These must-haves make an ordinary backyard feel like a mini vacation. 

By Emily Hsieh
June 15, 2018

No pool? No problem. Create a cooling oasis with some clever water-centric activities. Amp up the joy of running through sprinklers by tossing beach balls back and forth through the spray. A water table filled with plastic bowls, measuring cups, and floating toys will keep toddlers engaged for hours (or close to it). Offer extra shade with umbrellas: If half your yard is shaded, estimate one umbrella per 8 to 10 people; if you have zero coverage, go with one umbrella per five or six people. Party-rental companies offer umbrellas that can be borrowed for about $20 a day.

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