Category Archives: Summer

Make Summertime Livin’ Easy

Have you logged some lounging around time yet this summer? Whether by a pool, on a beach, or simply in the backyard, doing nothing in the great outdoors is one of the unique gifts of summer.

As we launch into August, it’s prime time for beach bums and we have some recommendations for lounge chairs that will add to the pleasure of a proper afternoon of delicious laziness. 12425_300x300

This is the lounger that does everything while you do nothing…and it does it all powered by the sun. The Solar Powered Entertainment Lounger features built-in misters, speakers, and a USB charging port. Two solar panels on each side of the chair’s base provide power for all the extensive entertainment features. A control pad on the armrest reclines or raises the back and the fingertip-adjustable nozzles atop each armrest emit a refreshing mist. Integrated Bose speakers sync wirelessly with any Bluetooth-enabled device. 87254_300x300

This all-weather lounger folds into an extended cube for easy storage. The lounger’s aluminum frame splits into two wedge-shaped sections that stack to form a box. The box can also serve as a convenient end table for a patio, deck or a sun room when the outdoor season has passed, and its comfortable one-piece, 2″-thick cushion folds and stores inside the box. 84738_300x300

Recommended by physical therapists, the Ergonomic Beach Lounger provides optimal support and comfort while you lie on your back or stomach. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, it has three pillows engineered to relieve spinal pressure and provide support. A massage-table style face opening allows you to lie prone and read in comfort without neck strain. The built-in canopy tilts to provide customizable shade. This lounger would make an ideal unique gift for any avid reader who loves being outdoors.

So go ahead and indulge in some lounge time. Come winter’s first flakes, you won’t regret it one bit.

Dive into Summer Enjoyment with Pool Toys

Kids just love to swim. But come mid- summer, even a child aqua maniac may be getting a tad bored. It’s time to kick it up a notch by adding some unique gifts to your pool or favorite swimming hole.


These pool toys will add playfulness, fun and friendly competition to your family’s aquatic pastimes, adding to memories of enjoying summer around the pool.

Here’s a four-person paddleball set with wearable, waterproof paddles. The four lightweight paddles slip over any size hand like a glove. Both the paddles and ball float, preventing deep dives to retrieve equipment. The game also can be played on land without a net, table, or court. 84646_300x300

Evoking a favorite carnival game, this floating pool version challenges two competitors to displace six plastic balls with integrated squirt cannons. The first player to eject all six balls from a cylinder wins. The game is ready to go in just minutes, following inflation with an air pump. 84898_300x300

For hoops fans, this swimming pool basketball hoop extends your play time beyond sunset. It includes an integrated LED backboard light that provides a reliable shooting target at night. The impact-resistant, structural poly-resin backboard is weatherproof, even in harsh weather…not that we recommend pool use in those conditions. 12210_300x300

Should you find yourself trying to amuse an entire summer camp of languorous kids, this floating raceway course challenges up to 60 participants at a time to navigate its obstacles, balancing, jumping, climbing and crawling.

We all know how quickly summer goes. Be sure to maximize the unique gifts of the season with all this pool fun.

Banish Summer Boredom with Busy-ness

Just as there’s no crying in baseball, there should be no boredom in summer. And to that point, July is National Anti-Boredom Month.

We adults never get bored in summer. There’s always a way to put to use nature’s unique gifts of warmth and sunshine…a lawn to be mowed, a car to be washed, and if we’re lucky, a book to be read under a tree. We’ll fill every minute of these long summer days.

Kids are another story. Without the diversions of school and homework, with friends away at camp or visiting relatives, many a child has complained during summer break that there’s nothing to do. We have some suggestions for summer child’s play, items that would make for much-appreciated unique gifts for any child and their harried parents. 87067_300x300

Fight a tween’s or teen’s ennui with a new variation of a sport they likely already love. The Sidewinding Circular Skates are propelled by leaning side to side, letting the rider glide along as if riding a skateboard without pushing off the ground. Since the wheels are not connected, riders can easily perform 720° spins and turn on a dime. The skates include a connector rod that helps shorten the learning curve for using these unusual skates.

