Pool with inflatable donut

How to Open Your Pool This Summer

Pool with inflatable donut

As the summer season rolls around, it’s finally time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekends out by the pool. As any experienced pool owner will tell you, the preparation that goes into getting your pool ready to use is no easy feat. Big R is here with tips to make the process easier so that you and your family can get out and enjoy the pool in no time.

Get Equipped!

First, you’ll want to check on the pool equipment and supplies that you have stored away since last season. Replace any rusted or broken necessities such as the Aquamate Leaf Skimmer or Aquamate Above Ground Pool Vacuum Hose to give yourself a fresh start for summer. There’s no time for a dirty pool! Restock any chemicals that are old or running low. Better to be prepared then to realize your supplies are unavailable when you need them!

Dog in pool meme


After a long winter, chances are your pool cover has collected its fair share of filthy water runoff and debris. Use a pool cover pump to relocate this water to other areas in your backyard. Once you’re able to remove your pool cover, be sure to give it a thorough cleaning using a KÄRCHER® Follow Me Electric Pressure Washer 1800 PSI. Lay your cover out to dry before storing it away for the summer to prevent any mold or mildew from developing.

Man breaking pool gif

Unplug the Winter

If you live in an area with continuous freezing temperatures, it’s likely that you used winter plugs to help avoid damage caused by ice. As warmer weather approaches, it’s important to remove those plugs and replace them with the normal plugs that allow your equipment to run smoothly and efficiently.

Man with thrown of pool noodles

Check Your Water Chemistry

It’s always a surprise to see what you uncover in your pool after those long winter months. Use a Aquamate 2 Way Pool & Spa Test Kit to check your water’s pH and chlorine balance to ensure safe levels to swim. Know that each type of pool is different in the amount of chemicals to add based on size and type. Ask your local Big R store about how to best fix the water chemistry problems you may face.

After successfully preparing your pool for summer, all that’s left to do is ENJOY! Big R can provide you with not only advice and equipment for opening up your pool, but also the necessities to fully appreciate your hard work. Check out our selection of inflatables and accessories that will provide hours of fun for all ages!

Dad camping with kids in the backyard | Big R

How to Vacation in Your Own Backyard

Dad camping with kids in the backyard | Big R

If you found yourself busy all summer, and didn’t get to take your dream vacation, it’s not too late! Forget stressful airports, cramped road trips or expensive hotels – try a “stay-cation” in the comfort of your own backyard! Create your own slice of vacation heaven with a few curated items from Big R. Here are a few tips and tricks to vacation in your backyard:

Go Camping

Are your vacations more on the adventurous side? Were you itching to pack up and set off for some time in the woods but just couldn’t slip away? Well it’s easy to quickly set up camp and connect with nature within the comfort of your backyard. Set up your favorite camping tent on dry ground, laying down a tarp if needed. Put out some lanterns to perfect the mood and light your way. Bonus: Try to find a light that also repels mosquitoes! Don’t forget to grab the marshmallows for roasting! Then gather around the campfire (with a fire pit that can assist with grilling) to tell ghost stories under a starry night. When the night air gets a little crisp, snuggle into your sleeping bag to be counting sheep in no time.

Go to the Beach

If you weren’t able to make it to a beach this summer, don’t fret. Instead, turn your backyard into a private beach! Keep the kids cool in your very own pool, which is easy to set up and take down once you’re finished. Don’t forget the sunscreen for the kiddos (and parents too!) After splashing in the pool, give the kids some fun projects and toys to play with outdoors. Forget sand volleyball, play it in the pool! They will be entertained for hours — just like if you had made the trip to the beach…without all the sand clean up!

Go to the Waterpark

Nothing is more fun than a day trip to the waterpark– think slides, refreshing water, and BBQ food. Create your very own waterpark at home in a few steps and skip the lines. Set up folding chairs, towels, and umbrellas around the pool for a VIP section to soak up the sun. Float in a “lazy river” in your own circle inflatable tube. No trip to the waterpark is complete without grilled food. Cook up enough burgers and hot dogs for the family and friends visiting your backyard waterpark on a 6 burner gas grill – no charge!

