Category Archives: Summer

Enjoy the Sounds of Summer

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and live music under the stars. These are the makings for one of our favorite summer pleasures, a concert in the park.

Whether you take in the symphony at one of the country’s fabulous outdoor venues like Wolf Trap, Tanglewood, or Ravinia, or go to your neighborhood park to hear a local band on the rise, when the weather’s right, we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the unique gifts of a summer evening.76519_1000x1000

Typically at such venues, you need to bring your own chair. This portable director’s chair folds to about the size of a laptop and stores in an easy-to-carry messenger bag. It weighs only 9 lbs. and straps over a shoulder and across the chest for easy hands-free portability. Rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal, with this chair, you’ll be ready to take in a concert at a moment’s notice.88337_1000x1000

Turn the evening into a movable feast with this ingenious cooler cart. This folding beverage cart has an integrated cooler/tabletop to transport your family’s feast over any terrain. The flexible cooler insert holds up to 225 lbs. of ice, drinks, and food. Its rigid cover doubles as a tabletop when closed. The cart pulls easily with a telescoping handle and heavy-duty rubber wheels.89360_1000x1000

After sunset, you’ll need some light and a way to keep mosquitos at bay. This 300-lumen outdoor lantern uses a synthetic repellent made from a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemums. Field testing proved it repels up to 98% of mosquitoes. Eight LEDs inside the lantern produce an efficient glow for up to 50 hours and may be used with or without the repellant. This lamp makes the ideal unique gift for anyone looking to keep pesky flying insects away in any outdoor setting.

Whether you favor classical, pop, rock, or jazz, with a symphony of crickets as backup, you can’t beat the sum of a picnic plus live music to really appreciate the unique gifts of a summer concert in the park.

Some Like It Hot, Some ‘re Better Cool

Just past 6:30 last evening, the sun reached its northernmost point of the year, making today the first full day of summer.

While warm weather has been with us for weeks now, the hottest is yet to come. Statistically, the third week of July presents the warmest temperatures of the season. Some folks love hot weather, but others try their best to stay cool. If you’re in the latter group, these unique gifts will help you chill out, even when it’s blazing hot.82495_1000x1000

This low-profile window fan earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the highest air velocity and pushed the most air volume. Plus, with only 57.1 decibels of noise, this is one of the quietest fans around. The Best model’s dual fans are reversible and operate independently, allowing one fan to draw cool air in while the other pushes warm air out for optimal circulation. It has a remote control, too, so you don’t even have to break a sweat to turn it on.78165_1000x1000

Using patented fabric developed for NASA to help keep astronauts comfortable in space, this unique pillow provides a comfortably cool sleeping surface. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, inside this pillow millions of invisible microcapsules absorb excess heat and move the warmth away from your head and neck until the pillow reaches the ambient temperature. As you shift positions during sleep, the vacated area of the pillow recovers its cooling properties.87339_1000x1000

Little else provides the unique gift of feeling cool than floating gently in a pool. This floating hammock supports your head and feet while your core remains partially submerged in water. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, this float’s unique design offers a blend of support and buoyancy that gives you the sensation of swinging in a favorite hammock. It requires no inflation, just get in the water and while away the afternoon.

For most people, little else beats the feeling of summer and memories of long, carefree days. Take time to enjoy the unique gifts this season brings…but if you can’t take the heat, we are here to help you keep your cool.

Have a Sand-Sational Time

Summer has finally arrived! The sun is shining longer, your skin is turning a golden tan, and the beach is calling your name. The unique gifts of sand, sun, and surf won’t be around for long, which is why we offer a wide variety of ways to make the most of a trip to the beach.

