Just because it’s September doesn’t mean that summer has to be over for you. You may live in a place with eternal beach weather, but even if you don’t, this time of year is probably the best moment to take one last day off. After all, most of us are either going back to school or beginning the busy work period that normally comes with the fall.
Be it with your friends or your family, there’s no replacement for hanging out with your dear ones in the sun, having a cold beverage nearby, and your worries locked far behind in your office or study. And what better way to make the best of your time at the beach with your family and friends than fun beach games and competitions?
Not only are they a great and fun way to pass the time, but they also ensure that you get a good, natural tan without even realizing it (certainly only after applying a proper amount of sunscreen for the sake of your own health). Fun beach games are also a surprisingly efficient method to decide who has to go buy more drinks for the whole group!
So if simply laying in the sun and going for a swim is not your definition of a fun day at the beach, there are a bunch of games to play that can make your day worthwhile and provide a great way to bond with the group of people you’re with.
We’ll start off easy with some classics. There are few beach games for adults. Even so, the ones that can be played are epic. And what more iconic activity to undergo at the beach than – obviously – beach volleyball? Not only is it the kind of game that can include every member of your group, regardless of group size, but it doesn’t even require you to bring much equipment. The volleyball is also optional, as you can easily make use of an inflatable one anytime – provided it’s not a particularly windy day outside.
The standard way of playing volleyball does require a net and an even number of people, divided into two teams. If you don’t own a volleyball net yourself, many beach concessions will either sell or rent sports equipment for nearly any activity that crosses your mind. Many beaches even have permanent volleyball nets available.
Even if you chose a quiet, more private beach for your group and renting is not an option, there’s nothing to stop you from taking a more casual approach to the game. Just split your volleyball “field” in two by drawing a line in the sand. Points are scored whenever one of the team members is not able to catch and deliver the ball back into the opponent’s part of the field. The number of rounds is purely up to you.
If your group does not consist of an even number of people, you don’t even have to stick to the rules of classic volleyball. Try this instead – have everyone stand in a circle within an arm’s length on either side and pass the ball to the person opposite the way you normally would in volleyball. You can even invent your own way of playing it and add elimination rules if you feel like doing so.
By mixing two favorites, one being a beach and the other a classy relaxing way to spend the time, you get the surprisingly fun game that can be enjoyed by anyone – Frisbee golf. Just like volleyball, you don’t need a lot of equipment. But making use of colored plastic cones, hula hoops, umbrellas and anything else at your disposal will make for a more challenging and fun run.
- Start creating your course by adding goals. Essentially, the purpose of the game will be for you to throw your Frisbee to a specific location in as few tries as possible. You can start by just requiring the player to land their Frisbee in a particular circle drawn in the sand, followed by throwing it through pillars, over umbrellas and into a container, through a suspended hula hoop or requiring that the Frisbee hit specially placed cans.
- Have the players take turns tossing the Frisbee, trying to hit the goals established in as few tries as possible.
- Have a piece of paper or another way of writing down how many tries it takes each player to complete a course. The person who manages to finish the entire course with the least amount of tosses wins the game.
- You can always add your own, personal rules to the game such as special conditions, extra points or “free tosses”; in essence allowing someone to toss one more time without it being counted if they manage to perform a special feat.
You can’t get any more classic with beach games than Bocce Ball. Its simplicity is what makes it fun, especially in large groups that can intensify the competition. The original game consisted of a person throwing what was known as a “pallino” as far away as they could, then every participant throws a ball as close as to that pallino as possible. The ball belonging to the person who manages to make it land the closest to the checkpoint would win.
That’s one way of doing it. But here’s a variation to the game that, once again, uses elements from other popular games that are normally played under completely different circumstances!
We’ll take the Bocce Ball game up a notch and turn it into Bocce Darts…Ball.
- Decide on and define your playing field in the sand by either drawing lines in it or delimiting it via beach towels, hula hoops or whatever else you have at your disposal.
- Draw several concentric circles in the sand, about 1 to 2 feet apart one from another. Give every circle a certain amount of points – scoring lowest to highest from the outer ones towards the inner ones – and agree on the starting point.
- Have everyone throw a ball, Frisbee or even a larger seashell towards the playing field.
- The person that scores the most in a number of rounds wins the game. And gets to be treated to a drink instead of having to go get it by him or herself.
Dodge Water Balloon
There’s more than one way of cooling off on a hot summer beach day than the obvious dip in the sea. If you can’t swim or simply don’t enjoy being fully immersed in the water, here’s a fun thing you can do: Dodge Water Balloon.
It’s somewhat inspired by Dodgeball, but potentially less terrifying than the childhood version of it. All you need to play are a few dozen balloons that you fill with water beforehand. Split your group into teams of two or three, and have each team pick a specific color of balloons. Have everyone toss balloons at each other, trying to take other teams out. The team that manages to burn through their balloons first wins.
Great Coconut Race
Also a classic but a potentially problematic game in terms of “equipment” needed is the Great Coconut Race. As you probably figured out, you will require a number of coconuts equal to the number of participants. However, once that is over and done with, the rules are pretty simple.
Draw race tracks in the sand about 30 feet long for each participant and have everyone roll their coconut as fast as they can to the finish line. You can either have the contestants kick the coconut or roll it with their hands, but the person who reaches the finish line first with their coconut intact, without having left their own track (no invading your neighbors tracks!) wins the round.
While it may not sound particularly exciting, have you ever tried rolling a coconut in the sand? You’ll be surprised at the amount of laughter will ensue once you’ve made your first attempt.
This is probably one of the most fun things you can do at the beach together with your friends but it does require quite a lot of setup, preparation in advance and a rather large space only for you and your group – which will be naturally difficult to pull off in a heavily touristed area.
In essence, this game is greatly inspired by the Survivor TV series and is preferably played in very large groups of people. You’ll want to split into teams of two preferably, and make up a number of challenges beforehand. Challenges can include the delivery of items from one place to another as fast as possible, unburying hidden items in specific spots that can be revealed via hints, crab-walking distances, hand-walking across the sand, finishing a course while having your right leg tied to your partner’s left and so on.
After the course is set and the challenges are in place, the team that manages to go through all the trials first wins the game.
There are certainly a number of things you can do to make your stay at the beach great and it all relies on your initiative and how much effort you want to put in it. Either way, we hope we brought some new, exciting ideas that can inspire anything from beach party games to fun afternoons with the family.
And remember to always clean up whatever you may have left behind after a day at the beach!
Why You Need a Beach Trip
Maybe after reading about all these games, your head is spinning. We are here to let you know that games are nothing to get overwhelmed about! Taking a beach trip with friends is for so much more than the activities you will do while you’re there.
The beach is very therapeutic. There is nothing like going into a sunny, sandy beach with a good book and some sodas and snacks to kick back and take in all the ocean has to offer. Even if all your friends are playing games, it is perfectly okay to sit in a chair and enjoy the scenery.
The beach is also great for you to get out there and get some vitamin D, but it is vital that you are sure to cover up properly! Wear a long sleeve shirt if possible, and apply sunscreen if nothing else.