Beach checklist: 14 fun beach items to bring with you | Great Lakes Guide

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Beach checklist: 14 fun beach items to bring with you

Published June 27, 2018

Everyone loves a warm day at the beach. Imagine this: It’s beautiful day, the sun is shining, it’s nice and warm, and you call up your friends to see if they want to come to the beach. Of course they do! You’ve done this before, so you know the basics of what to bring: swimsuit, sunscreen/sun protection, a couple towels…

But you might want to bring more than just the essentials. There are tons of fun beach items and cool games you can bring to make your trip to the beach even more exciting.

Check out these 14 beach essentials:


Stuff to play catch

Whether you're using a frisbee, football, baseball and gloves, or you're going pure nostalgia with velcro mitts, playing catch is a fun way to get some exercise and bond with friends. But be careful you’re not around too many people. Frisbee in particular is a great activity if you have a dog.


Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball is an extremely popular sport. Some beaches already have beach volleyball nets set up, and many provincial parks offer ball rentals. Or, just you can run to the nearest store and pick up a beach volleyball set of your own.


Waterproof playing cards

Cards are a great way to entertain a group of people. Waterproof ones last longer and are usually heavier, so they can handle the wind better than a traditional deck.


Boogie board/Surfboard

Ride the waves like you did when you were a kid with a boogie board. Or level-up by trying out a true surfboard.


Underwater gear

While you might feel silly wearing goggles, they are great for exploring underwater and seeing the wildlife the water has to offer. Bring a snorkel to get the full experience.


Bag for collecting items

You don’t really have to bring anything for this one — just a bag! Walk around and collect beautiful rocks and shells. You can bring them home to decorate or just challenge yourself to find unique collectibles throughout the day. You could also use this bag to help with beach cleanup! Bring a bag with you during your stroll along the sand and pick up any garbage that you see along the way.



Whether you bring the actual twister game or you invest in a “twister towel,” this is an easy and fun way to bond and laugh with friends.


Beach bowling

A beach bowling set is a cheap and easy way to enjoy an activity normally played in the dark. Head out and experience bowling in the fresh air.



Flying a kite is great at the beach because the wind is often stronger next to the water. But make sure you have plenty of space to let your kite soar and check with the beach ahead of time to ensure that they allow kites.


Yoga mat/Paddle board

Yoga is a great way to center yourself while enjoying the outdoors. Bring along a yoga mat or towel. Better yet, bring a stand up paddle board to master your SUP - stand up paddle board- yoga poses. Namaste!


Limbo pole

All you need is a pole (a simple broom handle will suffice), and you can play limbo with your friends. Put on some music and get moving!



Do you like romance? Science fiction? Nonfiction? No matter your preferred genre, bringing something to read is a great way to get lost in a story while listening to the crashing of the waves and the birds chirping. Maybe take this time to grab the book version of your favourite movie (Devil Wears Prada, Gone Girl, Harry Potter) and read where the story all began. Check out our list of books to read by the water if you’re stumped.


Buckets for sandcastles

Show off your architectural and creative skills by having a sand castle building competition.


Board games

Board games are an easy way to enjoy your time at the beach. Just be aware of the wind — you don’t want your Monopoly money flying around! Battleship, travel scrabble, and towel-versions of your favourite games (like chess, checkers, or tic-tac-toe) are best for the beach.

If you are a beginner outdoor swimmer and would love to get acquainted with water, read our Top 3 beaches for beginner swimmers article to find the perfect beach. Or, head to Explore the Map section to find beaches near you.

Most importantly, don't forget to check the water quality on Great Lakes Guide beach pages before you jump into the water. Start packing your beach essentials and fun beach items now!