Take your beach day to a whole new level with these fun and unique ideas your kids are sure to love!

Swap out Your Boogie Boards for Inner Tubes

best beach toys

Don’t get us wrong, we love an afternoon of boogie boarding. But there’s something about twirling in an inner tube as a wave whisks you to shore that’s just pure joy. We also love using inner tubes at the beach because they are more buoyant than a lot of boogie boards, have no hard edges, and make it easier to catch waves. Go ahead, look like a fool in your tube, and we promise you’ll have more fun than anyone under the sun.

Drip Castles Require Zero Patience and Zero Skill (and we love them for it!)

sandcastle ideas

We love a classic sandcastle, but they can be tough to build without the proper buckets and shovels. Also, kids can get tired of the meticulousness rather quickly, finding more pleasure in destroying the castle than in building it. Drip castles, on the other hand, are extremely fast and easy to make, which is why they will always be our preferred type of sandcastle. Here’s what you do: head to the wet sand, but don’t get too close to the lapping waves, otherwise your castle will never stand a chance. Then, taking a fistful of sopping wet sand and let the goopy stuff drip out of your fingers. The drip, drip, dripping (not an Encanto reference) will start to create these gothic structures that are as fun to make as they are to look at (and destroy!). 


Which Sea Creatures Will You Spy in the Groins?

what to do at the beach

Along Newport Beach’s coastline are eight groins, or small rock jetties. These were built in the 60’s and 70’s for sand retention. The surfers love ‘em because they help to form waves, and we love em because they are home to tons of crabs, sea anemones, and even starfish! Explore the nooks and crannies with your little ones and we guarantee you’ll spot some sealife. Just take care to only climb on the groins when the tide is low and the surf is small. 


Mermaids are Real – We Have the Photos to Prove It!

best ways to spend time at the beach

You can’t go to the beach without transforming someone in your group into a mermaid! Hopefully we don’t seem too evil in saying this, but we recommend any tired adult in your group nominate themselves to be the mermaid (it’s a great way to close the eyes while the kids build your mermaid tail!). If you’re burying kids, we recommend only burying their lower half, as they can get antsy and prefer to have their arms free to move. Don’t forget to decorate the mermaid tail with all the accessories, like scavenged shells, seaweed, or even scales that are sketched into the sand. And it goes without saying, but sand mermaids make for great photo ops!



These Beach Games are the Next Family Tradition!

top beach games

Beach tournaments are a great way for the whole family to get involved in your beach day. Thankfully, there are a ton of games out there for you to choose from. Some of our favorites are bocce ball (who can throw their ball closest to the small white ball?), ladder toss (similar to horseshoes, but easier for small kids to throw), corn hole (a bean bag toss game), spikeball (a very popular game with older kids and teens), tidalball (a blend of bocce ball and cornhole that only requires 4-6 balls to play), and smash ball (which set of partners can keep the ball in the air for the longest?). 

Leave Your Mark in the Sand

kid beach activities

Who needs paper and pen when you’ve got the entire beach as your canvas? Write larger than life messages in the sand to the beachgoers walking along the shoreline. Play hangman, tictactoe, sketch portraits of each other, make sand angels, the options are as endless as your imagination! If the ocean washes away your handiwork, it just means it’s time for your next masterpiece! Speaking of masterpiece, check out this creation made by a local group of artists who go by Low Tide Aliens:

beach activities for kids



What’s More SoCal than a Game of Beach Volleyball?

what to do in Newport Beach

All along Newport’s coastline are beach volleyball courts. So often, our guests are surprised to learn that they are available for public use. So here is our PSA: play on the volleyball courts! If you didn’t bring a volleyball to the beach, no problem! When playing with kids, it’s actually more fun to play with a large inflated beach ball. It’s a lot more forgiving, and you’ll have to do a lot less diving into the sand. 



Digging a Hole is Kid-Kryptonite

family beach games

What is it about the beach that turns kids of all ages into those big caterpillar machines? They can dig for hours! (If only homework elicited the same level of focus and dedication). For the best dig site, we recommend the hard, packed sand close to the water, but not too close that the water washes into your hole. And if it does, it’ll just cool off the hole-diggers.



Look Out! The Ocean is Lava!

how to entertain kids at beach

As counterintuitive as it may seem, this game is perfect for any kids still acquainting themselves with the ocean. It’s also a great game to play when the waves are too big for swimming. The idea is to get as close to the water as possible without touching it. When the waves are sucked back into the sea, everyone heads as close to the water as they feel safe. Then, when the waves approach shore, everyone runs backwards to avoid touching the water. The longer you play, the more adventurous you can get, until the water inevitably catches up to you. You can ham it up as much as you like, screaming in agony when the “lava” hits you, exclaiming at Mt. Vesuvius erupting in the distance, to name a few of the more dramatic choices. 


Who will be the last one standing in Musical Towels?

what to do with kids at the beach

Photo Credit: @stephaniekikerdesigns on instagram.com

Someone in your group will surely bring a bluetooth speaker to the beach, and everyone will have a towel, so why not challenge the group to a game of Musical Towels? It works just like Musical Chairs, except, in this version, spread out the towels so there’s a significant distance between each one (you have the entire beach as your playground, after all!). When the music stops, players will scramble through the sand to lie down on the closest towel in order to be deemed safe. The person who is left without a towel is out of the game. Trust us, when you turn on the tunes and start to play, your group will be screeching louder than the seagulls!



On the hunt for more kid-friendly activities in Newport Beach? For local freebies, CLICK HERE. Your kid-approved summer itinerary is RIGHT HERE. And for good eats the kids and the adults will love, CLICK HERE.

See you on the boardwalk!