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The 20 Best Beach Games of 2024

From reimagined classics to new, innovative games, we’ve gathered fun beach games for everyone.

collage of popular beach games

Travel + Leisure / Kristin Kempa

Picture this: golden sands, blue waters, and the sun shining down as waves lap at the shore. The only way to make a day at the beach even more perfect is with activities and games that will get your whole group bonding, laughing, and playing together.

As a toy industry expert, I've handpicked a selection of products to take to the beach that I personally use and love — from classic favorites like sand castle sets to new and innovative games. Whether you're planning a family vacation or a day out with friends, these beach games are sure to add fun and excitement to your outings.

Best In-water Games

Why We Love It: This pickleball set is waterproof, so you can bring it to the beach without worrying about damage from sand or water.

What to Consider: This set comes with one pickleball and one rubber ball, so you may want to bring your own backups just in case.

Whether you are a self-proclaimed pro or eye-roll every time you hear its name, pickleball is here to stay — and now there’s a version that is made specifically to play in the water. I love the vibrant, floral pattern on these paddles, which are also regulation-size, so players can feel comfortable practicing in a low-pressure environment before hitting the court.

This set also offers two ways to play using either the included pickle ball or a rubber ball, adding some versatility. Perfect to throw into a beach tote without adding bulk and suitable for players of all ages, this waterproof pickleball set is even great for other outdoor outings like pool parties.

Why We Love It: Play the popular Spikeball game in a new way — on the water!

What to Consider: The Spikebuoy is an accessory, so you must purchase or already have a Spikeball set to use it properly.

Level up your beach day with Spikebuoy, which transforms the beloved game of Spikeball into a water sport. Simply attach the anchor bag and leg floats to a Spikeball set you already own before you head into the water. My favorite part about this attachment is that you can adjust it to play at various water depths (just watch how much more challenging it gets when you’re trying to make epic dives in knee-deep water). The cherry on top is the convenient carrying bag that makes traveling with your set a breeze.

Why We Love It: This spin on the classic board game will definitely deliver epic aquatic showdowns.

What to Consider: It’s not the best choice for days when the ocean has rough waters.

The classic game of Battleship has been reimagined so that you can quite literally sink your opponent’s battleship, which is a lot more rewarding. With quick and easy setup, including snap-together battleships and pool-filled water blasters, players can test their aiming skills while strategizing to sink their opponent's ships before theirs meet a watery demise.

I found that Battleship Splash is particularly fun to play because it reminds me of a carnival game where you compete to blast water at a target. The blasters offer more than 10 feet of spraying distance, which means players can adjust the distance of their ships for an added challenge.

Why We Love It: The two-in-one design allows you to transition this set from a basketball hoop to a football target with ease.

What to Consider: This set is susceptible to drift due to ocean currents, which might affect the difficulty in aiming.

This Nerf Floating Football and Basketball Set is super durable, ensuring that it is built to last. It also comes with everything you need to start playing right away, including a pump for the three balls that come with the set — and I love a no-tool assembly. Plus, I give it major bonus points for not tipping over while you are trying to score a goal or shoot a basket. With its versatile design, you can easily switch between basketball and football modes using the simple twist and lock knob.

Why We Love It: Players can engage in competitive, spirited matches with this refreshing and engaging water sport.

What to Consider: This set only comes with one hockey puck.

Hydro Hockey is one of the most innovative water sets I’ve seen. The waterproof inflatable hockey board itself is huge, measuring 5.6 feet by 3 feet to turn the ocean into a competitive arena. Unlike its air-based counterpart, Hydro Hockey utilizes water to glide the puck across the board, creating an unpredictable gameplay experience based on water flow and movements — adding a lot more fun. I also love that players of all ages can participate.

Best Beach-blanket Games

Why We Love It: This brainy head-to-head strategy game is a new take on tic-tac-toe.

What to Consider: Compared to wooden versions of the game, it may be more prone to wear and tear over time.

