This summer, there’s no better way to host a gathering than having a beach picnic. It’s fun in the sun for the whole gang, both friends and family! The sounds of the ocean waves, soaking up the summer sun, and playing games in the sand are all part of this celebratory beach day. It’s a fun, easy way to spend quality time with loved ones and get the best of everything the season has to offer. So get out your beach blanket and pack your beach balls. Here are some tips on how to host a beach picnic this summer.
Turn to the internet to research local spots for your beach day. Consider the time of day, traffic, and commute time when choosing a locale. There are always secret spots hiding right in your backyard. Maybe it’s the lake you’ve never gotten around to visiting. Or the river beach spot. Do a quick search of your area and go with the beach that feels best for your party needs. Once you’ve found your party spot, make sure it’s a legal zone for your activities. When you’re all set, let friends and guests know you’ve found your beach picnic place. Then prepare the supplies: bring a beach umbrella to help provide a bit of shade, especially if the weather gets up to those hot summer temperatures. And consider bringing your own outdoor furniture and setting up your summer beach picnic paradise.
As the host of the soiree, you have to be ready for whatever the day might throw at you. This goes beyond sunscreen and an extra towel. Be prepared for anything! In addition to extra SPF and party supplies, have a plan! Bring first aid and flashlights. If you’re considering a bonfire, have the supplies needed for emergencies and know how to properly extinguish the fire when you’re done. Consider a theme, like a luau with Hawaiian shirts and decor, tiki drinks, and torches. Your local party store will have matching sets of party theme decorations, cups, plates, and everything you need. Pack extra towels, arrange for food (bring food or grill there—fun for the whole family!) Family swimwear is a must, beach accessories, umbrellas, and chairs only add to the fun! An old bedsheet is the perfect beach blanket to have your picnic on. To help cut down on how much you need to buy and lug to and from the picnic site yourself, ask friends to bring their own blankets, towels, or outdoor chairs. The more prepared you are, the better the party will be.
Have a plan ahead of time on what you want to eat. You can bring prepared food (deli sandwiches are a great option) or grill your own food, depending on local land policies and permits. If you’re grilling, bring charcoal, a fire source, and plenty of food to cook. Hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetable kabobs, and corn on the cob all make great grill snacks that are easily prepared. Make sure you bring enough for all your guests to enjoy. S’mores are a perfect summer DIY dessert that kids and adults of all ages love. Provide plenty of water and drinks to avoid dehydration (lemonade is a classic summer crowd favorite) in coolers or ice buckets. Cool, refreshing drinks will help you beat the summer heat. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to show off your canvas totes and beach bags as you transport the beverages to the picnic. When it comes to food, bring more. It’s better to be over-prepared than not have enough for hungry guests. If it doesn’t get eaten, you get the leftovers.
For your perfect beach day, you’ll need to plan activities that guests can participate in and have fun with. Corn hole and frisbee are great easy games everyone loves. Some beaches have built-in volleyball courses with nets already set up. If you find one of these, it’s a great chance to have a family volleyball tournament or scrimmage game. A ball can also make for a great game of catch in or out of the ocean, and beach football is a great place to play rough with the soft sand to land on. There are so many options of fun and easy beach games, so decide which ones are right for your party and bring the supplies. If you’ve got kids attending, sand toys and castle supplies are a fun DIY project that gets the little ones building creative designs from and with the natural surroundings. Shovels, pails, and other plastic sand toys are available at most grocery and drug stores. Whatever games and activities you decide on, have a plan! Fun things to do (besides eating) will make your picnic a memorable one.
On the hottest summer days, you’ll need some sources of shade and a plan to beat the heat. To start, consider hosting your beach picnic in the evening or at another time of day with less sun exposure and intensity than afternoon or midday. Make sure everyone lathers up in sunscreen and reapplies it throughout the day. If you’re spending time in the ocean, consider a rash guard or UV swimsuit for that extra boost of coverage that can’t wash off in the waves. Beach cover-ups are also a nice choice for protecting your skin from the harmful sun rays. Beach umbrellas are a must on those long, hot, sunny beach days. Remember, even if it’s cloudy, you’re still getting more sun exposure than you’re used to, so sunscreen and accessories to provide shade are just as important on cloudier days. Be ready for the sun and prioritize your skin protection!