When you picture a day at the beach you might be imaging lounging under the sun and listening to the soothing sound of the waves. All you'll need is your towel, a book, and your refillable water bottle. Then, you suddenly remember that you have kids. A day at the beach can still be bliss, you just need to plan a bit differently.

Bring toys

Have at least a bucket and shovel per kid. Even if they aren't into sand castles anymore, they may enjoy collecting and sorting shells, or digging a giant hole until it fills with water. Other hits are games like bocce ball or frisbee.


There are any number of options for shade at the beach, from a Sportsbrella to a full sun tent. I normally travel with a sun tent that allows shade during the day and can be zipped up to create a change room when we are ready to head out.

Beach chairs

Beach chairs are wonderful for old tired back. Better yet, they often have zippered pockets where you can safely stow your phone to keep it out of the sand.

Boogie Boards

We travel with one board per kid, plus a wave runner board if we are going to the ocean. Boogie boards bring focus to the kids' water play and create hours of fun.

Collapsible wagon

You'll thank yourself for remembering the wagon! It allows you to transport your gear, plus your cooler, without breaking a sweat.


Stock up with iced juice boxes, snacks, protein, and fruit. The more you can fit in, the less you will have to get out of the chair and go in search of food.

Waterproof phone case

If your phone isn't waterproof, having a waterproof case will allow peace of mind when the bucket inevitably spills all over it.