Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m. It may mean a lost hour of sleep, but on the bright side (pun intended), we get our first glimpse of warmer days ahead as winter fades to spring.
After a long, cold winter, it’s time to take full advantage of more sunshine and balmy temperatures. Here are 8 backyard ideas to embrace your space as we bask in the warmth.
1. Spruce up the patio space
Dust off those patio chairs—it’s time to prepare your patio space for spring entertaining.
If your patio furniture is starting to look dull and broken down, it may be time to replace it with something fresh. Our favorite outdoor furniture retailers have thousands of options to choose from. No matter if you prefer a modern look or a traditional touch, you’ll find what you need from one of these top online stores.
We love this patio set at Wayfair with a neutral but classic look that’ll stay trendy for years to come. Don’t forget to grab a matching dinnerware set that you can break out when you have guests over.
Need a new patio rug? We’ve tested and love Ruggable’s washable rugs, especially for outdoor use by the patio or pool. This gorgeous black and white rug is the perfect neutral option for the outdoor space.
For more fresh backyard décor, we’ve got you covered when it comes to ideas.
2. Play some backyard games
Now that it’s beginning to look a lot like “light cardigan weather,” it’s time to break out the backyard games for the whole family.
Some top options for cult favorite outdoor games include Spikeball, a fast-paced and active game that’s easy to learn and set-up. We also love Kan Jam, an unexpected twist on the classic frisbee.
You can DIY your backyard games by playing creatives takes on Harry Potter’s Quidditch with just a few easy-to-buy supplies. Trust us when we say your kids will love it.
For weekend-long entertainment, try an exciting backyard science experiment—like a balloon zipline—that’ll combine both curiosity and fun.
3. Get to gardening
There’s indeed no better time to start gardening than the spring. If you’ve never gardened before, this can be a fun quarantine hobby to take up.
Decide on what plants you want to work on, whether it be fruits and vegetables or just some fresh herbs to use for a delicious meal. From there, make sure you plant it at the right time—some of the best bulbs to plant now for a spring garden include delicate white snowdrop flowers and chionodoxa flowers that feature a gorgeous star-shaped bloom.
You can also look towards summer and plant cucumbers, okra, peppers, or zucchini. P.S., we have the best zucchini bread recipe for that fresh zucchini of yours.
If it’s still a little too cold for gardening in your region, opt for indoor gardening for year-round vegetable growing.
4. Stock up on pool accessories now
While it may not be pool weather quite yet, it is time to gather your summertime supply so you’re ready for that first hot weekend.
Grab those trendy pool floats before they sell out for the summer. We love this pink popsicle pool float that makes for an Instagrammable moment, as well as this ridiculously large flamingo float that’ll seat a few friends or family members.
Make sure you’re also stocked up with the best beach towels for backyard use or beach outings. We tested and love this Santorini Turkish cotton towel sold at The Company Store, which makes for a light yet absorbent towel. Plus, it can double as a decorative throw blanket for the patio. Lastly, don't forget an umbrella for your patio or by the pool to give you some shade when you want it.
5. Have an outdoor movie night
When the nighttime temperatures grow warm enough to enjoy the beautiful backyard space, set up your own outdoor movie night.
Invest in a portable projector that’s easy to set-up and enjoyable to use—we like Anker’s Nebula projector the best out of all the ones we tested, but the Asus ZenBeam projector is a more affordable, and still stellar, option. From there, you can project your movie onto a nearby wall or fence, or for better picture quality, you can use a good outdoor projector screen.
Gather all your lounge chairs, pillows, and blankets and create the coziest set-up for that comedy or horror movie. You can easily create some mood lighting by hanging up some simple outdoor string lights.
Oh, and don’t forget the popcorn—we love the Cuisinart Pop and Serve popcorn maker for a quick and yummy batch—dressed with real butter, of course.
6. Break out the grill
Get summer started early by grilling up your favorite foods like juicy burgers or grilled corn on those warmer weekends.
If you’re in the market for a brand new grill, we’ve got plenty of expert recommendations. For a new gas grill, we like the Weber Spirit II E-310, which perfectly seared meat and veggies when we tested it out. If you love a smoky barbecue taste and prefer a charcoal grill, we recommend the Napoleon Charcoal Kettle Grill as it’s nice and wide, sturdy, and distributes heat evenly.
Make sure to stock up on new grilling gadgets like a solid grill spatula or a BBQ alarm thermometer for perfect results every time.
7. Cozy up by the fire
Chilly spring nights are inevitable, so now is the perfect time to start using that outdoor fire pit.
Looking to buy a fire pit for the first time? Make sure to do your research on what fuel type you’ll want to use, how much space you’ll need, and what design ideas make sense for your style—don’t worry, we’ve already done the fire pit research to help you answer these questions.
You can’t go wrong with something like this best-selling bronzed gas fire pit sold at The Home Depot, which features a gorgeous steel design and an adjustable flame for controlled heating. We also tested and love this portable fire pit made for on-the-go use (or if you have a small backyard).
Another option is the coveted Solo Stove. Solo Stove claims it will make it quicker and easier to get your fire started, so naturally, we had to put it to the test. We found it lives up to its reputation and is a mesmerizing and efficient fire pit option.
8. Camp at home
Bring the great outdoors to your backyard by setting up a campsite as a romantic gesture or fun activity with the kids.
First, break out the tent and fill it up with cozy blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, or even a blow-up mattress. This instant pop-up dome tent loved by Amazon reviewers has great ventilation and can be used for adventures beyond the backyard.
Stay entertained with some classic card games or Toasted or Roasted, a unique camp-themed card game using offensive and defensive cards to race to be the first to start your campfire and toast three marshmallows.
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