11 Summer Buys Still Worth Investing In

Labor Day weekend is summer's unofficial final hurrah. Even though Fall won't actually start until September 22, life starts getting real again once Monday's done. Beach days dwindle, and Summer Fridays become a distant memory. But this weekend, whether you're escaping to the beach or having a staycation at home, it's time to celebrate (outside, if you're lucky). Make it festive with gadgets and accessories that will help you play your favorite music; take fun, instant pictures; and show movies outdoors.

Click through for 11 buys that will upgrade your weekend, no matter where you spend it. And don't feel too sad when the celebrations are done. The end of summer means we’re that much closer to Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival and finally getting bundle up in Madewell layers again.
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Yes, your smartphone is great at taking pictures. But nothing can compare to actually holding a photo in your hands seconds after taking it. Luckily, the instant cameras of your youth made a comeback this summer. Fujifilm's fun and colorful Instax Mini cameras spit out high quality, credit-card sized photos. The camera also has a brightness adjustment that you can use to perfect the lighting in your shot.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera, $69.99, available at Target.
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If you're having a backyard party, you'll probably hang string lights anyway, so why not kill two birds with one strand? This string has small Bluetooth speakers attached, turning your patio into a full-on surround-sound experience. Just sync them with your phone and blast your end-of-summer playlist.

Bright Tunes Bluetooth Speaker String Lights, $50, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Selfie sticks are obnoxious and a pain to carry around, but Podo's wireless camera is a smart replacement. The camera has a reusable adhesive backing, so you can stick it anywhere. Then, you can take pictures using the connected app on your phone.

Podo Camera, $99, available at Podolabs.
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In an ideal world, you're spending Labor Day on a beach roasting marshmallows for s'mores. But, since you probably have work the next day, and fire safety regulations make the real deal difficult in your apartment complex, you can opt for this electric version, instead. Keep your s'more components — chocolate, graham crackers, the works — in the slots, and roast your 'mallows over the stainless steel electric heater in the center.

Sharper Image Electric S'mores Maker, $79.99, available at Sharper Image.
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Put this pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker in a pool, on a window (it comes with a suction cup), or set it on the table. Tune in to Spotify or a playlist of your own and dance the night away.

Tree-Labs Koi Waterproof Wireless Speaker, $49, available on Fab.com.
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If you already have an outdoor lighting scape, swap the bulbs for these smart LED ones. Sync them with the Misfit app on your phone to change their color — and the whole feel of the evening. The app includes pre-set lighting themes you can choose from if you've purchase multiple bulbs.

Misfit Bolt, $44.99, available at BestBuy.
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Mophie has been known for selling some of the highest quality portable batteries, but its price points have always been a bit of an obstacle. Luckily, the company just cut its prices by a ton. This little guy used to sell for $59.95. Starting today, you can get the super slim battery, which will give your phone more than a full extra charge, for about half that. Keep one in your pocket so that you can capture all your Labor Day festivities without ever taking a break to tether yourself to a wall outlet.

Mophie, Powerstation Mini, $29.95, available at Mophie.
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This gadget will make people think you have your bartending license. Just attach it to your phone or iPad, open the accompanying app, and pick a drink. Then, put your glass on the smart scale and start making your drink by following the real-time pouring instructions onscreen. Even if you pour too much, the recipe will adjust to make sure it works anyway. One Moscow Mule, coming right up.

Perfect Drink App-Controlled Smart Bartending, $49.99, available at Brookstone.
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Drinks on the patio, darts in the yard. These plastic darts are illuminated by LEDs so you can't miss seeing if you've hit bullseye. They come with glowing target circles and have weighted tips to help with trajectory. Make it interesting with prizes for the winner.

Sharper Image Super Bright LED Lawn Darts, $49.99, available at Sharper Image.
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Download a summer flick to your phone or opt for a Stranger Things marathon. Then, pop your phone in the back of this makeshift cardboard projector, which magnifies the screen up to eight times. Place it facing a wall or fence and settle down to watch after the sun sets.

Smartphone Projector 2.0, $31.95, available at Uncommon Goods.
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Just because fall is coming fast doesn't mean your phone can't still channel hot beach days. This case is the perfect throwback to summer and will pair nicely with your swan pool float this weekend.

Casetify iPhone 6s Case Summer Flamingo Float, $40, available at Casetify.