Skip to main content

8 ways to make the most of your garden this summer

Enjoying your garden this summer doesn’t have to just mean stopping to smell the roses. Everyone and their neighbor wants an epic summer vacation, especially after being cooped up most of this past year. However, not everyone has the opportunity to jump in the car for an extended road trip or a camping adventure in a state far away.

For those who still want the fun of an outdoor experience that the whole family can enjoy, no rule says you can’t simply head out for an evening in your garden. Indeed, turning your backyard or garden into a family campground is an excellent idea. You can have all the pleasure of enjoying the night air, a starry sky, and sleeping in a tent without having to listen to cries of “How much further?” from the kids.

If you’re a little leery of how to pull off a fun-filled summer sleepover with the kids successfully, never fear. We’ve put together some amazing garden sleepover ideas that are sure to have everyone smiling, giggling, and finally relaxing in a way people haven’t been able to for quite some time.

Girls in garden for summer sleepover

Preparing for your garden sleepover

Remember that you want things to go smoothly and without any major issues. You don’t want anyone to have excuses to go back home or go back indoors. Don’t forget that if things can go wrong, they usually will, unless you’re prepared. So! Take the following two major steps to make sure your fun isn’t spoiled before it even begins.

  • Make sure you have emergency contact information for all the kids’ parents (that is, if you have your kids’ friends over).
  • Ensure you’re aware of any allergies your kids’ friends might have so you won’t purchase inappropriate foods and snacks.

Create an outdoor movie night

Nobody said you have to go camping in your garden. You can, of course, but maybe you want to save that for another summer night. In that case, you could still set up a fun outdoor movie night! All you have to do is get yourself a screen, projector, and some speakers. Then create a comfy seating area. Make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks and something to drink, and when it gets dark enough, voila!

To keep things as easy as can possibly be, you can use the inside wall of a large tent or even hang a sheet to use as your screen.

Let’s play paintball!

If you have older kids (and plenty of outdoor space), you could conceivably engage in a friendly game of paintball. Just be aware there are some garden games for kids where you need to be a little creative with your garden’s area. For instance, you could set up shelters and barricades by laying old tables on their sides, stacking shipping pallets, or carting in some bales of hay.

Remember to make sure everyone has protective equipment and a change of clothes. Other than that, though, a game of paintball can be an excellent way to get all the kids running off some energy before settling down for an actual campfire cookout!

Build a garden firepit

If you choose to go camping in your garden, it just wouldn’t feel like the real deal without a campfire. Plus, you can’t roast marshmallows or tell ghost stories without one. Therefore, you need a dedicated area where you can keep the fire safely contained. But that doesn’t mean you have to go all out and build a firepit that adheres to local building codes.

Measure out a circle with about a five-foot diameter. Grab a shovel and dig the circle out to a depth of about six inches. Flatten out the bottom. Create your fire in that, and be sure to douse it with a five-gallon bucket of water before hitting the sack.

Change up your campfire hot dogs

Of course, if you have picky eaters, just stick with the basics: ketchup and mustard. However, if the kids are more adventurous, you could try out pickles, onions, horseradish, mayonnaise, sour cream, and chili peppers.

In fact, here’s an interesting recipe for campfire hotdogs everyone will enjoy!

Sing around the garden campfire

You can’t carry a tune, you say? No worries at all! Nobody truly expects people singing around a campfire to sound like The Braxtons or The Osmonds. Grab a ukulele or a guitar and start belting out some tunes. The kids will join in, and you’ll have a blast!

Break out a deck of cards

A little friendly poker where marshmallows are your bets could be ideal! Of course, if you’re looking for something more active, you could always play horseshoes or set up a game of croquet or badminton.

Campfire with stones and logs

Tell ghost stories around the campfire

A night with friends out under the stars wouldn’t be complete without one or two tall tales featuring a ghost, a hook, or some other stereotypical fright night fare. To make it more fun, grab some flashlights and illuminate your face from below.

Whether you’ve roughed it in real camping trips before or not, enjoying an outdoor summer sleepover with your kids can be a blast if you prepare beforehand. Don’t forget to draft your kids when you need help. Grab your hotdogs and s’mores supplies and enjoy the kind of outdoor garden adventure you’ve been dreaming about since last year.

Editors' Recommendations

Good, better, best: The perfect gas grill for your outdoor kitchen
best outdoor gas grill woman grilling outside

Grills these days do a lot more than cook Independence Day hot dogs. Viewed as a more flavorful and healthful alternative to some other, more conventional cooking methods, grilling is the centerpiece of many a culinary adventure, from the everyday to the downright fancy.

Does any of that sound appealing? You may be ready to make a long-term investment in a heavy-duty gas grill. A solid gas grill is easy and economical to use, stands up to wear and tear over time, is fairly simple to use and maintain, and can provide the kind of flexibility and functionality you need in an everyday cooking space.

Read more
Good, better, best: The best warm, stylish outdoor fire pits for your patio
best outdoor fire pits bowl

When the seasons change, the air becomes crisp, and the mercury starts to fall, certain cravings start to well up. For some it’s football, or cozy clothes, or pumpkin spice. But let’s talk a minute about fire. Nothing else has the ability to bring people together and capture attention quite the way that a cheerful flame does. If you’re not so sure, try this experiment. Set up a fire pit on your driveway and, right around sunset, fire it up. Chances are, you’ll have visitors before long. As long as it’s not the fire department or your HOA authorities, it should make for some good conversation.

Whether you’re a long time believer in the power of a fire pit and need to replace one after years of faithful service, or you’re just looking for a good reason to be outdoors in the pleasant fall evenings, we’ve got a few suggestions. You could go with an easy to use gas burner, and forgo the smoke and ash, but then you would also miss out on the smell. We believe that a little bit of seasoned hickory, oak, or maple aroma is an essential part of the deeper fire pit experience. So, we’ve assembled this list of outstanding wood-burning fire pits based on durability, ease of use, styling, and price point.

Read more
6 balcony vegetable gardening tips every new gardener needs
container garden

You've likely seen photos of gorgeous raised garden beds with rows and rows of beautiful vegetable plants. Or a luscious and full flower garden with new blooms all year round. As someone who lives in an apartment, these photos can be discouraging. It can feel like you can't achieve those beautiful green spaces with what you have, but we're here to tell you that you can!

Creating a balcony garden can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Whether you have a walk-out patio with space for tables and chairs or just a small space to stand, you can transform these spaces into garden sanctuaries. So stop feeling like you have to wait until you have a backyard or more acres; beautiful gardens can come from small spaces too, and here's how you do it.

Read more