The mercury is rising, the air conditioning is cranked, and your flip-flop tan is taking shape, all of which means that summer is in full swing. Before you head out for a picnic at City Park Jazz, to hike the state’s sand dunes, or discover Denver’s best ice cream, plug in to download these essential summertime apps.

Weber Grills (iOS and Android)


Out of ideas on what to grill this weekend? The Weber Grills app will deliver a recipe to your device every Friday–just in time. Complete with grocery list, recipe notes, reviews, and photos, the app will walk you through how to make beer can chicken, baby back ribs, or a pomegranate cherry glaze. There is also a “prep school” that guides you through grill setup, knife skills, food prep, and doneness via text, photo, or video. You can also join the online Weber Nation community, where you can share, recipes, tips, and photos, or submit questions to grilling expert Kevin Kolman on grill cleaning and maintenance, flare-ups, or winter grilling.

Sky Guide (iOS)


Is that a star or Saturn? Hold up Sky Guide and get the answer. Usable without a WiFi, data, or GPS connection, the app automatically aligns itself with your surroundings for easy stargazing to identifying stars, planets, and constellations. It also tells you when Andromeda (or any constellation) will rise and set, and provides articles by leading astronomical authors for additional learning. A soundscape accompanies each star, so your ears won’t feel neglected.

World Festival Guide (iOS)


Dance, eat, sing, dress-up, and laugh anywhere in the world with the World Festival Guide app. The interactive guide provides comprehensive and current information to more than 200 music, food, art, and film festivals, as well as world-class competitions, religious ceremonies, cultural events, and parties. Get advice from veteran festival goers on Outside Lands, Full Moon party, the running of the bulls, Comic-con, Burning Man, the Calgary Stampede, and more.

Charmin’s SitorSquat (iOS and Android)


You’re on the road—shopping, hiking, concert-going— and you gotta go. No problem. Use the SitOrSquat app search to view public restrooms near you. Filter results by rating (yes, you can rate the bathrooms), baby changing tables, handicap accessible, or pay-per-use toilets, and, if you like TMI, the app allows you to share your experience on Facebook—after you wash your hands.

Coppertone Sun Smart (iOS and Android)


Don’t ruin your day outside by worrying about sun protection, let Coppertone take care of it. This app will give you local UV index forecasts, sunscreen reapplication reminders, and sun protection tips. If you decide to go swimming, no problem: Let the app know and it will adjust the reapplication reminder. Taking the family out all day? Set a reminder for each member to reapply. This could change your life.

iExit (iOS and Android)


GPS tells you how to get there, iExit tells you where to stop along the way. Unlike most road trip apps that tell you what is around you, iExit tells you what gas stations, hotels, points of interest, and restaurants are up ahead. Organized by exit number and searchable by amenity, iExit can help you figure out where to stop if you are hungry, need gas, or even the nearest pet-friendly hotel with free WiFi.

Zinio (iOS and Android)


Zinio allows you to download all your favorites (5280 included) right to your laptop, phone, or tablet. With more than 5,000 global publications, Zinio gives you access to news, politics, art, style, travel, and technology in the blink of a download. A selection of free articles arrive daily, but subscriptions are not included.

Images courtesy of respective application companies

—Top image courtesy of Shutterstock