These 25 things to do at the beach when it’s too cold to swim can save your beach trip and turn it into a fun-filled adventure. Traveling during the off-season can save a lot of money but sometimes you take a gamble with the weather. Don’t blow your affordable family vacation budget on expensive activities. This list will help save your trip and your budget as they are great cheap family vacation activities.
Spring break in Myrtle Beach could be beautiful and sunny or it could be a little cold and windy. Swimming in the northeast can also include chili water. We experienced this during our first visit to New Hampshire and boy was it shocking. Whether you are planning a beach trip knowing it will be too cold to swim or you are hit with unexpected weather, these activities can keep you having fun even without swimming in the ocean.
1. Build a Sand Castle or other Sand Sculpture
You can comb through the internet for inspiration and types for building the best stand castles. create a theme. or even build a fort you can sit in. Playing in the sand is fun for all ages including us adults.
2. Foam airplanes is our favorite thing to do at the beach when it’s too cold to swim
3. Use a metal detector to find buried treasure.
My kids love searching for buried treasure. After watching some beach goers search for treasure our kids asked if they could have a metal detector. Incase they aren’t successful, it’s fun to bring some items to bury
4. Go for a Bike Ride near the beach if it’s too cold to swim
Bring your bikes and explore some of the bike trails around the area. We have enjoyed Bike Rides in Cape Cod, Maine and some other area we have traveled too. Its the perfect activity to do when weather is a little cooler (and not so much when its very hot). If there’s a board walk you can often ride your bikes there as well. Consider bringing skate boards, roller skates or blades as another option.
5. Fly a Kite is a great thing to do at the beach if it’s too cold to swim
The beach is the best place to fly a kite and so much fun. see how high you can get it to go just be careful to fly your kite away from other beach goers.
6. Wear a wetsuit or shorty and jump in.
Wetsuits and shortys used to be very expensive. I spend $85 ordering one from England when my son was a toddler because his lips were always blue even when the weather was hot. Prices have significantly dropped and you can find wetsuits for $50 or less. They make a world of a difference and even if the water isn’t freezing they help keep the kids in it longer. Whether at the beach or pool they are wonderful for north east cooler ocean weather or Florida winters when the sun isn’t as hot as you hoped.
Check out these affordable options:
7. Enjoy a hot cocoa bar on the deck of your beach house
Enjoy a hot cocoa bar or one of these other wonderful Cheap Travel Treats. Your kids will have fun making or sampling different things.
8. Have a fire on the beach and roast s’mores
Check local beach regulations and see if you can have a fire on the beach. This unique location or a “campfire” is sure to be exciting. If you can’t have a fire on the beach maybe you can enjoy one at your beach rental or hotel. We often bring smores kits with us when staying at hotels which often have outdoor fire places or pits.
9. Play with balls
There’s so many sports options you can play at the beach. Football, soccer, dodgeball, kickball, volley ball or pitch and catch are just a few.
10. Get chased by waves
My kids love being chased by waves. You can play don’t let the water touch you or you can try to jump over them as they break on the sand shore.
11. Collect and paint shells and/or rocks
Pack a simply water color set or even markers and enjoy creating your own masterpieces. Painting shells is a lot of fun. You can also make seashell jewelry windchimes or Christmas ornaments.
12. Dig for sand crabs or sand clams
Digging for sand crabs is my kids favorite beach activity when we are in the northeast. I don’t know if it’s the only place but it’s the only place we have found them and the kids love to catch them and of course release them too).
13. Play card or board games
My grandmother loved Yahtzee and Backgammon and we always had them in our beach bag. We usually can’t keep the kids still long enough but during cooler weather it’s perfect for a break.
14. Go for a walk and explore
Taking a walk on the beach can be peaceful and fun. You can look for shells and cool rocks, sharks teeth and other fossils. sometimes there’s shops near by or even ruins and other things to explore. You can also look to wildlife on your walks.
