15 Cool Pool Floats to Try Out This Summer

Amazon/iStock
Amazon/iStock

Now that it’s finally getting hot out, it’s time to hit the water. Relax in style with one of these amazing pool floats.

1. Ice Pop; $30

A girl stands next to a pool float shaped like a popsicle

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

What’s better for summer than a pool float shaped like an iconic tri-colored ice pop? Unlike the edible kind, these inflatable pops are 6 feet tall and perfect for even most adults to enjoy.

Find it: Amazon

2. Gumball Machine; $25

A woman stands next to a pool float shaped like a gumball machine

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

This giant gumball machine is 5 feet tall and comes with a ring in the center to sit in. The bottom part of the machine is perfect for resting feet. The “glass” part is clear plastic to mimic the real thing.

Find it: Amazon

3. Unicorn; $31

A woman sits on a giant inflatable unicorn pool float at the beach.

Jasonwell, Amazon

This 9.5-foot-long unicorn floatie is definitely the most magical thing you can add to your pool. This gigantic creature can hold over 400 pounds and comfortably sits two people. There are handles on the neck, so yes, you can totally live out your dreams of riding a unicorn.

Find it: Amazon

4. Gummy Bear; $38

A pool float shaped like a red gummy bear

Swim Central, Amazon

For a sweet time in the pool, grab one of these large gummy bears to relax in. The sugary float stands at 5 feet tall.

Find it: Amazon

5. Doughnut; $19

A pool float shaped like a pink doughnut with a bite taken out of it

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

If you’re looking for a dessert-oriented floatie, try out one of these doughnut inner tubes that come in strawberry and chocolate (pink and brown). The sprinkled doughnuts are 4 feet wide and made with durable vinyl. Despite being pretty tough, it comes with a patch kit just in case you hit a snag on the lazy river.

Find it: Amazon

6. Patriotic Bald Eagle; $13

A pool float shaped like an eagle with the American flag on its back

Swimline, Amazon

Ride around the pool in style at your next Fourth of July barbecue with this extremely patriotic float. It’s shaped like a bald eagle with an American flag across the back, perfect for celebrating the United States. The durable PVC material allows for use in a pool, lake, or ocean. It’s 8 feet across so two adults to sit on it without being too squished together.

Find it: Amazon

7. Toucan; $50

A woman in a pool on a toucan-shaped pool float

CoTa Global, Amazon

Turn your pool into a tropical rainforest with a toucan pool toy. The floatie comes with a head, wings, and tail. The neck has handles to hold onto when riding the float around in the water. Despite the dark color of the floatie, it stays cool in the sun thanks to its vinyl exterior.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pizza; $34

Friends on interlinked pizza slice-shaped pool floats

Swimline, Amazon

Ever want to cuddle up with a piece of pizza but without the grease stains? This pizza pool float can make that a reality. It’s 6 feet long, meaning most adults can lay on it comfortably. For a real pool pizza party, there are bungee connectors on the sides to connect the slice to other slices—you can even form a whole pie with eight of your friends.

Find it: Amazon

9. Everything Bagel; $15

A pool float shaped like an everything bagel

Swimline, Amazon

For more New York food fare, check out this everything bagel. Just like the doughnut, the bagel is the perfect shape to be transformed into an innertube. The delicious looking floatie comes with a bungee connector so you can hook up with another bagel lover while floating around.

Find it: Amazon

10. Dinosaur; $20

Kids on a dinosaur-shaped pool float

Swimline, Amazon

The young (and young at heart) will love this intimidating-looking, 6.5-foot-long T.rex that stalks pools, lakes, and rivers. It even comes with some tiny arms that wobble as you move around.

Find it: Amazon

11. Flamingo Cup Holders; 16 for $15

Three flamingo-shaped inflatable cup holders

Home Kitty, Amazon

If your float doesn’t come with a cup holder, your drink is going to need a float of its own. These floating coasters look like pink flamingos, making them perfect for pool parties and luaus. For added fun, you can get a big matching flamingo to ride.

Find it: Amazon

12. Pirate Island; $97

A pirate fort-shaped pool float

Swimline, Amazon

Reenact your wildest pirate dreams with this inflatable fortress. To enter, there’s a a swim-through ring in the center and a working drawbridge. To protect the float from enemy pirates, there are also three inflatable swords and shields included in the box.

Find it: Amazon

13. Serpent; $26

A pool float shaped like a coiled serpent

Swimline, Amazon

This fun spiral-shaped float looks just like a sea serpent. The two-toned toy has a head on either side for double the fun. It stands just under 4 feet tall, making it a good size for children to enjoy.

Find it: Amazon

14. Heart-Eyed Emoji; $20

Text your friends (with a waterproof case, hopefully) on this 5-foot-wide emoji-shaped float toy. The heart-eyed face is the perfect symbol to show your love for the summer.

Find it: Walmart or Overstock.com

15. Sloth, Teddy Bear, and Panda; $35

People relax in pool floats shaped like a panda, a sloth, and a teddy bear

Swimways, Amazon

Relax in the embrace of your favorite animals with these cute Huggables floaties, which come in the shape of a teddy bear, a sloth (our personal favorite), and a panda. Each oversized lounger is just over 4 feet long and features a handy cup holder in the moveable arm.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2016. It has been updated to reflect current availability as of May 2019.

