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    23 Cool Ways To Add Shade To Your Backyard

    Yes, cool in BOTH ways.

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    1. Set up a outdoor play yard for little ones designed with a UV-protectant canopy and airy mesh so sitting and reading on your patio (that also happens to have steps) won't be a no-go if your bb is a fast crawler.

    Amazon

    FYI, you can take off the canopy and use it inside too!

    Promising review: "This tent is so versatile! We love it at soccer games, camping, the beach and the backyard. It can be filled full of plastic balls for a ball pit or used as a portable crib. My older kids love to unzip the side pocket and climb in and out themselves. The sun shade is awesome! Baby necessity. Can be used from newborn on up." —Bargain Shopper

    Get it from Amazon for $213.36.

    2. And help your fur bb play it cool with an elevated dog bed and canopy that provides shade overhead *and* allows for lots of air circulation below to keep 'em cool. Dog sunnies optional but encouraged.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love this dog bed and most importantly my picky pooch loves it too! We recently got a new chair to sit in the yard. Well, of course who wants to sit next to us is my lil shitzu. She would get overheated and have to go inside. Not anymore. She is able to sit outside and have shade or peek her head out and get the sun on her face. I also thinks she loves not having to lay on the grass. The first two times I had to coach her to get on it because she was hesitant but now she jumps on it every time she goes in the back yard. The quality seems to be excellent. We leave it in the yard and it has stood up to rain and the sprinklers. I highly recommend this. The price is the best I found and great quality. The small size bed is big enough for two small dogs to lay comfortably. She had a buddy come over and they both fit — both dogs are 8–10 lb." —Shannon

    Get it from Amazon for $52.95+ (available in two sizes).

    And while we're on the subject, check out hot weather pet tips from the ASPCA.

    3. And mull over a proper dog house because if you leave your dog outside for stretches of time, they absolutely need their own place in the shade for safety reasons.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "SERIOUSLY GREAT. I recommend this product to anyone, especially for senior dogs. A large and small dog EASILY and HAPPILY fit.

    Best purchase ever." —Alex

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99+ (available in several styles and sizes).

    4. Create a luxurious setup with a glam daybed that has a canopy you'll never want to abandon.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "So be prepared to assemble. It isn't fast. Not hard, but lots of screws. Instructions are okay, but common sense will get you through it. Basically everything has to be put together. And as mentioned by another reviewer, you'll be short 8 washers. No big deal. I had some laying around. The quality once put together is pretty darn good. This isn't a 5 star resort daybed, but very sturdy. Cushions are good. Smaller sized bed, but that's what we needed. I ordered a round 70 patio table cover ($24 bucks on Amazon), which fits tight but will work and won't blow off. Cushion color is light tan so you'll want to keep it clean with a cover." —Smithone

    Get it from Amazon for $659.99.

    5. Adjust your shade angle with an offset cantilever umbrella made to give you some serious versatility.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This product is larger than expected and was very easy to assemble, it took about 20 minutes to unpack, put together, position, and place the pavers. I purchased eight 16x16 inch pavers at a local store and that is more than enough weight for our fairly windy backyard (I'm actually only using six of them due to the position on the corner of our patio). The umbrella is fixed and does not sway in the wind. You are able to tilt it so that it can be directly overhead or to the side to block sun later in the day or early in the morning. Great value!" —Kyle

    Get it from Amazon for $169+ (available in four sizes and six colors).

    6. Invest in a lighted umbrella that'll tilt (literally) to your whims and give you the right amount of shade and light when/where you want it.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I normally don’t like buying products like this sight unseen, but I’m very pleased with the look and especially with the solar lighting. We enjoyed a pleasant evening on the deck with just the right amount of ambient light tonight, and we are hopeful that it will prove to be durable." —Dee Williams

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99 (available in four color combos).

    7. If you don't have a ton of room, consider a half umbrella (that's also lighted!) for the perfect fit. (Here's looking at you, terrace owners!)

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "Great umbrella. Well-made and sturdy and the fabric looks and feels durable. Was able to withstand a week of rain and high winds. It is perfect for my little Brooklyn patio space! Very happy with the purchase :-)" —Anya Brodie

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99+ (available in four colors).

    8. Keep a shaded kid's chair handy to pull up to the picnic table.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "We purchased two of these chairs for our beach trip. We needed one for our 4-month-old and one for our 2-year-old. They both loved them. Mom also loved them because I didn't have to hold the chunky 4-month-old the whole time on the beach. We use them at home in the backyard as well, and can see ourselves using them on trips in the future." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $66.07+ (available in seven colors).

