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You Don’t Need A Pool To Cool Off in Your Backyard: All Of Our Favorite (And Still Available) Hot Tubs, Inflatable Pools and Water Toys)

I don’t know if the heat has hit where you live but I can tell you that it has hit California hard and the idea of dipping into a (not too cold because I’m a wimp) pool is what I need. But alas, I have no pool where I am but have decided that I will purchase some kind of “water thing” to help make this already not normal summer a bit more enjoyable. BUT if you are like me and are apparently “late to the kiddie pool party,” we have to act now (like today). Kiddie pools, hot tubs, even non diy slip and slides are selling out like HOT CAKES, and finding them to round up wasn’t easy. So while Sara’s incredible creative “crate pool” was sufficient, even she has moved onto greener (read: larger and more comfortable) pastures (see below). So in an effort to not waste any more time, I think we should jump right in so we can get shopping.


design by bri moysa

Let’s start big with the most “permanent” option, hot tubs. Now I know saying “hot tubs” feel counterintuitive to cooling off but they can serve you in both ways. You can take a refreshing soak during the day and then warm up in the cool evening if you are so compelled (you just want to time it right so it has time to heat up). Hot tubs are also NOT cheap but if you are wanting one it might just be worth it. However if you don’t care about the “hot” part in “hot tub” there are ways to DIY! Remember our #ShowEmYourDIYOutdoor post where the very talented Bri Moysa showed us hers and it only cost $650? Well, if you don’t it’s that VERY cute soaking bath in the photo above. Again it’s not a hot tub but it is a far more affordable option.

But if DIYing isn’t your thing, here are the ones I found for purchase. Some of the ones I found are “plug and plays” (which sounds almost too easy), some are inflatable and some are a traditional hot tub that require more than just a plug. However they are all above ground and require zero construction (YEA!). And let’s not forget that the great thing about a hot tub is that they are amazing year round (and day round? no, Jess that’s not a real term)…

1. 5-Person 20-Jet Plug and Play Hot Tub | 2. Cedar Soaking Tub | 3. Cypress Spa 34-jet | 4. Select 300 2-Person 20-Jet Plug and Play Hot Tub with LED Waterfall | 5. Coleman SaluSpa Portable 4 Person Outdoor Inflatable Hot Tub Spa | 6. Dundalk Wooden Oval Hot Tub | 7. Portable Outdoor 4-Person 114-Jet Inflatable Hot Tub | 8. 7-Person 30-Jet Premium Acrylic Bench Sterling Silver Spa Hot Tub | 9. Contour 7-Person 25-Jet Plug and Play Hot Tub

Now let’s get into the more affordable options…


summer at its finest

As someone who would love nothing more than to cool off in waist-deep water with a cocktail in hand while her favorite tunes delighting her eardrums, a kiddie pool is THE ANSWER. Sara, as shown in that stunning above photo, would also agree. Luxury at its quarantine finest. But I guess that kids apparently really love kidde pools too. So whether you are 5, 35, or 65 years old, an inflatable pool is a great summer cool off option. But guys, I am not joking when I say these are selling out fast. These were basically the only ones I could find that could feasibly fit at least one grown adult. So if you are thinking about it, don’t think too long.

1. FUNBOY Mini Inflatable Pool | 2. Play Day 120 Deluxe Family Pool | 3. Intex Kiddie Pool | 4. Intex Swimming Pool | 5. Heart Mini Inflatable Pool | 6. FUNBOY Mini Inflatable Pool | 7. Wading Watermelon Pool | 8. Sunset Glow Inflatable Pool | 9. Fruits Mini Inflatable Pool | 10. Summer Cool Stars | 11. 3-Ring Pool Watermelon Style | 12. Inflatable Leisure Swimming Pool

Now, to avoid our lungs collapsing here are some air pumps…

1. Electric Air Pump | 2. Portable Hand Air Ball Pump Inflator Kit | 3. Electric Air Pump for Inflatables

Ok so now that we have the “pool” in place, let’s talk water toys…


also, summer at its finest

Now while I personally may stop at with a simple kiddie pool, water toys are one of the true joys of summer. What kid (or adult) doesn’t love a slip and slide, or a unicorn sprinkler? Only ones that hate fun. But just to be clear, you don’t need to buy a water toy to have fun but they sure do help and will likely keep your children (and you) happy for hours. Here are the ones that we thought were the raddest:)

1. Ginormous Rainbow Tunnel Sprinkler | 2. Grand Slam Baseball Water Slide | 3. Max Liquidator 2pk Puts | 4. Wet & Wild Hydro Twist Pipeline Sprinkler | 5. Inflatable Tropical Pineapple Sprinkler | 6. Rainbow Slip Slide Play Center with Splash Sprinkler | 7. Water Blaster 2Pack Water Squirts | 8. Unicorn Sprinkler | 9. Sprinkler Inflatable Ball | 10. Blobzter Water Slide | 11. Inflatable Palm Tree Yard Sprinkler | 12. Wet N’ Wild Mega Melon Ball Jumbo Sprinkler | 13. Automatic Garden Water Sprinklers | 14. Squirt Gun 6 Pcs Water Blaster | 15. Splash Bombs Water Toy 4pk | 16. Inflatable Rainbow Sprinkler | 17. Slip’n Slide | 18. Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl Spinning Water Sprinkler

So, in conclusion, here are the things I hope you got from this post:

  • This summer can still be SO FUN even if it’s contained mostly to your back yard.
  • A DIY soaking tub is possible.
  • Kiddie pools are not just for kids.
  • BUY NOW so you aren’t sorry and end up in a storage tub like Sara almost did:) #SarasNewHeadshotWeAllVoted

Now if you still need some outdoor shopping resources, we have GOT you: The Outdoor Furniture Roundup Post | The Outdoor Accessories Roundup Post | Kids Playhouse Roundup

Love you, mean it.

