Even though summer’s technical calendar start date isn’t until June 21, Memorial Day weekend is universally known as the “unofficial start” to summer. And nothing screams party like a three-day weekend celebrating with friends and family to ring in (what I think to be) the best season of the year.
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If you’re hosting a Memorial Day party this weekend, there are a few gadgets and products that make for a successful, fun, and stress-free gathering. Plus, with some early Memorial Day deals and sales going on, you may even be able to snag them for a discounted price. We thought about some of the most common party planning needs, cross referencing them with the top tech on the market — from electric grills we’ve tested to ZDNET’s top picks for outdoor TVs — to compile a list of everything you’ll need for your Memorial Day and summer-long get togethers.
A grill is a great way to simultaneously socialize and feed all your guests. Plus, a hot dog or burger on the grill is a summer staple. If this is one of the first times you’ve grilled this year and are realizing that it’s time for an upgrade, or want to invest in one in general, now is the time. From electric grills to gas grills, these are best grills you can buy.
This gas grill has an electronic ignition button to ensure quick and easy grill lighting, while a handy built-in thermometer lets you check cooking temperatures as you grill. Plus, a 10,000 BTU side burner lets you cook sauces and sides or keep appetizers warm while grilling your main course.
ZDNET went hands-on with the Weber Lumin and are extremely impressed. It can pre-heat and cook in similar time frames as a gas grill, and is even able to mimic that classic, charred flavor you get from gas grilling. In addition, it comes with a steamer basket for using soaked wood chips, thawing meat, steaming vegetables.
The classic design of this Weber grill is perfect for both direct and indirect heat grilling as well as smoking tougher cuts like ribs and brisket. In addition, the lid features a built-in thermometer so you can check your food’s temperature without taking the top off. It also has adjustable vents to control cooking temperatures for perfect steaks, chicken, and fish.
An outdoor TV
Your outdoor area is for entertaining, and what better way to entertain than by watching a game, a movie, or stream the latest binge-worthy TV show outside? The best outdoor TVs have bright displays and durable builds so you can watch anything no matter the Memorial Day weather.
The 55-inch 4K QLED display on the Samsung Terrace is made for the outdoors. More specifically, its anti-glare screen prevents the hot sun from interrupting a movie. Plus, IP55 waterproofing protects the TV from a rainy day. You can even connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to use the browser function and surf the web to watch YouTube videos outside.
The tempered, anti-glare screen on this outdoor TV is twice as bright as indoor models, so it can handle any bright environment, like your back patio on a sunny summer day. The Element Roku also has a IP55 rating, meaning it’s weatherproof against water, dirt, humidity, and even snow.
The anti-glare screen on this Furrion outdoor TV boasts excellent clarity with LED technology, an anti-glare LCD screen, and 4K resolution. Plus, built-in speakers and 350-nit brightness immerse you in entertainment regardless of how bright the sun is shining.
Music is essential to a party. Therefore, so is a capable speaker. Whether it’s a complete sound system or a portable speaker to bring to the lake or pool, we’ve rounded up a few of the best picks for you.
If your Memorial Day party is taking you to the lake or a campsite, a portable speaker like the Sonos Roam is a great option since it has IP67 waterproofing. Sonos Roam uses dual Class-H digital amplifiers with a tweeter and mid-woofer, which promises a dynamic sound, regardless of range.
These speakers from Rocksteady are each a dual type of speaker that includes a tweeter with a mid-bass driver and bass drums to produce incredible sound. This is an entirely flexible unit that allows you to connect multiple speakers at the same time, greatly expanding your outdoor listening area.
This wired system from Polk is waterproof, so there are no worries, and Bass Boost takes your audio to the next level. Its 80 watts of power is meant to overpower background noise so that you can enjoy your music instead of the sounds of nearby traffic or a competing party with inferior music taste.
If an outdoor TV isn’t feasible for your outdoor space, a projector is a great way to bring entertainment outside. You can sit back and watch your favorite movie on a bigger screen with crisp displays using simple Bluetooth connections to stream. Here are our top picks for the best outdoor projectors.
This projector has both HDMI and USB-C connectivity so that you can enjoy 1080p viewing with extra bass from two midrange tweeters and a 10-watt woofer feeding sound from the 2.1-channel Bluetooth speaker. It also comes with Android TV so you can connect from your mobile device via AirPlay and Chromecast.
At 2400 ISO lumens, this projector from Anker allows you to watch movies anytime, even before the sun goes down. In addition, Anker employs Dolby Audio and a 3D soundscape, which it promises to deliver top-tier sound to match the high quality visuals.
The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 smart streaming laser projector makes clear visuals its top priority with a pronounced focus on bright colors. Epson MicroLaser Array Technology joins a 4K picture for incredible brightness and coloring.
A Memorial Day party isn’t complete without some beverages. Whether its water, soda, or adult beverages, you need a reliable cooler to keep the drinks cold. Here are some of our favorite coolers.
Yeti’s insulation design, called Permafrost, uses pressure-insulated polyurethane foam walls, ensuring items stay cold for days at a time. It can hold up to 26 cans with ice, and coming in 12 fun colors, it’ll be easy to tell which one belongs to your party.
The Polar 120-quart cooler from Igloo is an excellent choice for those looking for serious capacity at a budget-friendly price point. The insulation technology holds ice for up to five days, and the threaded drain plug make for an easier emptying and cleaning process.
At just 21 pounds, this cooler is much lighter than other options, making it great for portability and travel. It holds up to 70 cans (with no ice) so there’s plenty of room to stock a beverages for your party.
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Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday of May. This year, it is on Monday, May 29. However, people usually celebrate all weekend long with cook-outs and parties.
The best Memorial Day sales can be found at retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and others. Also be sure to check Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T for sales this weekend.
Memorial Day deals are happening now, so be sure to keep an eye out at major retailers. Traditionally, tech sales have ended the day after Memorial Day, but some continue for the entire week after Memorial Day, so be sure to check online retailers even after this weekend.