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Best Beach Games: 32 Fun-Filled Activities

Beach games

Playing beach games isn’t something all beach-goers like to engage in. For many, beach holidays follow a simple regime of sunbathing, reading, sleeping, sipping on cocktails, sunbathing some more and an occasional saunter to the sea for a gentle float around in the shallows. An appealing way to recover from the stress of everyday life. But surely there is only so much of it you can do before you turn into a sun-baked, beach-couch potato? Well, thank goodness for beach games as, for the rest of us, time at the beach means endless hours of competitive fun that can be equally as stress relieving as all that relaxation!

Beach games are an essential way for active folk to stay entertained, especially if the waves aren’t playing ball for the surfers, or if the wind has whipped up, putting a stop to paddle boarding. They add a focus to a day at the beach and justify a chilled beer from the cooler at the end of the day.

Having many, many hours of beach time under our belts, it was a tough challenge choosing the best beach games for adults and kids alike. But after much deliberation, here’s our top picks of the best beach games that are guaranteed to keep you and the rest of the beach entertained for hours.

List of beach games

Click on the relevant category to find out what your options are to suit your requirements. Then read more about each one further on in the article.

Beach games for adults
Beach games for adultsEquipment neededNumber of players
QuaddleballQuaddleball set2+
SpikeballSpikeball set4+
HunnyballHunnyball set4
TidalBallTidalBall set4
Tug of WarRope2+
GritzFrisbee and volleyball net4+
VolleyballVolleyball and net4+
Flick'n'SticksFrisbee, 4 poles, 4 cups4
BulzibucketBulzibucket set6+
Nighttime Bocce BallBocce Ball set2+
Beach games for kids
Beach games for kids
Equipment neededNumber of players
Musical TowelsTowels and musicAs many as possible!
Waboba BallA Waboba Ball2+
ScatchScatch set2
CricketCricket bat, ball and wickets3+
Double PlopBeach stones2+
Sand DartsSand2+
Scavenger HuntList of items (see below)1+
Sand PictionarySand2+
Beach games for couples
Beach games for couplesEquipment neededNumber of players
FloboFlobo floating disc2+
SquapSquap set2
Kan JamKan Jam set4 (2 teams of 2)
Bat and BallBats and a ball2
Nerf Vortex Mega HowlerNerf2+
AerobieAn Aerobie2+
JazzmintonJazzminton set2
Beach activities
Beach activitiesEquipment neededNumber of participants
Sand castle buildingBucket and spade1+
Build a tunnel townSpade1+
Rock poolingBucket and net1+
Kite flyingKite1 or 2
Dam buildingSpade1+
Water fightBuckets, water guns and balloonsThe more the better!
Stone skimmingBeach stones1+

The best beach games

Summer beach games offer the perfect opportunity to show off your sporting prowess to your overly competitive siblings, friends and partners. And the childish appeal for taking down your opponents through both sportsmanlike game play and physical brute force seems to only heighten with age! Aside from the rivalry that comes with the hot competition, there is also endless variety in the fun that can be had on soft sand and in shallow water. The chance to throw your body around on cushioned landings with (mostly) no repercussions is what makes beach holidays so attractive to aficionados of great beach games.

And thankfully, for those who like to play it cool at the beach, there are some less animated options that are no less competitive and can be enjoyed by all.

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People playing Quaddlball on the beach


Quaddleball throws a fun twist into the playground foursquare we all know and love: everyone plays with a paddle! Seriously, the game can be played with 2 – ∞ friends (although it works a little better with 2-15 friends). Though Quaddleballing is best played at the beach, you can also enjoy the game in your yard too. Serve up and defend your square! There is also a fun 1 on 1 court setup that even makes classic paddle ball more fun. Check out the Quaddleball website for more information, game rules, court set up and the family Quaddleball story!

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For a high energy beach game that is super competitive, requires cat-like reactions, quick thinking, agility, strategy, athleticism and is basically just plain awesome, try Spikeball – you won’t be disappointed. Two teams battle to outplay their opponents by bouncing a ball off the trampoline-like net that sits between them. Horizontal dives and spectacular spikes make this trampoline beach game perfect for people with time on their hands – you will be hooked for hours. Check out for details of how to play.

