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Memorial Day 2021 essentials

While many areas of the U.S. plan on lifting most Covid restrictions by Memorial Day 2021, please remember to celebrate safely. Consider wearing a Memorial Day face mask.
While many areas of the U.S. plan on lifting most Covid restrictions by Memorial Day 2021, please remember to celebrate safely. Consider wearing a Memorial Day face mask. (BestReviews)

What do I need to make this Memorial Day a success?

First and foremost, on Memorial Day, we honor and mourn the military personnel who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The holiday is celebrated with parades, family gatherings, picnics, barbecues and by cherishing the time we have together. Since Memorial Day falls on the last Monday in May, it is also the unofficial start of summer.

There are many things you need to do to prepare for this special day. To make sure this year's holiday is a success, we've curated a list of Memorial Day essentials. For your convenience, the list has been broken down into five general categories: pool supplies, essential grilling gear, patio furniture and accessories, summer needs for the kids and water-based toys and activities for kids.

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Pool supplies

This category features the pool supplies that are needed to keep your pool clean and safe for the entire summer.

Pool Mate Deluxe Solar Cover: available at Home Depot When it comes to protecting your pool, the first line of defense is a thermal cover. Not only will the right model keep your pool warm throughout the summer, but it will also protect it by catching any debris that falls onto your pool when it is not being used.

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POOLWHALE Heavy Duty Swimming Pool Skimmer: available at Amazon

It's important to get leaves, grass clippings and any other debris out of your pool before it sinks to the bottom and must be vacuumed up. A quality pool skimmer can help with this task. POOLWHALE's lightweight telescoping aluminum pool skimmer is a durable option that can help keep your pool clean.

The Wall Whale Classic Pool Brush: available at Amazon To keep the algae at bay, every pool needs an occasional brushing. The unique design of The Wall Whale Classic has a large flexible fin that holds the brush against the pool wall so you can exert greater force for a more thorough cleaning.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner: available at Amazon Any debris that sinks to the bottom needs to be cleaned up. The easiest way to do that is with a robotic pool vacuum. This top-of-the-line model is one of Dolphin's most popular products. The Nautilus CC Plus can effortlessly clean your pool (as often as every day), ensuring your crystal-clear water will be the envy of the neighborhood.

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PoolEye Immersion Pool Alarm: available at Amazon and Home Depot The top priority around a pool is safety. A pool alarm lets you immediately know whenever a child, an adult or an animal has fallen unexpectedly into the water. PoolEye's unique design is triggered by underwater waves that drastically cut down on false alarms that may be caused by weather or other surface disturbances.

Essential grilling gear

Whether you’re grilling up veggies or burgers these are the essentials you need for a sublime outdoor eating experience.

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill: available at Amazon and Home Depot You can't have a cookout without a grill. A charcoal grill is an easy, affordable entry into the world of outdoor cooking. This model from Weber features the classic kettle design. The large, round grate can cook up to 13 burgers at one time. It features dampers, so you can more accurately control the heat, and a removable ash container for easy cleaning.

Weber Spirit E330 Grill: available at Amazon and Home Depot If you prefer gas grilling, the Spirit is one of Weber's most popular models. This grill has upgraded features such as a sear station to quickly add those desirable sear marks to your meat. It also has a built-in warming rack and cast-iron cooking grates to retain heat for a better cooking experience.

Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set: available at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy's If you purchase all your grilling tools as a set, you'll have everything you need, and you'll also save money. Cuisinart's Deluxe Grill Set comes with 20 essential grilling tools including a chef's spatula, grill tongs, skewers, a digital temperature fork, a silicone basting brush, a cleaning brush, a sturdy aluminum case and more.

Weber Black Premium BBQ Glove Set: available at Home Depot To work in comfort and safety when you are at the grill, you need a durable pair of grilling gloves. Weber's gloves are heat-resistant and coated with silicone for a non-slip grip that gives you added confidence while grilling.

Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat: available at Amazon If you've never used a grill mat, it's safe to say you don't know what you're missing. A grill mat not only reduces flare-ups and provides a more even heating surface, but it also makes cleanup a breeze. These heavy-duty grill mats can handle up to 600 degrees and come with a seven-year warranty.

Patio furniture and accessories

If you are planning on having family and friends over for a backyard celebration, you'll need some outdoor items, so everyone is comfortable.

StyleWell Mix and Match Sling Outdoor Patio Chaise Lounge: available at Home Depot Memorial Day weekend is a great time to lounge around. The perfect way to do that is in a luxury chaise lounge. This model from StyleWell is manufactured using a powder-coated steel frame and a taupe sling fabric seat. It has a multi-position backrest.

