5 Fun and Inexpensive Beach Activities for Families

A woman doing yoga on the beach

There are a lot of people who head out to the beach with their families or with a group of friends, and they don’t realize all of the inexpensive activities that are available to them. I like to bring fun games and activities that get everyone involved, and some beaches are designed with activities for the cost of admission. Below is a list of the top beach activities that can make your day at the beach an experience that everyone will enjoy and remember for years to come.

1. Beach Frisbee Golf

Frisbee golf is an inexpensive beach activity that can be brought to any beach. It really hones in on your abilities to throw a frisbee into a basket or disc catcher. I found that my skills as a frisbee golf player needed some practice, but the kids had no problem showing me how to do it.

I grew up playing golf, and throwing a frisbee was always a favorite pastime, so it seemed like a great activity for my family to play when we went on vacation to Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. This was a great decision, and the course at Central Park far exceeded my expectations. The cost of admission and refreshments were very affordable, and the course covered 15 amazing acres.

Frisbee golf is played just like golf; the only difference is disc-catchers are used instead of golf cups. This is a great activity that includes a lot of family fun, especially for the kiddos. My kids thoroughly enjoyed this game, so much that I bought a portable set to play at our own local beach. There are a lot of different sets available online and at some local retail stores, so buying a good frisbee is well worth the investment.

People playing beach volleyball

2. Beach Volleyball

Volleyball is a classic beach activity that has been enjoyed on just about every beach. It’s a great way to make some new friends, and it can be played all day. I found that once I set my volleyball net up on the beach, it doesn’t take long for other people to want to join the fun. I have met some really good friends at the beach by bringing my volleyball game, and I never once heard the kids say, “I’m bored.”

Volleyball can be played 1 on 1, 2 on 2, or up to 9 players on each side of the net. Professional beach volleyball competitions can be seen on major broadcasting networks like Fox Sports, NBC, CBS, ABC, and ESPN or in person by attending the events. This is a great beach activity that provides hours of endless fun, and the entire game can be transported with ease.

3. Beach Water Bucket Relay

Water bucket relay games are great beach activities for both adults and kids with lots of fun and laughter. I found this to be a game that can be played with items I already packed like solo cups and sand pails for the kids. It’s quite possible to bring larger buckets for a better challenge, but I typically tend to use what I already have.

Playing the game is easy, each team has 1 empty bucket, a full bucket of water, and an empty cup. Simply place the empty buckets at the finish line and the full buckets at the start line. Each team will take turns filling the cup from the full bucket while running it back to the empty bucket as fast as they can without spilling it, of course.

The winner is the team who has the most water in their bucket at the finish line. It’s a really simple game to play that offers lots of quality family time and something that I found very entertaining, especially for the little ones. Believe it or not, the little ones might be slower, but they seem to grasp the concept better than most adults.

Young person frolicing in the surf

4. Beach Bocce Ball

Here’s a game that I absolutely love to bring to the beach, and you really don’t need a real bocce ball, just one that’s a little on the heavier side. The game is really simple, place an object in the sand like a full water bottle with just the cap sticking out, then either draw a line or circle around the object. The winner is the one who gets the ball the closest to the target, and empty bottle caps work great as markers to keep track of everyone’s turn.

5. Beach Dodge Ball

This is an exciting game and one that is sure to provide plenty of personal conflicts, in a fun way of course. The game involves not getting hit by the ball and being the one to grab it. Whoever grabs the ball first has either 5 seconds or 3 steps to get rid of the ball by trying to hit someone.

If a player gets hit by the ball, they have to sit down, and the ball is now fair game for the first person who can grab it. A sitting player can get back in the game if the ball comes near them, and they have to hit a standing player to get back in the game. It’s a good idea from my own personal experience to draw a large circle in the sand for the sitting players to sit, so eventually a winner can be declared.

Other Fun and Inexpensive Beach Activities

There are a lot of really fun beach games that can be played without breaking the bank or having to pack an additional heavy bag to carry. I really like beach games that are simple, fun, entertaining, and ones that I can carry along with all of my other beach gear. Even a sturdy pair of binoculars can provide quite a bit of entertainment at the beach. Some other beach games that I played with the kids are beach ball hot potato, sand-hopscotch, sand angels, good old fashioned horsehoes, beach bucket sand art, beach obstacle courses, and of course, no day at the beach would be the same without some super-soakers. Now matter what game you chose to play, there are lots of games that can be played on the beach with little to no expense.

​Related: The Best Beach Games for Families

Related: Fun Beach Activities for Preschoolers

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