You know how small kids abandon a present to go play with the box? Backyard glamping is kind of like abandoning the camping gear and just playing in a blanket fort in your backyard. Glamping sounds fancy, and it can be if that feels like fun to your family, but it’s really just making a shelter outside, and then treating it like it’s your new living room. Move outside for a day or three. Bring the coffee table, so all your food has a place to go. Sit on pillows or rolled up towels. Dig up the twinkle lights or that lantern you never use. Play with what you have on hand and don’t check Pinterest.
I try to minimize trips inside, so I pack food and a few activities into a cooler and plastic tub, but then some days it’s easier just to get outside in the morning and not have everything planned. Cheese boards are perfect for lazy lunches. (I can eat my fermented cauliflower pickles, the kids can gorge on olives, everyone eats some cheese and bread.) I try to maximize my time spent lounging and knitting, so, yes, the kids run a bit wild, or maybe they stare at the sky for three hours while listening to an audiobook. Recently, I have been laying out simple art supplies (coloring pages, watercolors or some graph paper and markers) while we are outside, and the kids will wander over and make something when the mood strikes.
Backyard glamping is not about sleeping outside, it’s about moving into your new, temporary outdoor living room. So spend the day outside and then go sleep in your own bed. Better yet, put the kids to bed (if you have little ones) and take the baby monitor outside so you can sit by the campfire or eat dessert under the twinkle lights. But breakfast outside is a treat, and worth it to try. We make the coffee inside, but bring it outside to drink a hot cup on a cool summer morning, before the day reaches its heat and the kids reach full volume.