A vibrant backyard playground nestled in a well-maintained lawn, surrounded by a colorful array of flowers concept image for family-friendly landscape


Involve the whole family in outdoor enjoyment by considering the younger set with a family-friendly landscape incorporating play spaces, game areas, and other fun features that can grow as the kids do. If “playset” conjures a visual of the old aluminum swingset and a messy sandbox, think again! You can still give children equipment for climbing, swinging and sliding while building in natural elements that encourage creative play.

From courts of all kinds — basketball, tennis, pickleball, bocce — to putting and chipping greens and dog-friendly landscapes, there is a world of design ideas to explore for outdoor activity and play areas. Here are some of our favorites.

Family-Friendly Landscape Ideas


A half-court basketball court illuminated by ample lighting, set amidst a picturesque landscape.


Backyard Game Spaces — Courts and Greens

Play ball! You don’t need much outdoor space to carve room for a half-court for basketball or a linear bocce ball area that can easily border a property line. The same is true for backyard putting greens, and artificial turf has come a long way. It offers superior drainage, meaning no mud and mess during the wet spring and fall seasons, and it always has a manicured look. Families appreciate the low-maintenance aspects of the latest artificial turf products, and they blend in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Customized backyard game areas are a hit with families wanting to unwind at home after a long day rather than go to a park or recreation center to enjoy their favorite activities.

Natural Playscapes — More to Explore

You don’t need a commercial playset to provide a backyard zone. Natural playgrounds include elements and textures from the earth, including boulders, paths with stepping stones, artistic tree stump “leap pads,” and playground logs. Natural playgrounds can be integrated into a garden and work among landscape beds.


A raised plant bed brimming with a diverse selection of edible plants.


A Secret Garden — Raised Beds

Gardening teaches kids essential skills, including responsibility for caring for plants and nurturing as they learn how to keep their gardens healthy and growing. Plus, there is a sense of accomplishment and pride when they can pick their bounty. Gardening is beneficial at all ages and stages for many reasons, and we love to customize spaces that allow families to plant their favorite fruits and veggies. Because other “visitors” like deer and rabbits also enjoy eating homegrown produce, we can create attractive barriers that give the space a secret garden feel. Raised beds can be set at any level: lower for children or closer to the waist for adults who prefer not to stress their backs while weeding. Natural stone pathways between raised beds create a maze for kids to enjoy. And you don’t have to grow edibles in raised beds. Why not dedicate one for cut flowers so you’ll always have a fresh bouquet to keep or give as a gift?

S’More the Merrier — Fire Pits

If you burn wood rather than gas, consider a custom housing space for storing firewood. The backyard fire pit is a staple for families, with gas-lit power and lava rock. Chalet-style fire pits can be constructed from brick, slate, tile, marble, or marble and integrated into a hardscape patio. Or a fire pit can serve as a designated destination with a walkway leading to the surround.


An inviting outdoor sitting area designed for relaxation and warmth, featuring a central firepit.


Plan for the Pooch — Backyard Dog Park

Include your four-footed family members in landscape planning with a dedicated dog area that protects the rest of your lawn from damage and offers a place to play. A dog’s outdoor space might include artificial turf, river rock, or a combination of materials. Fencing in the area contains the space. Other amenities include seating (for the two-legged family), a water source for refilling the bowl or splashing your pooch on hot days, and fun ramps that create an agility course. To ensure shade, we consider a surrounding landscape that can shield at least part of the designated dog area from the sun.

Enhance Your Outdoor Space the ELITE Way

How can we create the backyard of your dreams? Let’s talk. Our design and build landscape professionals bring inspiration, expertise, and professionalism to every project. Reach out by calling (845) 849-2953 or filling out this simple contact form, and we’ll contact you.

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