It's what I like to say "outdoors" season — not spring, not summer, but outdoors. It's that magical time of year when it's just warm enough to be out without a jacket, which quickly morphs into that if-I-don't-get-some-water-soon-I'm-going-to-die-out-here time of year. It's equal parts spring and fall with a healthy dash of summer thrown in. You know the vibe: Hanging out in the pool, chilling in the backyard, chasing fireflies until the last bit of sun dips below the horizon.
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If it's got you excited for tiki torches, games in the grass and adult beverages, you're not alone. And, if it has you thinking about ways to jazz up your outdoor space, you're not alone there either. Last year's décor is so ... last year. Don't fret, though. You don't have to spend big bucks to get big upgrades to your outdoor space. Look no further than Amazon for 37 affordable ways — from backyard blankets to gnome-eating dinosaurs — that will help you put your own (inexpensive) spin on your outdoor oasis.
Ham It Up In This Hammock
One of the most-loved outdoor items that I purchased years ago was a hammock and stand. This listing won't get you the stand, but if you have the right setup in your backyard, you may not need it. What you will get is a sturdy cotton hammock that can hold up to 450 pounds and — better yet — transport you to your favorite beach paradise in your mind, even if you're lying in a backyard in Ohio.
Light Up The Night
One of the things I hate most about traditional candles is how quickly they can burn down if you're using them very often. No such issues here with this set of flameless candles. You control the "flame" via remote in an assortment of sizes that will look great on your patio or deck. These are realistic, wax-look candles, but they're weatherproof so you can use them indoors or out.
Don't Project On Me
Amazon / arthur
There's just something about watching a show or movie outside that makes it more fun than doing it indoors. Just think: Wouldn't the kids love to watch their favorite characters while hanging out in the swimming pool? This mini-projector will do the trick. Once priced at several hundred dollars, mini-projectors like this one have dropped to being supremely affordable, making you the coolest parent on the block.
Bite On This Mosquito Repeller
This is a step up from that bug spray your parents used to coat you in. This mosquito repeller is rechargeable and covers an area of 20 feet while chasing away biting pests that can ruin your outdoor plans. The unit functions for 12 hours on a single charge and uses a scent-free protectant that responds to the heat of the battery to chase mosquitos out of your personal space.
Show Off Your Bloomers
Amazon / Joe
This Amazon find is an inexpensive bamboo plant stand that can hold up to six of your favorite flowers or plants — indoors or out. According to the description, the installation is easy and the bamboo design is light enough to move around as you change your mind but sturdy enough to accommodate the evidence of your green thumb.
Protect The Indoors Outdoors With This Video Doorbell
Can't stomach the cost of the more popular video doorbells? I hear you. This one, from battery big boy Energizer, is an affordable option that has all the features you're looking for with a price tag that won't break your piggy bank. This video doorbell uses your existing doorbell's wiring with two-way audio, night vision, local and cloud storage, and a convenient smartphone app.
Prop Your Feet Up On This Ottoman
Do you always find yourself needing just one more seat, but don't really have anywhere to stash it away in the meantime? These inflatable ottomans are ideal for just that scenario. Available in a variety of red patterns as well as a green leaf and a gray, these stools give you extra space when you need them and can be deflated when you don't. (An air pump is included.)
Upgrade Your Pool Party With Floating Beer Pong
Why play beer pong standing in the heat when you can play it with this floating beer pong table that'll be the hit of your next pool party? This six-foot floating "table" features sideline cup holders, six pong balls, and a full 10-cup pong set-up on each end. When the game is over, remove the cups and you'll have an additional pool float you can lounge on.
No Foliage? No Problem With These Artificial Bundles
I admittedly do not have a green thumb, but it's not for lack of trying. I love the look that flowers add to almost any space, but I cannot keep real ones healthy to save my life. Maybe what I need are artificial flowers like this set of six bundles. Go with green just to add a bit of life to your outdoor area or jazz it up with blooms in shades of magenta, yellow and orange-red. No one ever has to know the difference.
Belly Up To Your Own Portable Bar
Whether you're a real mixologist, a budding bartender, or a novice who just wants to look cool, this portable bar table has you covered. It all fits in a convenient carrying bag and features a black skirt that hides what's really going on. This bar table is 40 inches tall and can accommodate up to 65 pounds, which is a lot of top-shelf options ... or White Claw because we all know you're not that fancy.
Upgrade Your Tiki Torches
It's time to get rid of the cheap tiki torches from Walmart, do you hear me? These six-inch molded glass table torches will give you the same amount of light but in a more grown-up type packaging. The vibrant colors and smart design go with just about any outdoor décor and offer up to five hours of burn time. Grab more than one set to deliver a really impressive light display.
