You’ve booked your family's Myrtle Beach vacation at The Caribbean Resort & Villas, and you’re planning the trip down to the last detail.
Beach chairs? Check. Beach towels? Check. Sunscreen and sunglasses? Check, check. Beach toys and games? … Bueller? … Anyone?
Many family beach-vacation checklists look just like this, with all the basics covered but leaving room for improvement. Of all the things you can pack for your family beach getaway, perhaps none will provide more hours of free entertainment and consume so little space in your cargo hold than toys and games to use and play on the beach. Here are a few of our favorites:
* Bocce: This Italian version of lawn bowling was originally played on well-manicured grass, but the sands of Myrtle Beach at low tide will work just fine. Featuring eight larger balls and one smaller “pil,” teams try to roll their balls closest to the pil for points.
* Cornhole: The most popular tailgate game of all time has made its way to the Grand Strand sand. Teams take turns tossing bean bags at a large board with a small hole. Players get points for putting one through the opening or landing one on the board.
* Frisbee: This timeless toy continues to be a beach favorite, although the sea breeze usually requires a heavier disc than the cheap plastic ones. In addition to a leisurely toss-around, participants can play Frisbee Golf, Frisbee Football or the growing-in-popularity game of Kan Jam.
* Kite: Usually, when someone tells you to go fly a kite, it’s a put-down — but Myrtle Beach is one place that takes the hobby to the next level. The sea breeze and spacious beaches provide the ideal environment for kite-flying, and there are sturdier models specifically designed with beachgoers in mind. The two-handed stunt kites are popular among enthusiasts.
* Myrtle Ball: Did you know Myrtle Beach has its own game? Created by a local, Myrtle Ball combines the area's love for the beach and its passion for golf with a hybrid sport that involves burying cups at sand level and rolling color-coded balls into the holes. Myrtle Ball is available at some local beachwear stores.
* Sandcastle Building: So it's not exactly a game, but a couple of shovels and buckets can offer hours of enjoyment for creative types. It’s the perfect all-day project for a family to construct and decorate a castle with seashells, and then watch it get wiped away by high tide.
* Spikeball: If you spend much time on the beach, you will likely see a group of youngsters gathered around a miniature trampoline and taking turns diving in the sand. They're playing Spikeball, one of the latest games to sweep the beach. Part volleyball and part hot potato, players bounce the ball off the surface and try to keep it from touching the ground.
* Volleyball: No beach sport allows for more group participation than volleyball. Although the official version of the sport calls for two players per team, it's not uncommon to find teams of 10 to 12 per side so that no one has to sit on the sidelines. There are courts set up downtown along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, but you can often find a pick-up game at various spots along the beach.
After a full day of fun and games on the beach, families can return to The Caribbean Resort & Villas and unwind from the good-natured competition with a dip in the pool, a soak in the hot tubs and lazy river, or a relaxing rest on their private oceanfront balcony. Get a good night’s sleep, and get ready to do it all over again the next day.