Go to a Resort

When you imagine spending a vacation at the resort, you think of two things: rest and relaxation. The best afternoon, vacation–induced naps take place in a hammock. Also, no resort trip has started until there is a drink in your hand. Make your favorite blended drinks or smoothies in a top quality high speed blender. Avoid any spilled drinks by planting a drink holder stake next to your hammock. Sit back, close your eyes, sip your drink and enjoy the final days of summer from a truly exclusive resort.

Spend the last dog days of summer enjoying the outdoors, family and friends before fall comes around. Skip the driving and the stress of traveling to far places by taking a mini-vacation in your own backyard. With  just a few items from your local Big R store, you’ll be worlds away.

Winterizing Your Pool

How to prep your pool for winter

Cannonball! It’s time to make your last big splash as we head into the fall season! Is your pool ready for the colder months? Get it protected from damage caused by freezing temperatures and weather. Don’t live in an area that typically freezes? Best to play it safe and still take the proper precaution. If done correctly, winterizing your pool can save you time and effort when it comes to having it prepped for next summer’s BBQ and pool parties.

First thing’s first! Before closing your pool, be sure to brush and vacuum all the debris.  An Aquamate Leaf Skimmer can be used to easily pick up any leaves or bugs that are floating in the water.  Attach your garden hose to PoolMaster Pool and Spa Vacuum and lower it into the water to let the vacuum work its magic to clean the bottom of your pool.  Keep in mind that the water won’t be cleaned or sanitized in the off-season so get that water nice and clean! Don’t forget to remove any pool accessories that shouldn’t be left in the pool like toys, slides, vacuums, and heaters.

If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are common, make sure that the water level is at least 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer or tile line.  This prevents the skimmer from being easily damaged by any freezing water.  Freezing water expands and causes damage to the pool, plumbing, and filter system.  In freezing areas, add an antifreeze after draining the pool water a couple of inches.  Antifreeze prevents pipes from bursting or being damaged.  In areas that don’t experience frigid winters, you have two options when it comes to water level.  You can fill the pool with water to the point of overflowing, or drain the water to the level of the mouth of the skimmer and place a cover over the skimmer’s mouth.  Completely drained pools can crack from the pressure of the cold and will require costly repairs.

Balancing the water chemistry is the next step of the process.  It is very important to balance the pool’s pH, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity.  Having the right chemical balance helps prevent calcium deposits from staining the pool’s surface.  The pool should have a pH level between 7.2 and 7.6.  If it is higher, be sure to use a pH decreaser or a pH increaser if the level is lower.  AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strips are quick and easy for pH testing as they give accurate results within 15 seconds.

Next, make sure the water hardness is adjusted to the proper level of calcium already in the water.  For all pool types, a calcium level between 175 and 225 parts-per-minute is ideal.  To decrease the calcium level, you can drain some of the current water and refill it with water containing a lower calcium level.  Add a calcium hardener to increase the level of calcium.  The next step is to adjust the alkalinity- the dissolved particles in pools with water that have a pH higher than 7.0.  If the total alkalinity is not balanced, the water may be murky next spring.  To keep the water looking clear and blue, use a winterizing chemical.  This prevents algae from forming.  This chemical will be effective even into the spring.

Plan to clean the pool as well as its filtration system. For sand filters, refer to the manufacturer’s directions for backwashing the filter correctly.  The directions should involve closing the filter’s valves, adding a filter cleaner, backwashing the filter an hour after adding the cleaner, removing the drain plug, draining the filter, and finally, closing the valve.  For cartridge filters, refer to the manual to see when it is time for you to replace your filter.  Some cartridge filters can be cleaned multiple times before needing to be replaced.  After removing the filter, spray it with water and soak it in a filter cleaner.

After cleaning the filter, turn off the filter pump and drain the equipment as directed by the manufacturer.  Don’t forget to drain water from any additional pumps, filters, or heaters.  If you use a chemical feeder, drain and completely empty it.  Any leftover chemicals can wear down the equipment.

The final step in winterizing your pool is covering it up.  Not only does a cover protect the pool, but it also helps keep your family safe from accidents.  The water in the pool will help support the cover.  The type of cover depends on your pool, but a good, solid cover will protect against any extreme weather- rain, snow, and ice.  You may want to use air pillows under the cover.  The air pillows create a tent with the cover which helps debris slide off instead of clumping together on the top of the cover.