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Amazon | REI


If you like Spikeball then you will LOVE Hunnyball! The format of the game is fairly similar: teams of two competing to outplay each other using high energy acrobatics and sneaky strategies. But Hunnyball has an added element of interception by the opposing team and game boundaries which really up the competitive ante. It’s super addictive and fun and will leave you looking forward to your next game as soon as you leave the beach.

The only downside to this up and coming beach game is that it’s a little on the heavy side to carry far and you’ll not want to be carrying too much else to the beach. But that’s no drama; once you’ve tried Hunnyball you won’t need anything else with you!

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If you want to get the beach party games for adults going early in the day then nothing beats adding a TidalBall set to your beach bag. Complete with 4 koozies (one for each competitor), this simple beach game combines bocce ball and cornhole, and is the ideal for adding some drinking game silliness to your afternoon at the beach. Dig a couple of holes and a couple of trenches, attempt to chuck balls into them, and drink when you fail! (Or something like that.)

It can also be enjoyed as a civilised family game.

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Tug of War

05Tug of war

The beach is the perfect place for tug of war. Aside from anything else, it’s an ideal opportunity for the lads to prove that their beach bods are more than just for show! And when everyone collapses into the sand at the end there’ll be no nasty injuries (hopefully!). As much as it’s just a bit of fun, a good old tug of war is also one of the best beach games for team building. If you don’t have a rope to hand you can always tie a few beach towels together. But good luck trying to untie them after the battle!


There are a few prerequisites needed to really enjoy playing this game; the ability to throw and catch a Frisbee and the ability to do so in one swift movement when both feet are off the ground! Easy really. You also need access to a volleyball net and a basic understanding of the rules of volleyball – then you’re good to go. Invented at the University of Oregon, the Ultimate playing pioneers make it look much easier than it really is. So, brush up on your disc skills and then give it a go. If nothing else, you’ll get some good laughs out of watching each other attempt the essential jump-catch-throw-land manoeuvre.

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Volleyball at sunset


For a bit of casual sporting fun, get the whole family involved. Volleyball is a great leveller for all ages and abilities, especially if you play with three or more on each team. But for those who appreciate the serious side of beach games, two versus two battles of agility, skill and tactical prowess will keep you hungry for the win for hours. Check out some more info to find out why it’s such a great way to spend time at the beach.

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08Flick ‘n’ Sticks

There’s not always enough room for a good chuck of a frisbee on a crowded beach. Unless you’re amongst throwers with pinpoint accuracy, an innocent game can often turn sour when wayward discs get over-friendly with the heads of oblivious sunbathers – never good. So instead, find yourself a little space on the beach, grab three pals and focus your discs towards the balancing cups of your opponents:

  • 2 points if the disc flies through the poles without knocking off the cups
  • 1 point for each cup that hits the ground
  • No points if the defence catches the disc once it has passed through the poles without touching them
  • No points if the defence catches the cups before they hit the ground


Bulzibucket is the perfect beach game for all rounders to show off all aspects of their sporting finesse. Go for the simple version of throwing your bag into the buckets aiming for the bullseye, and you can practise you accuracy ready for the Cornhole season. Or let your hacky sack skills really kick in for some assisted team scoring. Whichever way you choose to play, this multi-skilled collapsible bucket beach game is highly addictive and great fun for all the family to practise and master.

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Nighttime Bocce Ball

10Nighttime Bocce Ball

Start your evening at the beach with the all-time class beach game of Bocce Ball. This simple game of accuracy and precision can be as ruthless as is it fun. Plus, once you get into it you can be at it for hours! But that competitive fun doesn’t have to stop after the sun sets. Grab yourself a Bocce Ball set with lights in and you’ve got yourself one of the few beach party games for adults that can be as good after dark as during daylight hours.

