Backyard Essentials for Summer 2021

Now that June is here, we have officially reached outdoor get-together season, barbeque season, campfire season, pool party season – you name it! Before you can get to the grilling and splashing, you may need to prepare your space for company. Whether you’re inviting the grandkids, book club friends, or co-workers over, here are the items you’ll need to turn your backyard into the ultimate hangout spot. 

Yard games
Outdoor games are the perfect Sunday afternoon activity for the whole family, and Amazon has a bunch of options, including giant versions of your favorite indoor games like Connect-4 and Jenga. Do you have a big yard? Set up a volleyball net and invite your friends over. Or, test your balancing skills with a slackline!

Inflatable kiddie pool
If you have kids or your neighbors have kids or your friends have kids, an inflatable pool is a must. You can get a large one for the whole family or let the kids have all the fun in a dinosaur-themed pool with a built-in slide. You could also get a pack of three small food-themed pools. If you have really young children, you may want to go the route of a splash pad that connects to your hose.

Hammocks are a necessity for a relaxing summer, whether you’re staying home or camping every weekend. If you want to set one up on your patio, a hammock that hangs on a stand is your best bet. Choose from multiple styles, like woven rope and cotton. If you want a cheaper hammock that is portable and quick to set up or take down, go for one that hangs between two trees.

String lights
To keep your outdoor party going all night, you need string lights. Hang them around your patio, table umbrella, or even between trees in your yard. Now you have both light and a beautiful ambiance.

Outdoor screen and projector
Create your own outdoor theater with this portable screen and mini projector set. The screen is light and flexible so it can easily be hung between trees or attached to a solid surface. The projector connects to your phone to stream shows and movies, and with TDS Wi-Fi+, you don’t have to worry about a bad connection. Wi-Fi+ uses beacons that plug into outlets throughout your home to extend the Wi-Fi coverage area. Just move a beacon to the outlet closest to your backyard, and you’ll have great Internet connection for up to 1,500 square feet. So, grab your pillows, blankets, and popcorn and enjoy a movie under the stars!

Treat Maker
Popsicles on the porch make summer days sweeter. With homemade molds, you can craft your own delicious flavors. Go for traditional molds or unique ones. Or, try this fun ice cream maker ball. Add ingredients into the center and roll, shake, and pass to one another to make homemade ice cream. You could also go for a snow cone maker for a colorful summer treat.

New flavors for the grill
Summer 2021 is the year to switch things up. Set aside the old spices you’ve always used, and try a set of five unique barbeque rubs. This set includes Cajun, Caribbean, Mexican, Southwest, and Memphis spices. So, fire up the grill, grab your meat and veggies, and get sizzlin’.

DEET-free mosquito repellent
No matter how much you hope they don’t, mosquitoes are bound to come out eventually. Protect yourself and your summer plans with DEET-free repellent. Loaded with mosquito-fighting essential oils, these repellent wipes are convenient and easy to use. This highly rated DEET-free spray is also a good choice. To create a mosquito-free zone in your yard, light citronella candles and scatter them around the area.

Fire pit
A campfire is the only way to end a summer night. This lightweight fire pit makes backyard fires safe and easy. Don’t forget to pick up marshmallow-roasting sticks for the countless s’mores you’ll be eating. Also, for grilling over the fire, try this nonstick basket. Cooking delicious food over a campfire has never been easier!

Mesh food tents
Keep the flies out of your food this summer with pop-up mesh food covers. Once everyone has taken their first serving of food, just cover up each plate with a tent so there’s no worry of eating a bug in your second serving.

Beverage dispensers
These large clear dispensers are the perfect way to serve refreshing drinks at your outdoor party. Fill them with sweet tea, lemonade, fruit punch, and other favorites. If you really want to impress your friends, check out this watermelon tapping kit.

Kabob grilling baskets
Kabobs are one of the best foods to make at a summer party because everyone can prepare their own and build it using whatever veggies and meat they prefer. Plus, they’re fun to eat! With these kabob grilling baskets, you don’t have to worry about anything falling off the skewer. Switch it up by trying dessert kabobs with strawberries and shortcake pieces.

Patio umbrella
A source of shade is necessary if you’re planning to be outside all day in the summer heat. This 10-foot patio umbrella can cover several people at once and can be positioned at different angles to maximize your shade cover. Even in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is relentless, you can sit outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Outdoor speakers
No outdoor gathering is complete without music. These waterproof Bluetooth speakers can blast party tunes for all your guests to hear. Plus, they look like rocks, so they easily blend into your backyard. Play summer throwbacks for a pool day, today’s hits for a barbeque, or chill tunes for a night around the campfire.

By Hannah Drewieck, TDS Communications Intern

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