These winterizing steps will help your pool stay clean and protected during the months as you dream of sunshine and warmer weather! Take care of your pool and it will take care of you.

Two Ladies Kayaking | Big R

Kayak & Boating Safety Tips

A day on the lake is refreshing, fun, and a perfect way to beat the heat waves. Before you seek refuge in your boat or kayak, get prepared and freshen up on your water safety knowledge. Be ready for the sun, water conditions, and a potential accident with these safety tips for kayaks and boats.


  1. Know Your Stuff– Make sure to take an on-water course before you head out to the lake. During the course, you will learn how to handle your kayak or boat and the rules of the water, as well as develop your safety skills. This knowledge may come in handy if you find yourself in an accident this summer. In 2015, the US Coast Guard counted 4,158 recreational boating accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of property damage. Protect your life and property by taking a 101 course.
  2. Suit Up– Are you wearing the correct gear for kayaking? If you’re planning to be on the water in the early morning or after dusk, it is especially important to wear brightly colored clothing, so other boaters and kayakers can see you in the dim light. Keep your PFD, personal flotation device, or life jacket on yourself and the kids at all times.
  3. Protect Your Skin– We know it’s a given, but sun protection is essential for a long day outside. The fresh air may feel nice, but having a sunburn the next day won’t be as welcome. Sunscreen and a hat will keep your skin safe from the harmful rays. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every few hours for maximum protection.
  4. Check the Temperature– Cold water can be extremely dangerous! Even water in the 50-60 degree Fahrenheit range can initiate “Cold Water Shock.” Should you fall overboard, the sudden change in temperature can cause your body to increase your heart rate and blood pressure, potentially leading to cardiac arrest. Aside from water temperature, watch your local news to stay up-to-date on weather conditions. Rain or thunderstorms, rough winds, or a drop in temperatures can be a sign to hang up your paddle for the day and reschedule your lake trip.
  5. File a Float Plan– If an emergency were to occur, it’s always best to be on the safe side and have someone on shore know all important details. If this information is written down, emergency searchers will know where, when, and who to look for. What should you note? Make sure to include the name, address, and phone number of the trip leader, name and number of any passengers, kayak or boat description with registration information, and a trip itinerary. Leave your float plan with someone on shore, whether that be a family member, friend, or staff member at the local marina.
  6. Communication is Key– Brush up on your universal river signals, so you can communicate with others on the water. If you only remember three, make sure to know how to signal for “stop”, “emergency”, and “all clear.” A whistle can also come in handy to communicate to other boats or kayaks.
  7. Recognize & Avoid Hazards– Be familiar with traps that could endanger you and your crew. For kayakers, avoid trees, branches, other strainers, rocks, and low-head dams. It’s key to backwash in hydraulics and stay on the inside of the bends. For boaters, avoid strainers at all costs, be cautious around any bridge or contruction, and stay clear of fences and low power lines. Be especially cautious in boat marinas, as electrical appliances can leak voltage into the water causing death by Electric Shock Drowning, or ESD.


Whether with friends, family or the kids, make sure everyone returns home from your day on the water safe and sound. While a day on the lake is fun, a big dinner around the table with those you love is the icing on the cake.

For additional help finding all the equipment you’ll need for a day on the water, visit your friendly associates at your local Big R store.

Big R Guide to Canning

Yes, We Can! (A Guide to Canning)

Big R Guide to Canning

Why Canning?

There are many great reasons to take up canning and preserving your own food. Do you want to be able to keep eating tasty fruits and vegetables from your harvest throughout the year? Then canning is a good way to do just that. Do you want to enjoy high quality food that you know is free from harmful additives? Well, canning your own harvest means you’re in control of what you put in each jar. Do you want to save a little money? Canning is like meal prepping – it can save you money and time on future meals. In fact, you could call canning the original meal prep.

The science behind canning is quite simple. You add the food mix to a jar and seal the lid. Submerge the jar in a boiling water bath and wait. The process removes excess air, which is the reason that food spoils. The escaping air creates a vacuum tight seal that keeps your food fresh, flavorful and ready to enjoy any time over the next 12 months!

