What to do at the beach besides gamble?
April 23, 2008 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Avoiding beach boredom!

It'll be me, my dear hubby, my mother in law, my sister in law, and my adorable nephew Stevie on a short trip to the beach. Last time we did this, the adults all hung out at the casino, and I felt bad because we neglected Stevie.

What fun things can we do to include him this time? He's thirteen, but is a younger thirteen. Loves video games, and if we don't come up with alternatives, he could well spend the entire trip playing them.

He does like to wander on the edge of the water and find the weird little animals that live in the rocks. I can do that for an hour, and then I get bored. What else should we try? It wouldn't have to be beach-specific. Stevie is artistic, and I thought it would be fun to take some Sculpey with us and build things together...

Any other ideas would be welcome.
posted by frosty_hut to Human Relations (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Massive sandcastle. I'm 41 and I still enjoy building them. The castle itself dowsn't have to be anything special, but the fortifications--walls, moats, drainage ditches--are the most fun. Build below the high-tide line so you can watch the inevitable destruction.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:48 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Beach where? Beach with waves? I vote for body surfing and/or boogie boarding.
posted by Mercaptan at 1:01 PM on April 23, 2008

I know this may be a little bit of a scandalous proposal, but when I was a 13 year-old boy at the beach I liked to discreetly (as I was rather shy) oggle women in bikinis. Maybe Stevie would like a little unstructured Stevie time worked into the schedule as well where Steven can have some time to "wander the beach looking for wierd little animals" on his own without his mom, gramma, aunt Frosty_hut and Uncle Mr. Frosty_hut cramping his style. I'm just saying is all. He's probably got a little psycho-sexual development going on right now.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:09 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Pollomacho speaks the truth. :)

Also any sort of sport or athletics can be more fun in a beach setting. Playing catch or volleyball can be fun.
posted by mmascolino at 1:13 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Family poker games in the evening, Stevie included.
posted by junkbox at 1:16 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Back at the beach house, to match's Stevie's artistic nature, play Cranium. Board games and the beach seem to fit well together.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 1:16 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bocce ball and/or horseshoes on the beach. Fun for all ages!
posted by inigo2 at 1:18 PM on April 23, 2008

Fly a kite.
posted by Floydd at 1:22 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Scavenger hunt. Microscope. Kite. Badminton. RC boats or planes. Sketch book and colored pencils.
posted by cocoagirl at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Frisbee, lemonade, whiffle ball, magazines, guitar, beach chairs, sandwiches, flip flops, and sunscreen. Pollomacho.. really? Don't blow up Stevie's spot, c'mon.
posted by pwally at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2008

Where, indeed, is this beach? If it's someplace warm, snorkelling may be in order. That can be fascinating for hours, if there's enough animal life in the water. Also, what about a metal detector and a couple of small trowels?
posted by fish tick at 1:24 PM on April 23, 2008

Another artistic idea is to do a big mural, or a Cornell Box, or another art project on a grand(ish) scale so that it can't be completed in an afternoon. Or even 2. Get a rolled up piece of butcher block paper and bring paints and other stuff. Let it evolve into something great.
posted by zpousman at 1:39 PM on April 23, 2008

could learn to scuba dive.
posted by alkupe at 1:44 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for these great ideas!

Um, I should have mentioned...we're in the Pacific Northwest, so it's not a warm beach, even in summer...volleyball might be a better bet than snorkeling. Liked the metal detector suggestion, though. (Pollomacho, not too much bikini-watching in our part of the world. Feels like November right now, and it probably will until August.

Amused by Pollo's comment regarding Stevie's psychosexual development...the thought is a little bit weepy, but I know he's growing up. His older brother sort of slipped through out hands and never wanted to socialize much, so we just feel lucky that Stevie still wants to hang out with us old folks. He's a cool kid--he's in a band and says he's written a song, although he can't remember how it goes, and he's got a ton of girlfriends according to his mom. Although none important enough to bring with him apparently. Anyway, he's the one who's getting older, right? Not me!

Thanks again for these suggestions, I'm going to print out this thread forthwith ^_^
posted by frosty_hut at 1:46 PM on April 23, 2008

I'll do Floydd one better: Learn how to fly a sport kite. (or Two, and fly pairs). Sport or stunt kites can be purchased for $50 to $75.00 (Or into the hundreds of dollars). I wouldn't spend any less than 50, and be sure that both lines of the kite are 100% even. Throw away the plastic handles and get some strap handles at the locak kite store.
posted by Gungho at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: I'll check out the kites, and the board games sound good too.

I've seen Cranium -- what's the premise?
posted by frosty_hut at 1:49 PM on April 23, 2008

Give him a camera!

Are there mountains or woods near by? Take him hiking.

Build a bonfire (if it isn't too hot), and teach him how to cook with one. The last time we went camping, some of us learned how to cook scrambled eggs, it was quite a challenge!
posted by sixcolors at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Maybe a field guide to help him identify the little animals he finds? This one seems to have plants and birds and things you might see on a walk, as well as sea creatures, which could be fun, too. Treating his hobby of looking at things in tidepools as a grown-up hobby might make it more fun for everybody (says the big old science nerd).
posted by hydropsyche at 2:15 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Make Japanese Fighting kites and battle to the death.
posted by saffry at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2008

Give him a digital camera (maybe his own Flickr account?) and let him go nuts. I've always been the indoors-introvert-gamer person, especially when I was that age (Game Boy! Legend of Zelda! Woooo!) but photography really gets me outside and doing things for hours upon hours. Must be even more awesome when you're 13 and haven't seen as much.
posted by saturnine at 4:30 PM on April 23, 2008

frosty_hut, Cranium is only the best. game. ever. Art & trivia & word games & acting & singing collide. Invented by a bunch of middle-aged guys (so I've heard) bemoaning how most games (charades, pictionary) leave someone out. But you'll enjoy it just as much as Stevie. See here.
posted by changeling at 4:37 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

paddle ball
posted by proj08 at 5:23 PM on April 23, 2008

Digital camera if you can afford it (assuming he doesn't have one already). I love taking pictures of nothing at all, and there's lots to see and take bad macro pictures of at the beach :). Alternatively, get him one of those awesome little RC planes. Which I would assume would be cheaper, but I am in no way an expert.
posted by MadamM at 7:16 PM on April 23, 2008

I like junkbox's suggestion of family poker games. Poker is a fun game, and is really popular. Definitely will help him socialize with his peers when he is older.
posted by radioamy at 9:03 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: Great ideas you guys!

Stevie's important to me...I don't have much family left, and he's the only kid in my life. I want to make some memories with him. Thanks again for these terrific suggestions! ^_^
posted by frosty_hut at 2:44 PM on April 24, 2008

If you will be near the Oregon sand dunes, you can go "sand-boarding" (um, that might not be the actual name...). There is a business that will teach you and rent the equipment.
posted by yohko at 4:09 PM on April 25, 2008

« Older What do you think of the Obagi Skin System?   |   How do I get this scabby dry skin to heal? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.