Family Friendly Beach Day Essentials

By Jess
25 Apr 2022

I’m getting a little ahead of myself talking about beach day essentials in April but a girl can dream right? Seriously though I get lots of questions about this and I figured it was a good time to update my post from last year. Especially with supply chain issues and what I anticipate will be a crazy beach season, might as well start getting prepared! I am honestly SO excited for the beach this summer especially since Marin is older and more independent. She’s a water girl and I can’t wait to see her play in the sand and salty ocean in a few months. Our summer is SO short and it always flies by so I definitely plan to make the most of it. Here are my top family friendly beach essentials.

Family Friendly Beach Essentials

beach tents

I think I got this beach tent two summers ago now and it’s pretty ideal for providing lots of shade at the beach. I really like how it’s still really open and airy (better for toddlers and older kids). It’s fairly easy to set up but can be tricky with one person. If you’re doing a solo trip to the beach with kids I’d opt for a pop-up tent like this one (we used it a ton when Marin was a baby).

Beach Umbrella

The Business & Pleasure beach umbrella is made with a UV and water resistant cotton canvas with marine-grade hand polished aluminum fittings, and eco-friendly, World Forestries-approved reclaimed timber. We use this at the beach and on our deck at home. The tilt feature is great to help block the sun throughout the day and the canopy has UPF 50 protection.

Beach Chairs

I always get questions about our Tommy beach chairs from Business & Pleasure Co. They were a major splurge for me but the quality has been super impressive. The frame is made from a waterproof World Forestries-certified hardwood and rust-resistant stainless steel fittings. It has padded backpack straps and a back pocket. They’re really comfortable but it’s important to know they’re pretty heavy. I rode to the beach with one on my back and it was not fun. These are ok for a short walk but if you’re looking for something more lightweight I just found these super cute beach chairs from Target. I ordered two for this summer so I will report back!

Beach Cooler and water bottles

Hands down the best beach cooler we have is the Yeti backpack cooler. It fits a ton of stuff and keeps everything cool for hours. It’s also a backpack which makes it incredibly convenient to transport. We bring it out for boat days too. If you don’t want to spend that much on a cooler I also really like this sustainable cooler bag from Out of the Woods. It doesn’t keep things cool the way a Yeti does but it’s durable and super easy to clean. Just throw some ice packs in there and it’s a great option.

For water, I LOVE our Hydro Flask bottles for the beach and everyday use. Craig and I each have a 32 oz with the straw lid and Marin has the kids one.

Beach Bag

I got the Large Zip Top L.L. Bean Tote for Marin as an Easter gift and it was such a good purchase. We use it pretty much everyday for everything but it makes a great beach bag. It can fit all of our stuff and I had it monogrammed so when she starts daycare it has her name on it. The L.L. Bean totes are amazing quality and last forever. I highly recommend.

For things like snacks, sand toys, and wet clothes, I always bring a few baggu bags.

Beach Cart

Last year after someone in the comments mentioned the Veer Cruiser I ended up buying it. The quality is amazing and it’s super sturdy. That said it’s an awesome beach cart but it’s not great in soft sand. If there’s a boardwalk and you are mostly walking on hard packed sand it’s amazing. You can still pull it in soft sand but if you’re pulling a kid too, it’s pretty hard. Now that Marin is old enough to walk on her own I’ll definitely use it to throw all of our stuff in and haul down to the beach. If you’re spending the day at the beach and have all your gear it definitely makes it easier to bring it from the car in one trip.

Beach Towels and blankets

I got a few Pendleton beach towels years ago and they’re my favorite. The quality is fantastic and they’re big and soft. I got this one from Pottery Barn kids for Marin and had it monogrammed so she can use it in the future for daycare/camps, etc. For beach blankets I use printed tablecloths because they’re lightweight, easy to wash and easy to transport. I’ve collected some over the years from various shops and keep them on hand for beach days.

waterproof phone case

This waterproof phone case/pouch is affordable and very functional. Whether you’re trying to keep sand and salty water out of your phone or you want to take pictures it’s great to keep your phone protected and dry.

Beach Toys

I got this little beach toy set made from recycled plastic last year and it was a hit. Marin loves trucks and I put these in her Easter basket.

Water shoes

I usually wear the Birkenstock Arizona Eva sandals to the beach because they can get wet and they’re really comfy. For water shoes I have the classic Chaco Sandals. I got Marin a pair of crocs for Easter that she can wear to the beach too. She loves them (they run big)!

Beach Hats & Bathing Suits

My favorite bathing suits for Marin are from Hanna Andersson and Bonbon, I shared some of my favorite sustainable one piece bathing suits here, the one I am wearing in these photos is the fish-print from Fisch (I’d say it runs a little small). She has a Patagonia sun hat that I can sometimes get her to keep on her head and Babiators for sunglasses. I’ve had my Brixton Joanna straw hat for years and it provides great coverage at the beach.

Beach Day Essentials

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  1. Alex wrote:

    Jess, love this post! Wanted to share the company, They are an ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products, and have blankets and beach towels. Cheers!

    6.30.21 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thank you so much I will check that out!

      6.30.21 | Reply
  2. Christine wrote:

    For beach carts, we have the Veer Cruiser and love it. Toddler can sit in it comfortably and you can use the other half for beach essentials you’d rather pull than carry. Highly recommend. Definitely a splurge but it has so many uses it was worth it for us.

    6.30.21 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thank you! Checking that out right now.

      7.13.21 | Reply
  3. Duuda wrote:

    Dear Jess,
    Oftentimes the tone of the message gets lost in the online communications world, so I would like to begin by saying that this is a very well-intentioned note and is not meant to offend or be disrespectful. I do not understand people who are mean to others online, and I hope to never be one myself. I love your blog, style, and humanity. I especially enjoyed reading your blog for the no-commercials-and-add-videos-popping-up in every corner. I noticed that lately it’s almost impossible to read your blog due to all the adds, popups, and videos. I could barely leave this comment without add videos covering the screen. Not sure what happened, but wondering if you would reconsider the amount of adds. I recognize that this is income for your family but I wonder if whatever worked before (the no adds approach) could work again. Your well-written and thoughtful content is getting overpowered and lost… I wish you all the best and I will continue visiting your blog.

    6.7.22 | Reply