The process of canning can be intimidating, but with a few tools and a little patience, you can be a canning pro in no time.

How to Can in a Pressure Cooker

When it comes to creating the boiling water bath, there are two options. For highly acidic foods, like fruit jams, salsas, or pickles, you can create the water bath in a dutch oven or high walled pot. For foods with lower acidity levels, like vegetables, poultry, or meats, you’ll want to use a pressure cooker, which can heat up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit to kill foodborne bacteria. If you’re mixing high and low acid foods, be safe and employ the trusty pressure cooker.

To begin, gather the necessary tools: tongs, a wide-mouth funnel, a jar lifter,  measuring cups, and jars with 2 piece screw on lids. Don’t have these items laying around your home? You can pick up a 4 piece starter set  or 6 piece canning set, and these limited edition Ball jars at your local Big R store.

Now that we have all our tools, it’s time to assemble these cans!

  1. Choose a delicious recipe – Find something tasty on Big R’s Pinterest page or from a canning recipe book. Canning is the perfect way to save this season’s foods, so make sure to use only the freshest produce you can find – even better if they come from your own backyard!
  2. Heat the jars – Place the jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready for use. Fill a large stockpot halfway with water, making sure to fill the jars with the hot water to prevent floating, and bring to a simmer. You’ll want to keep the jars hot until you’re ready to fill them or they’ll break when filled with hot food. You can leave the lids and bands at room temperature. TIP: To simplify this process, you can also use your dishwasher to wash and heat jars.
  3. 2 step filling – First, fill the pressure canner with 2 to 3 inches of water and place over the stove to simmer. Keep the water at a simmer until you add the filled jars to the pressure cooker. To fill the hot jars with your prepared food mix, use a jar lifter to remove them from the hot water bath, and use a jar funnel to slide the mix in. If needed, remove air bubbles with the bubble remover and headspace tool.
  4. Clean the rim and threads – Use a cloth to remove any food residue that may have made its way onto the rim. Next, seal the jars and add water to the pressure cooker, which should still have 2 to 3 inches of simmering water at the bottom.
  5. Start cooking – Lock the pressure cooker’s lid, but keep the vent pipe open. Once steam is steadily escaping from the vent, allow it to vent for 10 minutes to release remaining air. Now, close the vent. Adjust the heat and pounds of pressure to the amount specified on your chosen recipe.
  6. Cooking complete – When cooking is done, you’ll need to cool the pressure cooker down by removing it from the heat. Once the cooker naturally returns to zero, wait 10 minutes before removing the weight and unlocking the lid. Wait another 10 minutes before removing the jars from the pressure cooker. Set the jars on the counter and let them be for 12 to 24 hours.
  7. Check the lid – First, remove the bands from around the jar. If you cannot lift the lid with your fingertips, then the jar is successfully sealed. Store your jars in a cool, dry and dark place for up to a year. Should your lid come off with the fingertip test, not all is lost! Instead of leaving your food in your pantry, move it to the fridge.

That’s it! You are just a few easy steps away from preserving your harvest bounty and enjoying those flavors for months to come.

Bonus Recipe

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for beef stew to jumpstart your canning inspiration! Rich beef chunks are in perfect harmony with tender potatoes, carrots, and celery. This recipe is courtesy of the canning superstars at Ball:

Ball's Beef Stew Canning Recipe | Big R

Ball’s Beef Stew Canning Recipe | Big R


  • 2 to 2-1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cups cubed and peeled potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 4 cups sliced carrots (about 8 small)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion (about 2 small)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Water
  • 3 (32 oz) quart jars or 7 (16 oz) pint glass jars with lids and bands


  1. Prep the pressure canner – Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. Brown the meat – Add the meat to oil in a large saucepot. Add vegetables and seasonings to browned meat. Cover with boiling water. Bring stew to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Fill the jars – Ladle hot stew into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
  4. Time to cook– Process the filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

To test your new canning skills, follow Big R on Pinterest for more delicious recipes!

