Family Day at the Beach
Pack a cooler with homemade goodies and dig out the sand toys. It's time for an all-day beach adventure.
Top Five Tips for Keeping Cool
- Pack ice. It keeps the food cold, chills drinks, sooths insect bites, and refreshes overheated bodies.
- Hats on. Protect your head from direct sunlight and you'll keep your body cooler.
- Make shade. Pack a beach umbrella or other portable sun shelter.
- Drink up. A well-hydrated body is better able to keep its cool.
- Get wet. Splashing in the surf is a fast way to cool off on a hot day.
Gear Up for Fun
- Scout out a good location, preferably one protected from the wind and offers shade. Or make your own adjustable shade with large beach umbrellas. (Be a good beach neighbor and don't block the view of people who arrived before you.) Bring towels and lightweight beach chairs.
- If there's plenty of space, set up a spot for badminton or volleyball. Use flags to mark a start and stopping point for kids to have beach races, if they need to burn off extra energy. Pack some fun prizes to keep them motivated
- Bring beach shovels and pails for building sand castles and collecting shells.
- Kick back and relax with a bit of light summer reading. Being lazy is the best way to enjoy the beach (but keep an eye on the kids).
Beach Blanket Menu
Cap off a spectacular day at the beach by feasting on a make-ahead meal that can come together quickly over the course of one or two days.
Two days ahead:
- Splurge on rotisserie chicken for sandwich wraps; buy needed recipe ingredients. Put plastic bottles of drinking water into the freezer.
- Let kids make cinnamon chips while you make salsa. While oven is hot; make and bake cookies.
One day ahead:
- Assemble sandwiches and deviled eggs.
- Pack a picnic backpack or basket with blankets, plates, cups and utensils, including a corkscrew and bottle opener.
- Stuff a tote bag with sunscreen, insect repellant, first aid kit, towels, trash bags, and beach paraphernalia: flip flops, snorkeling gear, Frisbee, portable radio, badminton set, life vests, and sand toys.
- Bring another tote with extra layers (in case the weather turns colder) and a change of clothes for each family member.
- Take torches, lanterns, and citronella candles if you plan to stay at the beach after dark. Some beaches permit bonfires. If so, you might want to pack your own firewood and bring stuff to make s’mores. (Don't forget the extra long campfire forks.)
- Clean out the cooler; freeze packs of liquid ice.
- Pack cooler in the a.m.
- Go have fun! (And keep reapplying that sunblock.)