Are you planning to visit the coast and hang out on the beach with the entire family? It can be difficult to choose activities kids, teens, parents, and older adults can all enjoy together. The activities adults tend to enjoy can be too difficult or dangerous for children, and activities children and teens love often leaves parents in the role of passive chaperone. That’s no way to enjoy a vacation!
This guide will help you bridge the generational gap so you can plan a vacation that makes everyone happy. These fun activities will get the entire family involved – these ideas are perfect for people of all ages AND all levels of physical ability. What could be better?
Anybody can snorkel! Can’t swim? No problem! Snorkeling requires two skills: floating and breathing. Most tours will provide snorkeling vests and other floatation devices for people who don’t feel comfortable swimming unassisted – if you want to bring your own floats, buy from here. Booking with a beginner-friendly tour ensures you and your family will get all the instructions and tips you need.
People often bring children as young as 4 but always ask your tour provider about their recommended age minimum first. Kids who are too young to use a snorkel often enjoy just peering down into the water through the goggles, with a little help from mom or dad. There is absolutely no upper age limit – it’s not unheard of to see people well into their 70s or 80s taking on snorkeling for the first time.
Propelling a kayak is easier than it looks. As long as you have the guidance of a trained professional, kayaking a gentle sea or lake is safe fun for the entire family. Ask your tour provider for a two or four-person open top kayak if you want to fit the entire family together. If you are bringing children younger than 8-years-old or so, consider opting for a canoe rather than a kayak (the experience is very similar but canoes offer more room for supplies).
Kayaking and canoeing are both very popular with older adults too, because it helps to strengthen the back and shoulders. If you don’t think you’d be able to paddle the entire time, just make sure to have a paddle partner willing to help make up the difference. There is also a wide range of helpful equipment adaptations for kayakers with disabilities.
3. Treasure Hunting
Coastal areas are often treasure troves of shells, fossils, sea-glass, and long-lost items tossed overboard from boats or dropped by swimmers and athletes. Beachcombing is an all-ages activity and there are endless ways to enjoy it: kids often prefer using shovels and buckets, whereas most adults find it easier to use a long-handled shelling scoop to avoid the need for constant bending and squatting.
If you find something cool and really want to step up your game, you could consider renting a metal detector to see what else is out there. People who are serious about finding potential valuables or collectibles should wait for low tide for the best chances. Cleaning and sorting all those treasures makes a great rainy-day activity in case bad weather cancels one of your beach days.
4. Beach Golf
Golfing on the beach is so much fun! Beach golfers use lightweight foam balls instead of real golf balls out of respect for other beachgoers, and you can bring your own mini-golf putters or rent real golf clubs to complete your setup. All you have to do is dig a series of holes and then you’re ready to enjoy your very own golf course! Kids often have the most fun building complicated obstacles, a great source of entertainment all on its own.
5. Beach Ball Volleyball
This one is self-explanatory. Beach volleyball is a very tough sport – volleyballs are extremely hard and heavy and most kids and adults just don’t like the shock of impact. A beach ball is an awesome alternative because it’s so light and a little unpredictable, sure to inspire lots of laughs as well as healthy exercise and friendly competition. If parents or grandparents get a little too tired out, draw a line in the sand to represent the net and try playing from a seated position instead.
These games and sports are sure to make your beach vacation even more awesome! Families that play together stay healthy, active, and happy together.