The Definitive Summer Shopping Guide for Everyone in the Family


Maybe Olympic skiers and Santa wait impatiently for winter, but for many of us, summer is the most-anticipated season. Schools are closed, pools are open, and ice-cream trucks are chilling out. Whether you’re already basking in shorts and swimsuits or still awaiting that weather warm-up, the next three months are to be savored. Once they’re gone, it’s a long, cold wait until next year.

Soak up some summer fun when you stock up on these great gifts for everyone from baby and Grandpa to Fido. Offerings range from cupcake makers to coolers, beach totes to barbecue tools, Just like the Beach Boys sang, you’ll be having fun all summer long.

For water walkers

ALEADER/ Amazon / Money Talks News

No, we can’t walk ON water, but sometimes when hiking or camping we do need to walk IN it. Protect your feet and your shoes with these breathable, durable mesh water shoes, with holes on the bottom for easy drainage. (Amazon, $19.99-$35.95)

For kids who love to get dirty

Target / Money Talks News

Kids love to dig in the dirt. Let them put that habit to good use with this colorful and lightweight garden tool kit. (Target, $7.29).

For the grillmaster

Amazon / Money Talks News

Summertime, and the grilling is easy. Easier still if you pop your kabobs into these nonstick grilling baskets. They latch shut so you’re in no danger of losing your lunch. (Amazon, $22.10)

For kids who dream in Technicolor

Unicorn float toy
Target / Money Talks News

Summer’s even more of a dream when you float around the pool on a rainbow unicorn. (Target, $17.99)

For gardeners who love a little innovation

The Grommet / Money Talks News

The Maxbit is a real innovation in gardening (and a work-saver to boot). Simply fit it onto your power drill to dig holes faster, easier and neater than possible a shovel or trowel. Maybe just right for that grandparent who loves getting his or her hands dirty, but could use a little assistance? (The Grommet, $39.95)

For kids and kids-at-heart

Fairyland setting toys
The Irish Fairy Door Company/ Amazon / Money Talks News

Dreamy kids and adults alike can build their own fairy door in any tree with this fairy-door kit. (Amazon, $59.99)

For beach babies

Neso Tents / Money Talks News

Save your little one’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays with this lightweight beach tent that weighs all of 4 pounds. (Neso Tents, $99.99)

For those landlocked in the heat

Melissa and Doug / Money Talks News

If your home is far from a lake or the seashore, your family can beat the heat with a sprinkler to spread the wet. This Blossom Bright Kids Sprinkler is friendly to bare toes and bloomin’ cute. (Melissa & Doug, $19.99)

For entrepreneurial kids

Lemonaide stand set.
HIDEABOO/ Amazon / Money Talks News

Cover any standard card table with one of these bright covers, and your lemonade stand is on its way to profitability. (Amazon, $26.95)

For cool kids

LeapFrog/ Amazon / Money Talks News

I scream, you scream, we all scream for this adorable pretend ice-cream cart that also helps kids learn numbers and colors. (Amazon, $38.49)

For sun soakers

Bed, Bath and Beyond / Money Talks News

Keep your towel or picnic blanket right on the sand where it’s supposed to be with these colorful towel clips. (Bed, Bath & Beyond, $5.99 for set of 2).

For those who love summer strolls

Nordstrom / Money Talks News

Backless espadrilles are on trend this year, and this light and pretty version lets its wearer look stylish whether on the pool deck or just running to the ice-cream truck. (Nordstrom, $89.95)

For wannabe bakers

Melissa and Doug / Money Talks News

Playing in the sand meets the cupcake trend with this cute sand cupcake set. But in this case, the making is more fun than the eating. Please, use your imagination and don’t eat the sand! (Melissa and Doug, $14.99)

For Star Wars fans

Think Geek / Money Talks News

Whether you’re drinking at the Mos Eisley Cantina or just in the backyard, these officially licensed Star Wars-themed tiki mugs ensure the Force is with your drink. (Think Geek, $12.99 per mug, or $59.99 for the set of six)

For party animals

Igloo cooler on wheels
Target / Money Talks News

There’s always someone who’s the summer-party host or hostess with the mostest. If that’s you, consider splurging on this ultimate party cooler for backyard bashes. It features 360-degree LED lighting, removable drink dividers and a bottle caddy, an easily removable lid and even a built-in bottle opener with cap-catcher. Cheers to summer! (Target, $154.99)

For sipping swimmers

Amazon / Money Talks News

Floating around in a pool or lake is a pretty decadent activity already, but these colorful, inflatable floating coasters let your drink relax, too. (Amazon, $10.99 for a pack of nine)

For those who have it all together

Bed, Bath and Beyond / Money Talks News

Even if you’ve got it all together, you need some place to put it — especially when you’re beach-bound. This colorful tote bag will keep the sand out of your sunscreen. (Bed, Bath & Beyond, $19.99)

