With winter almost in the rearview mirror and spring on the horizon, we’re looking forward to days of warmer temperatures and more daylight. I am looking forward to celebrating spring with Mother Earth, the crisp air, the blue skies, and the spring flowers blooming that we are about to see. As we are all excited for better and more hopeful days in the summertime, here are affordable ways to enjoy the outdoors as we have never done before so that we can stay safe and create good times with family and friends.
You can start small with a string of lights, some comfortable outdoor chairs, and a chiminea to warm you for under $250. Add an outdoor TV for as little as $250 and you can stay outside for a while. Picture watching the Nationals on TV on a nice spring evening with a fire. We recently experimented with an outdoor movie night with a projector and a screen that folds up like a sheet. They easily hook up to an Amazon Firestick which gives you access to Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and other streaming apps. Bundled in blankets, a fire going in the chiminea we settled in with wine and popcorn. It was a lovely evening.
Dining Alfresco should be at the top of your outdoor thinking. Any space will do! Find a table, large or small, set up chairs in the yard, on the patio, balcony, or rooftop. Add festive lighting or some battery-operated candles and commit to dinners under the stars. Plan now for special occasions and the holidays. Be prepared! Of course, you can go all the way with a full outdoor kitchen that can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 but that is not really necessary. Maybe just invest in a new grill or a smoker.
And let the games begin–traditional ones like horseshoes and cornhole. How about a Bocce ball court? Pickleball in the driveway. Other ideas include a recycled bottle ring toss, giant checkers, or chess. Paint circles on the grass for outdoor Twister, create a football toss, go for lawn scrabble, or install a putting green. Hang a hammock and add a tree swing. If you have space for it, a zipline is fun for adults as well as kids!
One more thought. Set up now for exercising outdoors. I have been working out for years with my trainer in a local park. I love it! Instead of looking up at the dirty gym ceiling when I do sit-ups, I see blue skies, clouds, and birds. This winter I will not be going back to the gym as usual December through March. I will be set up in my yard and be ready to go. You can workout with TRX training kits or resistance bands. Marty invested in battle ropes for the outside. You can also set up your garage as a gym.
Embracing the outdoors now as the weather gets warmer will help us as we await our neighbors and friends to get vaccinated this spring. In fact, you can increase your home’s value by investing in the outdoors. We are finding buyers are attracted to great outside spaces and some inexpensive items can add up to a big increase in value in your home.