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2 years ago

I am here to start off the comments by saying that although Sara looks the cutest in her kiddie pool…the storage bin will always be a winner in my book!

2 years ago

If only we could all be that cute in a storage bin <3

2 years ago

And if you want a kiddie pool that’s a little less Toys R Us and a little more pleasing to look at, try Mylle, a small maker in Seattle. Her site says the pools will restock in June.

2 years ago
Reply to  Cynthia

These are SO AMAZING! Thank you for sharing 🙂

2 years ago

I have been on the hunt for that Intex pool for my twin toddlers (re: me) for a couple weeks, it’s been impossible trying to find it available but scored it from Amazon UK this morning, ha. Let’s hope I actually get it!

Julie S
2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Oh my goodness, thank you for this tip. Hubby’s been soooo cranky not to find his usual summer pool this year. He gets so overheated, dear creature 😛 But seriously he really does.

2 years ago

Love this! For those of us lucky to have pools (and ps I still want a hot tub for when it’s colder), I did a pool float roundup -because floats are the detritus of pools and basically turn your pool to trash in 2.5 seconds.

Molly H
2 years ago

No bubble makers on the list! They are “tha bomb”!

Wildly exciting for kids and grown up kids–yet oddly comforting, calming and so very pretty.

Plus, I dare anyone to walk by you on the sidewalk (well, the sidewalk on the other side of the street) and not smile at the sight of bubbles floating in the air. Forget buying refills. A little dishsoap and water will get you some long-lasting cheap thrills.

Amazon has a gazillion still; they sell out early in stores.

2 years ago
Reply to  Molly H

If you add corn syrup to the dish soap and water, the bubbles last much longer. Weird but true!

2 years ago

Sara that photo made me bust up laughing. That is all of us, trying to find the fun in a really weird time:)

2 years ago

I love that DIY soaking tub, but my partner would definitely want to also have the option of a hot tub. We’ve gone the kiddie pool route and slip and slide, and they are always a hit. I love how Sara was on top of it and improvised with the storage bin. Staying cool is essential!

2 years ago

Please be very careful if you are considering a “slip N slide” type water slide. Many years ago the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall and warnings about adults who used these slides and became paralyzed.

MAY 27, 1993 Release # 93-076

2 years ago

mom of four here – with a valuable tip. We were given a turtle sandbox without the sand or a lid. We used it as a pool – 10 years later and it still works just fine. no cracks. All those other pools are 1. too big and are a pain to fill and empty 2. leak eventually and go straight to a landfil. Our ‘turtle pool’ is super sturdy and small – my kids can stand on the edge of it without breaking it. It’s size means I can easily empty it myself on to the lawn. Also means I don’t have to worry about the safety issue with toddlers – I just empty it when we are done. trust me. you will not regret it. All my friends have gone through versions of all the pools listed above, ours is the only one still standing.

Natalie Sheridan
2 years ago
Reply to  kay

Thank you! I have a 3-year-old and this is exactly the review I was counting on. Inflatable pools are impossible to keep clean and they always seem to pop a leak mid-summer, when we need it most. I like that we can repurpose the turtle in the cooler months.

2 years ago

Thanks for the list! Also, we just bought the 10’ Intex Easy Set Pool at WalMart for $58. Not sure if this would be true everywhere, but we’d been looking for a few days and everything was sold out, then suddenly the pool appeared as in stock! We went and it was apparently still on the truck, so my husband asked when it would be out on the shelf and went back later in the day. My guess would be other places may slowly restock? But probably sell out quickly as well.

2 years ago

We’re into winter here in Australia, with wild storms, but I love the sizzling summer aspirations. 🙂

2 years ago

My husband bought this inflatable water slide for our kids in March and it has been amazing! It’s a great way for the kids to cool off and burn energy, and they can play on it without water as well.

Kim Pollard
2 years ago

We purchase Hot Tub #8 from Home Depot after we moved into our new house in October and let me just tell you… WE LOVE THAT THING. It was more my husband’s idea/dream and I was kind of on the fence about the whole thing, but he did the research and does the work (filling, chemicals, cleaning, etc) and it’s TOTALLY WORTH IT! {speaking of “the work” – I think the ratio of work :: enjoyment is totally acceptable and we get our chemicals from Amazon} Family of six – kids ages 8-3 – hot tub in the morning, hot tub at night, hot tub anytime! I was just telling a friend that I am so thankful we’ve had it during this time because on nights when we don’t want any more “screen time” BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH THESE CHILDREN?!- Hot Tub! After LONNNNNNG days of quarantine with 4 little people, after the kids go to bed, make a nice drink- Hot Tub in the silence & dark! Our favorite is Saturday afternoons with the family in the hot tub, with the sunshine it’s ALMOST like you’re at the beach! And now that it’s warming up… Read more »

2 years ago

Does anyone have a rec for a decent sized kiddie pool that is not inflatable? My dogs would LOVE something bigger than the tiny plastic version.

bob builder
2 years ago

I just added a pool to my back yard but I would love to add a hot tub!

2 years ago

Stock tanks! They’re a lot of bang for your buck. I have a 7x3x2′ tank that’s perfect for two people and there are tons of sizes (the smaller ones make a nice side table when you flip them over when not in use). I also bought an old clawfoot tub off Craigslist for 1 person soaks.

2 years ago

Where did you find your metal swings?

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