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In this post, I am happy to bring you nine Amazon Alexa summer skills that you can use to make your summer more fun and enjoyable. We’ll cover skills for creating a summertime music playlist, grilling out, getting a better beach report, making cocktails and much more.
Oh Oh, It’s MagicTo quote the 80s rock song by the Cars “Magic:”
Summer, it turns me upside down
Summer, summer, summer
It’s like a merry go round
After a long winter and mild (and rainy) spring, I am more than happy to jump on the summer merry go round with the Cars this year.
And what better way to get in the magic of summer with some cool skills for everyone’s favorite AI, Amazon Alexa.
From the beach to the pool to your backyard BBQ, we’ve got the skills to help you really make a splash this summer.
So mix yourself a mojito [see below] and get ready to yell….
1. Create a Summer Playlist
One of the coolest things you can do Alexa is playing music using your favorite streaming media service. I tend to favor Pandora because I have already created a lot of playlists for that app. However, Alexa is also compatible where is nearly every streaming music service out there, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Gimme, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Spotify Premium, Tidal, TuneIn, and Vevo. Now that summer is here, why not pump up the jam with an EPIC summer playlist.
Here are 12 of my favorite summer songs that you might want to add to your list as well.
- The Tide is High by Blondie
- Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra
- Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett
- Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters
- Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poindexter
- Cherish by Kool & The Gang
- Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
- Summertime Summertime Nocera
- Vacation by the Gogos
- Sailing by Christopher Cross
- Cruel Summer by Banarama
- Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams
If you just want to chill out on the beach, and you have Pandora, create a station called “How to Save a Life radio” (based on the song by the Fray). This is my go-to for summer chillaxin. The station features lots of classic soft rock songs.
“Alexa, play Steel Drum music on the Everywhere Group”
Nothing says summer vacation like the sound of a steel drum band. We now be jammin’ ‘mon.
Don’t have an Everywhere group? Learn how to set up Alexa multi-room music here.
2. Find a Local Ice Cream Parlor
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.
I recently went to one of those Froyo places with my friend Patty. You know the kind where they have a million flavors of frozen yogurt and four thousand toppings. I always end up overdoing it with the toppings.
And the fro-yo😭.
On top of my four fro-yo flavors, I put Reses pieces, Reses cups, cherries, chocolate chips, hot fudge, whipped cream, and one Swedish fish!
Did you know you can ask Alexa to help you find the nearest ice cream shop to you?
Just ask: “Alexa, where is the nearest ice cream shop.”
3. Get the Summer Weather [That Matters]
In the summer, what’s going on with the weather is huge. I mean, it could make or break your plans for the upcoming camping trip, a day at the beach, or even rain on your parade (literally). Sure, you can ask Alexa to get you your local weather forecast, but really? That is SO 2018.
So, let’s get serious about the weather this summer with these special weather commands:
“Alexa what’s the hour by hour forecast.”
“Alexa, will it rain today?”
“Alexa, what are the winds like today?”
“Alexa, what time is high tide in [location name] today?”
“Alexa, what is the U/V index today?”
4. Light Up Your Summer Nights
Smart bulbs. The best invention. Ever. I love my smart bulbs and using Alexa to control my lights. Every bulb in my apartment is now smart.
But did you know that you can also use Alexa to control your outside lights as well?
You can. And not just the light on your front porch, but the garden, patio, lawn, landscaping, and pool lighting too.
I recently wrote a post comparing the best smart outside lights for deck, lawn, pool, patio, and garden: you can read it here: What Are The Best Philips Hue Outdoor Lights? [Calla vs Lily]
These lights look amazing and you can even synchronize them to your favorite music. I’m serious, check out that post if you want some cool outside lights.
5. Get Some Help Grilling Out
An Alexa skill that I use constantly is the timer feature. This can come in especially handy when grilling out this summer.
For chicken breast for instance:
“Alexa set timer eight minutes.”
“Alexa set timer eight minutes.”
Cooked to perfection!
Yeah, timers are cool but did you know you also get helpful cooking advice for the BBQ?
You can. It’s true.
You can ask things like
“Alexa, How long do I cook shrimp on the grill?”
“Alexa, For how long should I boil a lobster?
Did you know that Alexa can also come in handy before you even start cooking? She can. How? You can ask Alexa to add items to your shopping list, or better yet, just add items to your Peapod cart and have someone bring the groceries to you.
Another cool way Alexa can help with grilling out is by using a connected meat thermometer.
