5 Fun and Inexpensive Beach Activities for Families

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Are you looking for fun and inexpensive beach activities for families? When heading to the beach with love ones, there’s no shortage of cost effective activities to choose from. It’s as easy as packing games with your beach gear, and getting on the road! 

You’ll likely find that some beaches are designed and equipped with activities for you and your family to enjoy, at little or no cost to you. Some offer volleyball courts, cornholl challenges, horseshoes and more. Here we’ve gathered some of the top beach activities that are sure to keep everyone in the family happy!

1. Beach Frisbee Golf

Frisbee golf is an inexpensive beach activity which can be played any beach with the right equipment. Interested in challenging your frisbee throwing skills? Frisbee golf might be for you!

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 ended up being 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 which includes a lot of family fun, especially for the kids, or the kids-at-heart! My kids 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.
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2. Beach Volleyball

Volleyball is a classic beach activity that has been enjoyed on beaches worldwide. It’s a great way to make new friends, and it can be played all day. Once you set your volleyball net up on the beach, it won’t take long for other people to notice and join in on the fun. Not only are you likely to make friends while hitting the sand, you’re kids are going to have a blast!

Volleyball can be played one on one, two on two, 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.
People playing beach volleyball

3. Beach Water Bucket Relay

Water bucket relay games are great beach activities for both adults and kids, sure to bring lots of fun and laughter! This is a game that can be played with items you already packed like solo cups and sand pails for the kids. It’s quite possible to bring larger buckets for a better challenge, but conveniently the basic supplies you need are usually already packed.

Playing this 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 and run 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.

Water bucket relay is a simple game to play which offers lots of quality family time and entertainment for all ages. Believe it or not, the little ones might be slower, but they seem to grasp the concept better than most adults!

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Young person frolicing in the surf

4. Beach Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball is a great beach activity for the whole family! The supplies are simple because you don’t even need a real bocce ball, just a ball that’s a little on the heavier side.

The game is simple, and can be played by two players, or in teams! Place a marker in the sand, like a full water bottle with just the cap sticking out, and draw a circle around the object. From the same distance away, each person (or team) gets the opportunity to throw the ball nearest the marker. The winner is the one who gets the ball closest to that marker! Simple and fun.

YouTube video

5. Beach Dodge Ball

Dodgeball is an exciting and age-old game, one that is sure to provide plenty of healthy competition amongst family and friends! This game is all about trying not to get hit by opposing thrower’s balls, and being quick enough to grab or catch balls for eliminating other players. When a player gets their hands on a ball, they have 5 seconds and 3 steps to get rid of the ball by trying to hit another player.

If a player gets hit by the ball they have to sit down, and the ball becomes fair game for other players. A sitting player can get back in the game if they’re able to catch another ball and hit a standing player. Remember to draw a large circle in the sand for “out” players to sit while waiting for an opportunity to join the game again!

Be Mindful of Beach Etiquette

While playing games with your family and friends at the beach, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that others are nearby. Here are some simple etiquette suggestions to follow and respect those around you who are also relaxing seaside. 

  • Be careful of blowback from wind and sand when shaking towels or gear. 

  • Don’t feed the birds. 

  • Respect the view, and don’t interfere with that of others. Give yourself enough space that when you’re family is playing it won’t crowd those near you. 

  • Keep an eye on your children, and ensure they’re behaving politely towards those around. 

  • Keep your music at a reasonable volume, or refrain from using music at all if others are near. 

  • Watch your vocabulary, and be aware of things you may say that could offend others nearby. 

  • Share the waves, and don’t crowd others in the water. A wave or current can quickly bring you closer to others without intention, so give yourself plenty of room to prevent an uncomfortable or painful situation. 

  • Keep gear and belongings collected neatly in an area, away from others. 

  • Clean up after yourself, and refrain from making a mess at all. 

  • Don’t throw balls or other objects in the direction of others. Not only could they get hit, but when the ball lands it’ll likely kick up sand at them. 

  • Remember that not everyone goes to the beach to play games- some go with more laid back intentions. Be mindful of what others are doing around you, and change locations if your games could be bothersome to other beach goers. 

  • Be careful packing and unpacking. The very last thing you want is for your wind to catch you umbrella and take it flying towards the face of a beach goer. Be mindful with gear and the strength of the wind, and use caution when setting up shade shelters.

Other Fun ​Beach Activities: Bonus Ideas!

There are plenty of fun beach games that can be played without breaking the bank or having to pack heavy gear. The best beach games are those that are simple and entertaining, and ones that can be easily transported to and from the beach. Even something as simple as a sturdy pair of binoculars can provide quite a bit of entertainment at the beach! 

Some other beach games to play with kids are beach ball hot potato, sand-hopscotch, sand angels, good old fashioned horseshoes, beach bucket sand art, beach obstacle courses, searching for shells or shark teeth, and no day at the beach would be complete without some super-soakers! 

No matter which game you choose to play, there are endless options that can be played on the beach with little to no expense, while being fun for everyone! 

Are you looking for more beach tips and how tos? Check out the best beach camping activities, and important things to bring on a beach vacation in our blog! 

Do you play beach games with your family that didn’t make it onto our list? Tell us about it in the comment section below! 

Related: Fun Beach Activities for Preschoolers