Many top family vacations include a visit to the beach.  If you have this kind of vacation planned for your family this summer, you may have splashing in the waves and lounging on the beach in mind, but there are several other must-do beach activities that will cost you very little money.  Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune on family fun vacations at the beach to achieve lasting vacation memories.  Here are the top 10 cheap or free activities you can participate in on the beach.

Fly a Kite

Choose a store-bought option or be even more frugal and make your own kite.  Make it a contest to see who can keep their kite in the air the longest.

Go Fishing

You don’t need an expensive reel and bait to catch something on the beach.  Grab hold of some netting or a bucket and wade into the water to see what you can catch.  Kids love this activity, and it can even turn into an educational experience.

Make Sand Angels

You might end up a little sandy, but that’s what going to the beach is all about!  Claim your patch of sand and wave your arms and legs to make a sandy angel.  See how long it takes for the tide to come in and fill in the outline.

Set up a Treasure Hunt

Plan this fun activity for your children, complete with treasure maps and an X marking the spot!

Go Snorkeling

If your beach vacation comes complete with clear waters, forgo the trip to the aquarium and bring your own snorkel along instead.  You will view sea life up close without spending a dime.

Play Beach Bowling

Set up empty cans or half-filled water bottles as the pins.  Take turns trying to knock them down with a beach ball or soccer ball.

Collect Sea Shells

This activity is like a treasure hunt without any effort to set it up.  Walk along the shoreline and see what treasures catch your eye.  Later in your vacation, see if you can find a jewelry maker to turn the shells into a bracelet or necklace to take home.

Build a Sand Castle

It’s a classic beach activity that never gets old.  Use buckets and other containers to shape the castle walls, or simple shape it with your hands.  Don’t forget to have fun destroying your creation before you leave!

Create Footprints

Be creative and shape prints of dinosaurs, giant birds, and other creatures in the sand.

Draw Pictures

The beach is a giant sandbox where you can design pictures with pebbles, shells, and the sand itself.

These activities will keep you and your family entertained on the beach without spending nearly anything.  When it comes to family fun vacations, nothing beats the beach.