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Let’s face it, we all want to impress the pack. When the family comes over to our house, we want them to see us living well in a nice home. For most of us, this is not a competitive instinct but rather a natural result of the fact that we care quite a bit about what our family thinks of us, whether we want to admit it or not.
Here are a few ideas that can help you turn that nice big backyard into the perfect gathering place for the family. If you follow this advice, I have no doubt that you will soon find your home to be the new favorite spot for family gatherings.
To begin with, you will need to keep the yard well-maintained. Get out the lawnmower and the weed eater and trim that lawn down to a reasonable length. You may consider acquiring a riding lawn mower if your yard is really large. Get a set of hedge clippers to deal with those really problematic spots. With that done, you need to consider fencing. Any kind is better than nothing, but if you can afford it, you should invest in a good high fence that provides a greater degree of privacy. Even if people are not trying to hide anything from the outside world, privacy just makes people feel more comfortable.
If you’re into the environmentalism thing, you might want to consider the use of Trex fencing. This is a special kind of fencing that is made from a mixture of recycled wood and recycled plastic. As such, these panels are produced with no need for deforestation.
Now that your yard is clean and secluded, it’s time to consider the fun stuff. First of all, you will need a grill of some kind. There is absolutely no question about that. If you’re going to have the whole clan over, you will need to feed them. The type doesn’t matter that much, but you should make sure to get one that is large enough to serve your needs. If you are really on a budget, you can dig clay from the ground and form it into bricks to make a small mudbrick stove/oven. When you use the stove for the first time, make sure you burn a good hot fire in it, so that the clay can fully cook and harden.
And speaking of fire, what gathering place would be complete without a good fire pit? Everyone loves sitting around a roaring fire, whether socializing or just enjoying the night air. You might want to build or buy some benches to set around the firepit. If you can’t afford to do that, just roll some old tree logs to sit on. I recommend building a wall of earth around your firepit both to protect it from the wind and to keep it from spreading.
Now you should think about setting up some amenities to entertain the kids. In the summertime, a water slide is great fun for the kids. On a hot day, they can and will keep themselves entertained for hours with one of these. Depending on your preferences, you may also consider setting up some target areas so that kids can play with their slingshots…under adult supervision, of course!
But if you really want your family to be impressed, you might consider building a literal hobbit hole as a playhouse. This is nowhere near as difficult as it looks. If you live in a rural area, you can probably get all the materials you need for free. The main materials required to build this structure are rocks and clay, neither of which are difficult to find.
Last but not least, we should consider activities. You should think of a wide variety of activities that your family enjoys and make space for them. For instance, maybe your family really enjoys basketball. In this case, you might try to add a small basketball court to your yard. Or maybe your family prefers to play board games? That’s fine as well. You can construct a canopy with a gaming table and some chairs under it. Games like shuffleboard and cornhole are also easy and cheap to set up.