Your patio is an important part of your home and is often under-utilized. It adds square footage to your living space, allows you to relax, entertain, cook and play outside to soak up every last bit of sunshine and to get some fresh air during the cooler months. There are ways to enjoy your outdoor living space year-round. Eight patio design ideas maximize your patio and encourage you to spend more time with your family and friends any time of year.
- Plan Picnics
Gather your family, friends and neighbors together for picnics any time of year.
- Grill burgers, fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer as you soak up the sun. For a quick snack, you can roast hot dogs around the fire.
- Serve smoked turkey sandwiches and spiced cider in the fall while the fire takes the chill out of the air. If you enjoy cooking, consider adding a smoker to your outdoor kitchen.
- Roast marshmallows around the fire and enjoy hot chocolate in the winter.
- Make pizzas in the spring in your outdoor pizza oven or on the grill.
After you finish eating, toss the football around, go for a swim, play cards or watch movies on your outdoor TV as you cherish time together.
- Watch Birds
Dozens of bird species call New Hampshire home. They add color to your backyard and are fun to watch. Hang a bird feeder or two near your outdoor patio, then pull up a chair, grab a birding book and see how many bird visitors you can spot. Consider participating in the backyard winter bird survey sponsored by the Audubon Society in February, too.
- Go Stargazing
Thousands of stars sparkle in the sky on clear evenings, and you can observe these natural wonders year-round. Turn off all your house and outdoor lights, place your telescope on the patio and find constellations. For even more fun, invite your neighbors, friends or the grandkids over to enjoy the stargazing experience.
- Do Yoga
Yoga relaxes your mind and strengthens your body. Take advantage of the fresh air and sunshine when you set up your next solo or group yoga session on your backyard patio. If yoga is not your thing, curl up with a good book on your patio furniture.
- Enjoy a Mini Romantic Getaway
Spend quality time with your sweetheart in your backyard year-round. As you spend time together in the gazebo or under the pergola, in the hot tub or around the campfire, you enjoy a mini getaway that keeps your romance alive and gives you quality time with your sweetheart.
- Host Holiday Gatherings
Throw a holiday party any time of year in your backyard living space. Decorate your patio and yard for the celebration, prepare seasonal foods and beverages, and plan fun games like:
- Bob for apples
- Carve pumpkins
- Decorate cookies
- Paint eggs
- Tell stories or sing songs around the campfire
- Play charades or board games
- Play lawn games like cornhole and horseshoes
- Make a snowman or snow angels
- Have a snowball fight
- Jump in the puddles and dance in the rain
Don’t forget the s’mores! They’re a hit every night of the week whether it’s a special occasion or just a Monday. You can experiment and change out the chocolate for things like peanut butter cups and peppermint patties for a special treat.
- Make Messy Art
Entertain your kids, exercise your creativity and keep the house clean when you do messy art projects on the patio. You can experiment with paint, chalk or other art supplies. When you are finished creating your masterpieces, clean up is easy and you got to spend some quality time together outside.
- Grow a Garden
Turn your patio into a year-round garden with a variety of plants and some patio landscaping. A cold frame protects lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, parsley and other leafy vegetables during the cold winter months. Flowers, herbs and vegetables thrive in containers during the warm summer months. Whether you are looking to grow herbs and vegetables or add splashes of color and decoration, adding landscaping and plants to your patio area will help make it feel cozy and inviting.
Your patio can be an endless source of pleasure and family entertainment year-round. Consider adding onto your patio or utilizing some of these versatile patio ideas to maximize your backyard space and spend more time having fun with your loved ones.