everyone can relax and fully immerse themselves in the performances.

Hosting a backyard talent show not only showcases the talents within your family but also fosters confidence, creativity, and a supportive environment. It’s a moment to celebrate each individual’s unique abilities and create beautiful memories together. So gather your family, set the stage, and let the show begin with enthusiasm, applause, and a whole lot of fun!

10. Create a Backyard Carnival

Create a Summer Backyard Carnival
Create your own carnival in your back yard this summer complete with game booths, a photo booth and all the yummy carnival treats! Photo by RDNE Stock Project.

Perhaps the perfect summertime staycation idea, create a backyard carnival! Transform your yard into a vibrant and lively carnival atmosphere for a memorable staycation experience. Bring the joy and excitement of a carnival right to your doorstep with games, treats, and entertainment that the whole family, and probably the entire neighborhood,  will enjoy.

Here’s how to create a DIY backyard carnival:

Set Up Game Booths

Create different game stations using items you already have or make DIY game booths to keep the kids busy. Ideas include ring toss, bean bag toss, water pistol shooting gallery, bowling, and even a mini basketball hoop that both adults and kids can play. Assign points or prizes to make it more competitive and rewarding.

Decorate with Colorful Themes

Use colorful banners, streamers, balloons, and signs to decorate your backyard carnival. Choose themes like a circus, beach, or summer festival to set the mood and create a festive ambiance.

Offer Classic Carnival Treats

Set up a concession stand or snack area with a variety of classic store-bought or homemade carnival treats. Serve popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, or homemade lemonade to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Consider creating a “build-your-own” ice cream sundae bar for added fun.

Provide Face Painting or Temporary Tattoos

Add a touch of whimsy by offering face painting or temporary tattoos for family members to express their creativity. Set up a designated area with various designs and colors to choose from.

Capture Memories with a Photo Booth

Create an unforgettable experience at your backyard carnival with a DIY photo booth corner. Provide a variety of fun props and captivating backgrounds for family members to strike poses, capturing cherished memories that can be transformed into tangible souvenirs. With the convenience of digital cameras, smartphones, and portable color printers, you can instantly print these photos, ensuring they become a hit among your friends and loved ones. Let the laughter and joy of the photo booth corner be the highlight of your backyard carnival.

A backyard carnival staycation offers a delightful escape without leaving home. It allows the family to bond, engage in playful activities, and create a magical atmosphere filled with laughter and joy. So get ready to step right up and experience the wonder and excitement of a backyard carnival, where the games are thrilling, the treats are delicious, and the memories created will last a lifetime.

Start Enjoying Your Summer with These Fun Backyard Activities!

Backyard summer activities
Get ready to make this summer unforgettable with ten incredible backyard experiences that will captivate both young and old. From thrilling games to imaginative play, these family-friendly adventures will turn your backyard into the ultimate summer playground. Photo by Ron Lach.

To summarize, the possibilities for family fun in your own backyard are truly endless. From backyard campouts to epic obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts to talent shows, there’s no shortage of entertainment and excitement just a few steps away from your doorstep.

So, embrace the spirit of adventure, unleash your creativity, and make the most of this summer without leaving your backyard. Cherish the laughter, the joy, and the moments of togetherness as you create cherished memories that will be treasured for years to come.

Now, it’s time to gather your family, step outside, and embark on a summer filled with endless fun and boundless imagination. Let your backyard become the backdrop for unforgettable moments that will strengthen your family bonds and create a summer staycation to remember.


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