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20 Amazing Ideas That Will Turn Your Backyard into an Oasis

Get your home ready for endless backyard entertaining this summer with our best decor ideas—many of which can be done on a budget!

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Colorful chairs around a fire pit, Crisanver Inn, VT, USAJon Lovette/Getty Images

Build a Cozy Fire Pit for Endless S’mores

Every backyard oasis needs a fire pit where you can gather with friends and family to make s’mores on summer nights. While there are plenty of freestanding fire pits to buy, you can also build your own using paver stones, which typically cost a few dollars each at your local hardware store.

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backyard entertainment ideas Landscaping And Patio Of Modern Condo BuildingRoberto Westbrook/Getty Images

Create a Privacy Wall

If your neighbors are close, you can make your outdoor space feel a little more intimate with a privacy wall. That doesn’t mean you have to run out and have a fence installed, though! You can create a DIY divider using an old pallet (check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace!) or even a row of tall potted plants.

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String Lights backyard entertainment ideasCavan Images/Getty Images

Hang String Lights for Ambiance

Twinkling lights are a must-have for any outdoor oasis, and luckily, they come in all shapes and sizes at a range of price points. Nowhere to attach them in your yard? Use the Pinterest trick of putting a post inside a decorative planter or bucket using concrete. Then you can move around your lighting as needed!

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backyard entertainment ideas Woman Relaxing On BalconyJohner Images/Getty Images

Bring in Lots of Potted Plants

Whether your backyard is big or small, plants can make it feel much more homey and welcoming. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a permanent garden, you can plant all sorts of beautiful flowers and vegetables in containers, which will also let you move them around to find the perfect layout for your space.

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backyard entertainment ideas Millennial Female Working From HomeSpiderstock/Getty Images

Add Shade with a Patio Umbrella

Does your backyard get too warm on hot summer days? If so, you should definitely invest in a patio umbrella, which will add instant shade and let you enjoy your space more frequently. These umbrellas can be freestanding, which is useful for shading a seating area, or installed in the middle of an outdoor dining table.

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Tiki Burning backyard entertainment ideasKCMO_Tiger/Getty Images

Banish Bugs with Tiki Torches

Pesky insects can quickly put a damper on your outdoor soirees, but you can keep them at bay—while simultaneously adding ambiance—by installing tiki torches around your yard. You can get citronella fuel for these cool lights, which will ward off mosquitoes and other biting bugs.

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backyard entertainment ideas Patio Fire Pit By Swimming PoolTimAbramowitz/Getty Images

Section Your Yard into Multiple Zones

If you have a large backyard, you can make the most of your space by breaking it up into different areas. Create a seating area for conversation in one spot, and a dining area in another. You can even have sections for grilling, games and lounging—just make sure there are clear walking paths between the various zones.

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backyard entertainment ideas Brother and sister take turns swinging each other on their tree swing.Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images

Install a Swing on Your Favorite Tree

Swings are just as fun for adults as they are for children, and if you don’t necessarily want a full swing set in your backyard, you can get in on the fun with a single rope swing hung from your favorite tree. All you need is some rope and a wooden seat—just make sure to hang it from a thick, sturdy branch.

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backyard entertainment ideas Hammock With Three Red PillowsJon Lovette/Getty Images

Hang a Hammock Between Trees

There’s nothing more tranquil than swinging in a hammock, looking up at the sky. As long as you have two trees (or posts) in your yard, you can easily install a hammock of your own. Not only are they comfortable to lounge in, but many hammocks also add a decorative element to your yard as well.

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backyard entertainment ideas Angel Statue Fountain In Gardenpink_cotton_candy/Getty Images

Build a Bubbling Fountain

A water feature will add instant elegance to any outdoor space, and they’re easier to install than you might think. If you already have a small pond, you can simply add a submersible water pump, or there are plenty of affordable freestanding fountains, including ones that are solar-powered for electricity-free operation.

