Are you planning fun activities for the beach? Sure, there are the usual suspects like swimming, surfing, reading, and Frisbee. Those are the main reasons we visit the beach.
But have you ever thought about taking a board game to the beach?
The beach is a great place to play a board game, and of course, you’ll want play in the shade. Since you’ll be at the beach all day, you can start a game with your family and return to it throughout the day.
Board games are great for the family, for groups, and for children. They stimulate the mind and teach us to problem solve, work together, and compete.
A board game for the beach should be able to withstand the beach environment. This means it shouldn’t be ruined by sand, water, sun, or wind. You might even get sweat and sunscreen on it as well.
In the sections below, I’ll share the best board games to play on the beach. As, you’ll see, they have a few things in common and will keep the whole family entertained.
Important Aspects Of A Board Game For The Beach
Board games aren’t known for being durable. They are meant to be played indoors on a table or carpet. There’s rarely wind or water (unless it’s spilled).
A board game for the beach should be strong enough to hold up on the sand and in the heat. Cardboard doesn’t work well, while plastic and wood are great!
Plastic and wood will repel water. Paper pieces, like Monopoly cards and money, are not great options and will likely be damaged, torn, or lost.
No Lightweight Paper or Cards
Things that are lightweight will blow away in the wind. Heavier boards and pieces work great – that’s why I’ve mentioned a number of oversized options on the list.
Avoid Small Pieces
Big pieces are heavier and are less likely to be lost in a the sand. Small pieces like dice and markers will fall off the board. If they get covered in sand the game may be over.
Easy To Carry To And From Beach
Oversized board games are best, but make sure you can still get them to and from the beach. We’ve all seen the huge chess pieces at the park that people push around. They would be perfect for the beach but they are too heavy to move around. Medium sized board games are ideal.
8 Board Games You Can Play On The Beach
#1 Twister Ultimate
What’s the difference between regular twister and the ultimate version? A bigger board and more people.
Twister is a game that’s been around for decades and it’s a delight for all ages (yes, even adults). The problem with Twister is most people don’t like falling on the ground. Take this game to the beach and you’re playing on sand so it’s a soft landing. You can always rinse off in the ocean.
This Twister board is 64 x 93 inches (biggest Twister mat ever). 10-12 and even more can play at the same time. Laughs are included (check Twister Ultimate on Amazon)!
Twister has a durable playing surface that works well on sand and just a few components so you don’t have to worry about losing pieces or items getting wet. It is perfect for families, friends, and groups (a fun icebreaker).
#2 Giant 3 in 1 Checkers and Tic Tac Toe (reversible rug)
This is a fun option because it could also be used to sit on (not big enough to lay on though). It’s an oversized playing board in the form of a rug and it perfect for the beach.
The rug will get sand on it, however, it can be shaken out easily and cleaned The pieces are thick plastic so they won’t be easily lost. I also like the fact it is reversible for Tic Tac Toe. You get two games in one with this rug (check reversible checkers rug on Amazon).
Like Twister, the components of this game are minimal and should be easy to fit in a bag or carry to and from the beach.
If you have young kids who like checkers and Tic Tac Toe, consider this game. It works well at a beach house too.
#3 Connect 4 (Giant Edition)
Connect 4 is an easy-to-play game of strategy. Most of us grew up playing this game in school. This game is a little larger but no different from the original.
Carrying this large Connect 4 to and from the beach will take an arm or two, but it should be perfect as an activity for large groups (check Connect 4 on Amazon).
Beach camps, BBQs, and reunions will all make use of this game. With a wood finish and plastic pieces it will be easy to remove sand and water.
#4 Mega Chess 12 Inch Pieces
So I could have highlighted the huge chessboard, but it would be tough to lug back and forth from the beach.
This option is still larger than a regular size board with pieces 12 inches (the size of a football). The board is a large high-density plastic that can be staked into the sand (check Mega Chess on Amazon).
The board is 5 x 5 feet so it may attract some competition on the beach.
To get this Mega Chess game to the beach you might need a beach cart, or you’ll need to unload the car near the sand.
I’ll admit, I’m not too familiar with backgammon but I do know it’s popular in many parts of the world. In fact, men in Romania are known to play in near the beach.
The great thing about backgammon is it’s played in its own carrier so you don’t need a separate board. You can open it up over a towel and dust away the sand when you’re finished playing (check Backgammon on Amazon).
It comes in various sizes (11”, 14”, or 18”) and uses chips and dice so be careful about losing pieces in deep sand.
If you know your board games you probably know Abalone. The name fits the beach theme right?
Abalone is a 2 person game and takes 15-20 minutes to play. It’s played with marbles, so be sure not to lose them in the sand. This game is highly strategic and is great for kids who love a challenge.
Even though many people haven’t heard of Abalone, this game has sold over 4 million copies! And people love it (check Abalone on Amazon).
The game is smaller in size and lightweight so it’s easy to take to the beach. Just make sure you put a blanket or towel underneath so marbles aren’t lost in the sand.
#7 Hive – A Game Crawling with Possibilities
Hive uses a few simple pieces and produces a complex game of strategy. It’s perfect for both kids and adults.
It doesn’t use a board, so all you need is a hard surface. The piece are small hexagons with ants, beetles, and more (check out Hive and reviews on Amazon).
For limited space, this is a great game. The piece could fit in a pocket or purse and provide a few hours of fun.
Check out the reviews as they are superb – it even was selected as a Mensa Select game!
#8 Giant Tic Tac Toe
I considered not adding this game to the list because you can easily play Tic Tac Toe in the sand (we’ve all done that right).
I also mentioned a Tic Tac Toe game earlier that uses a reversible rug (for checkers too) (check Giant Tic Tac Toe on Amazon).
If you’re looking for a giant board game this is a good option to have. The board is 3 x 3 feet and includes O’s and X’s. the board has interlocking foam so it will stay together – it is soft enough to stand on as well. The foam is simple and thin but it can work at the beach or in a driveway.
Board games are a blast and they’re even more fun when playing outside. The beach isn’t the first place people think to play a board game but it’s a great place to enjoy the fresh air and relax under an umbrella.
There are board games you want to take to the beach (strong and durable) and there are others that won’t work well (paper and cardboard).
In this article we mentioned a few options for the beach that the whole family will enjoy. Whether it’s Mega Chess, checkers on a rug, or a giant game of Twister, make your beach trip more fun with a board game. It will offer a welcome break from the ocean, sun, and sand.
Thanks for reading another Beach Life article.