4 Fun Beach-inspired Family Staycation Ideas for Spring Break

Baby on wicker chair surrounded by luggage for beach trip

You’ve got your savings plan in place, but you haven’t yet netted enough for your dream island getaway. Don’t sweat it. Beach staycation it is!

If you’re staying home — or close to home — for spring break, these beach-themed ideas can help turn your staycation into a fun and memorable “escape” for the whole family.

Sugar cookies in shapes of fish and starfish

Beach Picnic
If you’re landlocked and there’s no beach in sight, it’s time to get creative. How about a beach-themed picnic? Grab a basket and a blanket, and find a shady spot at a nearby park to spend an afternoon.

What to put in your picnic basket? How about shell-shaped macaroni salad, zucchini “boats” filled with hummus, homemade iced sugar cookies shaped like fish and starfish, and coconut water. (We have all the details for packing your picnic here.)

For extra fun, bring along an inflatable kiddie pool, and you can be a beach bum right where you are.

Mom and daughter with beach ball

Beach Ball Bonanza
Beach balls provide endless opportunities for fun — and they’re super cheap and available at almost any neighborhood pharmacy or big-box store. Bonus: Any of these activities will help burn off a kiddo’s energy:

  • Go “bowling.” A beach ball can act as the bowling ball, while empty water bottles serve as bowling pins. Hallways make excellent bumpers.
  • Beach basketball. Grab an empty laundry hamper and set it across the yard — or room, if you’re indoors. Toss the beach ball into the hamper, and see how far back you can go and still make the net. For an extra challenge, set a timer, and see how many baskets you can get in 30 seconds.
  • Catch and go. Write fun activities on each color stripe on a ball. Toss the ball from player to player, and whichever activity you land on, you have to do, such as three cartwheels, 10 jumping jacks, or meowing like a kitten.

Colorful drawing of a fish

Go Fish
Go Fish was probably the first card game you remember. Grab a deck and get to fishing! But if the kids are too small, they may enjoy a little backyard fishing instead.

No water? No problem.

Create your own fishing game with a bucket (or empty laundry hamper), some construction paper for fish, scissors, a few paper clips, magnets, string, and a stick.

First, cut construction paper into various fish sizes, not much larger than a business card. Place a paper clip at the tip of each fish’s mouth.

For fishing poles, simply tie a long string (a little bit longer than your child’s arm length) to one end of a stick. A ruler or wooden spoon would also work. Wrap the loose end around a magnet and tie.

Place your fish in the “pond,” and go fish! It’s that easy. (Here’s a handy how-to video.)

Baby holding heart-shaped sunglasses

Beach Backdrop for Family Photos
Of course you want to document your family beach staycation. Good news is you can easily and inexpensively create a beachy backdrop for your photos.

Take an old sheet and paint an underwater ocean scene. A few brightly colored cans of spray paint should do the trick. Just be sure to spray outside and let dry before bringing inside.

Add multicolored construction paper fish and starfish, and suspend balloons or holiday ball ornaments with thread or fishing line to represent underwater bubbles. Drape your backdrop over and existing curtain rod, and get to snapping!

Make your pics more fun by grabbing a beach ball, sunglasses, a swimming mask or goggles, and flippers as props. You have to look the part, right?