Flowerhouse Hanging Pumpkin Patio Loveseat with Stand: available at Macy's For individuals who would like to have a more intimate night, you may want to consider a hanging loveseat for your patio. This model has a 400-pound weight capacity, is made of weather-resistant fabric and is easy to clean. It comes with a one-year warranty and requires minimal assembly.

Abba Patio 9ft Patio Umbrella: available at Amazon and Home Depot When you're outside for extended periods of time, shade is important. This durable, 9-foot patio umbrella is made from 100% polyester. It is water-resistant, UV-resistant and fade-resistant. This umbrella is designed for a 42-inch to 54-inch table and can provide shade for up to six chairs.

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Cutter Citronella Candle: available at Amazon and Home Depot If you plan on extending your Memorial Day festivities into the evening hours, you're going to want some protection from mosquitoes and other flying insects. This 20-ounce citronella candle can provide up to 40 hours of defense against flying pests. To secure the perimeter, you may want to purchase three or four.

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Brightown Solar String Lights: available at Amazon Another nighttime accessory you may want to consider for your patio is a string of lights. These high-quality bulbs are lit by a rechargeable solar battery and can provide up to 10 hours of performance. The string is 35 feet long and contains 60 LED bulbs, making it perfect for creating a relaxing evening mood.

Summer needs for the kids

As the weather gets warmer, what kids need to enjoy the outdoors changes drastically. To keep your kids comfortable and safe, you'll want to have the following items on hand.

Thinkbaby Sunscreen Lotion: available at Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond If you have a child who is over 6 months old, you need to provide them with broad-spectrum sunscreen – younger babies need other forms of UV protection. Thinkbaby's sunscreen offers your child SPF 50+ protection with nontoxic, mineral-based sunscreen that is free of harmful chemicals.

Babiators Navigator Sunglasses: available at Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond Skin isn't the only part of the body that needs to be protected from UV rays – the eyes can be damaged as well. Your child can rock a pair of wayfarer-inspired sunglasses, looking stylish and being safe. The UV400 lenses in these glasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. They are impact-resistant and shatterproof, making them perfect for outdoor play.

TSLA Kids Swim Shirt: available at Amazon Kids tend to be on the go all day long, which means they require additional protection from the sun. This swim shirt is not only designed to be appropriate for water-based activities, but the dense fabric also provides protection against harmful UV rays with a UPF of 50+. This shirt is available in over 35 colors to meet any kid's aesthetic needs.

CIOR Boys & Girls Water Shoes: available at Amazon Kids' anti-slip water shoes are the perfect attire for summer play. This pair has breathable, cushioned EVA insoles that are designed to absorb shock while protecting your kid's feet from stones and other sharp debris. They are quick-drying and suitable for a wide variety of backyard activities.

Kids Hooded Beach Towel: available at Amazon After your kid comes out of the pool, it can be hard to get them to dry off. This dinosaur-themed hooded towel, however, will be something they won't want to take off. Ultra-soft, durable and highly absorbent, this towel will help your kid get dry quickly, so they don't catch a chill or track water through the house.

Water-based toys and activities for kids

The last, but certainly not least, component for a memorable Memorial Day is fun! Here are some of our favorite and most exhilarating water-based toys and activities for kids.

WOW World of Watersports Pool Noodles: available at Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods and Home Depot Pool noodles provide oodles of fun. This extra-large model is 5.5 inches wide by 46 inches long and is able to support up to 250 pounds, making it fun for the whole family.

Prime Time Toys Hurricane Water Balls: available at Amazon The problem with water balloons is they only last one throw. Prime Time Toys 12-pack of water bombs, however, can be used over and over again for endless fun. You don't need a hose or a faucet to fill, just dunk them in the water, throw and repeat.

Airhead Aqua Zooka Double Big Shot Water Bazooka: available at Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods If you are serious about winning your next water blast battle, this is the bazooka you want to have. These tandem oversized barrels can blast water up to 60 feet, giving the lucky user a decisive advantage.

Prime Time Toys Wet N' Wild Light-Up Water Sprinkler: available at Dick's Sporting Goods What could possibly make a sprinkler more fun? Having it light up! This sprinkler connects easily to a garden hose and can be used during the day or at night. The company has included the first set of batteries for convenience.

SwimWays Hydro Lacrosse: available at Dick's Sporting Goods Lacrosse isn't just for land anymore. With this fun foam set, you can catch, scoop, cradle, and throw while in your swimming pool. The large head makes playing fun, even for beginners.

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Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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