Have A (Bocce) Ball
Whether you're trying to relive your glory days as a high school athlete or you don't have a single athletic bone in your body, bocce ball is the addition you need to your backyard fun this summer. This set can be enjoyed by two to eight players and includes eight bocce balls, one white pallino, a measuring rope, and a carrying bag. Best of all, bocce ball is fun and easy to learn at any age.
Be Picnic Prepared With This Storage Caddy
Warmer weather is all about al fresco dining, in my opinion. Eliminate one step in meal preparation by keeping your necessities close at hand with this storage caddy. There's room for utensils, napkins, straws, and even salt and pepper shakers in one easy, grab-and-go system. Not interested in using it outdoors? No sweat. It makes the perfect cabinet organizer as well.
This Extra-Large Blanket is Perfectly Portable
Maybe you want it for your backyard so you can lay out and look at the stars or maybe you want to throw it in your car for picnics, beach trips, or concerts. Whatever you choose to use it for, this extra-large blanket with built-in straps and handle will be convenient for dozens of occasions. Comfortably seat four adults on its three-layer style and then fold it up to just 6 inches by 12 inches and stow it away.
Add Style To Your Outdoor Tables
Sure, you could eat on a plain white table, but why would you if you can add a touch of style with one of these fitted vinyl tablecloths? Made for a variety of table sizes, it comes in a burst of fun patterns like the one pictured, white marble, or traditional checkered picnic-style options. They are waterproof and wipeable and feature flannel backing to protect your surfaces.
Get Kids In The Swing of Things
Why should adults have all the fun? Wait, I know, it's because we pay all the bills, work stressful jobs, and deserve to have a little fun. That aside, ahem, consider grabbing one of these pod swing seats to create a cozy corner for your littles. It comes in a variety of fun colors for less than 40 bucks and has a host of cool features including a pocket and inflatable pillow.
My Dinosaur Statue Ate Your Garden Gnomes
I'm not going to lie: I've never been much of a fan of garden gnomes. I know, I know, there are people out there who feel strongly about them so let's not turn it into a debate about gnomes vs. dinosaurs, O.K.? This gnome-eating dinosaur garden statue inserts a bit of whimsy into your flower beds and patio spaces. Just keep your other gnomes a safe distance away, you know?
You Can Sit Under My (Lighted) Umbrella
Patio umbrellas are great; a necessity, really, if you have a backyard and spend much time there. The problem is, it can be tricky to enjoy them once the sun starts going down since the umbrella blocks out all light outside of it. (That's what it's supposed to do, right?) This patio umbrella light clamps right onto your umbrella's pole, providing the perfect amount of light at any time of the day or night.
Add Some Color To Your World With This Wind Chime
This isn't your traditional wind chime. In fact, it's really more like a work of art for your yard than a wind chime or mobile or whatever other terms you've ever known it by. This color-changing décor can be hung from a tree, fence, or the awning of a home or patio with relative ease, providing an ever-changing display of colors for up to six to eight hours on a full charge.
Add A Little Privacy Just About Anywhere
Not all of us live in multiple acres where our nearest neighbor is football fields away. In fact, some of us live way too close to our neighbors and, while that might be nice sometimes, sometimes we also just want our own space. This artificial ivy privacy screen lets you keep prying out off of your porch or balcony and gives you some secluded space you can truly call all your own.
Shield Yourself From The Sun
Florida, where I live, averages nearly 240 days of sunshine each year. And, don't get me wrong, I love sunshine. But, sometimes you just need to sit in a bit of shade with a cool breeze blowing. This sun shade works great for patios and backyards where you need a respite from the unlimited UV rays. These covers come in a zillion sizes and colors from cream to terra cotta.
Give Your Green Thumb A Green House
If you know, you know. Plant people just can't get enough of all things green. Treat yourself (or someone you love) to your very own walk-in greenhouse. The concept for this is genius, with both indoor and outdoor usage options, sturdy shelves, and a completely walk-in design. Extend your growing season however long you want for your plants, seeds, herbs, vegetables, or flowers.
Add Fire To Your Tabletop
There's no wrong place to add fire to your outdoor oasis (except maybe in a forest, don't do that), least of all your tabletop. This tabletop fire bowl adds a bit of a "wow" factor to your dining experience with a 360-degree viewing orientation. These table bowls are vent-free and require no wood, gas, or electricity. Grab it in a variety of natural colors and even a few different shapes.
Float Me A Drink
Why should life-sized pool floats have all the fun? These inflatable drink holders are equal parts fun and functional in a mini size, and are lightweight and portable, great for keeping your drink handy in the pool, hot tub, lake, ocean, and more. Fully inflatable in just seconds, these mini-inflatables would also make super cute party favors for backyard parties and summer soirees.
