While a bit of relaxing on sun bed is a holiday essential for many, if you’re hitting the coast this summer why not add to the fun with some top beach activities?
Whether you’re on a family trip of travelling with mates there are plenty of top beach games and pastimes to keep you occupied and if you’re all out of ideas, never fear, we’ve got plenty of tips for things to do at the beach, whatever the age range.
12 and under
Kids may love the beach, but if you want to ensure the kids are entertained all day, planning beach games and activities is a wise move.
If you’re on a sandy coastal stretch, building sandcastles is a great place to start. Come prepared with things to decorate your structures with, from feathers to tiny flags, or hunt for shells to adorn them.
Exploring rock pools to discover what sea creatures may have washed up there can be enhanced by taking pens and paper to draw your finds or create a tick list of what you’ve spotted. Or better still, invest in a crab line, some bait and a bucket and get fishing.
For crafty kids take along some small washable paints and brushes to decorate stones, adding stick on googly eyes to each create their own “pet rock”.
Ball games at the beach are also a great option for the kids. Take along a velcro “catch ball” or small disposable kites for older kids to ensure they’re not begging for your tablet or smartphone.
There are lots of great beach activities that are ideal for this age range, but to keep everyone entertained you'll still want to think ahead.
If you’ve got enough people and the energy to keep up with the kids, beach touch rugby is a great sport to enjoy. If you are low on number staking a rugby ball is still going to provide some entertainment for the kids, but if rugby isn’t their game a football is another popular and easy option.
Sticking with the sports theme, perhaps your children have the potential to become ultimate frisbee superstars? A good quality frisbee can be bought for around £10 and will no doubt provide great entertainment for you and your kids when at the beach. Just make sure you check the wind direction before playing!
If your teenage children enjoy being in the water then snorkeling is a great option. A snorkel kit can be bought for around £20 and offers the kids a great way to explore the water and get another perspective of marine life. A snorkel kit may also bring out the marine adventurer in adults, so don’t be alarmed if you are jealous of the kids fun.
Depending on your location, there should be plenty of water sports for the adults in your group to take part in, with varying levels of difficulty and cost.
Scuba diving is an incredible experience which offers the feeling of weightlessness and gives an amazing glimpse into coral reefs and marine life in places such as Australia’s great barrier reef, and countries in south-east Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Surfing is also a fantastic beach activity and an amazing skill to learn. If you are visiting a beach which offers surf lessons, you should definitely take the opportunity. If you’re staying in popular surf locations and have already had lessons then hiring a board should be straightforward.
Windsurfing and kite surfing are also popular watersports in many beach locations around the world, but these are by no means easy sports to master. If however you would prefer something a bit easier or more relaxing then kayaking might be more suitable.
Perhaps the easiest option for fun on the water is to hire a jet-ski. Jetskis may not be widely available everywhere but they do provide great fun.
There’s a huge trend for Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP as it’s known) at the moment, which means many resorts offer tutoring sessions, as well as boards for hire.
Fun for all ages
Swimming is of course one of the major draws of the beach that all the family can enjoy. Make sure you pay attention to local flags and signage regarding the suitability of certain spots for a dip.
Hiring a pedalo is also a great option if they are available, with many companies also providing life jackets. Get one with a slide and head a bit off shore to have bit of fun way from the crowds.
Back on the sand, you’ll find many hotels have a beach volleyball net set up which you can take advantage of. And if BBQs are allowed on the beach, why not end the day by getting the gang all together for a meal while appreciating the sunset.