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People playing CROSSNET at the beach


The perfect combination of volleyball and four square. CROSSNET is similar to the concept of the nostalgic recess game, but instead of playing on the ground you’re playing in the air with a net to get the ball over. Unlike volleyball, which is a team oriented sport (and requires a lot more people), CROSSNET requires only 4 people. It also has faster gameplay, is height adjustable to make it kiddie friendly, and is far more portable than a volleyball set. Plus, an easy setup allows more time to dominate the court and settle the score. Game to 11, win by 2!

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The best beach games for kids

12Musical Towels

Just like musical chairs but with towels laid out on the sand instead of chairs. Put some great summer classics on the boom box to really get the beach party games going, and this simple game will please a group of adults just as easily as a bunch of kids. Better still, it can be played with both! However, it is worth noting that no matter your age, the primal urge to get your butt onto that empty towel at all costs, is unavoidable. The soft sandy landing encourages heroic dives and american football style tackles, so don’t be surprised if your lazy day at the beach turns into a full-scale testosterone-fuelled brawl!

13Waboba Ball

If your idea of a great beach game involves diving around in the sea until water starts pouring out of your nose, then the Waboba ball is for you. There are loads of games you can play with this awesome little ball. But the best way to show off your aquabatics to the onlooking beach is a simple game of catch. Remember, this ain’t no ordinary ball – this one bounces on water! Throw it with plenty of spin, as if you were skimming a stone, to heighten the degree of catching difficulty that your partner will have to face.

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There’s nothing more reminiscent of childhood beach holidays than the grating tearing sound of a tennis ball being ripped from a velcro Scatch pad. This fun fad of the early 90s is sadly no longer a common sight on family beaches. But every now and then, it rears its fuzzy head, taking you right back to the good old days of sandy corned-beef sandwiches and thermos flasks of warm tea!

You may have known the simple catch and throw game as Super Grip Ball, Magic Mitts or Katch-a-Roo. Thankfully, you can still get hold of it. A top hit on the best beach games for kids list, and suitable for all ages. Scatch is especially well suited to those who aren’t quite up to scratch in the catching department but still want to join in the fun.

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Kids playing cricket at the beach


A civilised round of cricket is one of the best games to play at the beach with friends. The bowler aims to knock down the wickets with the ball, and the batter tries to hit the ball away. The further they hit the ball the better. This enables the batter to have enough time to run to a post and back. The fielders must try to catch or stump the batter out, and if there are loads of kids in the group the batter will be replaced quickly making everyone happy! (Unless you get caught out on the first hit!)

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16Double Plop

This is a game for the less serious players out there. Double Plop requires no equipment, just a bunch of stones or pebbles and the sea to throw them into. A good grasp of the effects of gravity and an affinity for absurd games also helps. It can be played with two or more people, with the silliness rating soaring as more people get involved.

At the edge of the water, player 1 (the leader) lobs his stone the sea. Once the stone is airborne, the other players (the followers) then throw their stone into the sea aiming for it to hit the water at the same time as the leaders’ stone — causing a singular audible splash and thus avoiding the dreaded ‘double plop’.

The thrower who best synchronises their plop with the lead stone, gains a point and becomes the leader. There are various ways to gauge whose stone is the most synchronised. Honesty; a keen eye for following stones through the air; good judgement. But we like to heckle our way to victory, claiming superior synchronicity at every attempt. Bonus points are also awarded for ambitious trajectories!

17Sand Darts

Switch the board for hand-drawn rings in the sand, the darts for pebbles or pretty shells, and the mandatory pint of beer for a cooling lemonade. Then you’ll have all that is needed for an afternoon of quick math and hot competition. Customise the board by drawing whatever shapes you like in the sand, with points set for each target. The simplicity of the game makes it one of the best beach games for kids to play without them ruining your own enjoyment of the game. You can even set their throwing line a little closer to prevent any accusations of highway robbery from heckling spectators.

Beach Scavenger Hunt

18Scavenger hunt

Beach games for kids don’t all need to be supervised by adults. Set them off on a scavenger hunt. It’s the perfect way to get them out of your hair for a bit. Plus, they’ll love the freedom of exploring the beach with their buddies, but with purpose. And the promise of ice cream as a reward for finding every single item ought to keep them entertained for at least as long as it takes you to read a chapter or two!

