Warm weather is coming to a close, but there is still plenty of time for outdoor living and family fun. At this point in the season, you might think you've exhausted all the activities your backyard has to offer. But we've got a few that might spark your imagination, and help you head into fall with the feeling that you've gotten every last drop of fun out of summer this year.
Outdoor activities can be enjoyed by the kids, yourself or a large group of family and friends. While there are still some warm breezes blowing, see what fun you can create inexpensively in your own backyard.
Revive the Great Outdoor Game, Croquet
Croquet as we know it today has been around since the 1800s. But there are distinct similarities to another game called “Pall Mall” that's been around since the mid-1700s. As far as backyard games go, it's hard to find one that's stayed popular for so long.
To play croquet, you'll need a reasonably flat yard, and croquet equipment. That includes balls made of plastic or wood, mallets for each player to use. Then you'll push the hoops, called “wickets” into the soil. If you need a refresher on the rules, you can find them at the U.S. Croquet Association's website, 9-Wicket Croquet and have fun.
Have a Last Bash Barbecue Outdoors
You've probably spent some time at the barbecue grill this summer, but it's not time to put away the grill tools just yet. With harvest season upon us, you've got an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits to toss on the grill. (Read: 6 Hottest Outdoor Living Features)
Barbecues can really be used almost any season. If you're craving a steak mid-winter, there's no real reason why you can't fire up the grill. So instead of putting everything away just after Labor Day, plan a last-bash barbecue to herald the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
Badminton, Another Great Game to Enjoy in Your Backyard
Badminton has been around since the 17th century. It's similar to tennis, but the net is higher and players use smaller rackets to volley an odd-looking thing called a “shuttlecock” back and forth across the net.
Badminton is a game that almost anyone can play. It's not as intense and doesn't require as much space as tennis, but is played in a similar way. And the equipment is lightweight, so you can set it up for a few games before the winds turn cold, and then pack it up to store until next year. And if you need a refresher, check out “How to Play Badminton“.
Outdoor Living Can Also Mean Outdoor Napping
Who says napping isn't an activity? With humidity waning while the weather is still nice, your backyard is the perfect place to catch a few Zs.
You can install a hammock almost anywhere. Between two trees is a great spot, but you can also find hammocks that are self-supporting with a frame, or those that use two posts. Backyard reading is also great in a nice, relaxing hammock.
Backyard Storytelling is a Time-Honored Tradition
If you've got a fire pit, that's the ideal place for roasting marshmallows and spinning yarns. Storytelling in the great outdoors doesn't need a campsite to take off. And it's one of the oldest outdoor living traditions on Earth. (Read: Outdoor Living Trends: Firepits and More)
Play it safe with a backyard fire. Check your local code to be sure it's approved where you live. If you get the green light, you can build a fire pit using firebrick or fire-safe paver stones, or pick up a self-contained outdoor fireplace such as a chiminea. Once the flames start cracking, that's when the best stories take form.
Just because the calendar says school is back in session and summertime is practically gone, that doesn't mean you have to head indoors until spring. In fact, early fall is a great time to find bargains on outdoor equipment, games and supplies. Outdoor activities in the fall have a host of benefits, not the least of which are lower humidity and fewer bugs. From barbecuing and napping to playing games and telling stories, there is still life left to the season and time for you to take advantage of it.
How about planning some outdoor activities for you and your family this weekend!