Apps for Summer Entertaining
The summer months are great for getting outdoors and spending time with friends and family. While camping trips and backyard barbeques can be a fun change of pace, they can also present some challenges when it comes to keeping everyone, from kids to adults, entertained. To help you make the best of these special moments this summer, I’ve put together a list of my favourite apps for summer entertainment.
iOS | Android
There’s something about summer that really makes you want to turn up the tunes and these days it’s easier than ever to access a wide range of music, appealing to every type of listener. For me, it’s not unusual to find myself entertaining everyone from teenagers to seniors at a family barbeque or camping trip so music selection can be tricky. This is where my Spotify subscription comes in handy. Spotify is a music streaming service with millions of songs and a wide variety of readymade playlists for any mood or crowd. Spotify Premium for Family allows for up to 5 users, making it perfect for those times when the kids want to break off on their own.
Spotify can stream music using a Wi-Fi or data connection but keep in mind that streaming can use up a lot of data so it might not be ideal for week long camping trips. Luckily, Spotify can be used offline as well, making up to 3,333 songs available for offline listening.
iOS | Android
Although sitting around the backyard or campfire eating and chatting can be a lot of fun, sometimes it’s nice to infuse a little extra excitement and the element of competition with a game. I’ve found that the best games to play in these situations are ones that are simple and allow everyone to participate, from young kids to seniors. Heads Up! is a game that fits the bill perfectly. The game is simple: the app generates a card with a word on it that you have to guess based on the other player’s clues. To play, you hold your phone up to your forehead without looking at the word. The other players will give you clues to help you guess without using the word itself. It’s a lot of fun and you can play with just one person or a large group! The best part is that all you need is one phone with the app installed.
With fewer clouds in the sky and mild temperatures at night, summer is the perfect time for stargazing. Not only can this be a fun activity for all ages, it’s also educational. When I was a kid, learning about the different constellations and stars required a book or at least an adult who knew what they were talking about. These days, we all have star charts right in our pockets, thanks to mobile apps. I’ve tried out a few of these apps throughout the years and I have to say that Star Chart is my favourite. This app uses augmented reality and GPS to calculate the location of stars, planets and moons. To use the app, you simply point it at the stars you’d like to know more about. Star Chart has a lot of other features to help you learn about the stars as well, making it a fun app to keep everyone entertained on a clear summer night.
Food plays an important role in summertime entertaining, whether that’s at a campsite or in your own backyard. That being said, I’ve found that everyone wants something different when I fire up the grill. Inevitably I end up with burgers, chicken, steak, and veggies on the go all at once. With all these items requiring different cooking times, it’s easy to lose track and over or undercook something. To help keep everything straight, I use the GrillTime app. This little gem recommends optimal temperatures and cooking times for different items, such as steak, burgers, chicken, veggies, and fish. It also allows me to add timers for multiples items simultaneously so I never lose track. Thanks to Apple Watch support, I don’t even have to keep my phone with me!