The MEATER+165ft connected meat thermometer [links to Amazon] has two probes and one stake to ensure an accurate temperature reading. There’s also an Alexa skill you can use to remotely monitor the temperatures.
And if you want to go all in, the Memphis Grills Advantage Plus Wood Fire Pellet Smoker will let you start and monitor your grill using an app and a wifi connection.
6. Play a Game
I think one of the dumbest games of all time is “Marco Polo.” You know, the game you play in the pool where “Marco” closes his eyes and yells Marco and then everyone else is supposed to yell Polo until some poor smuck gets tagged. And then they become Marco.
You know Marco is always peeking and not playing fair.
Anyways, if you want to get dumb with Alexa try this:
And see what happens.
Thankfully, Alexa has some cooler games that are sure to be a bigger hit at your next summer pool party or cookout.
Here are a few:
Song Quiz lets you choose a music decade and then Alexa will play seven clips from that decade. This is a great party game. I absolutely rock at the 80s trivia version.
Tip: You can click on any of the colorful icons here to be taken to Amazon where you can enable the skill for your Alexa devices.
Question of the Day
Alexa has you think of something like an animal (and then SHE ask a series of questions about the object and tries to get what it is). She beats me every time. Uncanny!
This is based on the popular game show and is hosted by none other than Alexa Trebec.
7. Laugh a Little with Some Bad Summer Jokes
Anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of really bad jokes.
Really bad jokes.
Especially pirate jokes. But I won’t go there today. Instead, I’ll stick with the summer theme.
Q: What did the little fish say , when she swam into the wall.
See? [You can’t say I didn’t warn you.]
Alexa and I are on the same page here for sure. She knows a million really bad jokes, and some summer ones too.
Alexa, do you know any summer jokes?
Alexa, do you know any jokes about ice cream?
Q: What’s a cat’s favorite treat in the summer?
A: A “mice cream cone.”
Alexa, do you know any pirate jokes? Arrr 🏴☠️!
8 Upgrade Your Summer Style
If you aren’t familiar with the Echo Look, you’re in for a bit of a shock.
Launched last year, this intelligent little AI device is billed by Amazon as your own personal style assistant. If you own the look, Alexa can give you a second opinion on your summer outfit.
I need all the help I can get. LOL.
It works by taking head-to-toe photos and six-second videos of your outfit with the voice-activated camera. And then you can ask Alexa Alexa, how do I look?” for smart, specific, and fun styling advice.
You can see the latest pricing for the Echo Look on Amazon over here.
Now go rock that beach party!
9 Make a Mojito
There’s nothing better after a long day at the beach than a refreshing summer cocktail.
The Mojito is a summer standard and super trendy this year.
You can use any number of Alexa’s bartender skills to get all sorts of summer drink recipes, including Daiquiri’s, Pina Coladas, Margaritas and more.
I like the Mixologist skill. It’s less buggy than some of the other bartending skills that I have tried.
If you have an Echo Show, Alexa will display the instructions on the screen (easier than writing them down or trying to remember.
To enable the Mixologist Skill, just click on the button below (or you can simply ask Alexa).
Enjoy that mojito. And cheers to an EPIC summer!
Amazon Alexa Summer Skills: Chill or Nill?
So, what do you think about my picks for Amazon Alexa summer skills?
Do you plan to use any of these skills this summer? Will you create a summer playlist or maybe ask Alexa for some help with grilling out?
I think the new UV index, wind, and tide watch weather features are super useful and cool.
How many Alexa devices do you own?
Do you like bad jokes like me?
Please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
If you enjoyed reading about these Alexa summer skills, you might also like some of our other posts about Amazon Echo devices and Alexa. Here are a few summerish ones!
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Smart Home Blogger
Tim Brennan is Founder and CEO of Writeinteractive, Inc., a technical writing consulting agency. He is also an owner of smart home technology site and blog Onesmartcrib.com Tim became obsessed with smart home tech after purchasing Amazon Alexa. “One of my biggest pet peeves in life is that so much tech just doesn’t work the way it should. Alexa is the clear exception and hopefully a sign of things to come. From the minute you turn it on, Alexa just works consistently, and she is always there when I need her,” he said. When he’s not crushing on Alexa, Brennan is a father to two sons, and he manages the day-to-day operations of Writeinteractive. He is also an active blogger, obsessive Star Wars fan, and loves a good taco. Tim has worked for more than two decades as a technical writer in the Greater Boston area for organizations that have included General Electric and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.