Many beachgoers enjoy the simplicity of soaking up the sun, sipping a beverage or reading a book. Sometimes we prefer a little friendly competition or just some play time in the surf. And of course, kids are always in motion on the sand. Here are some of the games and toys we love.

We were not provided with free or discounted products to review. These recommendations were not influenced by manufacturers. We did, however, heavily consider customer reviews at retail websites when deciding which products to feature. We like these products, but we took care to make sure other customers agree. Some of the product links include affiliate codes. If a purchase is made, OuterBanks.com is paid a commission for the referral.

Tidal Ball

Do you like cornhole but hate lugging the boards? Tidalball is for you. Tidalball can be played anywhere on hard-packed sand. Scoop a hole and U-shaped trench 10 paces apart with the included scoop.  Pick teams and start playing just like cornhole. A ball tossed/rolled into the hole is worth 3 points, and a ball tossed/rolled into the trench is worth 1. Scoring is subtractive, just like cornhole. If you score 3 points and your opponent scores 1, you get a total of 2 points for the round. Keep going until one team hits 21. The Tidallball set is compact, affordable and highly rated. It includes a mesh carry bag, six colored balls, a sand scoop, and 4 koozies to help keep your gaming beverages cool. Easy to carry, easy to play. What’s not to love?

Classic Beach Tennis

We’ve played beach tennis since we were kids. Simple wooden paddles and bouncy PVC balls make for a fun, relaxing game of skill on the beach. How long can you keep the ball aloft? Want to make it a competition without lugging a net? Mark out a rectangular court with a half-court line. One paddler on each half of the court tries to keep the ball from hitting the sand on their side. Balls must be hit upward, and make it higher than the tallest player to count. Make your own variation to keep the fun going. We also enjoy hitting the ball back and forth in shallow surf while we cool down.

Bocce Ball

Another classic most people are familiar with is Boccce. Up to four competitors. Throw the “jack” (small white ball) 15’ – 20’ away. Teams take turns throwing their balls, trying to land/roll their ball closest to the jack. Knocking competing balls away is allowed. When all balls are tossed, score one point for each ball of the winning team that is closer than the closest ball of the other team. The next team throws the jack to a new location, and more rounds are played until 12 points are scored. Bocce is another relaxing beach game for most kids and all adults. We think a quality Bocce set with nicely weighted balls is important for enjoyment of the game, which is why we like the highly-rated Park & Sun Sports bocce set.

Ladderball

Ladderball is quickly gaining in popularity on the beaches of North and South Carolina. This is a game which is packable, quickly assembled, easy to learn and open to all ages. Ladders are placed about 15 feet apart. Each player takes turns tossing bolas (two rubber balls connected by a string). Landing the bola on the top rung is worth three points. The middle rung is worth 2 points, and the bottom rung is worth 1 point. The first player to reach 21 points exactly wins. If a player goes over 21, their points from that round don’t count and another round is played. Ladderball is simple to learn but challenging to master. This game plays well on the beach, in the back yard or on the driveway. You’ll be surprised how much you improve in just a week!

Beach Cornhole

One of the most popular games since 2000, you’ll see several cornhole sets on a short drive down the beach in Corolla. This is the classic game of angled boards with holes at the top, and tossed bean bags. One member of each team stands behind the boards at each end, and take turns tossing the bags. One point is awarded for a bag that lands on the board and putting a bag through the hole is worth three points. Knocking opponents’ bags off the board is allowed and encouraged. Scoring is subtractive.  If you score 5 points in a round and your opponent scores 2, you get 3 total points for the round. Keep playing rounds until one team reaches 21. Rules vary, but we like to play to exactly 21. A team that goes over 21 during a round is knocked back down to 11 and must work their way back up. This makes the game very interesting! We’ve linked a cornhole set from GoSports, which includes lightweight PVC/fabric “boards” that break down to a convenient carry case. Traditionalists will want to find a wooden board set, and several local beach stores carry them. There’s nothing wrong with either approach.

Nerf Howler

Our favorite beach football is the Nerf Howler. This is smaller and softer than a regulation football, with a finned tail to make nearly any throw fly far and straight. We find this especially helpful on windy beach days. In addition, the Howler contains a built-in whistle that notifies players (and other beachgoers) of an incoming football. We like to find some open beach, space ourselves as far apart as possible, and go for distance records. Or, get the gang together, mark some end zones and play a game of two-hand touch. Simple games of catch are fun and rewarding with the smaller size and added stability.  This is a simple, no moving parts fun game of catch on the beach.

Waboba Surf

We discovered the Waboba series a few years ago. It instantly became our favorite surf activity. Waboba balls are satisfyingly wrighted, soft, squishy floating balls with a water-skimming cover. Fling a Waboba ball and it’ll skim across the water for long distances. You’ll be surprised how slick these are, and how far they bounce in the surf. They really do bounce on water, and the action is especially fun on choppy days. We love that we can play a game of catch while cooling off in the ocean on a hot day. Wabobas are practically indestructible, small, easy to carry and fun to toss. This one is great for all ages. Give them a try and see how much fun it is to bounce a ball across the water.

H2OBX Waterpark

H2OBX Waterpark

Experience the wettest, coolest, wildest, craziest and splashiest new attraction to hit the Outer Banks in decades! A brand new, world class waterpark featuring more than 30 rides, slides and attractions, H2OBX offers something for every adventurer to explore. From buried treasure and legendary pirates to windswept dunes and wild horses, the epic story of the Outer Banks comes alive at H2OBX!

Canadian Hole

Canadian Hole

Canadian Hole may be an unfamiliar term to the typical, laid-back Hatteras Islander vacationer, but to windsurfers around the world, the phrase invokes thoughts of an exact, postcard-perfect locale on the Outer Banks, where windsurfing and water sports conditions are truly at their global best, and any given day is a fantastic day to enjoy the ride.

Outer Banks Horseback

Outer Banks Horseback

We are the only company in the United States that provides horseback rides like its kind. It is an advantage that nobody should miss out on and an experience that you will never forget. We hope to meet as many of you guys as we can and be sure to look out for one of our newly added services in the Outer Banks - OBX this summer. Take care now!

Currituck National Wildlife Refuge

Currituck National Wildlife Refuge

It's easy to see why vacationers fall in love with Carova. Located almost literally off the Outer Banks map, while other towns along the barrier islands of North Carolina grew and developed over the decades and became popular East Coast tourism destinations, Carova never really changed.

Donutz on a Stick

Donutz on a Stick

Stay, Play and Eat- Donuts, Ice cream and coffee treats!  Family Friendly, Duck's newest dessert shop features treats you've never tasted before!  Try their warm donutz on a stick with 35 toppings! They'll melt in your mouth!  Plus, try the 9 flavors of Tastefully Twisted soft serve.  Frozen yogurt, hand dipped and homemade ice cream flavors too.  Unique coffees and flavored-milks that will satisfy the whole family.  Mix-and-match candy and much more.  Take your picture with a 6ft Duck or show your skills on the Chalkboard Wall.  Come to Duck and bring the carnival to your mouth!