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Entertaining Backyard Ideas on a Budget | Forever Freckled
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backyard ideas on a budget fun outdoor toys for kids

Backyard Makeover – Turning Your Home Into Your Retreat

We all are doing our best to cope and create a new normal. For me, my home has been what has given me a sense of control and normalcy. My anxiety and stress have been deflected into organizing, redoing, and setting up our home so our kids have plenty to do and there are areas for us to enjoy and relax. One project I have taken on with passion and excitement is our backyard. For years, I have been planning to do a grand backyard renovation that would require a lot of savings and a huge amount of time and work. But with COVID-19, my dream backyard renovation project got pushed up to NOW! Since it was now urgent, the backyard makeover would need a much smaller budget and a lot less work. We needed entertaining backyard ideas on a budget and FAST!


I could not be happier with the changes we were able to make on our budget. So today, I thought it would be fun to walk you through my backyard makeover and show you the huge difference it has made for us. And hopefully, you can use these entertaining backyard ideas on a low budget to get quick results for yourself, too. Let’s get started!

1. Artificial Grass

We spent the most money on this part of our backyard makeover. But WOW did it make a huge difference! Previously, we had real grass that always needed to be watered and created a lot of mud and dirt. There were always areas that looked great and other areas that looked terrible.

Artificial grass was also one of our best backyard pool ideas on a budget. We live in Florida, and our kids are always in the pool, playing with the hose, or doing some sort of outdoor water sport. With real grass, once the water came on, the mud was everywhere. Artificial grass has allowed us to do all our water sports without the mess. In addition, I was able to place lawn chairs and the kids’ toys on the grass without worrying about the grass dying.

I love the feeling of the artificial turf on my bare feet. It also cuts down on insects, and the kids can sit and play without getting itchy or dirty. We used an awesome company that was very reasonably priced (turf can be pricey) called Single Finn Construction. They did a great job!artificial grass installed backyard pool ideas on a budget

BBQ and Fire Pit Area

This area was a fun project that the hubs was super excited to work on. And the kids love it, too!

We wanted a “new area” that added another element to the backyard. Look for inexpensive fire pits and Adirondack chairs on Overstock or Joss and Main.

Adding another space in the backyard for an extra activity really created a sense something new and fun to our home. Now our kids get to make s’mores all the time which gives the backyard a vacation feeling year round!backyard seating and bbq fire pit

Fun Kids’ Outdoor Games and Toys

I had a blast picking out fun outdoor games and toys for the kids. Here are some my favorites:

backyard kids toys

Resort Vacation Feel

This feeling was important for me and my husband. When the pandemic started, my husband and I had a cancel some really fun trips we had planned. Health is obviously top priority, and traveling nowadays can be daunting and risky. I wanted to give our backyard a resort type feel so when we come home from work and spend weekends with our family, we feel like we are in a little safe haven, filled with comfort and relaxation while giving us the feel that we are on vacation.

Here’s how I created this feeling in our backyard:

  • Lots of comfy seating – I set up comfy seating everywhere – lounge chairs, couches, club chairs, tables and chairs, bar top and bar stools. I think this creates diversity and comfort.
  • Music – I love to play music all the time at our home. Music creates a warmth and ambience to the house. You do not have to invest in expensive surround sound to play music and create a resort feel ambience. I bought a blue tooth speaker that I take out to the pool during the day and Sonos in our home.
  • Overhead string lights – I love these lights! Every resort always has string lights. These lights are inexpensive and fun!


I love gardening and it is definitely one of my favorite hobbies. I also think gardens create a “resort” type feel. The flowers add beauty and the fresh herbs for cooking gives it the organic, restaurant  feel. I like to joke that we grow fresh herbs on property for our meals.

Gardens can also create science lessons for the kids! Planting the best flowers for bees and butterflies can give you so much to talk about and learn.

So whether you plant a butterfly garden for kids (and adults) to enjoy or one all about herbs for your cooking pleasures, a garden is a must for your backyard landscaping herb garden kids garden club

Final Thoughts on Entertaining Backyard Ideas on a Budget

This time is really challenging. The physical and emotional burden has been overwhelming for me and so many others. Everyone is doing the best they can to create some sort of normalcy and happiness in the chaos.

My home and family has been my main focus. I concentrate on creating projects in my home instead of reading the news or listening to the TV! I’ve been able to deflect my anxiety and stress into something more productive and helpful. I want my home to feel like an escape from what is happening, a safe place to relax, and a place where my family and I are most happy.

For me, my backyard renovation project has done that and more.

I hope these ideas inspire you to deflect some of that stress into something fun. Remember to be kind to yourself and forgiving. Nothing about what we are all experiencing is normal or healthy. It goes against all human nature. Try and remind yourself daily that you are doing a great job and find a simple way to smile.

Stay healthy!swinging backyard fun

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