High-Tech Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Throw the best backyard bash on the block with these smart upgrades.

Tech-Friendly Outdoor Products 01:44

Liberate your technology and enjoy it outdoors with these new products.

Whether you’re dining alfresco or hosting a raging pool party, there’s no reason to keep your favorite gadgets locked up inside. Let them be the life of the party, I say! Bring the weather-proof technology outdoors and use it to help you host a fabulous outdoor fiesta. Here are some of my favorite outdoor entertaining gadgets.

First, let’s set the mood with music, because a pool party isn’t the same without your favorite tunes. You do have to make sure that your speakers can withstand the elements, however, so check out the Big Turtle Shell Speaker. It connects to your smartphone in seconds via Bluetooth, and it’s loud enough to fill your backyard with sound. It’s water resistant, dust-proof and shock-proof, so a rogue splash or spill won’t bother it. Plus it’s wireless — no outlet required.

9 Tech-Savvy Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

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CineBox Backyard Theater System

For a guaranteed “wow” effect, this inflatable screen and HD movie system can turn your yard into an outdoor theater. Just add cars for your own drive-in show, or place it behind the pool for swim-up screenings.

Photo By: Open Air Cinema

Big Turtle Shell

This waterproof and shockproof Bluetooth speaker can communicate with your devices from more than 30 feet away, filling your yard with music wirelessly. Take it anywhere you want to start a party: It plays for up to 16 hours on a single charge, so the music won’t stop before your guests do.

Photo By: OutdoorTech

ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern

Just because bugs live outside doesn’t mean they're invited to the shindig. Free of icky “zaps” and stinky citronella, this lantern uses a synthetic chrysanthemum scent to drive insects away while illuminating your space with LED light. 

Photo By: ThermaCELL

Infratech Outdoor Heaters

Traditional gas heaters can be annoying to maintain, plus they don’t always light on command. If you’ve got an outdoor area where you’d like to entertain regularly, these electric heaters are efficient and nearly unnoticeable — and they won’t crowd the space like propane-powered poles will.

Photo By: Infratech

Hanging Mason Jar Solar Lights

Twist-on, solar-powered lids make these jars look like they've captured fireflies. Hang them from a few branches, and they’ll light a charming path to your party.

Photo By: Treasureagain

Brookstone USB Umbrella

This umbrella not only offers guests a shady spot to relax, but it features a solar-powered USB charging station. Guests can charge their devices by the sun’s rays.

Photo By: Brookstone

Globe Portable LED Lamp

Charge up this waterproof, cord-free orb, and let it glow anywhere you place it — even in a pool. Thanks to 52 LEDs, it can shine brightly in white, or cycle through infinite colors.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema Projector

Movies projected on the side of your house, anyone? Tack up a white sheet and you’re good to go with this outdoor projector. This model includes HDMI connectivity, so you can plug in your favorite streaming media box or Blu-ray player and you’re good to go. 

Photo By: Epson


Like a Roomba for your lawn, this app-controlled mower cruises across the green while you do other things. It even has a rain sensor, so if it picks up on inclement weather, it independently returns to its docking station.

Photo By: Robomow

Maybe your idea of a great weekend is spending all day relaxing poolside surfing the web on your smartphone. To make sure you don’t get a sunburn or a burnt out battery, you’ll want to be under this smart umbrella. It provides shade from the suns rays, but it’s got an unexpected perk — solar panels on top of the umbrella turn the sun’s rays into juice for your gadgets. Just plug them into the USB ports and your battery will stay topped up while you’re made in the shade. So now you and your gizmos can recharge in the shade.

9 Grilling Gadgets

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Grill Wrangler

When dinner is ready to come off the grill, you don’t want to be scrambling for the right tool to grab it. This single gizmo turns into tongs, a meat fork and a spatula, so all three are at your fingertips — like the Swiss Army knife of barbecuing. 

Photo By: Quirky


Grilling is fun. Scraping a grill clean is not. Grillbot is a rechargeable robot equipped with two rotating, stiff wire brushes. Set it for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, place it on your dirty grill, and let it clear away the ick.

Photo By: Grillbots

Range Thermometer

Meat always drying out while you dash off to make the sides? Just for iOS, this digital thermometer features a minimalist design that fits handily around your finger, and its app will alert you to pull off the meat when it’s done.

Photo By: Supermechanical

BioLite CampStove

Load this little camping stove with twigs, and it will not only burn clean, but the fire’s heat will power an internal generator that can charge your USB-equipped devices. Lunch, and a charged smartphone, are served.

Photo By: BioLite

Grill Daddy

Scrubbing and scrubbing, but can’t get baked-on stuff off your grill? Power up your elbow grease with this brush, which uses steam to loosen hard, tough gunk. 

Photo By: Grill Daddy

Grill Light

Instead of juggling a flashlight and a spatula when the sun goes down, clamp this LED-equipped grill light to your grill’s handle. It pivots out of the way when it’s not needed.

Photo By: Brookstone

Char-Broil Patio Bistro TRU-Infrared Gas Grill

If you’re short on space but crave more than a mini grill, this patio-sized, infrared gas grill might give you grillin’ satisfaction. With a footprint of roughly two feet square, it’s little — but infrared tech means it heats up like a big guy, and gives a great sear to whatever you’re cooking.

Photo By: Char-Broil


No one wants their food to taste of lighter fluid. This electric firestarter heats up in seconds, igniting your grill using only “superheated air.” It impresses friends at parties, too. 

Photo By: Looft Industries/Vincent Looft


The meat is marinated, your guests have arrived … but could your propane tank be empty? End last-minute propane panic with this device, which monitors the propane level with a magnetic sensor, and its app will notify you if your tank is in need of refilling.

Photo By: Quirky

When the sun goes down, the party doesn’t have to come inside, even if it’s time for a movie. This portable projector is ready to turn a garage door, a hanging sheet or the side of your house into an outdoor theater. Hookups for your laptop, streaming device or Blu-ray player means you can enjoy your favorite movies and shows right outside the comfort of your own home.

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When it comes to outdoor entertaining, let your gadgets help! They just might help you throw the best backyard party on the block. 

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