DIY Projects for Kids & Parents to Do Together


Biodegradable Ice Cream Cone Seed Planters

This is a project that’s perfect for the little ones – even the smallest of hands can help! To begin, fill an ice cream cone with potting soil, sunflower seeds, and water. The cone is the perfect home to watch your seedlings sprout! Then, have your kids help transplant the cone into the backyard. The cone will eventually disintegrate leaving the end result – Bright, growing sunflowers that are fun, easy, and eco-friendly!

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeder

Turn your backyard into a bird-watching paradise! Simply mix unflavored gelatin (yes, it is bird-friendly!), water and loose bird seed over the stove in a sauce pan. Then, have the kiddos press the warm mixture into their favorite shaped and oiled cookie cutter on a lined baking tray. Make sure to insert a straw at the top to create a small hole for hanging. Put the tray into the fridge for an hour to allow the feeders to set. Remove the cutter and the straw, tie with string, and pick the perfect branch to hang the new feeder. Sit back and watch the birds fly in for an afternoon treat.

Inflatable Tubes Turned Obstacle Course

Test the neighborhood kids’ fitness with your very own obstacle course. Use an air pump to quickly fill inflatable tubes. Forget throwing them in the pool – lay them on the grass. Use duct tape to tape the tubes together to create a a kid-friendly tire agility drill, and race to see who can complete the drill the quickest. Next, move the group over to tube alley. Separate into two teams. Lay eight tubes in a row, and have each kid step into the tub, shimmy it overhead, and drop it behind them as they continue forward. Whichever team is able to move their entire team through and finish fastest wins.

Tropical Sand Dough

Take a trip to the beach without ever leaving the backyard! Forget packing into the car and, instead, head to the kitchen! Have your kids mix sand, corn flour, and melted coconut oil together. This makes a yummy-scented dough that they can press, play with, squish, and create. Their imaginations will run wild with the endless amount of sand castles they can build. This dough is perfectly moldable and is a great sensory activity for the kids.

Outdoor Teepee

Call in Dad to help the kids with this one. You need a few power tools to create the cross shape junction of wood planks. Drill large holes into the wood to use to connect the four pieces of wood to the ridge pole, and two braces into the bottom for additional support. This is the frame for your teepee. Once this is done, you have a strong structure to spend long, hot days and many starry nights under. Drape an old sheet over the top to create the shady canopy. Want a teepee that can withstand the elements? Trade the sheet for a waterproof canvas tarp. This way, a little afternoon sprinkle won’t stop the fun. A bonus — the canopy will protect the children from prolonged sun exposure. Lay a soft blanket underneath, gather your kids’ favorite books, and sip a refreshing drink. Share giggles and stories in the comfort of your very own backyard teepee.

In need of a few more DIY or kids’ craft ideas? Visit Big R’s Pinterest board for great ways to keep them busy this summer!

The 7 Most Fun Outdoor Toys for Kids This Summer

two-boys-riding-skateboardsOn a bright sunny day, it’s almost impossible to stay indoors and not head to the park or the beach for some playtime. Make sure to bring favorite toys to keep everyone happy. Here are 7 of the most fun, outdoor toys that are perfect for summertime.

  1. Mini Gator SUV Tractor

This adorable little SUV tractor allows your kids to ride around in style, allowing you to relax knowing they are safe. The mini tractor vehicle has two-speed forward and reverse controls, with adjustable seats that help make the ride comfortable for your growing child. The smart pedal both accelerates and brakes, and the extreme traction wheels make the ride safe and easy for children young and old!

  1. Lightning Print Beginner’s Skateboard

Your kids will thank you years from now for buying them a skateboard! Make sure to prep them with protective gear and watch them take off down the sidewalk and driveway on their own! This skateboard is affordable and great for starting out – perfect for kids still figuring out what they want to do with their free time! Children should be supervised when they’re first starting out – we all want the kids to make it home happy and healthy for dinner!

  1. Jump ‘N Slam Hoop Set

This hoop set is incredibly easy to attach to any stable surface and will allow for hours of never-ending fun! Your children will grow up becoming accustomed to the hoop, concentration, and hand-eye coordination – plus who knows, maybe you’ll have a basketball star on your hand one day! Basketball also allows for great skills like teamwork and sportsmanship, and helps keep your kids in shape and active.

