While the first day of fall won't arrive until September 22 this year, we usually begin feeling those end-of-summer vibes come Labor Day weekend. The kids are back in school, the weather is cooling down and pumpkin spice is making its way onto every coffee shop menu. But just because autumn is arriving, doesn't mean homeowners can't continue to enjoy their backyard. In fact, with a few adjustments and a bit of creativity, you can easily create an endless summer in your outdoor living space. Here's how:
Fire up the grill and dine outdoors
Nothing says summer quite like steaks sizzling on the grill. Keep the season of sun, fun and relaxation alive by cooking on your BBQ island. You might even find this cooking method more enjoyable during September and October, as standing near the hot flames will be more bearable without the added summer heat.
And you'll only need a few adjustments to enjoy dinner outdoors this fall. For one, ditch the umbrella on your outdoor dining set. Instead of creating shade, embrace the warmth of the sun as the temperatures drop. Additionally, swap out seasonal flowers for candle or lantern centerpieces. You want to be able to see your plate as the sun will start to set earlier.
Keep a playful spirit
Laying out in the sun is hardly the only purpose for a well-designed outdoor living space. During fall, you can make use of the backyard by setting up outdoor games. Activities that involve the whole family are perfect for getting everyone outside and breathing that fresh air. Consider incorporating a putting green in your artificial grass, as an unlimited number of players can enjoy miniature golfing. Cornhole can be played with up to four players, or you can invite the whole neighborhood for a game of kickball if your yard is big enough!
Houzz contributor and mom Alison Hodgson provided a minimalist approach and advised letting creativity take its course. That is, while high-tech toys and elaborated playhouses are nice, letting kids play with materials found in the yard, like rocks and sand, can create more powerful childhood memories.
For instance, consider using this idea for leftover stone pavers that we posed in a previous blog post. Let your kids lay the pieces in the yard to create their own race track, and equip them with a few toy cars. Otherwise, integrate a hop scotch design into your custom patio or driveway pavers for a no-work-necessary activity.
Hodgson also encouraged parents to dress their children in clothes that are OK to get dirty. Being messy isn't always a bad thing, and now that the kids are back in school, they need a bit of unrestrained fun to decompress.
Camp under the stars
Camping should never be limited to summer, as fall offers just as many exciting opportunities for outdoor fun. Sure, you might not want to spend a day out on the lake as the temperature gets lower, but you can still send little ones to collect colorful leaves or tell spooky stories around the camp fire. Instead of heading out to the wilderness, pitch a tent right in your own backyard.
There are several key advantages to camping at home. For one, adults enjoy not having to pack up all the camping gear and supplies for the entire family. Additionally, everyone can easily head inside if the temperature gets too cold, and indoor bathrooms are always a plus. Add some fun to the night by roasting s'mores over an open fire, playing board games by lantern light or creating shadow puppets on the tent wall.
Have a backyard camping adventure.
Light up the night
While fall tends to be a little more overcast than the summer months, you can still channel the brightness of summer through outdoor lighting design. Plus, having adequate lighting lets you enjoy your backyard after the sun sets just like you do during summer.
To maneuver around the yard without tripping over the dog or toys left out by the kids, be sure to line pavers pathways and other high-traffic areas with lights. Places where you tend to gather outdoors, like on a patio or under a gazebo, should also have sufficient lighting.
Carry the brightness of summer into fall with outdoor lighting
Just because the calendar says summer is ending doesn't mean you have to let go of all the fun the season offers. Update your outdoor space to make the most out of it all year long.