In general, I’m more of a pool person than a beach person when it comes to summer water fun. I just can’t stand sand in my shorts! Itching. Chafing. Yuck! However, over the past few years we have made it a family tradition to celebrate the last weekend before school starts with a trip to the beach.
Now, I know that not everyone lives near the beach. But, you would be amazed how many natural or man-made beach options are available to you and your family. Check your Park District, like, or even the indoor water parks boast a sandy shore. Chances are if you have a lake in your area, someone will figure out a way to create a beach. If not, hit the public pools.
Heck, we live in Chicago which is pretty far from either coast. However, we’ve got Lake Michigan. In Chicago, our family makes a pilgrimage to North Avenue Beach to wave goodbye to summer. There’s plenty of people watching, fairly decent public restrooms, lots of space to spread out on the sand, and a restaurant for lunch, if you don’t want to bring food yourself. You can even rent bicycles and ride along the lake which is one of my favorite summer things to do in the city. The view is fantastic!
But, back to the beach. The kids love surfing in the waves and building sand castles. (With any crowded public beach, make sure your kids wear shoes when they are walking in the sand, if they aren’t near the water. You never know what’s been dropped and could cut their feet.)
Here’s what you are going to need to bring for a day at the beach:
- Backpack or beach bag
- Suntan lotion/ chapstick
- Hats or sunglasses for the kids
- Water bottles
- Toys to play with in the sand – my daughter brought plastic horses this time and built sand stables, instead of sand castles
- Football, frisbee, or paddle ball
- Blankets or towels to lie on
- Hand sanitizer
- A change of clothes for everyone
- Camera to capture the Chocolate Cake Moments
You might want to bring a sweater, jacket or long-sleeve shirt for the kids. After the beach, we usually head on over to a local fun restaurant for dinner – RJ Grunts. After sitting in the sun and wind all day, the kids tend to be freezing when we hit the air-conditioned restaurant.
Have a sandy, splashin’ good time!
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