We love a travel-friendly game, and Otrio is one of my favorite games from my personal collection. While there are various versions of this game, including those crafted from wood, choosing the plastic option is ideal for beach use because it is the easiest to clean away sand and any water residue. As players face off in this head-to-head game, they must strategically line up three pieces of the same color by size, order, or within the same space, requiring critical thinking, reasoning skills, and strategy with every move. Otrio is not only educational, but also incredibly engaging, making it the perfect game to play when lounging on the beach.

Why We Love It: This classic game comes with durable, water-resistant cards.

What to Consider: Be careful on breezy days so the cards don’t fly away.

This timeless card game now comes as a beach-friendly version. Not only does Uno Splash come with durable plastic cards resistant to water, it’s also great for any group of people, regardless of age. Complete with a convenient clip for easy portability, attach it to your beach bag or backpack to take it on the go. Plus, those who don’t already know how to play can easily pick it up. Don’t forget to shout “Uno!” when you have only one card left!

Also make sure to check out this game’s counterpart, Uno Flip! Splash, which offers the same water-resistant cards with altered gameplay for more hours of fun.

Why We Love It: This guessing game features waterproof cards.

What to Consider: Guess in 10 Splash is definitely geared toward a younger audience.

I love toys and games that encourage learning without kids even knowing it, and Guess in 10 Splash even sneaks in some essential skill-building like creative thinking, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. To play, split into teams or go head-to-head, using strategic questioning to uncover the mystery animal on each card. Perfect for kids ages 6 and up, this quick-to-play and portable game features waterproof cards and promotes interactive family fun, making it an essential addition to your beach vacation packing list.

Why We Love It: Thanks to its simplicity and accessibility, players of all ages can join in on the Giant Spoons fun.

What to Consider: This game may be challenging to play during windy conditions.

The game of Spoons holds a very special place in my heart, and I love that this jumbo-size edition comes with everything you need to take this game anywhere — including the beach. In Spoons, players aim to collect a matching set of cards and grab a spoon from the center of the table, leading to a frantic scramble as others subsequently rush to grab spoons before they are all scooped up. With oversized spoons designed for quick and comfortable snatching, this game offers fast-paced gameplay for players of all ages.

Pro tip: make up some additional rules, like hiding the last spoon inside a sand castle, for example, to increase the competition and ramp up gameplay even further.

Why We Love It: Scrabble to Go has a compact and portable design, making it easy to transport and store in your beach bag or backpack.

What to Consider: It is an adjustment to get used to the smaller game board.

This version of Scrabble from Winning Moves Games is always one of my go-to travel games. Its compact and portable design makes it easy to transport and set up for a game wherever you go, and the folding game board securely and neatly stores all of the pieces. I love that during gameplay, the letter tiles lock into the game board, so they don’t budge. Plus, with the ability to pause gameplay at any time by simply closing the lid on the racks and folding the board closed, Scrabble To Go offers convenience for beachgoers.

Best Beach Sports

Why We Love It: This unique game combines soccer and volleyball.

What to Consider: Takraw is best for competitive and active beachgoers.

Wicked Big Sports Takraw is a thrilling fusion of soccer and volleyball gameplay that promises to bring on the competition. Complete with a waist-high net and court lines, this game challenges players to kick the ball over the net and score against their opponents, all while adhering to the rule of no hands allowed. At the end of the day, all pieces fold up neatly back inside the convenient carrying case. Be warned: try not to kick the ball too hard and send it flying to the other side of the beach.

Why We Love It: The versatility of this game allows for it to be played on various surfaces and adapted to different playing spaces.

What to Consider: It takes some practice to get the hang of it.

Kan Jam has become an outdoor staple, so I was really excited to see this pickleball iteration of the game. Gameplay is similar to the disc version and the main technical difference is that the slot in the front of the goal is large enough for the pickle ball to fly through. Players on the same team will stand on opposite sides of the goal, aiming to either hit the ball on the side of the goal, through the top, or right through the front opening. I really like that this game caters to players of all skill levels, and it’s versatile enough to play anywhere. A carry bag is also included for easy storage and transportation.