Every beachgoer knows it’s hard to relax in flimsy, awkward chairs that offer no 84738_1000x1000protection from the sun’s unrelenting rays. Recommended by physical therapists, The Removable Shade Ergonomic Beach Lounger provides optimal support and shaded comfort whether 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 without neck strain and the built-in canopy tilts to provide customizable shade. It’s an ideal unique gift for any avid reader who loves the outdoors.87866_1000x1000

For those who prefer their fun on their feet, you can stay active with this 360º Slamball Set that is the horizontal version of beach volleyball for adults and kids alike. Challenging up to four players with 360° ball bouncing action, the game’s six-sided trampoline sets up in seconds. Four-person contests introduce a second ball into play, allowing for a two-at-a-time slams, feints, dives, and saves as well as double the scoring opportunities.86155_1000x1000

While you always enjoy a day at the beach, there are times when you don’t want all the sand that comes with it. Ideal for a picnic on the beach or simply just laying out in the sun, this Only Six-Person Sandless Beach Mat instantly filters sand to the beach as soon as it falls on its surface. The mat acts as a one-way filter to prevent sand from reemerging through its bottom and eliminates dirt, dust, and water from its surface.

So enjoy these long summer days while we have them and maximize your trip to the beach with these unique gifts of the season.

Take Our Cue…Unique Gifts for Dad’s Barbecue, That Is!

Smokin’ low and slow is the way to go for dear ol’ Dad this Father’s Day. It’s the endless quest for finger-licking, bone-sucking BBQ, good enough to make everyone’s mouth water.88539_1000x1000

We suggest Dad start slow and easy, with a meat marinade or dry rub ideal for smoking. The Only Kettle Grill Smoker Converter turns an ordinary kettle grill into a smoking pit, so Dad can cook his meats to juicy, pink perfection. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the insert rests atop a grill’s charcoal grate and provides a perforated platform for briquettes, woodchips, and water to work together to generate a dense, flavorful smoke.88516_1000x1000

Dad’s carefully planned ballet of rubbed meat and slow smoke can be monitored with timed, digital precision using The Smartphone Alerting Barbecue Thermometer. This device lets dad monitor his brisket while playing a game of softball, taking Mom for a stroll, or engaging in a game of lawn darts. The wireless transmitter sends real-time data to an iPad/iPhone app or Android app, alerting the cook when a pre-selected temperature or optimal cooking range is reached…Dad relaxes and has fun with the family in the meantime.88310_1000x100087471_1000x1000

And for the finest 14-hour smoked brisket that may take Dad into the hours past sunset, The Best Cordless Grill Light lets him baste his rib roast and plate those succulent unique gifts of burnt ends for the family soirée. This light earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it generated the brightest, most expansive light and was the only model with a timer.

Perhaps the Dad in your life is not one for manning the grill. No problem…we have plenty of other ideas for the perfect Father’s Day present. Our easy-to-use, online Father’s Day Gift Guide is available to help you choose just the right unique gifts for him.

Plant the Seeds for a Great Garden

Do plants wither just from your glance? Do cactuses die from neglect under your care? You might be afflicted with a chronic brown thumb. We have some suggestions to help turn that brown thumb green…soon you, too, can enjoy the unique gifts of nature’s bounty and be the envy of the neighborhood.87084_1000x1000

Start with this easy-growing vertical garden. It displays five planters in only four sq. ft. of outdoor space and is set on casters for easy relocation. Ideal for balconies, patios and decks, the garden’s vertical post supports two large and three small pots for growing herbs, vegetables and flowers. The pots are at staggered heights to maximize sun exposure and each planter has drain holes to prevent overwatering…the common gardening mistake that sends many plants to an untimely end.88489_1000x1000

Like many brown-thumb gardeners, you may have no problem growing lush patches of dandelions, crabgrass and creeping thistle. This lawn and garden steamer helps control common weeds with ordinary tap water rather than harmful chemicals or backbreaking labor. A squeeze of the steamer’s trigger unleashes a weed-wilting blast of super-heated steam. With just a 5-10 second treatment, unwanted vegetation immediately discolors and shrivels, then dies in 24-48 hours. This steamer makes the ideal unique gift for any organic gardener, too.84647_1000x1000

Proper, deep watering in the heat of summer will keep both your garden and your lawn looking good. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute tested leading lawn sprinklers and this model earned The Best rating because it watered the largest area and was the easiest to use. It was the easiest to connect, thanks to a specially designed adapter that attaches to a hose and simply plugs into the sprinkler without twisting. A built-in timer can automatically turn the sprinkler off after five minutes to two hours of watering.

