A Day at the Beach: Top 10 Ideas for Fantastic Family Fun

A Day at the Beach: Top 10 Ideas for Fantastic Family Fun

 Is your family ready for some serious fun on your next beach day? If so, then these fun ideas will be sure to provide hours of laughter and excitement…especially if you are visiting North Carolina’s gorgeous Ocean Isle Beach. This southern sandy gem is the backdrop for countless memories for thousands of visitors each year. She is the perfect place for your family to get soaked, get sandy and go…on a beach day like no other. Ditch the frisbee, beach balls and sandcastles (at least temporarily). It's time to get active and creative. Mom and Dad...get off your beach bum and out of that beach chair! With minimal preparation and maximum fun, here are our TOP 10 Beach Day activities that the whole family can enjoy! This list is just a smidgen of the kind of beach day fun that your family can have at Ocean Isle Beach....creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Get Soaked

Wonderful Water Fun & Games Will Get You Super Soaked 

1) Water Balloon & Beach Towel Toss

Materials Needed:  Water Balloons, Beach Towels (2 per team)

How to Play:  Form groups of four, having one person on the short side of each towel. Place a water balloon in the middle of a towel, holding the towel pulled out tight & flat. Have both sets of towels & players standing side by side. When ready, use the towel to toss the balloon to your partners, who will try to catch the balloon in their towels. If you have enough people, you can play against teams. If you only have four people, then play as a challenge. For each successful toss, have the receiving partners take a step away. If your balloon bursts, start over again, side by side.

Tip:  Fill up your water balloons at your vacation home before heading to the beach, and transport in a cooler or large plastic container.

2) Beach Bucket Fill-Up Race

Materials Needed:  1 identical beach bucket per team, 1 identical water scoop per team (sand shovel or cup)

How to Play:  This game is played as a relay race. One team member sits above the tide mark, and places the bucket on his/her head. The rest of the team lines up at the waters edge. When ready, the first runner will scoop up as much water as possible and run to the bucket…trying not to spill any. Then they will pour the water into the bucket before running back to pass on the scoop to the next runner. Teams continue until a bucket is full or a pre-determined time has counted down. First team to fill the bucket, or fill it most, WINS!

Tip:  Choose your buckets and scoops based on age and skill levels of players.


3) Water Balloon Buddy Burst

Materials Needed:  3 or more 10-Inch balloons (regular balloons, not water balloons) filled with water per team of 2

How to Play:  Teams of 2 will stand back to back and link arms, having placed a balloon (filled with water) between their backs. When ready, each team will try to use the weight of their bodies to pop their balloon. The first team to pop 3 (or whichever number works for you) balloons WINS! You could also play against a timer…how many balloons can you pop in 1 minute?

Tip:  Fill up your water balloons at your vacation home before heading to the beach, and transport in a cooler or large plastic container. 


4) Wet Shirt Relay Race

Materials Needed:  1 t-shirt for each team

How to Play:  Divided into teams if you have enough people playing. Players will then line up. Game is played as a relay, with the first person in line having to take a quick tip in the water to get their t-shirt soaking wet. When ready, the person with the wet t-shirt will try to take it off and then pass it to the next person in line. That person will have to put the t-shirt on and take it back off, before passing it to the next person in line. The first team to finish, WINS!

Tips:  Want to make this game super challenging? Make it a WET CLOTHES relay…including shirt, pants, hat, etc.

Get Sandy


Fun & Games in the Sand at Ocean Isle Beach

5) Tic-Tac-Toes In the Sand

Materials Needed:  2 groups of rocks or shells that are very different, a stick

How to Play:  Draw a tic-tac-toe grid in the sand. One player uses rocks and the other player uses shells (as their X’s and O’s). The game is played just like regular tick-tac-toe.

Tips:  If you have a large group of people at the beach, you can have a tournament.

6) Beach Picasso

Materials Needed:  Rocks, shells, seaweed, sticks, etc.

How to Play:  Instead of sand sculptures, make art in the sand by using items that can be found on the beach. For example, draw a sea turtle in the sand, then use smooth shells for the scales on it’s back, and then outline him with small pieces of driftwood. 

Tips:  Make it a contest. Snap pictures of your creations, and then post them on social media…asking your friends to vote. Have a prize for the person who receives the most votes!

7) Rockin’ Toss

Materials Needed:  Plastic Cups or Buckets, Rocks or Shells

How to Play:  Dig a hole in the sand that is the same size as your disposable plastic cup or beach bucket. Set the cup/bucket in the hole, with the neck of the cup/bucket barely exposed…this will be your target. Draw a line in the sand that will your beginning toss line. Throw rocks/shells into the cup/buckets. Each time a player makes a toss into the cup, they can take a step back to see who can get the furthest away from the target.

Tips:  Don’t forget to collect your cups or buckets out of the sand when you are finished!

8) Canal Race

Materials Needed:  Small shovels, ping pong balls, beach buckets

How to Play:  Dig small canals from above the high tide mark towards the water, some can be curvy and others straight. When ready, players can place a ping pong ball at the beginning of the canal, then slowly pour water into the canal to make the ball race towards the water’s edge. First ball to meet the ocean WINS!

Tips:  Try to buy bright colored ping pong balls…they will be easier to see!! 

9) Do You Want to Build a Sandman? 

Materials Needed:  Rocks, shells, sticks, scarf, Santa hat, sunglasses, etc.

How to Play:  Build a "snowman” in the sand! Then decorate him with summer or winter accessories.

Tips:  This is a great time to take your family Christmas photo!!

Scavenger Hunt


You Need a Sensational Scavenger Hunt at the Beach 

10) Beach Scavenger Hunt

Materials Needed:  Free Beach Scavenger Hunt print-out, camera, pencil

How to Play:  Search for listed items as a team or individuals. Record items found on your free print-out or by using a camera!

Tips:  Add several "challenge” items to the list. Example: Send players with a plastic bag to collect 5 trash items.

BONUS) Beach Ball Scavenger Hunt with a Twist

Materials Needed:  Permanent Marker, Beach Ball

How to Play:  Before heading to the beach, write "clues” and "challenges” all over the beach ball. Example: Find an object that is bigger than a loaf of bread/Sing a Patriotic Song/Build your best sand castle in 60 seconds/Be the first person to bring back a whole shell. With your beach ball full of clues and challenges, one person will toss it up in the air, and as it lands, they will point to a random clue or challenge. That person will read the clue/challenge out loud, and then do the action required individually or as a group. After the challenge is complete, another person tosses the balls, and repeats the game. 

Tips:  This game can be tailored to fit your family. You can include educational challenges like, "write your name in the sand” or silly clues like, "With a partner, find someone in a red swimsuit with blond hair.” Get creative!


A Day at the Beach: Top 10 Ideas for Fantastic Family Fun Pin

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