By Tracy Noble –
Summer is coming, and the beach is calling! If you’re planning family beach days this summer, make sure you have everything you need for a full day’s adventure!
First things first, nothing can spoil a happy mood like a hungry child, so be sure to pack snacks and a picnic lunch. Finger foods always work best on the beach, so think grapes and apples for snacks, and remember to bring lots of water so everyone stays hydrated. You should also use reusable ice packs when packing your picnic basket to keep food from spoiling.
Keep meals simple yet delicious by stopping by the Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli (1321 Wellington St. W.) and ordering some made-to-order “Bagelsubs” made on their signature wood-fired, hand-rolled bagels. For something sweet, drop by Thyme & Again (1255 Wellington St. W.) and see what delectable desserts they have available or order something ahead of time and pick it up on your way to the beach.
Make your picnic eco-friendly with reusable containers and bags from terra20 (1130 Wellington St. W.). Choose from their wide selection of stainless steel containers and straws, including containers and straws from the award-winning local Ottawa business, DALCINI Stainless. Eliminating single-use plastics from your picnic supplies is a great way to make an impactful step toward preserving our beaches for future generations of beach-goers!
Once you have the picnic in order, check to make sure you have a few beach toys and activities to keep the kids busy, especially if boredom hits sooner than expected. The B. Toys Bucket from Fab Baby Gear (1244 Wellington St. W.) provides endless hours of fun with an assortment of beach toys, ideal for building the sand castle of your dreams. Or surprise the kids with a slingshot whistle rocket from Mrs. Tiggy Winkles (315 Richmond Rd.). It’s just as described but is made of soft material and is designed to whistle as it flies. And why not pick up a children’s book or two as well as a travel board game for those quieter moments, like when it’s time for the kids to dry off?
Lighten your load by leaving your traditional towels at home and using quick-dry towels instead. Microfibre towels that fold into small bags, making it easier to carry to and from the beach compared to other towels. In addition to their reputation for drying quickly, a quality quick dry towel can absorb up to three times its weight in water. You can find a variety of quick dry towels at MEC (366 Richmond Rd.) and Bushtukah (203 Richmond Rd.).
If you plan on spending a lot of time at the beach this summer, you may want to invest in a pop-up play yard for the little ones, such as the Veer Basecamp available at Fab Baby Gear. Veer designed the Basecamp to give kids a safe and shady spot of their own, perfect for a day at the beach. MEC also carries pop-up sunshades, such as the Nemo Victory Sunshade, a freestanding structure that can be easily set up at the beach and creates a cool hangout big enough for a few people.
Fab Baby Gear also carries a great outdoor mat, large enough for everyone in the family to sit. It’s water resistant, making it the perfect accessory for the beach, and it folds up tightly into a sewn-in pouch, making it easily transportable.
The conveniences and products available for a family beach day have come a long way! With a little planning and preparation, these products can help make a family beach day a lot of fun and make for some of the best summer memories.