    9. Invest in a mobile vented umbrella that gives you plenty of shade control in case you're super fortunate and have a backyard that also includes a freaking lake. (It's also great for the park and beach!)

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This was the best purchase I've made for beach/lake items. It was easy to setup and take down and when the sun's position moved, it was so simple to rotate the umbrella slightly to give us plenty of shade. We received tons of compliments — everyone was jealous of our setup :)" —~michele

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in three colors).

    10. Lounge for hours on end with this hanging lounge chair...your doggo will stay awhile, too.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Assembly took me about two hours, but the product has everything you need with easy to understand instructions. Best of all is relaxing in this oasis on my patio! The lounger has a gentle rocking/bouncing motion that makes for the best naps. The fabric is tough and the built-in-cushion and head rest are very comfortable. The attached umbrella is adjustable so I can reposition it depending on the position of the sun." —C.T.Mallier

    Get it from Amazon for $164.99+ (available in three colors).

    11. Make your backyard the most coveted on the block with a cedar pergola that'll only age with grace. Call it the George Clooney of yard decor.

    amazon.com

    Yep, this is a SUBSTANTIAL investment but it'll last for eons and really step up your backyard decor game.

    Promising review: "As others have said, this is a one-day project for two folks, better with three. If you aren't handy with tools, it could be more than you may want to bite off. The varnish coating of the wood from the factory is a light coating. I added one coat of marine varnish on top, and it sealed it up very nicely. And looks great. I applied the varnish after the pergola was erected, and it took a good 6 hours to cover everything. Was also a little scary trying to reach towards the middle when on a ladder to cover the 2x2s. If you are going to paint, it would be much easier to paint before assembly.

    When running the 2x2's over the top, it is best to put one screw in the end, then walk the boards one screw at a time. Some come a little warped and curved from the factory. Using a jib and a pry bar, you can walk them straight. Also, I ordered an extra set of the 2x2 top pieces with screws from the factory. This doubles the shade, and really improves the look in my opinion." —AlligatorSam

    Get it from Amazon for $1,1980.

    12. Add some UV-resistant fabric over your pergola or on top of other structures for some consistent cooling action.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This was our first sun shade purchase and we're very happy with it. We have used it about a month as a cover for our deck. The temperature is a good 10 degrees cooler under the shade on a hot, sunny day so it increases the time we can spend using the deck. It is not waterproof so the rainwater doesn't collect on the top of the shade. It is easy to work with and looks great. We have already recommended this sun shade to our sons for their decks." —Life'stooshort

    Get it from Amazon for $33.99+ (available in six colors and a variety of sizes).

    13. Park an adorable kid's swing that'll lure them into actually wanting to sit in the shade.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love my swing. I have three daughters who love to sit on the back porch and swing. It holds a good 100 lb. between my small girls. My girls are 1, 2, and 5 years old. This made a perfect Christmas gift. They swing on it every day. I do wish the material was thicker for the seat but it can be easily swapped out. It was definitely worth the money." —samone

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in two designs).

    14. Combine playtime with shade time in a lil' covered playhouse fit with all sorts of child-safe features to occupy your kid's time!

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Ordered this for my 4-year-old for her birthday. It was easy to assemble, I did it by myself in about an hour and a half. I did use a drill to make it easier as the holes aren’t predrilled. But it was overall really easy and instructions were super simple. It’s the perfect size for my daughter and enough room for our two big dogs to join her in there along with her two other cousins. Great price, great quality, great playhouse." —Emma

    Get it from Amazon for $139.99.

    15. Consider your minimalist options with a ~butterfly~ gazebo that delivers lotsa shade with a modern edge.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I chose this gazebo for its minimalist design and cool shape. And price was good compared to similar. Assembly was straight forward, but with the shade 'just' fitting on the patio, I needed to put one end under the porch overhang and it was a bit too tall. Luckily I could take a couple inches off the top and it fit perfectly. I was able to do everything on assembly myself, until it came to lifting the top part into place. For that, two or three friends make it easy work.

    All the parts seem solid, but the instructions should probably include some more details as to the size of the nuts and bolts, especially the foot anchors. They seemed a little small. I replaced one at each corner with a 1/2 x 3 inch sleeve anchors I had on hand.

