Beach On a Budget: Fun and Entertainment!

There are some things that continue to surprise me over and over.  Did you know that there are people who don’t enjoy going to the beach just for the sake of going to the beach?  I never realized this until I was an adult and I was speaking with other adults about vacation.  More than one said, “The beach is boring.  There’s nothing to do.”  Whaaaaaaat?????  Obviously, their idea of fun and entertainment is different from mine!

To me, the purpose of going on vacation is for relaxation.  I don’t feel the need to do anything at all, but I understand that there are people who want to be doing something at all times.  To each his own.  I’m too lazy for that!!

Beach On a Budget: Fun and Entertainment!

Most beach towns have something to do besides hanging out by the water, but the activities are not always obvious.  They are also not always cheap!  Hopefully, I can give you a few tips on how to enjoy yourselves and still have enough money left for gas money home.

Fun and Entertainment

The “Usual” Ideas:

  • Amusement parks, racetracks/go-carts, putt-putt golf.  These can be found close to just about anywhere you go.  Personally, they don’t thrill me.  And they will absolutely cost you a fortune if you have to pay for the entire family.  I say, save these for a special occasion and skip them during vacation, but if you insist, don’t forget to check every single coupon site you can think of.  Mini golf is probably the least expensive of these options and I’ve seen a lot more Groupon and Living Social offers for putt-putt than I have for amusement parks.
  • Movie Theater.  I absolutely adore going to the movies, but about the only time we do this is when it is storming or if we get sunburned and we can’t do anything else.  (It’s always nice and cool in the theater.)  If you really want to save money, skip the theater and rent a Redbox movie.  (Or bring something that will allow you to stream Amazon prime or Netflix if you have that.)  Order a pizza, buy some Goobers and Twizzlers, pop some popcorn, and have a movie night in your room!  Now you’ve taken care of dinner and entertainment.
  • Outlet Malls.  Shopping is not really my thing.  I would much rather do it online.  I don’t mind to go to some places and look around, but it’s not something anyone in my family wants to do all day long.  Unless you just need to get something specific, skip it.  Also, ask the locals where their favorite shops are.  It can be fun to go into some of the little beachside stores.
  • Fishing trips, boating excursions, dolphin experiences, parasailing, etc.  Again, don’t do any of these without a coupon or some sort of incentive, like buy one get one free.

Fun (and Less Expensive) Ideas

  • Organize a scavenger hunt/treasure hunt/I Spy tournament.  Keep it within a small radius (beach and/or accommodations).  Let the prize be homemade coupons for a trip to an ice cream parlor.  Everyone gets a prize!
  • Geocache.  This is actually pretty fun, although my husband and kids get way more into it than I do.  You will have to do a tiny bit of research online to find the coordinates for the cache and then you will have to follow the coordinates and sometimes extra clues to find it.  If you have a GPS, it won’t cost you anything though and it’s a good way to spend a couple of hours.
  • Have a sand sculpture contest.  Think of a fun or silly prize.  (A new bucket and shovel, perhaps?)
  • If you are vacationing without children or have a babysitter, have a romantic (evening) picnic on the beach.
  • Bring flashlights from home and go out looking for crabs after dark.
  • Bring an air mattress (if it’s allowed at your location) and play on it in the water.  We’ve never actually done this, but we watched a family do it last summer–I believe it was queen size.  They were having an absolute blast and they said it was a 20 year tradition!
  • If you have readers in your family, always bring books.  It makes us happy!
  • Take walks and actually talk to one another.
  • Bring cards and a board game or two for those occasional rainy days or nights in.
  • Visit local historical sites and museums.  (Again, look for those pesky coupons!)
  • Get up early and watch the sunrise.  Make sure to take in a few sunsets too!
  • Look for seashells.  You generally need to get up a little early for this.  They either get picked up or go back out with the tide.
  • Play beach volleyball or badminton.  You may or may not need to bring your own set for this.  They can be purchased pretty inexpensively at chain stores.  We’ve stayed in condos that had the nets already set up and we’ve stayed in condos that provided them along with the beach toys.
  • Have relay races with water and buckets.  Play tic-tac-toe with seashells.  Play football or toss around a beach ball.

One More Thing:

If you are totally at a loss as to how to entertain everyone, ask them.  It’s possible that they may have some different ideas as to what they consider fun.  Also, you could possibly just play in the water and lay on the sand.  That sounds like a good time to me!!

What’s your idea of a fun time at the beach?

Beach On a Budget: Fun and Entertainment!