Backyard Staycation: Frugal Vacation You’ll Love!

Backyard Staycation: Frugal Vacation You’ll Love!
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Introduction Backyard Staycation

Are you looking for an easy way to escape the everyday routine of your life? Look no further than a backyard staycation!

With creativity, you can transform your outdoor space into the ultimate backyard staycation where you and your family can play together, relax, and make lasting memories.

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a woman is sitting under an umbrella in a lounge chair with sunglasses on with the Title, "Backyard Staycation, Frugal Vacation You'll Love".

Plus, with all the extra time saved from travel planning and packing, you’ll be surprised by how much more vacation is in store for you during your staycation. Read on for backyard staycation ideas to give your family the getaway you deserve.

Definition of Backyard Staycation

Are you looking to make the most of summer without spending a fortune? If so, a vacation at home is an ideal solution!

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom trying to keep your kids entertained or just someone wanting to relax in the comfort of their own home, you have probably heard of staycations and wondered what they are.

A backyard staycation is what it sounds like – taking time off work and enjoying fun activities and relaxation in your own outdoor living space instead of traditional vacations. With some planning and good preparation, this type of vacation can be just as exciting as traveling far away and save you money!

In this blog, I’ll give backyard staycation ideas so you can have the perfect frugal vacation at home!

Planning Your Backyard Staycation

Planning for your at-home vacation can be an enjoyable and cost-effective way to enjoy a vacation without leaving the comfort of your own home. Whether you have a small or large yard, creating a tranquil space that meets your relaxation needs is essential.

Consider adding a comfortable seating area with outdoor umbrellas or other shade structures, grills, or an outdoor kitchen area for cooking. Use string or landscape lighting for ambiance.

If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, a poolside cabana, lounge chairs, and outdoor-rated wood furniture will provide the ultimate relaxation spot on a hot summer day.

a woman is in a lounge chair under an umbrella - backyard staycation.

Don’t forget to set the mood with your favorite playlist. With some creativity, your staycation can be just what you need to unwind, recharge, and escape the stresses of everyday life.

Setting a Budget

The first step in planning a staycation is to set a budget. By setting a budget and sticking to it, you can enjoy all the perks of a vacation without the added stress of overspending.

So, take some time to plan your budget and start looking forward to a well-deserved backyard getaway.

Choosing a Theme

Choosing the perfect theme for your staycation can be a fun and exciting process.

When deciding on a theme, consider what activities you enjoy doing and what you want to get out of your staycation. For example, if you love being outdoors, consider a theme centered around nature.

If you want to relax, try a spa-themed staycation with massages, facials, and bubble baths. Whatever theme you choose, make sure it’s tailored to your interests. Use outdoor elements and design the different areas of your space to match your theme. 

Creating a List of Activities and Games

There are plenty of cheap family activities and games available to keep everyone entertained.

Start with a classic, like Frisbee, soccer, or a beach ball, or add excitement with a giant Jenga set or water balloon toss. A scavenger hunt or obstacle course is a fun activity to consider. Another great option is setting up cornhole boards for a friendly competition.

A boy is catching a frisbee - backyard staycation.

Consider setting up a reading nook, painting station, or bird-watching spot for quieter activities.

Setting the Scene

With some creativity, a backyard staycation can feel like a luxurious getaway. First, arrange comfortable patio furniture and blankets to create a cozy seating area. Add ambiance with string lights or candles.

Next, set the scene with activities like backyard games or an outdoor movie night. For a touch of relaxation, consider investing in a hammock or outdoor spa.

Set up a garden hose or sprinkler for water fun for the little ones.

people are watching a movie outside - backyard staycation.

Lastly, don’t forget about the refreshments! Stock up on snacks and drinks to enjoy in the comfort of your own backyard oasis. With these simple ideas, you can turn your backyard into a staycation destination that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Cleaning and Organizing Your Backyard

Start by removing any clutter or debris that has accumulated over time. After decluttering, add some new décor, such as a hammock, outdoor lights, or potted plants, to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

With little effort, you can quickly transform your backyard (or front yard!) into the perfect staycation destination.

Adding Decorations

Adding decorations and lighting, you can transform your staycation space into a relaxing oasis. String lights, lanterns, or candles can create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Additionally, adding decorative elements like potted plants, outdoor rugs, and colorful throw pillows can help tie the space together and make it feel more like a vacation destination.

Setting Up Seating and Dining Areas

When planning seating and a dining area, consider the available space and the number of users. A mix of comfortable seating options is always a good idea. Set up lounge chairs, a hammock for reclining and reading, and cozy seating around a fire pit for cooler nights.

You could set up bistro tables with chairs, consider al fresco dining by setting up a long banquet table, or use individual picnic tables scattered around the space.

