There’s nothing better to do during spring and summer than to enjoy a warm afternoon with the family from the comfort of your own patio. And as it turns out there's a whole lot you can do, starting with simple improvised projects to something bigger like a pergola or an outdoor bar. 

Regardless of budget, there’s always something you can do to improve your backyard game to enjoy the nice weather. Below, you’ll find a varied selection of projects that range from DIY friendly to bigger investments, and I’m confident at least some of these backyard summer ideas will fit your space! 

“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star." – W. Clement Stone

String lights

String lights are incredible for their simplicity, making them one of the best backyard summer decor ideas. You can hang them up virtually anywhere so long as you have a nearby structure or pole to attach them to. The results are beautiful, especially when they're turned on for the evening. It's very little effort that makes a big difference! 

If you already have a deck or porch, string lights can be added to improve the look even further. And if you don’t, you can start planning by talking to local deck builders!


Outdoor furniture is important to ensure you always have a place to chill, though some care is necessary when making the right choices. Using pillows and blankets outside makes for a comfy spot, but you do have to keep an eye out for weather conditions to protect them when necessary. 

If you want a more hands-free approach, you can opt for wood and aluminum furniture. These are by far the most resistant and require minimal babysitting, though you'd still want to protect them from really harsh weather. 

Outdoor theater

It’s actually not that hard to set up a movie theater in your backyard. The hardest thing to come by is the projector, but you can get a simple one for relatively cheap nowadays – sure it won’t give you 4K Ultra HD quality, but it’s enough for a relaxed evening with the kids or a date night with your partner.

Enjoyed this backyard idea for summer? Learn how to make a DIY outdoor movie theater!


Going for a pergola installation is one of the cheapest ways to get yourself some backyard shade with a proper structure. It can be built right next to your home to fit the overall aesthetic, but it can also be built separately and a bit further away to create a new zone in your backyard.

Dining table

There’s no secret to enjoying dinner outdoors – it’s classy, liberating, and can be done with basically no preparation at all. All you need is a dining table to fit your family and everything else can be improvised on the spot. If you need ideas for a backyard party, this is a great place to start.

Of course you can improve the setting with proper lighting (like string lights), furniture, and decoration.

Privacy screen

It may seem like a minor addition, but privacy fences or screens offer more than just the obvious. As well as privacy, they can be used as ways to create zones, vertical gardens, and increase shade. Combine that with the fact they come in a variety of visual options and you have a lot of flexibility to add visual interest to your backyard. 

Shade ideas

It’s impossible to talk about backyard ideas for summer without mentioning shade! Summer is often tied to the idea of getting shade, whether that be on a beach or in your own backyard. 

Luckily there are tons of backyard shade ideas to choose from that fit your budget. Pergolas, umbrellas, decks, or even just fabric hanging over a few poles – there are plenty of options. 

Outdoor bar

This is a particularly easy backyard summer idea if you already have an outdoor structure like a pergola or a deck. Combine a mini fridge with a barbecue grill and a cart for drinks, and there you have it – a perfectly functional outdoor bar. 

You can use it for celebrations like birthdays and holidays, or whenever you feel like having a burguer outdoors!

Ready to improve your backyard for the summer? Get free quotes from local deck builders in your area today!


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