Family outside with Samsung The Terrace TV

When we went house hunting almost a decade ago, one of the reasons we chose the home we live in now was because of its big backyard and the potential to make it into an outdoor oasis. While the house itself isn’t very big, over the years, we have transformed the backyard into a complete other room of the home. We built out the deck to two levels, added outdoor furniture and outdoor lighting, a fire table and patio heater, outdoor speakers, and even a TV. Bottom line: you can make both your backyard and garden, or even just a small patio, into a gorgeous space where you spend most of your time during the warmer months.

We use the backyard for entertaining, outdoor games, watching TV, working, having dinner – you name it. How can you enjoy all of these same experiences in your own space, creating your very own summer oasis? Here are 6 product categories that can help make it happen.

1. Portable Bluetooth speakers

JBL Flip 6

We are rarely ever in our backyard without music playing, and while we have a full whole-home audio set-up that includes several outdoor speakers that are permanently placed on the decks and down in the garden (some cleverly hidden rock speakers!), you can achieve this in a much simpler (not to mention more affordable) way through portable Bluetooth speakers. Look for ones that are rugged and ideally waterproof or at least splashproof (especially if you have a pool).

Designed specifically for use outdoors (though you can certainly use these inside, too!), make sure it has long battery life so you don’t have to worry about rushing to recharge or plug in the speaker before the party ends. Some models can be daisy-chained together, which means you can wirelessly connect multiple to play music in sync and place them in different spots throughout the backyard. Our portable Bluetooth speaker buying guide offers great tips to help you make the right selection.

2. Outdoor TV


As mentioned, one of the technologies we have in our backyard is an outdoor television. In fact, we use it so much, we upgraded to a larger and newer model this year! While it might initially sound like a silly idea – don’t you want to go outside to get away from sedentary, passive activity? – you’d be surprised how much you’ll use it. Whether it’s watching the big game while enjoying the outdoors or keeping on top of the daily news while barbecuing dinner, outdoor TVs add another element of entertainment to the outdoor experience. We’ll often enjoy Sunday BBQ dinners outside while watching a fun family-friendly show or movie.

Find one that’s a decent size for where you’re going to place it, and that isn’t too big or too small to see from where you’ll be sitting. Our deck, for example, has vertical wooden slats so we were limited in the size based on what would fit between them (we opted for a 43-inch model). Outdoor TVs have covered ports for weatherproofing and you’ll want one with easy access to slot in a flash drive or media streaming stick if you aren’t wiring it for cable. If you can at least connect it to the home’s Wi-Fi, however, and it’s a smart outdoor TV, you should be able to access your favourite streaming services. You could also use an outdoor TV to play back a slideshow of photos during a themed party.

Alternatively, consider a portable projector and projection screen, white blanket, or even just a light-coloured wall and watch movies, sports games, and more outdoors. This set-up is particularly great for making your backyard your own “sit-in” movie theatre once the sun goes down. We usually bring one outside and set up a white projector sheet on the fence once a year for a special movie night under the stars.

3. Water fun and relaxation is part of the summer oasis

Bestway above ground pool

Not everyone has the budget nor the space to build a pool in their backyard. What’s more, the upkeep is a lot of work (and money!) as anyone who owns a pool will tell you. But what do you do on those sweltering days when you wish you had somewhere to soak your feet or cool down? There are plenty of affordable above-ground pools, including inflatables, you can consider. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate everyone in the family, more if you plan to have parties. Determine where you’re going to position it and plan for the time it will take to fill it as well.

Conversely, nothing says “backyard or patio oasis” like a hot tub or sauna. There are inflatable ones that can heat up quickly, and even have bubbling and massaging air jets. It’s the perfect way to cap off a long day of work or physical activity with the kids. We have always talked about potentially getting a hot tub for the backyard, and it might very well be our next major purchase for that space.

Growing up, one of the fun at-home activities we always enjoyed was putting on our bathing suits and running back and forth through the sprinkler. Nowadays, local splash pads are all the rage where kids can effectively do the same thing. Go all out with a full-on inflatable water park that has slides, climbing walls, and more.

4. Outdoor shade for your summer oasis

Conversational set with lighted umbrella on patio

One aspect about creating a backyard, patio, or garden oasis that is often overlooked is ensuring that you have a nicely shaded area. There’s nothing worse than going outdoors only to find nowhere to sit that isn’t completely covered in bright sunshine. If your goal is to work on your tan, this might not bother you. But if you want to read a book, get some work done, or just enjoy a cool drink and the lovely warmth, you’ll want some shade.

We have a retractable awning for our upper deck, but on the lower deck and in the garden, we use patio umbrellas. This ensures there’s at least one section or seat that can be shaded for comfort. I love offset umbrellas since they sit completely out of the way and can be adjusted and angled as needed.

You can even find lighted umbrellas that gain light from the sun during the day then flick on when you need them at night for a game of cards, a late-night dinner, or just some good conversation.

5. Furniture and decor

The best way to turn your garden, patio, or backyard into a summer oasis is with comfortable and inviting furniture and decor. Our outdoor furniture buying guide and patio makeover buying guide provides everything you need to know about setting up your outdoor space to maximize the fun, entertainment, and relaxation. Start with the right seating, whether it’s an outdoor dining table, conversation set, or both. Then, consider things like smart lighting, side tables, patio umbrellas, decorative cushions, even hammocks and swings. For a smaller patio, you might be fine with a couple of Adirondack chairs or a patio swing.

Patio conversation set

Start with the biggest pieces of furniture, plot out where everything will go, then go from there. In my backyard, we have a dining table that seats eight on the top level along with a barbecue and two small side tables. On the lower deck, we have an L-shaped conversation set with an offset umbrella. I love modular sets because you can move them around as desired based on what you’re doing and how many people are there. We also have a fire table in the middle, which comes in handy for late-night conversations and drinks outside. It not only provides warmth but also lighting, and can keep the mosquitoes at bay. Speaking of heat, finishing off the set-up on the upper deck, especially for extending the outdoor fun through fall, is a patio heater. I’d also suggest having some foldable outdoor chairs packed away to accommodate extra guests as needed. For kids to play and get their hands dirty with sand, art, and other messy projects, we have a picnic table on the grass where they can go wild!

6. Outdoor games

Cornhole game

Who needs an amusement park when you can set up your own outdoor gaming area at home? There’s lots you can do to make your outdoor space super fun for kids and adults, alike. You can pick and choose what you want to play when or set up a number of games for a fun day of family or neighbourly competition. Who can rack up the most points? Maybe the prize is control of the music playlist for an hour, or loser has to refill everyone’s drinks all night.

Choose from classic outdoor party games like croquet and bocce to outdoor discs, aqua golf, basketball, and even tossing games to bring that carnival feel. Along with a small basketball net, we have a cornhole game for the backyard, soccer nets and balls, and an axe throwing game that has become a new family favourite.

It’s easy to make your outdoor space a summer oasis

Whether you have a small or large backyard, a deck, or even just a tiny patio, there are plenty of ways you can use the space to create a beautiful summer oasis. It might just be a single piece of furniture, like a hammock or conversation set. Maybe it’s just an eye-catching fire table that turns your outdoor space into the perfect room for cool nights.

Whether an “oasis” to you means a spot that can keep the kids busy for hours or somewhere to relax with your feet up while watching the football game, there’s a way to create the perfect space at home.

Check out plenty of ways to make your backyard or garden summer oasis a reality at Best Buy Online.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.