15. Look for dolphins and other sea life
Where ever you go there’s always nature around us. Look for dolphins or other sea life. Sometimes we eve encourage the kids by offering a reward for whomever finds things first.
16. Watch seagulls and other birds
We enjoy watching seafulls and other birds. Sometimes they are stealing food as a beach goer is trying to enjoy a meal. sometimes they are running from the waves. We have watched babies run around the sand and even had one bold enough to to come right up to our beach blanket looking for food.
17. Swim in a Hot tub or Heated Pool
Swimming in a pool especially one that overlooks the ocean can be a lot of fun. If you booked a hotel with a pool or haven’t quite planned your trip yet, it might be a good idea to book accommodations with a heated pool if you are traveling during off season times when the weather could be really hot or possibly cool. Bring some pool floats to extend the length of time the kids are entertained.
18. Skim Boarding
Skim boarding is a great activity when its too cold to get in the water. The boards are more expensive than boogie boards are tend to be for a bit older kids.
19. Play Miniature Golf
Miniature Golf is a popular beach activity at any time. When the weather isn’t great it can be busier but if you are traveling during the off season when crowds are typically lower anyway it probably won’t be too crowded. It’s a fun affordable activity.
20. Go Parasailing
Parasailing is a fun family activity at the beach and may be worth the spurge if the water is just too cold to get in. It’s often worth the splurge even when the weather is nice.
21. Play Disc Gulf
Some local parks and resorts not offer disc gulf. It can be a little challenging at first just to understand how it works but over all its a fun family activity that can often be free or inexpensive.
22. Get on the water instead of in the water
Bring your kayaks, paddle boards or rent a boat. If its to cold to get in the water you can always get on the water for some fun. We love brining our inflatable kayaks when we travel. While we won’t take them in the ocean there’s often more calmer places to kayak near the ocean.
23. Go Fishing, Clamming, Scalloping or Crabbing
My kids love fishing. If you bring your own equipment it can be more affordable but make sure you follow local laws and get any permits you may need. You can also charter a fishing trip. Large group trips are more affordable but private tours may be easier to manage the time and go back sooner if the kids need to. You may also be able to rent equipment to fish from the beach or pier. Resorts like Baker’s Cay in Key Largo includes fishing poles and bate as part of their complementary resort activities.
24. Check out the aquarium or local museum
If you have the ASTC Museum Reciprocity pass, check to see if there’s any near by museums on the list. You may be surprised to find one as there’s hundreds located around the world. If not, there’s often an aquarium located near popular beach destinations that can be a fun experience.
25. Go for a Hike
There’s often more to a beach town than just the beach. Check out local hiking trails that may offer nice views or fun rock scrambles. You may even get to spot local wild life. If you have a National Parks pass check to see see if there’s a National Park, Forest or monument near buy. Since there’s hundreds there is a good chance there’s on near by and could be a fun learning activity.
My Favorite off season resort is the Hyatt Chesapeake.
The Hyatt Chesapeake is a great resort to visit any time of year. It is not on the Ocean but on a river that still looks like your at the ocean especially when relaxing in the infinity pool. It has a very small sand beach but loads of available activities. In the spring when the outdoor pools open they are hearted and Maryland tends to get warmer weather sooner than much of the Northeast. The bay is great for water sports but not really for swimming anyway. There’s a nice bike trail there if you bring your bikes or you can rent them on site. The resort includes complementary miniature golf, disco gulf and has a fire pit where you can roast smores. Just bring your own or purchase onsite (although that is the pricier option.). Rates are very reasonable during the off season when you factor in all the activities that are included.
25 things to do at the beach when it’s too cold to swim Summary
These 25 things to do at the beach when it’s too cold to swim can save your beach trip and turn it into a fun filled adventure. If you can plan a head it’s great to pack some of these for back up but if you can’t there’s plenty of options that require no planning or a quick stop at the dollar tree- or better yet $5 and below if there is one near by.
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