You can even get creative and add fun touches like outdoor rugs or garden décor to help create a relaxing atmosphere.

Food and Drink Ideas for Your Backyard Staycation

Why not try something new with your food and drinks for your staycation paradise? From fruity spritzers to refreshing mocktails, there are many options to consider.

Perhaps you can satisfy your cravings with tasty BBQ recipes like grilled chicken or ribs or whip up some fresh salads and veggies. Pizza is a good food to consider. Pizza is easy to make with store-bought dough. 

And don’t forget about the sweets! Ice cream cones or s’mores around the fire pit can quickly become a new family favorite activity.

Ingredients for s'mores: marshmallows on sticks, graham crackers, and chocolate by a fire - backyard staycation.

Backyard Picnic

Picnics are a fun way to take advantage of the warm weather and maximize your staycation. Bask in the sun, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones.

A backyard picnic is a great way to relax and unwind for a few without breaking the bank. You can set the mood by playing your favorite tunes or even playing games like Frisbee or cornhole.

So grab a blanket, pack some sandwiches, and enjoy an afternoon in your backyard. It’s the perfect recipe for a relaxing day.

Grilling and BBQ Options

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a home cation with delicious grilled and barbecued meals. There are plenty of options to satisfy both meat lovers and vegetarians.

One classic option is grilled burgers with all the fixings, like lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Try grilling chicken breasts and pairing them with a fresh summer salad for a healthier alternative.

BBQ lovers can also indulge in classic options, like pulled pork or beef brisket paired with homemade BBQ sauce. Whatever your preference, grilling and BBQing at home is the perfect way to treat yourself to a delicious and relaxing stay-at-home.

Refreshing Beverages and Cocktails

As we opt for backyard retreats, having a refreshing drink or cocktail is essential to quench our thirst and make the experience extra special.

There are countless options for fruit-infused water, from classic margaritas to non-alcoholic options. Try infusing water with lemon, strawberry, and mint for a fruity and refreshing blend.

strawberry margaritas - backyard staycation.
Strawberry Margaritas

For those who like to indulge in a little boozy pleasure, think about wine chillers or shake up a classic margarita or a tropical mai tai. Don’t forget to add some colorful garnishes for an extra pop of fun.

Whatever your drink of choice, cooling down with a delicious beverage is essential to the backyard staycation experience.

Easy Snack Ideas

Summer staycations are the perfect time to enjoy the backyard with family and friends. And what better way to indulge in the great outdoors than with some delicious and cheap healthy snacks?

There are endless options, ranging from healthy bites to more indulgent treats. For instance, whip up some refreshing fruit skewers, crunchy vegetable sticks with hummus, or a tasty antipasto plate.

fruit skewers: grapes, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, and strawberry - backyard staycation
Fruit Skewers

For those with a sweet tooth, try making s’mores, banana boats, or homemade ice cream sandwiches. These easy-to-make snacks are not only easy to prepare but are sure to satisfy any craving while creating the perfect backyard ambiance.

Activities and Outdoor Games for a Backyard Staycation

When it’s time for your nearcation, there are plenty of ways to have fun without leaving your backyard. From outdoor movies to classic lawn games like horseshoes and cornhole to newer favorites like Spikeball and KanJam, there are endless options to choose from.

Related Post: Cheap Family Activities, 73 to Enjoy and Save Big!

Outdoor Movie Night

Consider hosting an outdoor movie night to take the relaxation up a notch.

All you need is a projector, screen, and some cozy seating, and you have yourself a backyard theater. Add some outdoor lighting, such as string lights, to create an even more comfortable ambiance. And don’t forget the popcorn!

It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy a film under the stars.

Board Games and Card Games

Board and card games are a great way to entertain the whole family.

There’s no shortage of options, from classic favorites like Monopoly and Scrabble to newer games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

For a more active game, try outdoor versions of games like Jenga, Connect Four, and Yahtzee.

Camping in Your Backyard

Camping in your backyard can be just as adventurous as heading out to a national park or camping ground without the travel expenses or hassle. Set up a tent, roll out your sleeping bags, and build a bonfire for the ultimate backyard experience.

It is a great way to connect with the great outdoors and allows you to disconnect from the digital world and spend quality time with your loved ones.

DIY Backyard Games

DIY backyard games are a great way to enjoy the summer sun while keeping the fun close to home!

Cornhole, the classic bean bag toss game, is easy to make with plywood and some essential tools. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge? Build a giant Jenga tower with wooden blocks and bring it to life with colorful paint.

outside jenga, blocks of wood stacked up - backyard staycation
Giant outside Jenga

Ladder toss and horseshoes are also simple and fun lawn games you can create independently. Gather your family and friends, and let the games begin!

