Steps down from door to main deck and more down to ground level. For a free-standing deck, consider painting the risers a light color, while the decking boards and treads are stained or painted a darker shade.
This would be cook for crayfish boil! I think anything with built in cooler space is probably a good idea for summer. Kids wagon, outside seating, or this: DIY Patio Table With Built-In Beer/Wine Coolers.