Why We Love It: This hilarious game will have you and your friends laugh-crying while dodging burritos in the sand.

What to Consider: The inflatable burritos could get lost or carried away by strong winds on the beach.

If you never thought that you would chuck life-size burritos at your family and friends, then think again. This version of Throw Throw Burrito gamifies dodgeball by combining card collecting with dodging and throwing inflated airborne burritos. I also love that the jumbo playing cards are water-resistant, so they won’t get damaged during gameplay. Get ready for a beach game like no other as you launch burritos and collect cards to earn points and claim victory.

Why We Love It: This game is portable and convenient, making it a must-have addition to any beach game collection.

What to Consider: Make sure to include fresh batteries so you don’t run out of juice in the middle of a game.

It would be a crime to not mention cornhole for a beach game roundup, and this option from EastPoint Sports stands out as a versatile and convenient choice. I love that you can keep the party going even as the sun is setting with the light-up features on the bean bags and targets. It gets even more bonus points for its integrated storage, scoring, and bean bag return right on the board, making setup and cleanup a breeze.

Why We Love It: Designed to be easy to catch and play with, Koosh balls also double as a fun fidget toy.

What to Consider: The Koosh balls made for this set are small, so keep an eye out for them if they bounce in the sand or water.

Remember Koosh balls? This toy from the 1980s is back for a new generation of kids, and PlayMonster has integrated Koosh balls into a variety of sports-themed products. I regularly take out this paddle set for outdoor gatherings and barbecues, and I think it would also make a great addition to the beach. There are countless ways to enjoy bouncing the Koosh, from challenging yourself to bouncing from far distances to playing exciting head-to-head matches. It also features a super satisfying trampoline-like bounce and a lightweight design, so you’ll barely notice that it’s in your bag.

Best Family-friendly Activities

Why We Love It: This kit helps you construct elaborate sand kingdoms that stand out on the shoreline.

What to Consider: Make sure to use moistened sand for best results.

This is the type of product I wish was around when I was a kid. Create a Castle kits take sandcastle building to a whole new level. Just fill sand inside the split molds, unbuckle, and voila — you have a stunning sand structure in virtually no time. The pro tower kit includes everything you need to build impressive towers, from varying sizes to intricate details like battlements and windows. Plus, with a convenient mesh backpack for easy transportation and cleanup, this hassle-free sand molding system is the perfect beach companion. And not only is this set great for the beach, but you can also use it to build snow castles in winter months.

Why We Love It: These next-generation water balloons are sustainable, offering an eco-friendly way to enjoy a classic summer staple while minimizing waste and environmental impact.

What to Consider: Refilling these water balloons on the beach might make the water inside sandy.

Make a splash at the beach with Bunch O Balloons Reusable Water Balloons. You may already recognize the Bunch O Balloons name, which allows you to quickly fill one hundred water balloons in under a minute. Now, the company has further innovated in this space with reusable water balloons. With magnetic technology allowing up to 1,500 reusable splashes per balloon, these eco-friendly alternatives offer sustainability without compromising on the fun of classic water balloon battles that the whole family can get involved with. Simply open, dunk in water, and close the balloons to quickly refill.

Why We Love It: These adorable beach balls feature viral Squishmallows characters.

What to Consider: These beach balls might require more effort to fully dry and deflate before you pack them away.

Now you can bring the beloved Squishmallows characters with you to the beach without getting your precious plush wet. BigMouth’s Squishmallows inflatables — featuring fan-favorite characters Sunny the Bee, Gordon the Shark, and Maritza the Cactus — add a playful flair to classic beach balls. Easy to inflate and deflate, these vibrant 30-inch beach balls are perfect to play volleyball or enjoy other activities.

Why We Love It: The updated design of this Frisbee was specially engineered to fly further distances.

What to Consider: This activity is not the best on crowded or smaller beach areas, so make sure you have enough room to throw and catch the Frisbee safely.

