Summer is here. Unfortunately, the pandemic is here to stay. For many this means that much of this summer season is going to be enjoyed from the confines of our own backyard instead of one of our favorite vacation destinations. Not all is lost, though. Now is the opportunity to turn your home’s outdoor area into the chirpy backyard oasis you’ve always wanted and invite company over to share it with.
From fire pits and funky grill accessories, to music, string light fixtures, and entertainment, we’ve got it all — and so should you. Here are the best backyard party essentials to help you sustain your summer sanity.
First off, a wood burning fire pit is a great focal point to utilize in any backyard. A blazing fire in the summer can really set the ambiance for your backyard summer affair. Space, safety, and size are all important when considering your options. You could opt for a propane or natural gas fire pit, but nothing quite compares to the rich, evocative scent of burning oak logs on a fair weather night.
Fire pits can really get up there in price so we recommend something that provides durability and versatility, but will still fit comfortably in any space. This fire pit from L.L. Bean dons an appropriate wildlife pattern on the outside, and it doubles as a grill for your wood-fired barbecue sessions.
The next method of enhancing your guest’s experience is through sound. You don’t need anything big or blaring, but a sleek-looking wired or Bluetooth speaker can really set the mood to whatever your going for.
Klipsch offers an outdoor wired system that will truly wow your company with its ability to blend in with your backyard surroundings. It provides a clear, wide range of sound, but if you’re servicing a large area, you may want to grab two. You also get two choices on design: granite or sandstone.
In case you don’t want to wire speakers into your yard, JBL’s splash-proof outdoor Bluetooth speaker is a great alternative to its wired counterparts. It sounds just as clear, but also offers more portability. This way you can take a speaker on your next trip to the river, too.
Comfortably accommodating a small crowd of people in a backyard isn’t easy. It’s nearly impossible to have enough seats and provide enough space for people to walk around. Renting furniture (i.e. tables and chairs) for a larger, special occasion is one option, but if you’re looking for a more permanent purchase that will give you the freedom to invite your buddy over for a drink, there are a few different avenues to take.
This three-piece sectional sofa from Riley is perfect for larger families and small back patio get-togethers. It fits four comfortably (five if little one wants to squeeze in the corner), a vintage-style blue and green Charleston color, and provides a significant amount of protection against the elements. We don’t recommend leaving it in the rain if you live somewhere where water falls from the sky like whiskey at a wedding, but its color, stature, and overall condition will fare well throughout some mild winter conditions.
If you’re one to invite company over on a regular occasion then it might not be a bad idea to find some patio chairs that will relax your guests when they arrive and that you can store away when the party is over. You could always bust out the camping chairs or use the current health climate as an excuse for a new type of party – we’ll barbecue and provide drinks, but Bring Your Own Chair.
Collaborative games are a great way to get the party started. We’ve included a few of our favorite competitive games below, but you can also check out our collection of the best yard games if you’re looking for an alternative.
It’s easy to forget about, but Jenga is always a big hit when you have company over. Giant Jenga is even more fun because it’s easy to get a big group to join in. Yard Games also offers smaller-sized towers if that’s what you fancy, and in various wood types.
Cornhole is a crowd favorite for most when the sun comes out. If you find yourself heading to your favorite bar to cornhole your way through the heat, then maybe it’s time to invest in a board for your own backyard. Victory Tailgate has a plethora of themed cornhole boards so you can impress your guests or tease your buddy by grabbing a board that features his least favorite team.
If you need something that is more portable — say, for a day trip to the park — you could keep it classy with this beautiful Bocce Ball set from Crate and Barrel. The set also comes with a steely carrying bag, a score card, and pencils.
You’ll likely have to deal with more warm weather this summer, meaning your late afternoon barbecue will probably persist through sundown. This is a great opportunity to string up some lights around the area to keep the party going.
As the sun should be shining all day, solar powered lights are a cost-effective and gratifying way to lighten up the mood when it gets dark. Better yet, you can wave goodbye to the days of long, tangled extension cords.
If you’re looking for something that will last through any season and forecast, Hampton Bay offers durable, weather-resistant string lights to help set the ambiance in your backyard. It boasts a beautiful, smokey glass shade that provides a unique accent to any dark area. Each strand is about 10 ft. in length, so we recommend snagging a few to provide the proper light accommodations for your guests.
If you’re in the foothills of the Appalachians or somewhere in the desert, temperatures might drop significantly at night. It may be difficult to get everyone up to play games in the yard under these circumstances, but you don’t have to succumb to the obstacle in front of you.
The best way to round off a night or keep the party going is jumping in a jaccuzzi. Hell, hot tubbing is great in any weather anyway. Nowadays they make inflatable hot tubs for occasions just like your backyard get-together. COSYSPA offers an easy-to-use tub that inflates in just five minutes and is equipped with a handy insulating cover.
If you want to get real crazy, or you regularly have the boys over to watch sports, consider an outdoor television setup. Indoor televisions should not be used outside. They’re not equipped for drastic changes in temperature or air quality, so if you move your indoor TV outdoors, you’re just going to be kissing a thousand bucks goodbye. SunBriteTV offers the best outdoor TVs you can find, and at a fairly reasonable price. The 43-inch option is weatherproof, meaning it’s sealed to protect against humidity and moisture. We also recommend you grab an outdoor TV cover and wall mount while you’re at it.
When temperatures rise, parched people follow. Quenching the thirst of everyone at the function is essential in the heat, and a beverage dispenser can help take the load of your hands as well as minimize your trips to the kitchen.
What’s better than a drink dispenser for your lemonade on a hot day? Two drink dispensers! This double beverage dispenser is perfect for separating the spiked punch from the regular, or for making a nice glass of ice water accessible for everyone to keep hydrated. We like variety; you like variety; it’s likely your guests will, too.
EdgeStar’s 84-can outdoor fridge was designed for stockpiling drinks outside for large gatherings to ensure nobody has to run inside for another drink. It boasts a groovy glass door, removable shelves, and can fit on just about any ground with free-standing, leveling legs. Besides, it’s always nice to have more fridge space.
If you have the room, the equity, and love beer as much as we do, consider grabbing a kegerator for the patio. Not only will it save you money on draft beverages and recycling duties in the long run, beer always tastes better out of a tap.
Now that you have all the backyard party essentials in one place — party on, my friends. If you still need some actual grill accessories, head here.
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