A whole gaggle of younger kids can be kept busy with this airplane-shaped teeter totter that holds up to seven children at once. A child at each wingtip provides the up-and-down rocking motion. A full flight adds three children sitting in the fuselage with one on each stabilizer at the tail – at its maximum capacity of 600 lbs., the teeter totter remains perfectly balanced. 84057_300x300

Finally, because every summer includes some rainy days, may we suggest Kitchen Table Tennis. Not only does this set include everything you need to turn a dining table or kitchen island into a playing surface, it also reverses to reveal chess, checkers and backgammon boards.

Shake Summer Thirst and Beat the Heat

The peak of summer has arrived. Though many parts of the country have been logging below-normal temperatures this season, hot times and summer in the city are sure to hit us all soon. Here are some unique gifts that will help you keep your cool and stay hydrated with icy beverages.

84432_300x300On the warmest days, you’ll delight kids and adults alike with this machine that makes carnival-worthy snow cones. Its stainless steel blades automatically shave ice cubes into thin, fluffy slivers that, topped with your favorite flavored syrup or beverage, make for a refreshing treat.

76682_300x300Sweet tea is favored for its ice-cold sweetness on sweltering summer days. Our iced tea brewing machine makes up to two quarts of this iconic Dixieland refreshment that originated in the late 19th century. The brewer automatically steeps tea at the proper temperature for optimal flavor extraction and adds your preferred amount of sugar.

11255_300x300Somehow, soft drinks always seem colder out of an old-fashioned soda chest. This authentically detailed replica of the Westinghouse Junior Coca-Cola cooler combines all the hallmarks of the original with modern refrigeration technology. The side-mounted bottle opener and cap catcher, swiveling wheels, and lid chain recall the ubiquitous self-serve chests favored by mom-and-pop stores in the 1930s. The interior holds up to 80 12-oz. cans or 60 8-oz. bottles of your preferred beverage.

Once you have that Coke in hand, you’ll want it to stay cold. We offer several styles of chill-maintaining glassware. The double-walled glasses have a viscous cooling liquid between both layers that freezes in one hour, enabling the glasses to keep a beverage chilled between 32° F and 36° F for 30 minutes or chill a room-temperature libation to 36° F in just 2.5 minutes. These hand-blown glasses would make an ideal and unique gift for a housewarming or as a hostess gift for any summer party.

So enjoy these hot days while we have them. Keeping a cold drink close at hand will help you feel more comfortable all summer long.

Simple Tips for the Best Backyard BBQ

On the subject of friendly neighborhood competitions, the question came up on how to throw a better backyard barbecue.

There are fundamentals that should be observed, of course. If you’re serving steaks, buy the best cut you can afford. Better yet, grill a roast. A simple formula of 15 minutes per pound will yield a beautiful medium-rare presentation, and you can relax a bit and enjoy your guests and the unique gifts of their camaraderie while the meat cooks.

79824_300x300The flavor of your roast, as well as pretty much any meat, fish or fowl, can be made even better with smoke. This wood chip smoker box generates taste-enhancing smoke without producing flames, resulting in a more concentrated, robust flavor.

Try not to use lighter fluid to avoid a chemical after-taste on the food. If you’re using charcoal instead of a gas grill, light the coals using a chimney-style starter. Not only will the food taste better, this method is better for the environment, too.

86925_300x300To keep uncooked meats chilled till the coals are ready or to keep cold side dishes chilled until serving time, this food-chilling platter is ideal for BBQs, buffets, or picnics. The unit’s removable stainless steel platter is chilled by an included freezer pack that keeps cold meats, cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, sushi, or desserts chilled below 45° F for 50 minutes. Its plastic lid ensures protection from insects both indoors and out.

To throw a great backyard barbecue, you’ll need plenty of ice on hand for drinks and coolers. This portable ice maker earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it was the most efficient at producing ice. This model’s 1.8 lbs.-per-hour output was 80% more efficient than other models. The Best model also produced its first batch of clear, well-formed cubes in just under 10 81846A_300x300minutes.

Finally, make sure your guests won’t be eaten alive by mosquitoes. The One Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap lures pesky skeeters within one-acre by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light. When mosquitoes are drawn inside, they die of dehydration. You can give your friends and family the unique gift of an evening under the stars, without the next day’s itchy reminders of uninvited flying pests.