To make it super easy take a couple of copies of this printable scavenger hunt listwith you to the beach.

Drawing in the sand

19Sand Pictionary

For tired parents looking for less physical beach activity ideas that will keep the kids out of mischief, sand Pictionary is a win, win for everyone. Find a nice shady spot, some soft sand and a little creativity.

Here’s how to play:

  • Write down a list of beach objects on separate scraps of paper (sand castle, ice cream, crab etc)
  • Fold them up and put them in a bucket.
  • Set a timer for 1 minute.
  • One child picks out a piece of paper from the bucket and has to draw in the sand the object that is written on it.
  • The other kids have to guess what is being drawn.
  • After each correct guess the drawer then picks another bit of paper and keeps drawing as many objects as they can in 1 minute
  • The drawer scores a point for each drawing that was correctly guessed by the other kids
  • Another child then becomes the drawer and does the same thing
  • This can also be done in teams of 2 or more – the drawer from each team reads the same bit of paper and tries to get only their teammate to guess, racing against the other team.

The best beach games for couples

Flobo Floating disc

20Flobo Floating Disc

If a day at the beach means flinging yourself around on the sand and in the water, then you need a Flobo Floating Disc in your life. Invented by the geniuses who created the Waboba ball that bounces on water, this small, 7.5 inch flying disc has a slightly flexible rim but with a fabric top that’s quick drying.

Sure, it doesn’t fly as well as a 175g Ultimate Sportdisc, but does anything?! However, it also doesn’t do as much damage to fellow beach-lovers when the wind picks up a wayward throw and plummets it into someone’s chest! And the best bit? It floats! So laying out for ambitious catches into the surf or shallows won’t mean a lost disc (if you drop it, of course!).

It’s packable, lightweight, comes in funky, colourful designs, and it’s super fun! And unlike the Aerobie, below, you don’t need a ton of space on the beach to play.

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How to play Kan Jam

21Kan Jam

Another way to enjoy beach frisbee when space is limited is to add a Kan Jam bin to your beach games bag. Hone your accuracy levels by working with your buddy to slam the disc in the bin. Or even better, shoot it straight into the post box for an instant win. Kan Jam oozes high fives aplenty and chest bumps galore. However, the tables can turn at the flick of a disc, so keep that bravado under wraps before your ego gets slammed in the trash, too.

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Couple playing bat and ball on the beach

22Bat and Ball

No explanation is needed for this age old classic. It can be played either as a slow paced controlled game, simply for pleasure and meditation. Or embarked upon as a serious competition of coordination, focus and agility. Start a tournament that lasts the whole holiday. The playing couple who can reach the highest number of hits without the ball touching the ground will reign glorious in their quest for beach bum status.

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Nerf ball

23Nerf Vortex Mega Howler

Not the one that makes that really annoying whistling sound that haunts the whole beach? Oh yes, that’s the one! But it’s only annoying if you’re not playing with it. Otherwise, this football shaped foam rocket is good for hours of fun on the sand or in the water. Its aerodynamic design makes for increased throwing accuracy, which is a plus on crowded beaches. A word of warning though: the triple integrated whistles are guaranteed to draw the attention of anyone within a half mile vicinity to you. So it’s probably worthwhile scrubbing up on your silky skills before testing the patience of your audience even further.

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The Guinness World Record for the farthest throw was set with an Aerobie – an incredible 406 meters. But before enjoying the thrill of throwing this awesome flying ring further than you’ve ever thrown anything before, make sure you assess your surroundings. It’s just not going to work out well on a crowded beach. There’s also a high chance that you may lose your Aerobie to the sea, and they don’t float. So choose a big beach with an onshore wind if possible.

The best beaches for games are big and quiet, with lots of space. Once you’ve found your sandy arena and have warmed up your throwing arm, just launch the disc and watch on whilst it soars into the open arms of your friend. More likely, it will catch the breeze and sail way past them! Either way, an Aerobie provides hours of fun in the right setting.