    Overall, it looks great and fits the space perfectly. It rained overnight and the table and chairs stayed dry." —Parz Diver

    Get it from Amazon for $489.99.

    16. Set up the perfect poolside place to drip dry thanks to a canopy with mosquito netting you can untie and zip up for when you want to keep the outdoor fun going but it's mosquito o'clock.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "We absolutely LOVE this gazebo! The price was right and I put it up myself with minimal to no issues. It secured to our deck perfectly using deck screws and some washers. It's solid as a rock! About a week after putting it up, we had a tornadic storm with severe winds and tons of hail. I thought for sure it was a goner, but to my surprise, it held up PERFECTLY! No rips, tears, or damage to the frame whatsoever! The Edison lights we hung look fantastic and were easy to install. What more could I ask for??? Would definitely recommend!" —J. Layton

    Get it from Amazon for $400.81.

    17. Hang some heavy-duty drapes on a pergola or from the roofline of your porch to give yourself a bit of privacy and block out the harsh rays once the sun's in that blinding position.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This curtain is perfect for the west side of of my covered patio. I live in AZ and summers get afternoon sun. The patio isn't comfortable to sit on, as the sun is setting it comes right through. This curtain blocks the sun completely and allows me to sit comfortably outside in the late afternoon. The bar that was already there is perfect for the 95" length and the 100" width is covered perfectly. The curtain does not drag on ground. I will be adding grommets to bottom though as if there is any breeze the curtain blows easily and knocks over items on table so it needs to be tied down on breezy days." —AZKlassik

    Get it from Amazon for $35.95+ (available in six colors and six sizes).

    18. Go with some classic aluminum retractable awnings if you prefer something sturdy but don't want to be married to a set amount of shade on your deck.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Purchased two units. Delivered on time and intact. Surprised that it was already assembled and just needed to be mounted. Key to mounting is finding your first stud!! Then 16 inches on center to the next stud, etc. Once the mounting brackets were up it was only 10 minutes to finish. We have a 20' deck and wanted the option to split up the sun hitting the deck, so we can choose to deploy one or two awnings. Very pleased with final product." —Timothy Moore

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99.

    19. Cover twice the space with a double umbrella you can park over your graciously sized outdoor dining table on the deck.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "It's awesome, shades the pool and patio in a place where the temperatures go over three digits for many days during summer." —Joy G.

    Get it from Amazon for $119.99.

    20. Combat the sun's rays (and have more dough to spend on plant bbs) with a budget-friendly rectangular shade that'll stretch over a smaller but extremely sunny space.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Worked perfectly. Only took about 30 minutes to install. We went with a different brand of hardware kit (Ollieroo with sturdier eye pads, all the required screws, and longer turnbuckles) and it is wonderful. We'll probably be purchasing more, in different sizes for other areas around the house. Louisiana heat and humidity is a nightmare during the summer. The sun shade is a great way to combat that inexpensively." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $30.99+ (available in five sizes and four colors).

    21. Or mix and match smaller triangular sun shades to block out partial son above an above-ground pool or bench.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "We love this shade sail. It works perfect for our backyard patio. It’s a lot better quality then some with a great price. You do need to buy the extra turn buckles and tie straps." —BECKY

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in five sizes and five colors).

    22. Opt for a different geometric shape with a round sun shade you can easily move around yourself.

    CB2

    Get it from CB2 for $329 (available in three colors).

    23. In the market for an above-ground pool with a sprayer?! One and done it with this pool that has a built-in shade canopy because sun protection (on top of sunscreen) is no joke!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is an amazing pool. LOVE IT! I had my husband set it up and was no problem at all. I did a LOT of research on pools and this is the only one that had a sun shade cover. It is the perfect size for a couple of adults and a couple kids to sit and splash in. I would HIGHLY recommend this pool. We did install an Intex pump to keep it clean. I also appreciated the comment from another person who purchased this pool who bought a Krystal clear 10' pool cover. I just ordered that and it will keep the pool cleaner. Making the ground level is important, but doesn't seem to be as much of an issue compared to the Intex pools with the bubble ring around the top. We are in the process of building a pond in our backyard and haven't finished the waterfall pool area, so I was able to set the pool in what will be a pond at a later date :)" —PJ

    Get it from Amazon for $119.99.

    Here's to a backyard with nearly as much shade as you throw:

    WE TV / Via giphy.com

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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