Let the Mid-Summer Games Begin!

At last, summer has arrived! Celebrate these mid-summer nights with bacchanalian block parties, bonfires, and friendly competitions among family, friends, and neighbors. With our unique gift ideas, you can plan a neighborhood competition on a grand scale: your block vs. the next street over. Here are some truly different ideas to help you “settle the score” with as much fun as possible.12120_300x300

This inflatable human bowling game challenges players to assume the “roll” of the ball in knocking down a set of pins. A player simply runs forward inside the 7-foot ball, generating momentum to knock over six foam pins that yield easily at the point of collision.

12683_300x300Buy the world’s longest backyard water slide and you’ll get a 76′-long slipping, sloshing ride for children and adults. Buy two and you can have downhill, side-by-side wet slide races. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, three inflatable segments fit together to form a run that works optimally on declines when a garden hose wets the slide. The slider is deposited at the end of a run into a 10′-long catch pool, which can be left off when the run ends in a lake or pond.

12412_300x300Should the whole neighborhood turn out, you may need extra seats. This is the inflatable outdoor sofa that provides instant, comfortable seating for up to 30 guests. The sofa inflates via the included air pump in just minutes and provides a firm yet comfortable place for party goers to relax and converse during a block party, family reunion or a Gatsbyesque summer soiree.

12110_300x300As evening falls, party-goers can gather ‘round this handcrafted replica of the fire pit displayed at the Athletes’ Village during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The distinctive globe-shaped design, with cutouts in the shapes of the continents, evokes the international spirit of the Olympics and served as a gathering place for competitors from around the world. It makes a great centerpiece for awarding medals to your block party games’ winners or for the presentation of unique gifts to the neighbors.

Banish Bugs with the Three “B”s

The summer’s storm season has renewed its annual deluge of rainfall nationwide—a unique gift of nature for most, but sometimes a harbinger of pesky mosquitoes for others.

If sharing your space or your life-giving bodily fluids with biting insects is a turn-off, there are three ways to combat these flying pests: block them, bait them, or blast them!

87255_300x300Blocking these determined blood suckers offers the most gentle approach, so we offer these unique gifts for those who feel that insects need to eat, too. One can seek refuge within The Mosquito Thwarting Hammock, an enclosure that fits over an integrated hammock and allows cross breezes to keep you cool while mosquitoes are losing theirs, unable to access your person. For the active gardener or mosquito-season outdoors adventurer, we offer mosquito thwarting apparel made from 1.2-mm netting that blocks pests without the need for harmful chemicals.

81846_300x300Those who prefer a more passive-aggressive approach may consider The One Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap, which lures mosquitoes within one-acre by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light. When mosquitoes are drawn inside, they die of dehydration.

87134_300x300When one will not countenance the wearing of nets nor suffer the fixture of a trap in the yard, we offer perhaps the most unique gift for the would-be mosquito slayer: The Bug Blasting Blunderbuss. It requires a steady aim (as well as the unshakable trust of one onto whom an insect has alighted), but if delivered within two feet, the salty discharge from this skeeter scattergun will obliterate even those species rumored to stand flat-footed at 3′-tall.

Blocking, bait, or blasting — these three methods and the products that provide them will at least create the perception that you have taken the annual mosquito abatement chore seriously.

Spring into Summer with a Beautiful Yard

Memorial Day is less than a week away. Is your yard ready for outdoor enjoyment in the unique gifts of summer warmth and sunshine? If not, we have some items that can help you make your yard beautiful and comfortable for your family and friends all season long.

84353_300x300Get your deck ready for a repainting or quickly clean winter’s debris from your patio and driveway. This electric power washer is a fast, effective way to remove built-up grime. In side-by-side evaluations conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, this model was rated The Best because it cleaned more effectively and was easiest to use. Five quick-connect spray tips make it easy to adjust the power of the spray to the job, and its dual removable tanks let you clean with two different detergents.