  1. Mini Spider Foam Balls

This set include a soccer ball, football and basketball, all made of foam for the ease and safety of your children! The webbing on each foam ball helps with gripping and is a great way to teach kids how to properly hold and throw a ball. Each ball is available in a variety of different colors. Your kids will never be bored!

  1. Buzz Bee Twin Blasters

These little Twin Blasters will help your kids perfect their aim at a young age! The blasters are incredibly easy to use with a simple pull-back trigger. It’s easy to load and comes with four foam darts that are all safe and soft. The package also comes with a bullseye target so your children can become pros!

  1. Foam Baseball Bat and Ball

If you want your kids to learn baseball early on, this baseball bat and ball is excellent for any age! Because they’re made of foam, you can be sure that your kids will be safe working on their batting and swinging skills! Plus, with the affordable price, you might as well get multiple for any upcoming birthdays!

  1. Nerf Crossfire Bow

This bow is created to emulate real crossfire action, preparing your kids for archery in the long run! This skill will also help them with coordination and focus. The package includes four darts. All your child needs to do is pull back the string to load the bow and fire! Because of its interactive features, we recommend this toy for kids 8 ages and up.


County Fairs in Illinois & Indiana


It’s finally that time of the summer where county fairs pop up across the nation. The pageants, kettle corn, ferris wheels, tractor pulls, livestock shows, cotton candy and fried food are all waiting for you. Are you ready to get your fill of fair fun? Find the closest county fair in your Big R community with the list below.


  1. Iroquois County Fair: July 20th to July 25th (Watseka)
  2. Tazewell County Fair: August 2nd to August 6th (Washington and Pekin)
  3. Vermilion County Fair: July 6th to July 10th (Tilton and Danville)
  4. Ogle County Fair: August 3rd to August 7th (Rochelle)
  5. Livingston County Fair: August 18th to August 21st (Pontiac)
  6. McHenry County Fair- August 3rd to August 7th (McHenry)
  7. Will County Fair- August 24th to August 28th (Homer Glen)



  1. Montgomery County Fair – July 15th to July 21st (Crawfordsville)
  2. Wabash County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Wabash)
  3. Kosciusko County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Warsaw)
  4. Elkhart County Fair – July 22nd to July 30th (Elkhart)
  5. LaPorte County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Michigan City)
  6. Fulton County Fair – July 9th to July 16th (Rochester)

Don’t forget to stock up on necessary fair gear like sunscreen and hats at your local Big R store before you go. There’s nothing like enjoying a warm, summer day with your family at the local county fair!

Best Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is just around the corner and we know it’s difficult to pick the perfect gift for the best Dad around. Luckily, Big R’s great selection of gifts will make it easy to find the gift Dad will love. Spoil Dad on his special day for all his hard work, effort and dad jokes throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorite gifts for Dad:

Gun Safe

When he’s not out hunting or at a range, Dad needs a safe place to store his guns. That’s why a high-quality gun safe is a perfect choice for a gun-enthusiast like Dad. A high-quality safe is tamper-proof, drill resistant and can endure fire so that only Dad can access his guns. Choose a safe that looks good and takes up the right amount of space to seal the deal. With a sleek design and space for up to 10 long guns, our pick is the Winchester Safe Bandit 9

Carhartt Hoodie

Carhartt is a Dad-approved brand. So, there’s no better way to celebrate his day by gifting him one of their extremely comfortable sweaters. The 50% cotton, 50% polyester material blend feels like a dream. The corded hood and handwarmer pockets will help make this sweater one of Dad’s favorites. Just pick his favorite color

Drill Drive Set

For the handy Dad who always knows how to fix anything and everything, a drill drive set is the gift that keeps on giving. With a trusted brand like Irwin, Dad will be grateful for all the new ways he can use his power tools. The set includes 20 different multi-purpose pieces

Coleman 4-Person Tent

This four-person Coleman Sundome tent is an amazing steal for the adventurous Dad. After a great day of enjoying the outdoors, the spacious tent is welcome retreat that will fit the whole family. The tent also has built-in anti-rain technology that keeps the whole family comfortable and dry. Help Dad become one with nature

Cordless Grass Trimmer

One of Dad’s many chores includes cutting the grass. With a new cordless grass trimmer, it’s made easier! This Father’s Day gift is designed to help dad work as little as possible when he’s outside. The cordless trimmer is easy to use, effective and requires no extra tools. Get Dad a gift that simple and efficient

