Star gazing, roasting marshmallows, and waking to the sound of birds chirping—it’s camping season! With summer here and the weather begging us to be outside, now is the perfect time to pitch a tent for the weekend, even in your own backyard.

Our Miami Neighborhood Showroom Host, Gema S., gave us her family’s foolproof itinerary for a night and day of backyard camping, including the best time to set up camp, the perfect twilight activities, and how to make every meal in the great outdoors.

Backyard Camping Itinerary

2:00PM: Embrace outdoor living

Kick off the camping festivities by spending the entire day outdoors. The beauty of camping is that you’re living outside. Whether it’s a pool day, a game of ring toss, or a homemade scavenger hunt — get into the spirit of backyard camping by pretending home is far, far away (except maybe the bathroom).

This Neighborhood Showroom in Lake Forest, IL is perfect for an outdoor day

4:00PM: Set up camp

Set up camp in the daylight hours, especially if you want the kids to help. Pitch the tent, roll out the sleeping bags, and grab all the gear, so by the time night falls, you’re ready to cozy up in the dark:

Camp setup

5:00PM: Grill time!

We usually opt for hot dogs and burgers, a cooler full of drinks (cocktails for the parents), and bags of chips or snacks — just like at the campground. We never worry about spilling any on the sofa; our stain-resistant cushions can take it.

Firing up the grill

6:15PM: S’mores of course

Gooey desserts are an absolute must for camping. If you have a fire pit, roast marshmallows for s’mores. Or, since the kitchen is just a few steps away, elevate your game with something home-baked, like these skillet s’mores.  

7:00PM: UNO anyone?

Game time. Board games or cards are another camping pastime that keep the fun going. We often watch a movie outside (preferably camp-themed!). If you don’t have an outdoor television, set up a projector and drape a white sheet on a blank wall for a “drive-in” vibe.

Game time on the comfiest seat in the house

8:00PM: Get spooky

Around this time, get ready for some scary stories (our Outer is the perfect spot to settle in and pass the flashlight around). We like to make them up as we go, and… scariest story wins.

8:00AM: Rise and shine

Wake up to the sounds of the birds singing and drink a cup of coffee in the quiet outdoors.

Backyard breakfast

8:30AM: Camp-style breakfast

The beauty of backyard camping is you can eat well with a bit more ease. Make a yummy breakfast with pancakes, eggs, or a breakfast sandwich — and of course, enjoy it outdoors.  

In true camping fashion, we’ll dive right in the pool after breakfast to start the outdoor fun all over again. It’s the summer way: games, grilling, campfires, sleep, rinse, repeat…