backyard activities summer

We have all been there…

Wanting to try something different out in our backyards but ending up with no ideas or lack of motivation for something new. Now that the summer is in full swing here in Pennsylvania, your lawn probably looks healthy and fresh – so it is about time to host a party or even a local hangout and relish the warm weather this time of the year.

The best thing about the summer backyard activities is that they are fun for everyone, whether it’s a glass of wine with your friends, a BBQ Sunday with your family or just a cozy evening with an outdoor cinema setup.

But today, we are spicing these things up and adding plenty of new outdoor backyard activities that you will love.

So, let’s begin.

1.The Lawn Twister

First in our list of summer activities on the lawn is the popular game of lawn twister. The game is pretty self explanatory – all you need to do is paint a “twister board” onto your lawn and get started!

However, as true experts for lawn care in Pennsylvania, we recommend you to use spray paint that washes off – and not one that would leave your lawn permanently colored. If you are wondering how to paint the lawn in different colors, you can start by cutting a 10 inch circle out of a pizza box – which you can later use as a template for all of the twister dots.

The entire point of the Twister game is to keep the lines straight and perfect the grid in the best way possible. In order to do that, you can use a string or just “eyeball” the placement of the dots if you consider yourself precise when it comes to DIY stuff like this amazing game.

Whether it’s a family reunion or your kids playing it, the Lawn Twister guarantees hours of fun and laughter!

lawn twister
Source: Pinterest

2.The Photo Booth

When was the last time you had a proper photoshoot – done by you? Probably never, right?

Fortunately, there is an amazing photo booth activity which you can try out with your family. All you need to do is get a couple of frames, hang them on a tree branch and start shooting!

For the best results, we recommend using custom frames (designed from paper or anything that you can find) or ones designed specifically for your needs.

Tip: If it’s a special event that you are celebrating (a wedding, birthday, prom etc.), go the extra mile and go to a print shop company where you can design custom photo booths with hashtags, lovely quotes or anything that is personalized to the theme of the event.

diy photo booth
Source: Shoot It Yourself

3.The Giant Zenga

Also known as Jenga (giant + Zenga), the Giant Zenga is another one of the best backyard outdoor activities loved by families in Pennsylvania. If you can’t get the idea of it or don’t know how to design the famous stacking game in a larger scenario, all you need to do is the following…

Creating a set of Zenga tiles is actually easy. You need to buy enough 2×4 boards to cut into forty-eight 10 ½ inch pieces. Whether you decide to cut the boards yourself or have them cut at your local lumber yard, you should avoid wood that has large knots or holes in it.

As soon as you do that, sand all of the edges so that everything is smooth and can slide easily across each other.  Lastly, you can paint the ends in five different colors, allocated for each team. This is the easiest way to know which team has piled the most pieces. The best way to ensure this is to do a “test play” before the guests arrive.

The Giant Zenga is great because it is always there for a fun activity. You can have the kids play it or try your expert skills and see which family stacks the most pieces (until the giant “tower: collapses).

Source: The Idea Room

4. The Inflatable Pool Fountain

With this amazing setup, you can have the Rome, Paris or any other major city and its landmarks inside your backyard!

We know it may sound crazy (and is very funny, too) but you can make a fully operational fountain using baby inflatable pools. Whether they are vinyl inflatable or hard plastic mini above-ground pools made for small children, these water features vary greatly in their width and have depths below 2 feet (on average).

To start:

  1. Measure the fill depth of the baby pool by extending a measuring tape to the interior base from 2 inches below the rim.
  2. Tie a string to the base of the floating pool fountain and extend it out to the measured fill depth + one inch before you cut it off.
  3. Glue the last inch of the string to the center of a dry baby pool using a waterproof adhesive.
  4. Place towels around the perimeter of the fountain so that it can catch any spray from it
  5. Load new batteries into the floating fountain.
  6. Place the fountain in the center of the pool and pour in water until the string is almost fully extended.
  7. Turn the floating fountain on and then adjust the height of the spray so that most of the water falls into the baby pool.

We know that this may be just too much for you, but trust us – the results are magnificent (as seen on the photo below).

inflatable pool fountain
Source: Pinterest

5.The Epic Pillow Quilt

A movie night, a picnic, stargazing or just a lazy afternoon with chit-chat and coffee..

This epic pillow quilt might become your favorite accessory for the backyard. Resembling a genius blanket, this quilt is essentially one made of thirty pillows.

All you need to do is buy 10-20 pillows and sew them together on each end. For the best result, make sure to use contrasting colors and ones that complement your backyard decor.

The best thing about it is the fact that it is comfy and sets the bar higher compared to sitting on grass and drinking wine, watching movies or having a laugh.

pillow quilt
Source: Pinterest

6.The Vintage Rug Picnic

They say that unique parties are most remembered in circles of friends. If it is your turn to host a party, you can take it outside and move from your living room to the backyard. Our advice for you is to go with a great idea which includes a couple of vintage rungs and a wooden table for plates and glasses.