Conclusion to Backyard Staycation

With the backyard ideas we’ve discussed, you can have an ultimate staycation, enjoying various family activities. Not only do you save money, but spending time with your family and friends at home can be a great time and will create lasting memories.

Try a Backyard Staycation!

In conclusion, a backyard staycation can be the perfect place and a fantastic way to enjoy a weekend without leaving home. The backyard staycation ideas suggested above are just the tip of the iceberg. Get creative and plan a unique staycation that fits your budget and lifestyle. According to Forbes Magazine, taking a vacation can save your life! 

If you liked my blog post, please share it on Pinterest:

a woman is leaning on a man as they are sitting on the ground watching a movie outside with the title, "Backyard Staycation, frugal vacation you'll love!"

Planning and making your backyard feel like a vacation paradise allows you to maximize your staycation experience while showing off your style! So grab some snacks, lay out a picnic blanket or outdoor furniture, and have an enjoyable experience right in the comfort of your yard.

You never know how much fun a summer vacation can be until you try a backyard staycation!


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      1. I love the planner. Thanks! Sadly, my backyard has scorpions and pygmy rattlers and other reasons to not lay around. We do play horseshoes there occasionally. Remember to pick them up cautiously.

        1. I remember those days. I grew up in South Florida. I HATED the scorpions. BUT the scorpions are better than the “snakes” and other swamp creatures in NY.

      2. I absolutely love the idea of a staycation!! Even though it has been a very long time since I’ve taken a vacation, I still like the idea of making our backyard a comfy place to relax as if we were on vacation. You’ve given me some really great ideas of additional things to do on a staycation.

        1. I’m thrilled that I’ve inspired you to try a backyard staycation! I hope you have a fun time, Karen! 🙂

      3. Cheap and on your terms. What’s not to like? A cleaned home, some beach-scented candles, and lots of sunbathing. That’s enough for me to forget the world.

      4. Great list of Backyard staycation ideas for this summer! I appreciate the frugal and fun options you included as well!

      5. Such cool ideas! I love all the fun activities you can plan right in your own backyard and adding the decor is such a cute idea.

      6. Love these ideas! Outdoor movie nights are the best! With nice mood lighting a fire pit, and comfortable seating. you can’t go wrong!

        1. Thank you so much for the compliments, Tom! It means a lot to me! I LOVE your blog – you have such interesting posts!

      7. The great thing about Covid is that it got us exploring close to home and being creative with our travel dollars. My husband and I are still exploring our state.

      8. Really cute ideas and great motivation to clean up the yard and plan special snacks and games. We really DON”T have to leave home to have fun when we put our minds to it. I love the Giant Jenga.

        1. So fun! I love the idea of a giant Jenga! I’m going to steal some of these ideas for an upcoming birthday party as well. 🙂

      9. Thank you for this great blog post. I love the idea of setting up my backyard for entertaining. I want to explore a movie night outside with food and drinks. Great photos too!

      10. Great ideas. My husband and I did a STATE-cation a couple of years ago. We saw so much of Colorado that we hadn’t taken the time to see in the 20 years that we have lived here!

      11. This post was so fun! So many great ideas. I’ve been trying to be more budget friendly lately, so I will definitely be stealing some of these ideas.

      12. I love the food ideas and the snacks look delicious! I love being at home. We have a pond so when we vacay at home the kids go fishing in the pond. The downside is that it’s so hot during the summer months to be outside for long.

      13. Really love this idea and all the small ideas to make it an enjoyable experience while saving some serious money! Thank you!

      14. Yeah, my brother did this but in his front yard. He pitched a tent and he and his son (my nephew) stayed in there like they were off somewhere camping. Why not? Thanks for sharing!

      15. These are some great backyard staycation ideas! I remember my parents setting up a movie screen in our backyard – us kids remember that time with fond memories. I must do the same this summer for my children – so thank you for inspiring me!

      16. Your ideas for a backyard staycation are awesome! I love how you’ve turned a stay-at-home vacation into something fun and special. Big thanks to your sponsors for supporting such creative and budget-friendly inspiration!

      17. Your backyard staycation ideas are fantastic! I love the blend of relaxation and fun activities. The tips on setting a budget and creating themed experiences are particularly helpful.

      18. I love all these ideas! We love to travel, but there have been many times when we’ve simply taken time to relax at home. These are great ways to make it much more fun!

      19. I love the idea of a staycation! What a great way to save money but still enjoy holiday time.

      20. I have always preferred to make my vacation a getaway, but a backyard vacation is a good idea when funds are short, among other reasons. My backyard already has a pool and spa, so it is already primed for a staycation.

      21. We can definitely to do this school break and I am pretty sure the kids will enjoy this. Thank you for inspiring us to plan for our backyard staycation. Movies and boardgames sounds fun.

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