Backyard Games

Outdoor Living Design Ideas – Friendly competition at home

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Just play. Have Fun. Enjoy the Game.

Are you trying to perfect your short game? Create a home for your neighborhood pick-up league? Or host family-friendly competitions at home? Adding an athletic court creates a convenient place stay fit and play everyday right in your backyard. We've all seen swimming pools and basket ball hoops on the garage; but consider these less common additions:

luxury landscaping private backyard putting green

Practice your short game at home.

Putting Green

This family loves to entertain and wanted a resort-style outdoor space for family and friends to enjoy. The kid-friendly end of the back yard includes the pool, fire pit (s’mores are a favorite), and a putting green-rather than a althletic court for basketball or tennis-because the homeowner thinks golf is a good game for his kids to learn. It seems to be working. One of the sons is taking golf lessons.

This project has an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, water features, swimming pool, hot tub…and for the younger set, there’s a fire pit and putting green. This project is a five-time award winner garnering awards from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, National Association of the Remodeling Industry – Mn Chapter and Regional, and National Association of Landscape Professionals (formerly PLANET).

Minneapolis backyard horseshoe pitch

Backyard horseshoe pitch is the go-to spot in this Minneapolis neighborhood.

Horseshoe Pitch

This Minneapolis homeowner doesn’t like tennis or golf but was looking for an outdoor pastime and found horseshoes. Located in a small side yard, this regulation horseshoe pitch is a favorite in the neighborhood. The clang of the horseshoes draws neighbors to the home in a friendly spirit of competition. One eighty-year-old neighbor said the sound reminded her of her schoolgirl days when her father and uncles would play in the evenings after dinner. The retaining walls and paver patios serve as gallery space when the game is on.

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Magical life-sized chessboard in the woods.

Magical life-sized chessboard in the woods.

Chess Club Isn't Just for "Inside Kids"

These Woodbury, MN homeowners have five grandsons who are all into playing chess. The board is made of natural stone. The chess pieces are weighted with sand. Rather than taking up space in the yard, this chess board is tucked in the wooded area behind the home. The small boulder wall provides seating for spectators.

Basketball Court

This family loves hockey and basketball. Between the tall shade trees and the barn-style garage they also love their beautiful back yard. So, when it was time for a new driveway they needed a design that would let them play the games that they love, without having a negative visual impact. Because the lines are a part of the paver pattern, not painted on, they will never wear off or need to be repainted. Paver driveways rarely crack, and if they do it’s possible to restore the driveway by replacing just the affected pavers. Because of the large scale of the installation, it took plenty of patience and a steady hand to make the basing consistent and level. Tracing out the perfect arcs of the 3-point line was the next challenge. Once all the lines were drawn, the crew removed the affected pavers and carefully cut each brick to size. Looks as good today as when it was installed.

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