Head’s up! A Frisbee is the ultimate family-friendly activity for all ages, and this Max Flight Coaster iteration is powered by a high-performance inner core, specially engineered to fly further than traditional Frisbees. Featuring flight rings for improved grip and accuracy and a soft outer rim ensures comfort, control, and easy catches, these Frisbees are perfect for beginners and experienced players alike.

Why We Love It: The Maxi Bird kite is easy to assemble and set up, making it an ideal family-friendly activity at the beach.

What to Consider: Younger kids will need the help of an adult to get kites soaring high.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane — no, it’s a kite! Make your beach day soar with Maxi Bird, a gorgeous kite that is adorned with bright and vibrant colors. Assembling this bird-shaped kite is a breeze with its easy-to-assemble pop-up design, requiring a simple knot to attach the handle before it's ready to fly. Made of lightweight polyester and fiberglass, it's easy to handle and takes off effortlessly, promising fun and excitement for the whole family at the beach. It also comes in butterfly and plane versions, so you can collect them all and get flying.

Tips for Buying Beach Games

Consider your group size and ages

When purchasing beach games, it's essential to consider your group size and ages to ensure everyone can participate and have fun. Opt for games that accommodate the number of people in your group, whether it's a large family gathering or a small group of friends. Additionally, choose games that are suitable for the ages, skill, and ability levels of your participants to ensure everyone can engage comfortably and enjoyably.

For families with young children, look for games that are easy to learn and play, while also providing enough excitement to keep older participants entertained. For example, games like Frisbee, sandcastle building kits, or water balloon tosses are generally suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Similarly, if your group includes adults or older kids, consider games that offer more complexity or strategy for added challenge and enjoyment.

Think about portability

Think smarter, not harder — when buying games for the beach, prioritize portability to make the trip from the car to the shore seamless. Whether they’re games to play sitting down on a beach blanket or a high-energy game like football or pickleball, I recommend games that are lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry to and from the beach. Consider options that come with a carrying case or bag for added convenience. Additionally, choose games that are quick and simple to set up and take down, allowing you to spend more time playing and less time dealing with complicated assembly.

Opt for waterproof games

While you’re on the hunt for a perfect beach game, prioritize options that are waterproof to ensure durability and longevity. Look for games made from materials such as plastic, rubber, or waterproof fabric that can withstand exposure to water, sand, and sun without deteriorating. Waterproof games are not only more resistant to damage, but are also easier to clean and maintain. Additionally, consider games specifically designed for water play, such as waterproof versions of popular games.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I make the beach more fun for kids?

    It’s easy to make days at the beach cherished summer memories. The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep your kids’ interests in mind so they stay engaged throughout the day. From imaginative play opportunities while playing in the sand to getting kids up and active with water and sports games, being prepared with a few games and activities will provide hours of entertainment.

  • What beach games are best for toddlers?

    For toddlers, it's essential to choose beach games that are safe, simple, and age-appropriate. Activities and games like sandcastle building, playing with beach balls, and splashing around in shallow water are best for toddlers. Not only do these activities keep little ones entertained, but it also provides them with opportunities for sensory exploration, physical activity, and cognitive development. Most importantly, remember to always supervise toddlers closely at the beach and provide plenty of sunscreen, water, and shade.

  • How do you clean toys after a day at the beach?

    Make sure to always check the labels on a toy or game for proper cleaning and storage instructions, but generally, start with rinsing toys thoroughly with fresh water (for a deeper clean, use a mild soap or detergent solution) to remove sand, salt, and debris. You should also make sure all pieces dry thoroughly before storage to avoid mold or mildew.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

With a decade of experience in the toy industry, Maddie Michalik is a trusted expert and go-to source for the latest product trends and news related to toys, games, and kids’ entertainment. For this story, she used her knowledge of the hottest toys and games and her own experience playing games on the beach to curate a list of the best beach games available today.

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Edited by
Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure
Taylor Fox is the Commerce Outdoor Gear Editor at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over nine years.

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