Great Entertainment, Right in Your Own Backyard

It’s no secret that things aren’t like they used to be in today’s economy. With people seeing the benefits of cutting back on expenses wherever possible, the idea of entertaining at home has made a comeback. What used to be considered the norm in the 50s and 60s faded with the expansion of our economy, the progress of technology, and the continued availability of cheap oil. People used to entertain family and friends at home, but it fell out of fashion during the boom times. With good jobs and the economy expanding, everyone could go somewhere to do other things for entertainment. Amusement parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, fun centers, all became the new way to have fun, host parties, and have get-togethers with friends and family.

In today’s economic climate, everyone wants to stretch their dollars as far as they will go. Gone are the days of driving to the entertainment hubs like malls and theaters just to be amused. We have come almost full circle back to the days of the 50s and 60s. After all, you pay your mortgage or your rent and the space you have is yours to use, so why not use it for entertainment? If you have a yard behind your home with a small patio, you can host parties and family reunions, entertain friends from work with old-fashioned cocktail parties and cookouts, and even go camping right in your own backyard. It takes some imagination and creativity, but one thing it doesn’t take is a lot of money.

Saving money may be the best reason to begin using your backyard more completely, but in the long run there are other, better reasons to do your entertaining there. Yes, it’s good that you’re not using the car as often and you’re not spending money on going out for all the reasons you used to. But think of the way your family time will be better spent. Playing games, having meals together and doing other activities as a family is more fun and healthy in the backyard. With the right accessories for fun and comfort, it can become a family space where everyone gathers to enjoy themselves. You can use some of the money you’re saving by not going out to spruce things up and provide a nice environment for everyone to enjoy. And speaking of the environment, you’ll be doing it a favor by not using as much non-renewable fossil fuel driving to the mall and all those other places you used to go for entertainment. You will also be helping the environment by doing more cooking at home – it’s much more fun to cook outside at home, and you won’t be using and throwing away all those fast food containers like you used to do. Finally, a slower pace of life is a likely outcome of your decision to do more entertaining at home. You can relax, enjoy the outdoors, and know that you are doing something good for yourself, your family and your friends.

As mentioned, the cost of getting your backyard ready for entertaining isn’t great, but there are a few items that will make it more fun and comfortable for your family members and your guests. Patio furniture is a necessity, and nowadays you can get a nice-sized set for a fairly reasonable price. For larger groups, buy some plastic stackable chairs – they are actually quite comfortable – and tables to match. Of course you will need a good gas grille for cooking out, but don’t try to impress the neighbors with the biggest. Just get one that has enough surface area and side burners to cook for the kinds of groups you’ll be feeding and you’ll be fine.

Another good idea is a screened room for those summer nights when the outdoor pests get to be a little too much to take. With a lantern and a card table you can have all kinds of fun in one of these inexpensive pop-up rooms. For cooler nights you can get small propane heaters for the screened rooms as well, and keep the party going after it cools down. Another great idea is the portable fire pit. It’s like having a campfire in your own backyard. People love a campfire for the warmth and the good-all-over feeling it gives, and with a small, efficient fire pit you can have them enjoying the benefits of a campfire under the stars on your own patio. Add some inexpensive outdoor speakers to the backyard area to provide some music and you have all the entertainment you’ll need for your loved ones and friends.

They say that everything changes, and we know it’s not always for the best. But by making the most of your investment in your home and using the backyard for entertaining and enjoyment, you’ll be making a change for the better.

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