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13 Cool Ideas for Your Outdoor Pop Up Canopy (That You’ve Probably Never Thought Of)

The Kingpin is back, baby... and with some great ideas for putting your portable pop up canopy to good use!

All too often our event tents or carport canopies have been used to shelter your car on a rainy day, or make sure your gem of a mother-in-law is shielded from the sun at junior’s wedding. Well, let me break it to you—It actually has so much more potential than that!

A pop up canopy is primarily used to provide shade, but the very simplicity of its construction makes it incredibly adaptable. They come in basically in two parts: the frame and the canopy. The frame is usually preassembled, and made of stainless steel, aluminum, or powder-coated metal. It’s lightweight, portable, and installs in a jiffy. Moreover, since it is lightweight and portable, it is super easy to clean and carry around.

If you have a pop up canopy moldering away in your attic or garage, then shame on you. The Kingpin is not pleased! There are so many great ways to use these products and there's really no reason not to try one of these ideas out... ESPECIALLY if your poor, old outdoor pop up is wasting away somewhere in the garage!

Here are 13 Uses for Pop Up Canopies that the Kingpin reckons you’ve never thought of, and wished you’d have sooner.

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1. Romantic Picnic

portable outdoor storage

The pop up canopy provides a measure of privacy, if only from the squirrels! Bring along a few battery-powered lamps and you can watch the sun set over the water with your partner in the shelter of your canopy. It only takes a blanket, some pillows, a bottle of wine, and a picnic basket full of goodies to complete the picture. It’s an outdoor pop up tent with style!

2. Trade Shows and Sunday Markets

You can help your trade show visibility by emblazoning your signature product or logo and contact information on your pop up canopy tent during the event. It’s a cheap way to promote your company and market your products. Once you’ve done that, your portable outdoor canopy will give you the ability to always be ready with an “instant store” during local Sunday markets. You can sell baked goods, specialty meats, and handcrafted products.

3. Pit Tents

Using a pop up canopy is an easy and convenient way to provide a pit stop for a contender in local amateur motor sports events. It is a great outdoor portable canopy for events such as soapbox kart racing! “….aaaaaaaaaannnnnnddddd THEY’RE OFF!”

NOTE: The Kingpin REALLY wishes soapbox kart racing would make comeback already.​

4. Summer Businesses

Do your kids want to make some video game cash this summer? Let them sell lemonade or cookies (or whatever else kids sell these days) from under the shade of your pop up canopy. They can even decorate it to make it more attractive to passersby but frankly, the Kingpin doubts that most kids these days are that enterprising LOL. Just the same, it’s the thought that counts!

Get them to invite people to park their car in front of your house or at a parking lot for a wash and wax while they wait. Hand your teenagers a soap bucket and sponge, and you’re good to go! It’s a great way for them to make money on the side and will allow you to skirt the Playstation bill while you’re at it.

Best of all—IT BUILDS CHARACTER!

5. Lawn Lounge

Instead of building a gazebo, you can use your pop up canopy as a permanent fixture on your lawn. You can place a hammock under it or set up a picnic set for a comfortable place to relax on lazy afternoons. You will be the envy of your neighbors, who will probably ask to use it, too!

6. Exotic Harem Bed

You can convert your outdoor pop up canopy into an exotic bedroom hideaway! Decorate the canopy with sheer fabric or gauze drapes and LED string lights or Christmas lights. You can surround the area with a fine mesh to keep mosquitoes out, or use silk or satin curtains for a charming look.

This item on the list may seem like a bit of a stretch but uniqueness and clever ideas counts with the ladies! The Kingpin is sure of that at the very least…

OOOOH LA LA! The Kingpin likes himself a confident big girl!

7. Party Hubs

If you have access to several small-to-medium sized event tents, try dotting your backyard with a series of pop up tents where your guests can eat. You can decorate each tent with a different theme and separate them into hubs. You can also use them as activity stations for services you hired (i.e. henna tattoos, fortune telling, or a shooting gallery if you’re Richie Rich).

You may also want to have a special place for the bride and groom during a lawn wedding. Place a popup canopy over the raised platform, place a table for two, and decorate lavishly. You can also use it to showcase the wedding cake, or as a repository for gifts and giveaways.

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8. Makeup Tent/Changing Room

You can set up pop up canopies for on-location shoots to serve as a waiting area, makeup station, or changing room. You may need to close off some or all the openings with cloth.

9. Kitchen Extension

If you are preparing food for a lot of people, you may want to set up a prep kitchen outside using your popup canopy to keep out the sun. It makes cleanup a lot easier too. Just turn the garden hose on your work table and you’re done!

10. Play or Beach House

Are your kids nagging you to get them a fancy playhouse? Set up the popup canopy for them in the backyard instead and close off the sides with cloth. It can be a castle, a fort, or a rustic cabin. Pop up canopies are primarily portable outdoor shelters, after all. The possibilities are only as limited as your kids’ imagination. They are going to love it, and may even want to have a sleep over with their friends.

If you are on or near a beach, you can set up your pop up canopy to house your lounge chair and cooler for a relaxing time watching your kids have fun and the waves break on the shore.

11. Dinner Parties

If you are having friends over for an informal dinner, you may want to consider al fresco. Set up your pop up canopy in the backyard, bring out the kitchen table, and decorate it for a convivial barbeque or drinking party. Those who smoke can do so, and your house won’t smell like an old ashtray for weeks on end. It also saves you from a massive cleanup afterward if you use disposables and have a large trashcan within easy reach.

12. Temporary Storage

If the weather is uncertain and you have a ton of construction materials outside, you can use your pop up canopy to protect them just in case. This could be your portable outdoor storage for any reason, really.

13. First-Aid Station

You will need to set up a first aid or food station during a company picnic, or a family reunion at the beach. A pop up canopy will serve this purpose excellently.

Now It's Over To You!

Do you have other ideas for unusual uses for a pop up canopy? The Kingpin wants to know.​ Be a dear and give your beloved Kingpin some love in the comments below...

The Kingpin hopes this list has at least given you some inspiration for your next portable pop up tent event. It all starts with an idea, y'know... Thanks for reading!

Keep your party tent events fresh and clever with the CanopyKingpin today!

Awesome Pop Up Canopy Infographics

So, the Kingpin ​went a-infographic hunting yet again on Google Images for you... as usual, if you like the infographic please check out the sites embedded/included within the image to check out the sources. ENJOY!

Here's a simple rundown of all the great things about pop up canopy products.​ They really are one of the more convenient ways to hold something outdoors...

​So, if you want to use that brand new portable pop up canopy for a new pop up retail you're setting up, check out the tips and pointers below to get yourself in the zone. ​Take your business ANYWHERE YOU WANT with a pop up canopy today!

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