Summertime gift guide

WASHINGTON — Stores slashing prices for midyear sales means now is the perfect time to indulge in a bit of shopping.

Whether you are planning a Christmas in July celebration including a gift exchange with loved ones or know someone who needs a midyear pick-me-up, here are some gift ideas for summer.

"Go ahead and check all the decorations that you're using year after year," said Electrical Safety Foundation International President Brett Brenner. "So, no breaks in the wires, no broken bulbs -- those types of things."
Christmas decor Now’s the time for some of the best deals on holiday decorations. Stores such as Home Depot are slashing prices by up to 75 percent until the end of July on everything from Christmas lights to holiday inflatables. HSN has also slashed prices on Christmas decor, and is offering a flat $5 shipping fee on holiday purchases. If you’re a child at heart, or just heart animated characters, check out the Disney Store’s Christmas in July discounts on ornaments and collectibles. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/Ryan McVay)
Beach reads Bring back the paperback by giving the gift of a solid beach read. Amazon has a list of editor’s favorites for your beach bag. If you’re looking for a specific type of literary adventure, Popsugar came up with the best beach reads for a summer getaway, PureWow recommends this list of thrillers that will keep you up long after you return home from the beach and Vulture has a timeless list of beach reads that are, well, timeless. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/godadex)
Beach bag with flip flops and a sun visor sitting on a pool deck
Tote stuffers Instead of stocking stuffers, try filling a tote bag with small surprises instead. Think of summer essentials anyone can use, such as sunblock, flip flops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunglasses or coupons for ice cream or iced drinks. Stores such as Target or Walmart are one stop shops where customers can pick up everything from household essentials to beauty supplies. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/CathyRL)
Picnic basket with fruits wine and bread on the grass with book and hat
Picnic basket Switch out the holiday gift basket for a picnic basket that your recipient can use all summer long. Fill it with summertime treats such as seasonal jams or fresh fruit and vegetables, or any of these healthy snacks your recipient can grab on the go or take on a road trip. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/OlenaMykhaylova)
picture of happy and smiling woman sitting near ventilator
Portable fan If you know someone who doesn’t have an air conditioner, a portable fan can help beat the heat. Some models from Target are between $10 and $20, and you can find a variety of inexpensive options from Amazon, too. If you plan on a ceiling fan upgrade as a gift to your home, Build.com is having a sale on ceiling fans and free shipping on some items. The Home Depot offers free shipping on select items as well. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/dolgachov)
Virginia and Maryland are giving consumers a tax break on back-to-school shopping next month with separate sales tax-free events. (Thinkstock)
Back to school supplies If you have a friend heading back to school, get the best deals by shopping back-to-school sales. See what $0.50 deals Staples has available in store, or find out exactly what supplies your recipient needs by finding their school’s list on Walmart.comL.L. Bean is having a sale on backpacks and clothing, Dick’s Sporting Goods is also offering deals on apparel and footwear and Old Navy is has first day outfits for kids on sale. (Thinkstock) (Thinkstock)
Summer concert season is just around the corner, and Live Nation is turning up the heat by offering fans concert tickets for around $20 starting 8 a.m. May 2. (Thinkstock)
Event tickets Give the gift of an experience (or memories, if you will) through concert, performance or amusement park tickets. Here’s a list of hot local concerts on the horizon. See if you can catch some of these events happening the month of July. Does your local county fair have an entrance fee? See which fairs are happening around your area. And if all else fails, Groupon offers deals on everything from riverboat cruises to golf lessons to sip and paint night experiences. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/dwphotos)
Staff at these Arlington, Virginia, bars will get patrons help if they hear a code word -- whether it's police or simply a cab home. (Thinkstock)
Bar experience If it requires too much effort and energy to head out to a bar when it’s so hot outside, bring the bar to you. Buy all the ingredients you need for refreshing bourbon cocktails or adult versions of these iced teas. Maybe you can learn more about Belgian beer or learn how to drink wine like a pro through the experience. Pair your beverage of choice with a few snacks from the grill or maybe enjoy with a summer show on in the background for a full at-home bar experience. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/blizzard_77)
Don't overlook the Prime Video benefit.  Among the thousands of movies and TV shows you get free access to, there are originals such as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. (Thinkstock)
Streaming service If you know someone who doesn’t have a Netflix account or a subscription to a streaming service, they might miss out on some of the best shows to binge watch during the summer. These inexpensive Netflix alternatives provide more content than you could ever watch, perfect for wiling away the dog days of summer. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Daviles)
USA, Montana, Yellowstone National Park, Cameron
Fishing equipment You won’t be able to enjoy these great fishing destinations near the D.C. area if you don’t have the right equipment. (Although some locations rent out fishing supplies.) For Christmas in July, it’s not about caroling, decking the halls or drinking hot cocoa by the fire. Summertime is prime time to go fishing. But if fishing doesn’t hold much appeal, celebrate the season by splashing around a park or pool, getting your fill of crabs on the Eastern shore, or going on a hike. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/Stewart Sutton)
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"Go ahead and check all the decorations that you're using year after year," said Electrical Safety Foundation International President Brett Brenner. "So, no breaks in the wires, no broken bulbs -- those types of things."
Beach bag with flip flops and a sun visor sitting on a pool deck
Picnic basket with fruits wine and bread on the grass with book and hat
picture of happy and smiling woman sitting near ventilator
Virginia and Maryland are giving consumers a tax break on back-to-school shopping next month with separate sales tax-free events. (Thinkstock)
Summer concert season is just around the corner, and Live Nation is turning up the heat by offering fans concert tickets for around $20 starting 8 a.m. May 2. (Thinkstock)
Staff at these Arlington, Virginia, bars will get patrons help if they hear a code word -- whether it's police or simply a cab home. (Thinkstock)
Don't overlook the Prime Video benefit.  Among the thousands of movies and TV shows you get free access to, there are originals such as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. (Thinkstock)
USA, Montana, Yellowstone National Park, Cameron


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