You can also promote your green-thumb status by following the basic rules of gardening: pay attention to how much light specific plant varieties need. If the tag says “full sun”, don’t put that plant under a tree. Water deeply to promote root growth, but with less frequency. And use a good organic, time-release fertilizer to ensure your plants get the vitamins and minerals they need. Be good to them and they’ll reward you with the unique gifts of steady growth all summer long.

Unique Toys for Imaginative Play

Kids are born copy-cats. When children play at imitating adults, it’s more than just cute…it’s an important step in cognitive development, helping a child learn traditions, customs, and socialization.

That’s why unique gifts for children are so often designed around adult professions or hobbies. Hammacher Schlemmer has a selection of toys to entertain kids for hours, while exposing them to creative, imaginative play.86458_1000x1000

The littlest grease monkeys will be thrilled by this little car engine. It lets aspiring mechanics pop the hood, change the oil, and tinker with the engine. With a removable cowling, spark plugs, wing nuts and other lifelike car components, children can practice testing the brakes, changing the air filter, and using the dipstick to check the oil levels. The car has a working horn and headlights, and the set comes with a screwdriver, wrench, and other tools sized to fit little hands. 86931_1000x1000

What better unique gift for a child during BBQ season than this kid-sized replica of the classic Weber kettle grill. Young grill masters fire up creativity when they add plastic briquettes and light them with the included “lighter” that makes authentic clicking sounds. The charcoals emit a red glow of burning embers and make sounds that simulate crackling charcoal. Children can grill the included porterhouse steak, jumbo prawn, salmon steak, and vegetables, just like mom and dad.12500_1000x1000

This toy farmers’ market stand comes stocked with fruits and vegetables to teach young growers and shoppers about local sourcing and healthy eating. Appropriately sized for little customers and vendors, the shaded market stall is made from colorfully painted wood and includes nine removable plastic bins and a selection of “fresh” produce. The cheerful striped awning reverses to convert to a lemonade stand.

Of all unique gifts for a child, the best thing you can give them is the gift of your time. Be there for the children in your life, side-by-side, letting them learn from the most mundane “adult” activities you do every day.

Gentlemen, Start Your Burners!

It’s time to fire up the grill! Properly done, grilling is a healthy way of cooking. Fats drip off meat, plus the high heat of this method helps grilled meats and veggies alike retain more vitamins. That’s a unique gift we’ll accept any time!

No wonder 80 percent of American homes own a grill or smoker. And while summer is the most popular time for a barbeque, about 60 percent of backyard chefs report using their grills year ‘round. So if you’re looking for unique gifts for a homeowner, a grill accessory is practically a sure bet.83709_1000x1000

To maintain grilling as a healthy method of cooking, the grates should be kept clean of carbon deposits. This grill-cleaning robot automatically cleans your grates, removing burned-on bits of food and grease in just a few passes. The device can be set to operate for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, so you can get an extra-deep cleaning for the first barbeque of the season, or following a steak-heavy Father’s Day meat fest.88516_1000x1000

Freeing the grillmaster to relax or fraternize, this innovative thermometer wirelessly sends alerts to a smartphone or a tablet. Unlike typical thermometers that require personal inspection, this model’s wireless transmitter sends real-time data to an iPhone/iPad or Android app from 160′ away, alerting you when a pre-selected temperature is reached. Its water-resistant transmitter receives data from the probes and transmits directly to the smart device. It works brilliantly in an indoor oven, too.87471_1000x1000

Those who grill all year long likely do their share of cooking after sunset…and here’s the ideal unique gift for those folks. This cordless grill light earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it generated the brightest, most expansive light and was the only model with a timer. The Best model has 18 LEDs that produce crisp light six times brighter than lesser models. Its beam illuminates the cooking surface and a grill’s side table simultaneously. This light can be mounted to any vertical, horizontal or angled surface.

Memorial Day—one of the most popular days for grilling—will be here in less than three weeks. If you’ve not yet dusted off your favorite kettle cooker, flat top grill or smoker, now’s the time. Fill the propane tank or stock up on charcoal and get ready for the wonderful aromas and delicious flavors of outdoor cooking.

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.

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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.
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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.