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Badminton seems like it should be the ideal beach game: it’s light to carry, super fun, loads of diving around, and anyone can join in. But the problem with life at the beach is that it’s usually windy. Too windy for Badminton. So the folks at Jazzminton were really onto something when they came up with the oh-so-simple variation of the age old game we all know and love. Instead of racquets and shuttlecocks, Jazzminton is played with wooden paddles and feathered birdies. Each set comes with two red birdies whose long feathers slow the game down a little making it a great for beginners and kids. But if you want to up the tempo and get competitive then there are also two yellow birdies that fly with a bit more purpose!

But the best bit? You can buy replacement birdies with LED lights in, making this one of the best beach games for couples who don’t want the fun to end after sunset!

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Beach activities

There are times at the seaside when competitive beach games just aren’t what’s wanted. Thankfully, for those who prefer whiling away the hours playing games and having lighthearted fun instead of competing, there are a load of great beach activities that will keep kids and adults entertained for hours.

Sand castle

26Sand castle building

Sand castle building is one those beach activities that can stretch on throughout a whole day. You can keep coming back to it between dips in the sea (and other beach games!). It’s a great way for the whole family to play together with a common goal rather than competing against each other. Make sure you come armed with a variety of buckets and spades and other sand decorating paraphernalia. Of course you can always turn sand castle building into a competition, if the mood takes you!

27Build a tunnel town

There’s nothing kids love more than digging. So digging in sand at the beach is something like heaven for most kids, and adults for that matter! And what better way to work up an appetite for ice cream than by digging a network of miniature tunnels in the sand? Make the tunnels the width of your hand or a small spade – that way their roofs won’t collapse in with the weight of the sand. It’s surprisingly satisfying, especially when you can get them all to connect. Build your tunnel town on a sloping beach and design it so that a ball can run from the top entrance and pop out somewhere at the bottom. Hours of fun!


28Rock pooling

For those who like time to explore at the beach, tip-toeing your way through rock pools is a delightful way to spend the day. Grab your water shoes, a bucket of water and a net. What curiosities you can find lurking in the shallows of the rock pools? Watch your fingers for those peskie crabs, and be sure to return things back where they came from once you’ve gently studied your alien-like findings. 

For more information on how to get the most out of time pootling in the pools, read our guide to rock pooling.


29Kite flying

There’s something mesmerizingly simple about flying a kite. There’s nothing to be achieved other than getting it airborne, and hopefully keeping it there until you get bored or tired! Make a craft activity out of kite flying by making your own. Or up the ante by getting out a 5ft stunt kite in high winds to show off your newly learned tricks. Just be sure that you have a big beach with few people on it!

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30Dam building

Fun beach games don’t all involve skill and agility. Dam building is one of those beach activities that will challenge the brain as much as the body. So you want to add some beach games for team building into your day then grab some pals and build a dam! You’ll need to plan, think, dig and build together. A successful dam that will keep the sea at bay for as long as possible as the tide comes in. Much more tricky than it sounds!

Water fight in the sea

31Water fight

The best water fights are usually the ones that start spontaneously. But what’s to say you can’t prepare yourself? You know, just in case the need to dowse your friends and family with freezing cold water should arise?! Hit the beach with a sneaky handheld water gun in your beach bag. And bring a few water balloons to fill with sea water and bomb on the unsuspecting sunbathers in your group. Just don’t forget that if you’ve come armed for a fight then others may have too!

32Stone skimming/skipping

For successful stone skimming at the beach you’ll need a calm day with few waves. Find a flat, round stone, the flatter the better. Use a side-arm action to throw the stone at the water. The key is to get as low to the water as possible. Make sure you have lots of spin on the stone as it leaves your hand by whipping your wrist on release.

Don’t expect to get anywhere near the current record for the number of skips, which is 88! Incredible. You’ll be doing well if you manage more than 3 or 4!

So if you’re looking for some games to play at the beach with friends, some beach activity ideas for the family or even some ways to turn innocent and fun beach games into beach drinking games, then look no further. And if you get bored of this set of beach games, then you could always adapt some of these camping games to make them suitable for the beach.

Joey Holmes

Joey Holmes
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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