25 Fun Beach Game and Activities

Nothing beats a beach day during the summer! There’s just something about the sound of the waves, the wind blowing through your hair, and the sand below your feet that seems to melt stress away. Kick back and enjoy a restful and fun day at the beach with these beach games and activities. We’ve got plenty of ideas for you to do on your own, with a group, or with your children.

So, whether you’re happy to just lay in the sun, or you want to be on the move, there are so many great ways to spend a day at the beach. Just make sure to pack your sunnies and your sunscreen!

Flying Solo

Heading to the beach on your own this summer? Check out these ideas to help you relax and make the most of your time on the coast.

  1. Take a Walk - Nothing beats a long walk on the beach whether you take a barefoot stroll or throw sneakers on for a workout. Enjoy people watching, looking at the waves, and hearing the soothing sounds of the ocean.
  2. Look for Ocean Life – Slow down and observe the natural world around you. You may see dolphins swimming by, birds catching dinner in the waves or crabs side-walking in tidal pools.
  3. Collect Seashells - Bring along a bucket and collect seashells as you walk along the shore. You never know when you’ll find something exciting like a large conch, shark tooth, or piece of beach glass.
  4. Meditation - The beach is a great place to practice some meditation and mindfulness. Just sit comfortably, focus on your breathing, and pay attention to how your body feels. You can download meditation videos online or find apps to help you.
  5. Go Fishing - Fishing can be a great way to enjoy the sun and sea. Just be mindful about keeping your lines and hooks away from any swimmers or beach goers.
  6. Read a Book – Get comfortable and be transported to another world while reading on the beach. Just bring along a comfortable chair, a sun hat, and some sunglasses and get lost in an easy breezy read.
  7. Search for Treasure Bring along a metal detector and see if you can discover treasure! You might get lucky and find coins, jewelry or other interesting items – just make sure they are safe before handling.
  8. Yoga - Doing a little yoga on the sand can be relaxing and invigorating. Consider getting up for a sunrise session to get your day started off in the best way.

With a Group

Heading to the beach with a group of friends can be so much fun! You can just catch some sunshine and chat or bring along some games to play together.

  1. Bocce Ball - A classic game that doesn’t involve too much gear, bring a beach bocce set to challenge your friends to a game of throwing.
  2. Throw a Football – It’s easy to toss a football in your beach bag! Play catch or draw lines in the sand to mark a playing field and face off for a game. Just be careful not to hit other beach goers.
  3. Surfing Lesson - A group surfing lesson can be a fun way to laugh and make some memories while learning a new skill. See if your local beach offers lessons for a group rate.
  4. Race on the Beach - No gear required to participate in age-old challenges like foot races, wheelbarrow races, or other contests.
  5. Sparklers at Night - Lighting sparklers on the beach at night can be really memorable with a group. Just make sure that it’s legal where you are and clean up any trash when you leave.
  6. Mingle - When you’re with a group, it can be easy to meet new people on the beach. Just ask others around you if they want to join in a game to break the ice.
  7. Save the Turtles - Many beaches have ways for volunteers to help out with turtle preservation efforts. You might be able to clean up litter, fill in holes, or save turtles' nests.

Traveling with Your Children

Summer is for making memories, and there’s no better place to be with children than the beach. Just always be mindful about water safety when traveling with littles, and don’t forget to lather them in sunscreen.

  1. Sandcastle Creations – Building sandcastles is the ultimate beach fun! Bring along some buckets or molds to make castles or sand art and encourage kids to collect shells to use for decor.
  2. Scavenger Hunt – Create a list of things for kids to collect and spot, like certain kinds of shells or a fish jumping out of the water. You could print out a list or give them one item to search for at a time. When they’re finished, ask kids to do a “show and tell” of their favorite finds!
  3. Draw in the Sand – The beach is your canvas! Smooth out an area of sand for kids and give them a stick or paintbrush to use to draw out designs or words. Writing their names in the sand and posing for a photo is a great tradition!
  4. Go on a Snipe Hunt - Let your children stay up late and take them out on the beach for a night-time “snipe hunt.” You can tell scary stories or pretend to see the imaginary creatures, and send your kids chasing after them to burn off some extra energy before bed.
  5. Dye the Sand - If you enjoyed sand art as a child, your kids will probably enjoy it too. Bring along some food safe dyes, and some little plastic containers or cups. Let your children color the sand with food dye and then pour it in colorful layers in your containers or small vases for a beautiful memento to bring home from your vacation.
  6. Picnic – Enjoy lunch with the best view! Pack up a cooler with your favorite sandwiches, snacks and sweet treats. Bring along some wet wipes for on-the-go hand washing and don’t forget to bring all the trash out with you.
  7. Towel Bounce - An easy game is to give each of your kids the end of a towel and have them wave it up and down while bouncing a ball on it. See how many bounces they can get before the ball drops.
  8. Hide Treasure - This one requires some forethought and effort, but if you get up early you can go out onto the beach and “bury” some treasure for your children to dig up. Set up a canopy or mark out an area with towels and then hide some coins, gemstones, or pretty shells under the sand for your kids to dig for. Make sure not to bury anything valuable in case you can’t find it!
  9. Beach Games - If you’re bored, set up some beach games for your children by drawing in the sand. You can make a hopscotch board, outline tic-tac-toe, or even set up target practice by marking out circles for them to throw a ball into the sand.
  10. Clean Up - Get your kids involved with helping others by letting them participate in a beach clean-up initiative. That way, they can learn a little bit about giving back while still having fun on the beach.

If relaxing on a chair and enjoying the beach breeze isn’t your cup of tea, we’ve got you covered with all sorts of ideas for games and activities. Hopefully, you and your family can have a great vacation day at the beach and make some wonderful memories together this summer.

Kelsey Caldwell is a realtor and freelance writer from Charlotte, NC. She and her husband are parents to two amazing kids, a golden-doodle, and a bearded dragon.