Pull The Curtain On These Sun-Blocking Shades
Porch, pergola, cabana — no problem! These sun-blocking curtains will add a touch of sophistication and privacy wherever you spend time outdoors — even on an apartment porch or balcony. These waterproof indoor-outdoor curtains come in blush, seafoam, vanilla, white and gray in a set of two in any size (or décor) you need for your space. One reviewer said: "We absolutely love these! Just ordered the rest to complete our gazebo."
Stick It To Hot Dog and Marshmallow Roasts
If you've never lived in the country (or been camping), you don't know the struggle of trying to find just the right width of sticks on which you can spear hot dogs and marshmallows. And, you still won't know the struggle if you buy this eight-pack of roasting sticks. These sticks are light years ahead of what we used as kids, featuring a telescopic handle that extends from 11 to 32 inches.
A Feeder and Bath Designed To Attract Birds
I love bird watching and this sunflower-shaped feeder and birdbath looks like the perfect addition to an outdoor space. (It's also just an attractive piece by itself!) Easily assemble this set, which includes a feeder tray, artificial leaf, insert the plug, and connecting tube. Then, sit back and wait for a variety of feathered friends to visit you.
Plant Your Flag Anywhere You Want
A few years ago, I was obsessed with garden flags. I think I probably had two dozen different patterns and designs for everything from summer to Christmas. This boxwood wreath "welcome" flag can work for any time of the year and is double-sided so it can be viewed from either direction. These flags are resistant to rain, snow, pollen, and sunlight so you can enjoy them when and wherever.
Give Her The Moon Solar Light
There's something supremely calming about the design of this crackled glass moon solar light. Don't worry about a power source; the sun gives this solar light plenty of juice during the day so it can glow automatically for up to six hours at night. Made of stainless steel and glass, it's a picturesque addition to a garden, courtyard, or even the pathway to your front door.
Keep Brews Cool Poolside With This Portable Bar
I can't get over the versatility of this piece. Designed as a cool bar, which features a bistro tabletop and a nearly eight-gallon built-in cooler, the tabletop can be adjusted to be used simply as a side table. Available in brown or gray, you can hide up to 40 cans of soda, seltzer, or beer in its base with a weather-resistant rattan-look texture. If you don't have room for a cooler and a table, this is a one-stop solution.
These String Lights Add A Touch of Romance
String lights add a great ambiance to any setting, don't they? I have them on my balcony, which is nice for porch sitting when the sun goes down and you need just a hint of light. This set is 25 feet in length with 26 Edison bulbs, but you can also snag it in 50-ft. and 100-ft. options in white, black, and green. Compatible with a dimmer, they're easy to install and can stand up to weather challenges.
Throw Pillows Aren't Just For Indoors
Ask anybody who knows me and they'll tell you I have a real obsession with throw pillows. I've yet to buy any for outdoors, but that might change with this two-piece throw pillow set. I love these in teal, violet, or orange, but they come in a host of other colors, too, from beige to navy. Made of light, breathable material, they're both water-resistant and dust-proof so you can use them around the pool or garden with no issue.
Get Your Grill On
You don't want to buy a big grill. I get it. Maybe you don't have the space or you don't want an extra "appliance" to clean. This portable folding grill solves two problems: It gives you a place to cook your favorite foods outdoors in a sleek package that folds away when you're not using it. This grill relies on charcoal and features both folding legs and convenient handles for less than $25.
Perk Up Your Porch With This Striped Rug
There's no wrong time or place for stripes, which add a pulled-together look to just about any space. This striped rug comes in black and white or gray and white and has some pretty cool features like being reversible and machine washable. One promising review: "I usually don't write reviews so soon but I am really loving this outdoor accent rug! It's super thick and I can tell it's going to hold up well."
First Stop To Outdoor Living: A Patio Umbrella
Are you even doing outdoor living right if you don't have a patio umbrella? It seems like a no-brainer to me, giving you a place to retreat from the sun while gathering with friends and family. Patio umbrellas aren't usually cheap, though, unless you're looking at this one on Amazon, which you can grab for less than $50. (And, hey, that black-and-white striped one would look great with that rug we just discussed.)
A Deck Box In A Smaller Size
You've seen deck boxes, right? They're usually enormous and take up a ton of space, though they do give you a good bit of storage. This mini storage deck box does double-duty as both an end table and a storage solution, in an all-weather, double-walled design. The best thing about this option to me is that you can buy them to match the larger deck boxes you may already have.
Every Outdoor Space Needs A Fire Pit
Roasting marshmallows. Telling scary stories. Warming up on a chilly night. Fire pits serve a host of purposes, all of them good. This one is sturdy and durable, with an all-weather design that's perfect for your backyard, camping trip, tailgate or beach party. I love that it comes with a spark screen for safety and a fire poker, and that it's lightweight enough to move around as much as you want.