Have you realized this summer is almost over? I just did and was thinking it would be nice to do one more special something with my family.
I came up with a bunch of things we could do, but after looking at my budget realized a full blown vacation wasn’t feasible.
So instead of a full blown vacation I decided to use some creativity. Once I figured out how much I could spend I decided to create a mini backyard beach vacation.
For a fraction of the cost of a vacation, I turned my backyard into a mini beach destination we can enjoy for the rest of the summer.
When I was a girl growing up in Queens, New York I’d spend summer weekends with my family at a beach nearby.
My favorite part was playing in the ocean with my brothers and cousins while the adults hung out under a shaded barbecue hut, laughing, talking and cooking.
I’m 15 hours from the beaches of my childhood, but I still want to pass on those same mini family vacation experiences to my children.
Instead of driving 300 miles to the beach I decided to bring the beach to our house by creating a mini backyard vacation space.
The first thing I did was set up a twelve foot by three foot pool which is the perfect size for a family of five to swim around and cool off.
To make sure we had drinks nearby I made a floating beverage cooler and individual beverage barges which I filled with COKE® minis. Let me show you how easy they were to make.
DIY Floating Beverage Cooler
To make the floating cooler I used:
- rectangle plastic container
- pool noodle
- box cutter
1. First I cut four pieces of my pool noodle slightly shorter than the sides of my box.
2. Next, I threaded a double strand of yarn through the pool noodle holes.
3. Then I positioned on pieces of pool noodles on each side of my box and tied the two ends of my string together.
Floating Beverage Barge
To create floating beverage barge for the COKE® minis, I used:
- hot glue gun/sticks
- pool noodle
- box cutter
1. I cut three pieces of the pool noodle in the following lengths (10 inches, 12 inches, and 3 inches.
2. Then I cut the 10 inch and 3 inch pieces in half lengthwise and the remaining piece in half widthwise.
3. The two pieces I cut width wise were glued together side by side with the flat side down.
4. Next, the I glued the two 6 inch pieces onto the ends of the two pieces I just glued.
5. For the last step, I positioned COKE® mini in the center of the barge and traced a circle around the bottom of the can then cut it out.
6. Finally, I glued the 3 inch pieces to the barge to work as supports for the COKE® mini cans.
Mini Backyard Beach Vacation Set Up
To mimic a beach feel I spread some playground sand around. I used some to create a pathway to the pool and some to surround our beach towel area.
I placed two lanterns at the bottom of the pool ladder. I used flameless candles in them so that this space would be illuminated on nights when we swim after the sun sets.
To create a comfy sitting area, I laid out a blanket, beach towels and pillows.
We get extreme sun and heat here so this space will definitely make us feel like we’re at the beach.
To mimic the feel of palm trees, I brought houseplants with droopy leaves outside and placed them around our blanket.
I also bought out a wicker basket to keep extra towels organized.
Pulling together this space was not hard at all. I spent an hour looking at pictures of beach picnics to get some inspiration and made a list of the elements I could realistically bring into my space to make it feel as beach like as possible.
It took about me about three days, in between my normal responsibilities, to set up the pool and spread the sand.
For three days of work we’ve already enjoyed a week’s worth of mini backyard beach vacations. When I tell you that my kids are thoroughly enjoying this space, I mean it and feel like the memories were worth every penny.
They’ve been out here everyday since I put this backyard beach space together and I’m looking forward to it getting a lot of use before school starts back up.
Ok, I’ll admit it. Im REALLY enjoying it too!