Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
We are into the dog days of summer and by now, you may have run out of ideas to keep the season entertaining for your family, friends, even yourself. This week, our BestReviews team is here to help with a few essentials to make the rest of summer fun for everyone.
Summer essentials for a good time
Which essentials do you need for a good time this summer?
Many people look forward to the summer season all year. It’s a beautiful time to get outside, get together with friends or enjoy cold treats. To make the most of summer, you’ll need a few essentials.
BestReviews’ Jacob Palmer joins Scott Moak to share our picks for the items you need this summer.
Ice cream maker
Ice cream is the perfect way to beat the heat. If you eat ice cream often, you can save money over time by making it yourself. There’s something particularly satisfying about eating ice cream you made from scratch.
When choosing an ice cream maker, think about how much work you want to put into making your treat. Hand-crank models require more effort but produce top-notch ice cream. Alternatively, modern ice cream makers make delicious ice cream with little effort.
Making ice cream is best when you take your time and choose high-quality ingredients. Consider using cream instead of milk and real vanilla instead of vanilla flavoring. Fresh eggs and cream ensure your frozen treat has a good flavor.
Having cold drinks on hand is necessary to every cookout and tailgating event, but coolers are usually heavy and hard to carry. Luckily, numerous backpack coolers make it easy to transport cold drinks.
Consider size, weight and insulation when buying a backpack cooler. Larger backpacks give you more space to store beverages, but they can be harder to carry. Some feature hard sides, whereas others are soft all the way around. Soft backpacks are more comfortable to carry, but you’ll want to check that they’re made from a thick, puncture-resistant material.
If you’re getting your friends and family together for a day of fun, you can’t go wrong with yard games. Many stick to cornhole and horseshoes, but there are a wide range of new yard games worth considering.
Games like Spikeball incorporate volleyball and four square elements for a competitive game that gets you up and moving. Chippo is a yard game made for those who love golfing; it combines elements of golf with cornhole.
Pickleball is a great middle ground between activity and relaxation. This sport combines elements of table tennis and traditional tennis. It gets you on your feet and moving but doesn’t require much running.
Starting with a pickleball set can be a good idea if you’ve never played before. Most sets include nearly everything you need to get started, such as paddles and balls.
When spending time in the sun, it can be easy to forget to apply sunscreen. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the damage the sun’s UV rays can cause. According to the National Institutes of Health, UV rays can reduce skin elasticity and cause skin cancer.
Broad spectrum sunscreen is the best choice, as it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens that don’t offer broad spectrum protection may prevent sunburn but don’t prevent deep tissue damage. Additionally, you’ll want sunscreen with a sun protection factor (or SPF) of at least 30.
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This is a highly durable machine that produces consistently good ice cream. The insulated freezer bowl eliminates the need for ice. It’s relatively compact, making it easy to store. Operating this unit is straightforward.
This durable cooler features top-notch insulation that keeps drinks cold. The straps are strong and comfortable. It’s available in eight colors and is relatively easy to clean. Many are impressed with the zipper’s durability.
Sold by Amazon
This yard game can be played competitively or casually. You can adjust the net to give the balls more or less bounce. It features foldable legs and a drawstring bag, making it easy to take on the go.
This game is a fun choice for fans of cornhole and golf. The set includes two boards, two chipping mats and six balls. Players are impressed with the quality of the balls and boards.
Sold by Amazon
This set includes two paddles and two balls. It’s an affordable way to get started playing pickleball.
This broad spectrum sunscreen goes on clear and feels incredibly light. It seems to hold up well in water. Most people feel it prevents their skin from burning and never feels greasy.
Pullout: Summer essentials can range from games and ways to keep cool to products that keep you safe in the sun and those used for cookouts and tailgating.