Simply put, make sure to find or buy a couple of rugs which are with different (yet similar) designs. Next, get the top out of your wooden table and place it on a lower base – allowing you to have a glass and bites without having to stand up.

Tip: As a bonus, bring a photo camera and start shooting. All of your photo ops will look straight like from a Free People catalog or a fashion magazine.

rug picnic backyard
Source: Instagram (@freepeople)

7.The Water Balloon Pinata Party

Kids love the water balloon pinata party….And parents do too – until one of them gets splashed in the face.

This is quite a simple game. All you need is a couple of water balloons, some water, some string and a stick. Fill the balloons with water, tie them on strings and get the sticks.

In fact, we are pretty sure you know the concept of the standard pinata game. In this scenario, we are also positive that you can imagine the rest of the action.

Tip: Get the excitement started by watching these YouTube videos of families playing this game, and see the laughter of delight!

pinata balloon party
Source: Milk Allergy Mom 

8.The DIY Slip ‘N’ Slide

The watery games are not over with the balloon pinata party. For the ultimate water hedonists, we recommend you to design your own DIY Slip ‘n’ Slide. This is one of the best outdoor backyard activities for the hot summer days.

Even though mass-produced Slip ‘n’ Slide type accessories and setups are now available at big box stores, we motivate you to design your very own (that will fill up your whole yard). Plus, you will get to learn and create a product that you can use for ages.

All you need is a $30 roll of heavy plastic, ten pool noodles (each $2) and a $10 sprinkler hose. Oh, and a couple of rolls of peel-and-stick Velcro (around $7 a pop) to start the action.

To start, take the roll of heavy sheet plastic and lay it out on your yard. Depending on your location, you may want to create a smaller or a bigger (yes!) slide. Just figure out which side is the top and place it face-down. Next, lay the noodles around the perimeter of your plastic. Then, attach a 2-inch strip of the Velcro to the plastic at each end and in the middle of each noodle so that the plastic wraps over and under the noodle – but is also attached back to itself. Do this for all of the noodles until you have a berm around the perimeter of the slide.

Lastly, make sure you have a little slope (it is not a must) and start running a hose at the top of the slide (at the higher end).

slide backyard
Source: DIY Network

9. The Giant Pool Noodle Ring Toss

There is a bunch of pool noodle activities which you can try – and they are all great backyard outdoor activities for the summer. Perfect for little boys and girls, they will use up some of their (endless) energy and are soft enough to make you worry-free of a potential injury.

However, one of the best activities with pool noodles is the Giant Ring Toss. You will need 6 or more wooden dowels and 6 or more pool noodles.

  1. Make sure their diameters are the same (around 1 inch) and start by pounding the dowels into the ground.
  2. Next, position one noodle onto each dowel unit until they are completely covered.
  3. Cut a dowel into 6” segments – one for each ring that you are making.
  4. Insert one of the cut dowels into a noodle to make a ring
  5. Secure them with duct tape
  6. Assign different points for each target and start playing!

Fun and easy to do, this backyard outdoor activity will bring a lot of laughter in your family or group of friends. Our tip is to get an award for the winner!

pool noodle ring toss
Source: The Joys Of Boys

10. The Backyard Zip Line

A backyard zip line is certainly one of the most fun activities for children. With it, you can leave all the electronics behind and have some good old fashioned fun in the backyard with your family and friends – together.

Obviously, this zip line is designed for kids mainly, so make sure to give them their well deserved time on it (before you decide to test it).

The best part, however, is that this is a project that could keep you busy for a few hours and won’t cost more than $50 but will keep your kids entertained for quite some time. The only prerequisite for it is a tree – you must have one in your backyard.

To design the backyard zip line, you will need:

  • A 25-meter steel cable (a 55mm one is enough)
  • A pully (rated for a load of up to 100kg just to be safe)
  • A round wooden stick (28mm in diameter is ideal)
  • A carabiner (8mm thick)
  • A nylon rope
  • Six malleable cable clamps
  • Two eye-to-eye turnbuckles
  • Rubber tube

To start, cut the round wooden stick and put holes in it for the suspending rope. Then fit the rope and prepare the cables. Attach cables to the trees and make sure everything is secure. Prepare the main cable  by closing it in a loop around the other eye of the turnbuckle. Pull and fix it to make sure it is tight before attaching the handle. Then, it’s time for testing!

Tip: If you don’t want to be this much DIY and just want something for the lightest members of the family, there are some great and affordable zipline kits (like this one) available on Amazon.

backyard zip line
Source: Dimension

Final Words

We hope that you enjoyed our best outdoor backyard activities as much as we did. If you have one or a few to add, you are welcome to do it in the comments section.

And if your lawn gets dirty, spotted or needs maintenance after your event, our Pennsylvania lawn care company should be the next thing you choose!

Now, if you will excuse us, we have lots of games to play!