Beyond hotdish, “Wanna go with?”, bars (the square-cut dessert kind), lutefisk and “you betcha” – non-Minnesotans also find “garage life” is another regional concept to learn when moving here.
In other parts of the country, people sit on their front porches to visit, read, watch kids play or witness life pass by. Many porches, patios or decks, are an extension of indoor living – at least for part of the year.
In this part of the Midwest, the garage is considered a 3-season room of sorts. It is irrelevant of the house also has a porch, deck or patio. Garages are used for more than car, bike and tool storage.
We set up lawn chairs to watch the kids play in the yard or have neighbors over for a beverage. Extra lawn chairs are a necessity. Garages are also the “logical” place for grilling, decorating any time of year with holiday lights, and for many a Man Cave. For Extreme Garagers you can expect to find the quasi outside palace to be equipped with a pull-down screen to cover the large door opening, keeping summer bugs out for late night events.
The Garage Phenomenon offers some of the best theatre-like seating in the neighborhood. In addition to shelter from the hot summer sun of pouring rain, it’s boasts an ideal view of the street if the home’s garage is not in an alley.
With a front row theatre seat, it’s good to have an audience, which will not by hard where younger children reside. Children love to perform. Before too long the ground will thaw and the hoses will be out – barely soon enough for the talent yearning to ditch the boots for flip flops, excited to have you watch them play. How about a few summer fun ideas to watch your little actors perform from the best vantage point overlooking your yard and driveway?
- Rotate the “theme of the day” with your young sidewalk chalk artists. Depending on ages of your budding Picasso’s, consider different concepts for different days: shapes, favorite zoo animal, fruits/vegetables, cars, flowers, things found in a kitchen, etc.
- Invest in lawn sprinklers that are low enough for kids to jump across
- Fill a plastic or blow-up swimming pool with the garden hose early enough in the morning so the water can warm by the time the little ones want to cool off in the heat of the afternoon. Have cups or plastic pails to use to “pour” water from the pool into other containers or even “water” your lawn or garden plants
- Combine both water balloons and sidewalk chalk playing a home-made Angry Birds game on the driveway. This site with has several other fun outside game ideas for young ones, searchable by age.
- For 2 children: Draw a large box or rectangle on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Divide the box in half by drawing another line. Each child gets their side of the “court” and must stay on within their own “box” only equipped with a squirt gun or spray bottle and large bucket of water for “refills”. Any other “rules” are optional, yet may be necessary for older players. For example: “the entire refill bucket is not considered one squirt”
- Silly relay races: Four “timed legs” of the race might include running with a ball between knees, running while hoola-hooping, jumping rope with a toddler-sized jump rope, running while holding a small pail of water without spilling, etc.
- “HORSE” or “PIG” if you have a basketball hoop on the driveway
Hopefully, this short list will get you started to think of more ideas for summer fun!
We at Richfield Blacktop and Concrete are honored to play a part in creating the perfect “stage” – doing our part to contribute to the Minnesota Garage Phenomenon by providing home owners in the Twin Cities metro area smooth, safe performance surfaces for their outside “family theatre”.