Even though all you need to kick back during summer is a pool, some shade, and a glass of lemonade, it takes a little more than that to kick summer into high gear. Here are some home essentials that will prepare you for fun family time and outdoor entertaining.

Ethereal Outdoor Lights

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Don’t let the party end early! Make sure your outdoor living areas are well-lighted for fun that lasts past 9 pm. If you’re feeling really crafty, try making DIY coffee can lanterns.

Summer Toiletry Station

Even though summer is the most carefree season, it’s also the season of sunburns, calluses, scrapes, and bug bites. But you can help get everyone get back to being carefree by providing a summer toiletry station in your guest bathroom. Include essentials like aloe vera, sugar scrub, sunscreen, scented insect repellent, and first aid items.

Drying Area

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Update your mudroom or an area of your porch to make it summer-friendly. Hang a clothesline with pins or a pegboard for hanging wet swimsuits, towels, and sandals. Provide extra towels and sunscreen for a quick return to the pool.

Steak Branding Iron

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You take pride in entertaining–why not show it? Add a personal touch to your grilled meats with a steak branding iron. Sear your initials into your entree before handing it off for other people to enjoy.

Hammock

A summer day isn’t complete until you’ve had a few moments to relax. A hammock is more than summer essential–it’s a staple of the season. Place it in a tree-covered spot or on your porch for the perfect amount of shade.

Creative Beer Cooler or Beverage Dispenser

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What’s a get-together–or even just a summer day, really–without a refreshing beverage within arm’s reach. Put away your ten-year-old plastic cooler and try something a little more convenient or innovative. And no matter what, keep the drinks coming!

Unbreakable, Stylish Dishware

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Eating outside doesn’t have to mean using paper plates or cheap napkins that fly away. Invest in outdoor dishware that can withstand the wear and tear while looking as great as your indoor dishware.

Fire Pit

No summer is complete without a bonfire and sticky s’mores. Not only does a fire pit offer a low maintenance dinner and dessert option, it also encourages togetherness long after the sun has gone down.

DIY Slip and Slide

You can build a slip and slide for kids or adults with just some plastic sheeting, a shovel, and something to make it extra slippery. Before diving into the fun, make sure everyone is briefed on the safety protocol for using the slide.

Decorative Citronella Candles

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You can plan everything just right for an outdoor family dinner or a summer get together–but if your guests can’t stop scratching and slapping their limbs, the fun can end early. Make sure your guests are comfortable by placing citronella candles on the table and torches throughout the yard.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.