A set of four outdoor chairs with navy cushions from the kathy ireland Homes and Gardens Madison collection on a patio overlooking a green lawn and foothills with trees.

Make Your Backyard the Perfect Outdoor Escape When We’re All Staying Inside

With estimates that social distancing may continue through the summer, our homes (and especially our backyards) continue to be our sanctuaries where we stay safe and relax. Staying at home is the new going out.

And if all this newfound staying at home is making you a little stir crazy, the outdoors may be calling your name. That means in addition to going for walks or visiting a park, you can also enjoy time relaxing on your patio (on furniture like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens Madison collection shown above) as spring turns warmer. It’s a great way to enjoy a change of scenery, get some fresh air, and find new ways for kids and adults to stay entertained. If you’re looking for an outdoor escape, here are some tips on how to make the most of your patio.

1. Take Movie Night Outdoors

Summer blockbusters won’t be coming to the cinema this season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night at the movies. All you need is a comfortable backyard setup, some snacks, a projector, and your smartphone!

Your outdoor movie night can be as high- or low-tech as you want. There are a number of affordable projectors and outdoor movie screens available online, but it’s also possible to display your selections on a hanging sheet or the side of your home. You could even build a homemade smartphone projector using a cardboard box and a magnifying glass for a fun pre-show project. Then you can settle in for a movie, or even a marathon that goes on until sunrise, just like at the local drive-in theater.

Crisp white patio furniture in a resin wicker weave with blue cushions overlooking a beach with tiki huts and brilliant blue water.

A fresh, white outdoor furniture group can transform your patio into a haven you’ll love.


To make your showing as comfortable as possible, bring out some blankets and snuggle up on a welcoming sofa seating group, like the one shown above. Modular patio seating can easily be arranged so everyone feels like they have the best seat in the house. Thanks to soft, inviting cushions, you and your family will be cozy from the start of the previews all the way until the credits roll.

2. Gather Around a Crackling Fire in the Backyard

Do you have fond memories of gathering around a roaring fire while camping? Recreate the fun in your own backyard with a fire pit for your deck. Adding a conversation set with seating and a fire pit to your patio wards off any nighttime chill and makes your outdoor living area feel even more special.

A rectangular fire pit with a contoured base and dancing flames.

A fire pit can help create the warm, magical atmosphere your backyard has been missing.


Gathering around a fire can also help everyone unplug and unwind during a time when screens feel ever-present. It’s hard to get away from phones, computers, and the TV when everyone works and learns at home. You can enjoy a no-tech night with a few effortless fire pit activities, including:

  • Sharing favorite family memories
  • Playing simple games, like telephone, 20 questions, or charades
  • Singing campfire songs
  • Telling spooky stories

3. Get Active

Getting enough exercise is tough, even when we can go to the gym whenever we want. If you miss the classes at your local gym or yoga studio, your deck provides a great spot to continue your fitness regimen. Simply grab your free weights, yoga mat, fitness bands, and other equipment and set up a private studio on the patio. For a post-workout refresher, enjoy some fruit-infused water and a healthy snack at your outdoor dining table.

If you need workout ideas, head online. There’s no shortage of free streaming classes and apps, and you’ll find tons of resources on sites like Pinterest as well.

4. Cook Up Date Night

When you long for a romantic night on the town with that special someone, don’t despair. You can create a getaway for two right outside your home in your outdoor dining area. To make the evening even more fun, whip up a meal together to savor under the stars. There are many streaming cooking classes available online to accommodate any skill level. Choose your favorite, set up your tablet or laptop, and adapt the lesson for the grill.

When dinner is served, make it an occasion by setting your outdoor dining table (like the one shown below) with real plates, glasses, and silverware, using cloth napkins if you have them, and lighting a few candles. Dress up in your favorite date night outfit, stream a romantic playlist, and you’re ready to enjoy a romantic night to remember.

A square outdoor dining table with four chairs on a deck at the water's edge in a tropical location.

A dining table for your outdoor space makes date night feel special.


5. Make Your Own Sundae Bar in Your Backyard

Who doesn’t crave a sweet ice cream sundae as summer rolls around? Satisfy your sweet tooth by creating an at-home sundae bar on your outdoor bar or dining table. Everyone will enjoy mixing flavors and toppings to create one-of-a-kind treats.

The CDC asks that we avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store, so this activity will take a little planning. You can also use a grocery delivery or pickup service to minimize person-to-person contact. No matter how you plan to assemble your ingredients, you’ll need:

  • 1-3 flavors of ice cream, depending on the size of your family and available freezer space
  • Chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce
  • Sprinkles
  • Chopped nuts
  • Crushed cookies
  • Candy
  • Fruit
  • Whipped cream

You can even make it a competition with prizes for the most creative and delicious creations. What will the winner receive? Maybe a free pass on cleanup duty!

Outdoor Fun without Leaving Home

With the right outdoor furniture and a few simple activities, you and your family can have fun in your backyard all spring and summer long. Find everything you need to transform your patio into an outdoor entertainment destination with patio seating, dining sets, and more from Twin Star Home®. Need even more ideas and inspiration? Check out our blog today.