Budget to Turn Your Backyard Into a Playground for Grown-Ups

Want to turn your backyard into a big-kid’s playground? From lawn games to ping-pong, here’s everything you’ll need to save for to create a play space of wonderment.
Grown-Ups Playground Hero

With it being the peak of summer, what better time to get into some outdoor shenanigans with your favorite cohorts? You actually don’t have to venture far. In fact, you can create a romping ground in your own backyard.

This budget was inspired by the eclectic Hicksville Trailer Palace, which has just about every toy for young-at-heart grownups you can come up with. To create your own backyard paradise, you’ll need to round up a few things to create a play space of wonderment. Here’s what you’ll need to budget to turn your backyard—no matter how big or small—into a big kid’s paradise.

Darts

If you want some chill, low-key fun, darts are pretty foolproof. All you’ll need is a mechanism for hanging a target board, whether with some sturdy rope or against a wall. You can come up with offbeat themes for playing darts, such as a version where the rules are reversed, and those with poor aim will have advantage. If you’re having people over during an all-ages block party or summer soiree, you can tack small, colorful balloons on to the target board and little ones can win prizes when a balloon goes pop.

Darts and dartboard
$80

Fire pit

No adult playground is complete without a fire pit. Get cozy and share eerie tales and summer music jams while loading up on potato-chip s’mores (yes, this is an actual thing). Whether you opt for a wood or gas fire pit is a matter of preference, although the warm smells of a wood-burning pit can create more of a camp-like feel. If you plan on moving the pit around in cooler months, you might want to get a fire pit that’s portable and lighter weight.

Fire pit
$300

Ping-pong table

Level up on your table-tennis skills with a ping-pong table. For nighttime fun, turn on the twinkly strands of backyard lights and throw in some LED balls for a round of futuristic ping-pong. To change things up, you can make a few minor tweaks to play table hockey or basketball on its surface. If you’re limited in space, you can get a fold-up version, so that you can safely store it away to make room for other hijinks in your backyard.

Backyard Adult Playground

Ping-pong table
$200

Lawn games

Carve out a space in your yard for lawn games such as bocce ball, horseshoes, and lawn bowling. There’s also a yard version of ginormous dominoes. The great thing is that you don’t need a whole lot of space to roam to play these games. Plus, they’re easy to switch up in case you feel a wave of boredom coming on. Add some LED lights or glow sticks to up your nighttime vision and play during all hours.

Lawn games
$200

Vending machine

Having a vending machine will not only up the kitsch factor, but will also keep you self-contained so you won’t have to trek very far to grab a snack. Decorate it with some baubles and fake grass to give it a bit of kitsch. New ones can cost a pretty penny, so you might want to hunt around for a used one. Vending machines are great in that they can also be used to hold other small items, such as toys, magazines, or trading cards.

Vending machine
$800

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