For fans of America’s pastime

Target / Money Talks News

Not a spatula, this is a sportula — a Chicago Cubs Spirit Series Sportula, to be exact. You can flip those burgers and never lose sight of your favorite team. Plus, there’s a bottle opener built into the handle for those games when your team’s performance makes you want a drink. (Target, $19.99)

For burgermeisters

Amazon / Money Talks News

The chef in the family can spice up the picnic table with these burger-and-fries salt and pepper shakers. Fries need more salt? Salt them with the fries. Wait, what? (Amazon, $11.37)

For summer dreamers

Demeter / Money Talks News

We can’t all live at the beach, but this Salt Air fragrance from Demeter brings the salty-sweet smell of summer home. If Grandma doesn’t feel up to sprawling out in the sand, this will help her pretend she’s there. (Demeter, $5.10-$34, depending on size)

For the not-so-green thumb

Self-watering tomato kit
Uncommon Goods / Money Talks News

For some, summer is the perfect time to tend a vegetable garden and enjoy the fruits of their labors. But for those who could kill a cactus, this self-watering tomato planter comes with everything even the worst gardener needs to raise a bumper crop. (Uncommon Goods, $30)

For kids who love kickin’ it

Brookstone / Money Talks News

How sweet it is: This donut-shaped toy glides on a cushion of air and is just begging you to kick it to send it floating around. (Brookstone, $14.99)

For anyone who wants to checkmate boredom

Uncommon Goods / Money Talks News

Summer sometimes comes with some long car rides, or airplane flights, or hours spent in the RV. This travel chess set carved from Indian rosewood has pegs on each piece, so they won’t fall over during turbulence or traffic. (Uncommon Goods, $26)

For birders

Uncommon Goods / Money Talks News

These striking hummingbird feeders are recycled from misprinted guava-juice tins, so they’re both elegant and eco-friendly. Bring on the birds! (Uncommon Goods, $34)

For furry family members

Walmart / Money Talks News

Fido or Fluffy will live like kings in this two-story mansion of a pet house. It’s designed for small dogs, but we know a cat or two who would move in right meow. (Walmart, $96.95)

For the old-fashioned gamer

Olive and Cocoa / Money Talks News

Gather all the generations and have Grandma and Grandpa teach the young ‘uns the quiet game of croquet with this child-sized wooden set. You don’t need to stake these hoops in the ground, so it can be used indoors or out. (Olive & Cocoa, $68)

For the family traveler

Zazzle / Money Talks News

Someone you know is going on a trip this summer. If not you, it’s the cousin whose choir is singing in Italy, or the brother who’s visiting Disney World. Whether they’re off to India or Indiana, they’ll appreciate this travel journal, personalized with their own images and text on the cover. (Zazzle, $13.95)

For overheated commuters and porch sitters

Brookstone / Money Talks News

For situations where you can’t escape the heat, this hand-held, battery operated fan with multiple speeds is your friend. Throw it in a purse or gym bag for cooling down after a workout. (Brookstone, $19.99)

For women who are smart about the sun

Nordstrom / Money Talks News

No matter how relaxing the sun can feel, smart cookies know to protect their skin from its damaging rays. This woven straw hat lets you enjoy more of the season with safety. (Nordstrom, $44)

… and for men smart about the sun

Nordstrom / Money Talks News

Men need to protect their heads from ultraviolet rays just as much as women (perhaps even more!), and this rakish trilby made from organic, crocheted raffia straw is especially popular with them. (Nordstrom, $80.)

… and for kids smart about the sun

Coolibar / Money Talks News

Ready for a road trip? This long-sleeved toddler shirt protects your child from ultraviolet rays before, after and during the journey. The shirt is from Coolibar, the first clothing company to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation for sun-protective clothing, and is embedded with zinc oxide minerals for extra protection. (Coolibar, $29.50)

For bikers who bend

Fyxation Bicycle Company / Money Talks News

Biking to yoga class sounds like a great idea, until you face the dilemma of where to put your yoga mat. This locally sourced, genuine leather strap lets you carry the mat with ease, whether you’re biking or walking. (Fyxation Bicycle Company, $39.95)

For thirsty pooches

REI / Money Talks News

Shep loves to accompany you on all your summer activities, but even a good boy needs a good drink. This lightweight dog bowl folds up for packing, so you can tote it along to your campsite or while hiking. (REI, $14.95)

… and for thirsty bikers

PUBLIC / Money Talks News

Bike commuters like a little iced latte, but most bikes aren’t equipped like cars with cup holders. That’s where this bicycle handlebar coffee carrier comes in — keeping your drink safe and within reach. (PUBLIC, $14.99)

For summer Trekkers

What on Earth / Money Talks News

Car sunshades are usually just dutiful and boring, doing their job without being noticed. But this Star Trek themed version boldly goes where no sunshade has gone before, turning your car into the Starship Enterprise, with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and crew along for the ride. (What on Earth, $19.95)

What treasures are on your shopping list for summer fun and comfort? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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