11 Gifts for the Curious Kids in Your Life

The Play Gym by Lovevery
The Play Gym by Lovevery

No matter their age, you want to find gifts that will keep the kids in your life entertained, stimulated, and give them a sense of accomplishment—even during playtime. Luckily, these 11 gifts will do all of that, and will encourage their curiosity to grow.

1. The Play Gym by Lovevery; $140

Baby playset
Lovevery / Amazon

Specially designed by experts to stimulate infants for their first year, this play mat grows with your favorite baby. It has five developmental zones and multiple activities—like teethers, mirrors, and colorful flash cards. And, when baby becomes a toddler, the mat converts into a tent fort for further imaginative play.

Find It: Amazon

2. Real Insect Superpowers Comic Book; $18

Follow the adventures of the Supersonic Assassin, the Malevolent Mimic, and other insect superheroes as they smash, zap, hypnotize, and sting in this 88-page book that's part comic, part nature encyclopedia.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

3. Droid Inventor Kit; $100

This is definitely the droid you’re looking for. Recommended for kids in grades eight years and up, this customizable robot comes with an app that defines more than 22 missions as well as easy block-based coding activities. And for any Star Wars fans, the Droid makes 20 different sounds, just like from the movies

Find It: Amazon

4. Solar System Chalk; $40

Solar system chalk
Uncommon Goods

This nine-piece chalk set features all the planets in the solar system, along with Pluto. Each piece has multiple colors, which represent the planets' cores, layers, and crusts. And for each set sold, $2 will be donated to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to support autism research.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

5. Jr. NASA Rocket Scientist Lab Coat; $20

Jr. NASA coat
Aeromax / Amazon

Get kids excited about science early with this lab coat, which comes in sizes for boys and girls. Alongside three pockets, the jacket also has the NASA logo and the words “Rocket Scientist.” When your astronaut-in-training is done playing, the coat can be tossed in the washing machine.

Find It: Amazon

6. 3Doodler 3D Pen Set; $50

This wireless pen allows kids to freestyle draw in the air—the eco-plastic filament cools in place quickly, giving kids plenty of practice with spatial reasoning without the costs of a full 3D printer.

Find It: Amazon

7. Giant Coloring Poster; $19

Giant coloring poster
O'Kroshka / Amazon

If your kid is going to color on the wall, you may as well give them a designated place to do so. Children can use pencils, markers, and paints on this 33''x 45'' poster that depicts all types of animals in a zoo. This gift will not only encourage creative expression, but it can also help kids work on their motor skills.

Find It: Amazon

8. Root-Vue Farm; $39

A little girl poses behind the Root Vue farm
Young Explorers

Whether they join FFA or not, kids can get a head start on understanding horticulture with this indoor garden system. Plant the included seeds—for carrots, radishes, and onions—and watch them obsess over the underground view of their harvest.

Find It: Amazon

9. Geosafari Jr. Kidnoculars; $9

Kid-proof and specially designed for tiny hands and faces, these binoculars can help preschoolers get to know the world around them. Play a game like “I Spy” and have them find squirrels in trees, clouds in the sky, or all those Cheerios they spilled behind their bed.

Find It: Amazon

10. Dimpl Baby and Toddler Learning Toy; $13

This brightly colored sensory toy holds a young one's attention with 100% food-grade silicone bubbles they can press and poke—perfect for keeping kids occupied in a stroller or car.

Find It: Target

11. Otamatone; $30

The face on this highly kawaii ribbon synthesizer is made of rubber, and by manipulating it with one hand you can make cool sounds (the other hand controls the pitch along the ribbon controller). With a bit of practice, you can even play real music—check out this entertaining cover of "Take On Me."

Find It: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we’re only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

The New York Times's Latest Book on Travel Will Help You Plan the Perfect Weekend Getaway

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Getting a full sense of a new city while traveling can be tough—especially if you only have a weekend to explore it. But since 2002, The New York Times’s "36 Hours" column has been breaking down destinations all over the world into bite-size pieces, allowing travelers to see the big attractions while still experiencing the city like a local. Now, you can get the best of the column's North American destinations with the fully updated and revised edition of 36 Hours: USA & Canada for $40 at TASCHEN or on Amazon.

Even if you have the original, it’s worth purchasing this updated copy, as this version features 33 new itineraries from Anchorage, Alaska; the Berkshires in Massachusetts; Boulder, Colorado; Miami; Oakland, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and many more.

36 Hours: USA & Canda from the New York Times
TASCHEN

The 752-page book also offers more than 5400 hours of travel itineraries, 600 restaurants to dine at, and 450 hotel options. Each city featured includes a brief history, a list of popular destinations, and tips on how to experience it all like a local. For example, the New Orleans guide encourages travelers to start at the French 75 Bar for happy hour and order a Sazerac, a cocktail close to an Old-Fashioned that's a local favorite. Whereas the Miami guide takes you to the Buena Vista Deli, a bistro known for its take on classic French dishes. The travel book also features detailed city maps that pinpoint all the stops, and it's accompanied by nearly 1000 photographs.

Once you've picked your destination, check out some tips on how to craft the perfect itinerary.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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