87417_300x300Trim hedges easily, or perhaps indulge that urge to transform ordinary shrubs into beautiful topiary. This cordless hedge trimmer has a telescoping shaft to prune hedges up to 10′ tall while you stand safely on the ground. It also eliminates the hassle of running extension cords…the trimmer is powered by a rechargeable 18-volt lithium-ion battery for optimal freedom of movement.

87117_300x300Sufficient water is key to a bountiful and beautiful garden. Provide your plants good irrigation and they’ll reward you with the unique gifts of tasty and healthful homegrown veggies. Those daily waterings are easier with this sturdy steel hose reel cart that earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it quickly and smoothly retracts. And unlike lesser carts with flimsy plastic wheels that inhibited mobility, this model has four pneumatic tires for easy rolling all summer long.

84925_300x300Once your yard is in prime condition, keep your outdoor dinner party free of insects without the need for pesticides. This enclosure fits over a patio table’s umbrella to provide a protective canopy. Made from sturdy polyester netting too small for pests to penetrate, it fits over umbrellas up to 9′ in diameter while its 96″ length extends to stay flush with the ground.

The next three months will fly by, but with a little work and planning now, you’ll be able to make the most of your outdoor space so you can relax and enjoy the unique gifts of nature’s best season.

Wearable Protection Thwarts Mosquito Bites

With the joys of summer come the perils of mosquitoes. Annoying as they are, these pesky insects can also spread West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and the recently identified chikungunya virus. So protecting yourself when outdoors is essential.

Of course, wearing mosquito repellant is one technique to keep the blood-thirsty pests at bay. But many people are put off by the smell and greasy residue of these lotions and sprays, not to mention the chemicals that they contain.

A better alternative for these folks is mosquito protection that you put on rather than spray on. This special clothing creates an impenetrable barrier between you and bugs that allows you to enjoy the outdoors in peace. And unlike chemical repellents, the protection won’t wane over time.The Wearable Mosquito Net

Our exclusive Wearable Mosquito Net is a pullover and head covering that features fine 1.2-mm netting to shield the skin from mosquitoes without the use of harmful and malodorous chemicals. Pair the lightweight shirt with these Mosquito Net Pants for head-to-toe protection.

An ideal unique gift for your favorite horticulturist, The Gardener’The Gardener’s Bug Thwarting Hats Bug Thwarting Hat has a mosquito net stowed under the brim. When insects start to bite, the netting can be deployed, extending over the 2″-wide brim by 16″, providing ample coverage for the entire head and neck and closing snug to keep mosquitoes, gnats, and other troublesome garden insects out.

Sno Time Like the Present for a Cool Treat

Statistically speaking, the third week of July is the hottest time of the year. How appropriate, then, that today is National Ice Cream Day.

First designated in 1984 by then-President Ronald Reagan, the entire month of July, along with the third Sunday of the month, recognizes ice cream as a fun and nutritious food, one in which 90 percent of Americans indulge.The Genuine Good Humor Ice Cream Cart

This Ice Cream Day, you could be the most popular person in your neighborhood with The Genuine Good Humor Ice Cream Cart. This is the genuine cart that was first produced for the Good Humor Company over 75 years ago. Four brass bells hang from the handlebar, an iconic feature that attracted children by the dozens to street corners in America’s growing suburbs following World War II.

For those looking for a low-fat, healthy treat, The Frozen Fruit Soft Serve Processor instantly turns frozen fruit and other flavorings into a soft-serve confection. The unit combines frozen bananas and any additional fruit or chocolate and instantly churns the ingredients to produce a treat with the silky-smooth texture of frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream, but without the additional fat, sugar, or preservatives. It makes a great and unique gift for lactose-intolerant friends or family.

Because summer is a great time to celebrate frozen treats of all kinds, The Classic Snow Cone Cart will remind you of the type found at beaches, parks, and zoos. Three dispensers The Classic Snow Cone Makerlet guests apply the flavored syrup in grand Sno-Kone tradition. You may want to pair your Sno-Kone cart with The Best Portable Ice Maker. This portable appliance earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it was the most efficient at producing ice.

So, if you’re feeling warm on this summer day, cool off with a delicious serving of ice cream, sherbet, gelato, sorbet, water ice, soft serve, snow cone, or frozen yogurt. Whichever you choose, it’s sure to be refreshing!