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The Many Uses & Benefits of Outdoor Pavilions, Gazebos, and Shade StructuresThe Many Uses & Benefits of Outdoor Pavilions, Gazebos, and Shade Structures
Playground Equipment Jan 13, 2022

The Many Uses & Benefits of Outdoor Pavilions, Gazebos, and Shade Structures

Picnic Shelters Are Only the Beginning

Picnic shelters are ideal places for hosting a meal or sharing a meal with friends, family, or colleagues. It’s no wonder that you commonly see picnic shelters around playgrounds, schools, churches, parks, athletic facilities, community centers, and HOA neighborhoods. If you don’t have a commercial picnic shelter installed on your business or nonprofit property, your organization would almost certainly benefit from having one. At the same time, you’re not just limited to a traditional picnic shelter, either. There are all sorts of great outdoor building designs and options available to you!


You probably get a certain visual image in mind whenever you see the word “gazebo,” even if you can’t come up with a specific definition for the term. Generally speaking, a gazebo is a freestanding, open-air, roofed structure that is usually geometrical in shape. There are often railings or latticework around the outside, and many gazebos also come with built-in seating. Gazebos are popular in garden areas, as they offer a nice spot for sitting or standing and “gazing” at nature all around you. Gazebos are common in urban areas too, and can really be placed in practically any setting. Popular gazebo variations include pagodas, rotundas, tea houses, and folly gazebos.



An arbor is another type of freestanding outdoor structure that provides a somewhat different design and function than a gazebo. Arbors often serve as an entrance or gateway to a particular outdoor area, and sometimes include their own built-in door or gate. Many arbor owners will choose to place climbing plants on the frame, thus creating a “living” arbor. Arbors can also be designed to provide a variety of shade options, ranging from full, to partial, to no shade at all.



Pergolas are larger than arbors, and tend to take more of a rectangular shape. Pergolas are supported by posts, and they can be built with either a solid or open-slat roof. They make great accent features around pools, parks, and courtyards, and pergolas can also be placed on patios, decks, or wherever else you like.


Athletic Field Shelters

Need a dugout or two for your ball field? How about a shelter designed to provide shade and cover for your spectator seating? Carolina Recreation & Design offers a variety of simple slope (or monoslope) structures – including bleacher shades – which can be custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your facility. We provide all needed site prep and installation services, too!



A pavilion is bigger than a typical gazebo or pergola. These open-air structures are covered by a fortified roof which is often supported by a series of columns. Outdoor pavilions can be designed to be quite large, depending upon your particular needs. They make great gathering places for events, parties, and even staff meetings.


Amphitheaters and Band Shells

Looking for a multipurpose pavilion that’s designed for easy hosting of a musical performance? There are lots of great amphitheaters and bandshell structures available in all shapes and sizes. Carolina Recreation & Design can also go the extra mile to finish your band shell or amphitheater any way you like, whether you prefer ironwork, woodwork, brick, or stonework. We can handle wiring, foundation preparation, and landscaping for you, too.

Good Reasons to Add a Gazebo or Outdoor Pavilion

There are many great features of self-standing outdoor buildings like these, which make them worth adding to your garden, park, patio, playground, athletic facility, or other commercial property. Here are some benefits of note:

Nice focal point

A gazebo or outdoor pavilion can be a wonderful visual compliment to your outdoor space. Give the area a nice garden feel, resort feel, or whatever other sort of mood you’d like to create.

Provide needed shade

Sunny days are wonderful, but direct exposure can be harmful for most any skin type. For that matter, UV exposure is still a threat on cloudy days, too. A well-designed, well-installed outdoor building can provide needed protection from relentless UV rays, so you can still enjoy the great outdoors safely.

Perfect facility for outdoor gatherings

Take your company picnics and other team gatherings to a whole new level by putting in a picnic shelter, pavilion, gazebo, or all three! Even if precipitation is in the forecast, your outdoor gatherings will still be able to go on as planned.

Great for individual break time use, too

Outdoor buildings aren’t just great for facilitating outdoor gatherings and events. They’re also wonderful places for personal reflection and nature watching. And for the purposes of a business site, gazebos and outdoor pavilions are ideal for making available to your employees to use during their break time.

Fully-customizable buildings to suit your needs, as well as your budget

Another nice feature of a custom outdoor building is that it can be designed to be as simple or as detailed as you like. You can choose a roof-only structure supported by simple posts, or you can flesh it out to include framed walls, insect screening, internal seating, railings, decorative finish, or whatever you prefer!

Creative Ways to Use a Gazebo or Outdoor Pavilion

What can you do with a gazebo, pavilion, or other outdoor building? Plenty. Here are just a few ways we’ve seen customers make use of their custom installations from Carolina Recreation & Design:

  • School gatherings
  • Corporate events and employee break times
  • Private space for personal reflection or unwinding
  • Ideal site for hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions
  • Convenient spot for grilling out or outdoor kitchen use
  • Great for hosting picnics, outdoor meals, and social events
  • Nice place for installing a fire pit or s’mores station
  • Well-suited for bird watching, nature gazing, and even people watching
  • Protected spot for installing a hot tub near your community pool or resort pool
  • Perfect location for team photoshoots
  • Easy to add decorations to match any season or theme

Carolina Recreation & Design Can Provide and Install the Outdoor Buildings and Shade Structures You Need!

Carolina Recreation & Design is your preferred provider for Icon Shelter Systems and EWS Structures across NC, SC, TN, and VA. If you need a gazebo, pavilion, or any style of picnic shelter or outdoor building installed, we’ve got you covered!

But what if you’re interested in a shade solution other than a standalone building? For example, what if you’d like to have a fabric shade mounted over your playground or outdoor gathering area? No worries – the Carolina Recreation & Design team has plenty of experience installing playground canopies and commercial shade canopies for all sorts of clients. If it’s a fabric shade structure you’re looking for, we can certainly make that happen for you.

Got questions? Ready to get your project started? Give us a call today at (704) 664-1833! If you prefer, you can also connect with us online. Carolina Recreation & Design is much more than just a vendor of buildings and recreational equipment; we’re actually a provider of turnkey site solutions!