A day at the beach! Is there anything better? The sun, the surf, digging your toes into the sand. If you're looking for some fun beach game ideas, read on. We have picked some of the best for you.
The first rule of a fun day at the beach is to wear enough sunscreen (and reapply as necessary). Especially if your crew includes kids (and even if it doesn’t!), how about a race to see who can properly apply sunscreen the fastest? Working in pairs is a great idea for this game. One person can help the other to get covered in sunscreen, and then their buddy can return the favor. The first pair that finishes and is well-covered wins. Tips for this game include pairing little ones with a grown-up sunscreen buddy and making sure to set the ground rules of how participants need to help slather themselves and their buddies, including spots like behind the ears and nose, which are easy to miss.
A fun and easy way to get everyone more active is to have water workout contests. This can range from who can race to the edge of the water and back to the beach chairs the fastest to who can do the most jumping jacks or who can float the longest. Make sure everyone is wearing their swimsuit as these contests can get active. Water shoes are a great idea, too. Unless you're hosting water workout contests in a swimming pool, you'll want to make sure that everyone keeps their feet comfy and safe. The only limits to water workouts are your imagination and the physical abilities of the participants. Be sure to keep little ones safe and keep the competition all in good fun. It’s about getting some exercise and having some light-hearted fun—not an ironman competition.
Another classic game to get everyone up on their feet and engaged is tug of war. A colorful nylon rope is ideal for this game, but anything that won’t damage the hands of the tuggers will work. Draw a line in the sand as the center marker and split up into teams and then see which team gets pulled beyond the center marker. This childhood favorite is especially fun in the sand. The lower traction (and softer falling surface) of the beach is practically made for this game. If you have some time for set up, you can even dig a shallow “pit” and fill it with water to add to the hilarity. This is another all-ages game. Grab those women’s board shorts and join in the fun!
This takes a family favorite to the beach and is as low maintenance as you can get. Instead of bringing a boxed game with paper and pen, have participants draw pictures in the sand to illustrate their ideas to their team. At most you might need a sand shovel or a stick to use as a writing implement. Adding sand and water to this classic makes it more physical while keeping all the fun of the original game. Just be careful to have enough beach to play if the tide is high and that your creations don’t get washed away too early. Taking selfies with the artists by their creations can be a fun twist on vacation pictures with this one.
Do you prefer something more sedate for a beach game? Bocce ball it is! This game dates back to 5,000 BC and is known around the world as a fun game for all ages. Two opponents can play each other, or you can play with teams of two. The goal is to toss your ball the closest to the target ball, or pallino. Bocce sets are available online and in sporting goods stores and usually come with their own handy carrying case. When you’re home from the beach, you can play bocce in your yard or at a picnic.
Gin rummy, spades, or go fish anyone? Pack a deck of cards in your canvas tote or beach bag and you’re ready for any of them. If you opt to bring a regular (i.e., non-waterproof) deck of cards, choose an older deck with no sentimental value in case of water damage. You can also buy a water-proof deck that can last for years of outdoor use (as well as indoor use). Cards are a nice option if you would prefer a quiet activity but need something that can be versatile for all ages. Some of the best family and friend conversations happen over a game of cards. And you can play cards while lounging in your beach cover-up instead of running around. Whatever beach games you choose, make them safe, fun, and memorable!