Whether you’re dining alfresco, playing with the kids or just spending lazy days in the backyard, this gear will maximize your summer fun.

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From now until mid-September, Seattleites are out in force, determined to wring every bit of fun from our too-short summer.

So whether you’re dining alfresco with friends, playing with the kids or just spending lazy days in the backyard, we’ve got gear guaranteed to amp up your summer fun.


Sun’s out, grill’s out — but yours has seen better days. If you love cooking outdoors, invest in the Weber Genesis S-330 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill in Stainless Steel ($949 at The Home Depot), which has a large grilling area with three burners, plus a side burner that holds a sauté pan.

For something different, add the KettlePizza Deluxe USA Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit ($220 at kettlepizza.com) to your 18.5-inch or 22.5-inch charcoal grill. The frame and baking stone allow you to grill pizzas in less than 10 minutes. The set also includes an aluminum pan and stainless steel peel.

Upgrade your dining set with the Outdoor Interiors 48-inch Folding Round Table ($299) and matching Folding Side Chairs ($109, both at City People’s Garden Store, Madison Valley). Made from beautiful, durable Brazilian eucalyptus, these pieces store away easily in the cold season.

If neighborhood parties are on the menu, consider the handsome Crate & Barrel Regatta Extension Dining Table ($2,599), which seats up to 12 people and is constructed from grade-A, plantation-grown teak. Coordinating Regatta Dining Chairs ($548 each) come with Sunbrella cushions.

Set a mellow vibe with Ikea’s Skruv LED Lighting Chain ($8), with 48 LED lights, and top them with festive Solvinden Decorations for Light Chains ($5 for 12), made from sturdy polyester.

When you’re ready to serve, use melamine Mudhut Marika Dinner Plates ($15 for four at Target) and the Fishs Eddy Scout Patch Serving Tray ($39 at West Elm) — both fun, festive choices.

And to keep your ice cream cold on a hot day, try the ingenious (and locally designed) True Ice Cream FREEZE Cooling Bowl ($20 at truefabrications.com). Pop the BPA-free bowls into the freezer a few hours before serving, and your Cherry Garcia will stay icy-cold for hours.


Summer is a great time to be a kid, but sometimes the little ones need a nudge to go outside and play. The TreePod Hanging Tree House ($325 at mytreepod.com) may be just the fort they need. The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the super-fun nylon pod is supported by a steel frame and can hold up to 500 pounds. Hang it from a sturdy tree limb or a stand for go-anywhere fun.

If the mercury’s climbing, it’s time for water play. The Pottery Barn Kids Whale Inflatable Sprinkler Ball ($47) attaches to a regular garden hose and comes with a pump for quick setup. And it’s cute enough you won’t mind it sitting in your front yard.

Aquaplay’s 520 Superset canal system ($99 at amazon.com), designed in Sweden, can keep kids occupied for hours. It includes a boat, amphibious truck, crane, lock system and more.


The best part of summer may be doing absolutely nothing. Snooze away the afternoon in Crate & Barrel’s Woven Green Hammock with Pillow and Stand ($469), or chill out with a frosty beverage in the Outdoor Interiors Eucalyptus Adirondack Chair ($249 at City People’s). The handsome lounger has a built-in, sliding ottoman for maximum relaxation.

Looking to lounge with friends? The Ratana Brisbane Sectional ($3,999 at Summer House Patio, Bellevue) is a perpetual bestseller thanks to its clean lines and woven rattan construction. The four-piece configuration easily seats up to eight people.

Wirelessly stream music even in wet or sandy conditions with the NudeAudio Super-M Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($149 at amazon.com). It comes in an array of fun colors and has a cord for hanging it wherever you head outdoors.

The only thing missing from this picture is a frosty beverage. That problem is easily remedied with the Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker ($269 at kohls.com), which holds, shaves and blends ice for perfect summer drinks. Cheers to that!