Backyard Recreational Ideas for Your Family – Summer 2020

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With social distancing in effect across the country, many people are hesitant to participate in organized sports activities, work out at a gym, or go to their favorite parks and nature trails. Many vacation plans have to be scraped.

But people still need the benefits of exercise year-round, no matter what may be going on in the world. And exercising and playing together as a family helps to increase the bonds and improves the mental and physical wellbeing of everyone who participates.

Thankfully, there are still fun things to do together, even at home!

Having family outdoor recreation activities at home can be much less expensive than going to commercial facilities and cuts down on transportation costs and time, as well. It’s much more convenient to have opportunities in your own backyard than to have to fight traffic and coordinate schedules.

14 Social Distancing Exercise and Recreation Ideas

Some ideas for outdoor home improvement projects to help the family enjoy sports and recreation together while staying at home include:

(Some of these ideas are DIY projects, others may require handyman work or installation by professionals.)

  • Horseshoe pit
    • $200-500+
  • Soccer goals
    • $30-300+
  • Sprinkler
    • $8-60+
  • Swingset 
    • $200-$2000+ 
  • Archery course/archery range
    • Each target costs between $10-$500
  • Volleyball nets 
    • Portable nets
      • $82-$265
    • Semi-permanent nets
      • $400-2000+ plus labor
  • A basketball hoop
    • Portable hoop
      • about $120-$150 
    • Permanent basketball hoop
      • $300-$21000 plus labor
    • Basketball half-court/concrete pad
      • $3100-5200 including installation
  • Outdoor fire pit
    • $300-1400 including materials and labor
  • Miniature golf backyard course or hole
    • $500- $10,000+ including materials and labor.
  • Obstacle course/ninja course
    • $500-$5000+ including materials and labor
  • Halfpipe for skateboarding
    • $800-3200 for the ramp materials plus labor
  • Above-ground swimming pool
    • $600-3500 pool only
    • $750-$2500 extra for labor
  • Tennis court
    • $5200-11000+ including installation for a home court
  • In-ground swimming pool
    • $28,000-55,000+ installed

Before making a significant purchase, be sure to check out the customer reviews online and find a handyman or other contractor to get exact quotes for labor and materials on the type of job you are interested in.

Close-up of soccer ball on short green grass with blurred background of trees and sunset
Photo by Tevarak Phanduang on Unsplash

What About Return on Investment?

A fire pit area can provide a good return on investment. But really specialized improvements may not provide as much. Not everyone wants to have a miniature golf course, a basketball court, a swimming pool, or a tennis court. 

A swimming pool may even be seen as a liability because insurance costs may be higher, there is a lot of maintenance required, and there are risks of other people being injured on the property.

It’s okay to do family sports projects that may not bring a large return on investment as long as the family thinks of it as an investment for their health, fun, friends, and family bonding, not a financial investment.

Who Should Invest in Outdoor Recreational Projects?

Everyone can benefit from outdoor additions and recreational projects. Most children will be drawn to these outdoor activities once they are in place. But families who like to enjoy the outdoors and sports together will probably benefit the most for these types of additions. And having a large yard is a huge help for those who want to invest in recreation and outdoor improvements.

People need to consider several major factors before making a big investment in outdoor recreation additions:

  • How long do you plan to live in this house?
  • Do you have enough space for the addition?
  • How much will your family realistically use the addition?
  • What liabilities might you have if you add this improvement?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much maintenance and upkeep will be required?
  • Are there any restrictions against what you desire to install in your town or with your Home Owner’s Association?
  • Read reviews by people who have done projects like the one you are considering and see what all of the pros and cons may be.
  • Will you be doing the work yourself, hiring a handyman to do the job, or involving a contractor?

If you can’t do the installation yourself, a trusted handyman near you may be able to help tackle some of these smaller projects for you at a reasonable cost.

Handyman services are considered essential services in most states. Check with your handyman to see what types of work they are doing now and ensure they are following the latest CDC and OSHA guidelines.

Pink piggy bank with white background
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash


Before doing anything elaborate, it can be wise to speak with next-door neighbors who may be affected by your project. Be sure to do your research and get multiple quotes and referrals before committing to an expensive project.

And please do check with your homeowner’s insurance before committing to an outdoor improvement to see how your insurance premiums may be impacted.

Looking for help with your backyard projects in Columbia, SC?

We’d love to help you install some fun recreational equipment in your yard.

Please contact us today for a quote!


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