In the middle of winter, it can seem like summer is never coming again. For parents of young children cooped inside a house, it can seem even worse.
We can't figure out a way to bring you the beach and the warm summer sun, but we can bring some of the best summer treats into your kitchen. Think soft pretzels and hot dogs, snow cones and ice cream. No you won't be under the boardwalk, enjoying the sun, but on the plus side, your ice cream won't melt!
At the very least, these gadgets will allow you a small taste (literally) of the fun that really is only months away. Close your eyes. Can you smell the suntan lotion?
No? Well then here are a few summer-friendly gadgets to get you there:
Ice cream maker: $168.25
There are many ice cream makers one can choose from and many are cheaper than this one, but this old fashioned-looking maker is just fun to pull out. For me, it recalls late summer evenings when I was a kid. My parents would have company who would stay and chat on our terrace and we would all eat fresh peach ice cream. The terrace may be covered with snow, but you can still sit in a sun room (or room with some natural light) and eat homemade ice cream. Bonus points if you make your own waffle cones!
Snow cone machine: $24.77
This Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver may not actually be ocean side, but it's the closest you may get during the beginning of January if you don't have the money for a plane ticket. Have fun crushing the ice with the kids and get a sweet treat, to boot, no passport required.
Indoor Grill: $65.99
Invite the kids into the TV room to watch some tube and fire up the (indoor/outdoor) George Foreman grill inside. Throw some dogs and burgers on the (non-existent) flame and party like it's July!
Waffle cone maker: $48.90
This is a great way to drag out the ice cream making experience and shake off the winter doldrums. Do it all from scratch!
For less than $300 (the price of a one-way plane ticket to Jamaica for one person), you can bring the summer fun into your winter house. Ignore the snow boots in the corner and pretend like it's June 21!
Do you ever have "summer days" in the winter?
Image via Keith McDuffee/Flickr