Char-Broil Gas Burner Grill

When he’s making BBQ or burgers, Dad is in the zone. Why not equip him with a top notch grill he’ll love? This traditional Char-Broil gas burner grill has two burners with plenty of space for Dad to create his masterpieces. The Piezo ignition system is efficient and provides a powerful spark with every push. Porcelain-coated grates add a finishing touch that Dad will appreciate. Help Dad make tasty BBQ every time with a new grill

10 Grilling Tools for the Best BBQ in the Midwest


We are saying good-bye to the snow and hello to the rising temperatures – you know what that means! Everyone’s starting to get out and enjoy the outdoors again with blue skies and warm sunshine. Can you truly think of a better way to celebrate the new season than with a group BBQ? At Big R, we have a surplus of top tools for you to make your next BBQ the best in the Midwest! Here are some of our favorite tools:

1. Char-Broil 6 Burner Gas Grill

This traditional 6-burner gas grill is built to last! It can also hold a large amount of your food while still doing the job efficiently. The charbroiled finish on your BBQ favorites creates a taste that is hard to beat! It also features 900 square inches of working space, so you have plenty of room to enjoy your grilling.

2. Weber Bamboo Grill Brush

This bamboo grill brush from a trusted brand like Weber helps to clean up your grill’s surface, making for a truly delicious and thoroughly grilled product! The scraper end removes all rough spots with ease, so you can save your arm power for the actual grilling. Bamboo is also known to keep from rusting, which will increase the longevity of your brush!

3. Simple Green Heavy Duty Cleaner

There is a way you can still try to be green while creating your BBQ. This non-toxic formula provides reassurance for you and your guests that the safest option was used in cleaning the grill. The fast-acting formula works efficiently to keep surfaces clean, and the aerosol doesn’t have any damaging CFCs.

4. Western Apple BBQ Cooking Chunks

Did you know that smoked apple is becoming a very popular flavor for grilling and smoking? The subtle sweetness and robust smokiness helps to give your food a delicious kick! We especially recommend apple wood chunks for poultry and pork BBQ products!

5. MintCraft Stainless Steel Tool Set

This 3-piece tool set is made with stainless steel, perhaps one of the best materials to use when handling meat. It features aluminum handles and a rubber grip that makes grilling easy and efficient. The set includes all of the essentials: a turner, tong, and fork. You’ll look and feel like a pro!

6. Kingsford Matchlight Charcoal

Lighting up your BBQ will be easy with Kingsford’s charcoals! They’re both fast-acting and safe, and you won’t even need to buy lighter fluid to get them rolling! All these charcoals take is one step – no lighter fluid needed! All you need to do is light them up and then let them burn for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes are up, you’re ready to go!

7. Char-Broil Charcoal Grill

This grill is extremely popular, not just for its affordable price and compact size, but also because it gets the job done right! The convenient side shelf helps you cook faster because you can utilize the 225 square inches of cooking area to make approximately 10 burgers all at once! This will quickly become your favorite BBQ tool to use in your backyard!

8. Weber Charcoal Grate

This convenient charcoal grate replaces 22 ½” grills with ease and sophistication. The grate is also incredibly easy to clean with a brush and a cleaner! The grates are made to perfectly hold onto your favored BBQ items, so you won’t have to worry about a lack of stability when you’re busy grilling up tonight’s delicious meal!

9. Kingsford Charcoal Lighter Fluid

Kingsford is a brand you can trust, and this lighter fluid gets you one step closer to the perfect BBQ in no time. Lighting up your charcoal will be easy, so you can spend time on the marinating and grilling — the things that really matter! The lighter fluid is clean, high quality and odorless, giving you the ability to create whatever flavors you’d like!

10. Weber Grill Rack

This convenient grill rack is easy to clean and easy to use! With storage space for 5 racks, you won’t have to worry about making a mess and delaying your BBQ! Even better, the grill rack is dishwasher safe, so getting rid of your mess won’t take long at all.

With these 10 awesome tools, you’re probably already salivating at the fact that BBQ season is right around the corner! Come to Big R today and get going on your backyard BBQ!