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backyard entertainment ideas Rattan Sofa On TerraceKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Tie Decor Together with an Outdoor Rug

If your outdoor living area is missing something but you can’t put your finger on what it is, try anchoring the space with an outdoor rug. You can find durable weather-resistant rugs in a wide range of styles, and they’ll help to tie your decor together and make it feel cohesive and welcoming.

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backyard entertainment ideas Garden Shed In A Beautiful Green GardenWestbury/Getty Images

Hide Yard Tools in a Little Shed

Gardening tools like shovels, rakes and lawn mowers are key to keeping your lawn looking its best, but they can be somewhat of an eyesore when not in use. To make your yard look a little neater, build or buy a cute little shed that you can tuck away in the corner of your outdoor space. That way, you can keep tools safe and out of sight, but they’re still nearby when you need them.

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backyard entertainment ideas Outdoor Kitchen With A Stainless Gas GrillEirasophie/Getty Images

Build an Outdoor Kitchen on Any Budget

Who wouldn’t want an outdoor kitchen where you can cook al fresco? Even if you don’t have the funds for a built-in kitchen on your patio, you can still enjoy outdoor cooking if you get creative. Start with one of the best outdoor grills (bonus points if it has a side burner for even more cooking power), then pair it with some prep space, whether it’s a spare table or a small outdoor storage cabinet.

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Romantic Movie Night backyard entertainment ideassvetikd/Getty Images

Create a Cozy Outdoor Movie Theater

Skip the cinema this summer and enjoy endless blockbusters in your backyard instead! All you need to create your own personal movie theater is a projector and an outdoor movie screen, which come in freestanding, hanging and even inflatable models. Plus, don’t miss our list of everything you need to host an amazing outdoor movie night.

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Table Set In Garden backyard entertainment ideasJohner Images/Getty Images

Go from Day to Night with Outdoor Lighting

String lights are great for ambiance, but they’re often not powerful enough to truly light up your yard. If you want to keep your parties going all night long, you’ll also need some bright outdoor lanterns, pendant lights or, if you have the space, maybe even a bold outdoor chandelier.

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Build a Stock Tank Pool

No room for a full-size pool? No problem! Stock tank pools are all the rage lately because they’re affordable and compact, giving you just enough room for one or two people to lounge in the water. Plus, Pinterest has dozens of innovative ideas on how you can style them in your backyard.

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backyard entertainment ideas Mother and children compare atlas picture to world map on garden chalk board.Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

Create an Oversized Chalkboard for the Kids

Give your children a place to display their artistic creations with a fun outdoor chalkboard. All you need is a Hardie board and some chalkboard paint, as well as a wall or fence to mount it on. It’s a simple and fun DIY project that the whole family will love!

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Chillout Lounge On Wooden Terracedzika_mrowka/Getty Images

Hang Flowy Curtains

You can transform your porch, patio or pergola into a serene oasis with the simple addition of curtains. Not only are they incredibly stylish and cozy, but they can also provide shade on hot summer days, helping you keep cool as you relax outside.

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backyard entertainment ideas Young Man Repotting A Plant On His TerraceWestend61/Getty Images

Create a Gardening Station

For all the green thumbs out there, a backyard gardening bench is a must-have! Look for a spacious workbench with shelves underneath—this will allow you to keep pots, soil and gardening tools close by, while leaving plenty of space for repotting, starting seeds and more.

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backyard entertainment ideas Grandmother And Grandson Playing Corn Hole Game In A Backyard.Cavan Images/Getty Images

Set Up an Outdoor Game Area

If your friends and family love a little bit of friendly competition, turn one corner of your yard into a gaming area. You can set up classic outdoor games like cornhole and bocce ball, or get creative with a giant Jenga stack or huge chess set.

Camryn Rabideau
Camryn is Taste of Home contributor who specializes in home décor, product reviews and general lifestyle content. She holds a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Rhode Island and jumps at any opportunity to tap into her design expertise.