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Family Day Out to The Beach Checklist [What You Need to Pack]

On the island of Ireland we're very lucky to have a wide range of fantastic beaches normally within one to two hours driving.

For most of us, we can get up at 8am, have breakfast, pack and be on the beach by 10am, or maybe 11am allowing the whole day to relax and have some fun in the sun.

what you need for the beach in ireland

Ironically, although most of us dream about spending some time on the beach on a sunny day, the main thing that you need to look after is protecting yourself and your kids from too much sun.

We would recommend thinking about it like this.


For a young mother or father, walking the beach with your newborn baby in a stroller, an ice-cream in hand, sunglasses, barefoot or with a pair of light shoes can sound pretty idyllic.

Here are some of the things that you might need to pull that off.

1. baby sun block

With young children and especially newborns their skin is very sensitive and so you will need to take the utmost care, ideally keeping them out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

But just so you have all the bases covered, check out the baby sun block options here.

2. baby sun shades for the car

Travelling to and from the beach also deserves a little forethought and its important that your kids don't overheat when travelling. To keep the temperature that little bit cooler, and to keep them out of direct sunlight, have a look at the car sun shades below.

Baby Sun Shades for Car Windows

3. strollers with sunshades

For that long, relaxing walk along the beach with your baby you're going to need a stroller with sunshades

HELPFUL TIP: we suggest walking close to the edge of the water where the sand will be firm and much easier to push your stroller. Pushing a stroller through soft sand be pretty tiring as we know too well.

4. pop up tents

Again, beware too much sun especially on baby. However, with that said your baby may want to have a crawl around, and to prevent them eating sand or a bottle cap, a nice pop up tent can be perfect for creating shade, keeping them out of the direct sun, and off the hot sand.

You can have a look at some pop up beach tents here

5. travel baby bags

Yes, going to the beach qualifies as travelling, and lets face it there is only so much that you can carry under your arms. Why not arrive in style with a swish new baby travel bag.

6. baby swimsuits

For protection from the sun, the sand and maybe even the water temperature in Ireland you might want to have a look at the baby swimsuits below -

swimsuits for baby

7. baby sun hats

Although they have an important function, that is keeping the sun off your baby's face and head, a trip to the beach just wouldn't be complete without some funny pictures of your child in a funky beach hat.

See beach hat ideas here.

8. feeding and changing equipment

With a newborn baby as you know, it isn't all glamour and glitz and you do need to look after your babies, wherever you are. The accessories here might help just a little - 

baby feeding and changing equipment for the beach.

Ireland's Top Beaches By County

 County Beaches

Trá Mór Beach,

Kinnagoe Bay, Inishowen,

The Murder Hole (Boyeeghter Bay) Rosguill Peninsula


Curracloe Beach,

Baginbun Beach, Ramstown

Galway Dog’s Bay,

Omey Strand, Omey Island, Connemara

Streedagh Beach,

Dunmoran Strand, Dunmoran


Trá Bán, Great Blasket Island

Rossbeigh Strand


The Velvet Strand


Whiterocks Beach, Portrush


Keem Bay, Achill Island


Murlough Beach and Nature Reserve, Newcastle


Silver Strand, Sherkin Island


Stradbally Cove, Stradbally More



There is no doubt that you need to be most careful with very young children and babies in the sun, and that as they grow older that things can be a little more relaxed.

For taking your kids to the beach here are some of the key things that you will need -

1. headphones for the car

We're not sure if you will need to wear the headphones or if the kids will wear them, but its very likely that someone will need them as your various devices compete in the close confines of the family car.

earphones for the car journey

2. beach coolers

As a parent, you will know that your kids love eating and if you don't bring snacks or a picnic that the kids will be only too pleased to invest your wages in the chip shop at the beach.

To give you some control over what they eat at the beach, and to help to put a limit on what you spend, the beach coolers below are a fantastic option.

Beach Cooler Boxes

3. windbreakers

When you arrive at the beach, the first order of business will normally be to set up a base on the beach. It sounds a bit military, but in many ways parenting can be a bit military. Anyway to do this it can be helpful to have some big beach towels, deck chairs and a windbreaker can be perfect.

top beach windbreakers

4. deck chairs

As your kids have fun in the sun, whether in the water or playing in the sand your options are either to play with them, or to set up a deck chair pour a cold drink and read a good book, or more common these days to catch up on your social media.

So whether you're chilling out or diligently scanning the goings on, on the beach to keep your kids safe, a comfortable deck chair is a must.

essential beach deck chairs

5. beach towels

Fancy a thick new beach towel to lie on while you work on your tan.

best beach towels

6. buckets and spades

As you probably know most of the things that you need to pick up a the beach will be at a premium, or at a higher price point. Its just basic economics, where demand is high the price will rise.

If you need some new digging kit for the beach check out the new bucket and spade ranges here.

7. wetsuits

Increasingly more and more of the kids that we see at the beach are wearing wetsuits, as prices have come down over the years.

Given the water temperature at Irish beaches it is no surprise, and the wetsuits below are ideal for a long day in the water. Wetsuits also significantly cut down on the risk of sunburn, as the kids are covered up.

Top Kids Wetsuit Picks

8. inflatables

Kids love beach and pool inflatables whether its a stand up paddle board, a kayak or a large green inflatable crocodile. Having something to play with in the water can really make their day. And it will get them off their phone.

beach inflatable toys


 Beach Games Best For
Football & Hurling/ Camogie the whole family
Volleyball older kids
Building sandcastles & digging holes younger kids
Rounders everyone
Beach Tennis/ Paddleball older kids
Water Fights/ Supersoakers the whole family
Swimming & Paddling everyone
Stand Up Paddle Board older kids & adults


When you're not scanning the beach to make sure that everyone is safe, its important to have a think about what you will need. Some of the things on our list include -

1. Factor 50 sunblock

Going back a few years ago, people would have used much lower sun factor protection, seeking to get a deep tan. But as we have a greater appreciation of our bodies, we understand that higher sun factor protection is better.

View Factor 50 sunblock here.

2. Nice sunglasses

A lot of us will wear our sunglasses all year round to prevent daytime glare when driving or even at a kids football match, but when you really want your sunglasses to hand is when you go to the beach.

Designer sunglasses

3. Swimwear

When you decide to approach the water, there is no doubt that you want to look your best. Have a look at the latest swimwear options here.

We've already mentioned beach towels, deck chairs and beach coolers so the only other thing that you might need is a good book or your phone. We'll leave that to you. 

Tips for Staying Safe on the Beach

 1. Beware the sun Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day. Wear sun block and cover. Don't stay out in the sun for extended periods of time to avoid sunburn or dehydration.
2. Be careful around the water Especially with kids you need to pay close attention when you're spending time near the water. Please refer to the RNLI Water Safety Guide here.
3. Look after your possessions Take care of your possessions at the beach to prevent items being lost or stolen, particularly wallets, phones, car keys, rings and other valuable possessions.
4. Don't drive tired After a long day at the beach you should pay attention to your energy levels if you're looking at a long drive home. Maybe plan one or two stops along the way to break it up, and to help monitor your energy and attention.



It's a fact that we love taking our dogs to the beach, whether to splash in the water or just to walk along the water line.

Here are some cool ideas for your next trip to the beach with your dog, from dog blankets and tents to life jackets and more.

Beach Accessories for Dog Owners 

Most Popular Beach Foods in Ireland

When you're heading off to the beach convenience tends to win the day, and the healthier food choices can follow when you get back. For most of us the top food picks on a day to the beach are - 

1 ice cream - a firm favourite the world over
2 fish and chips - traditional beach food, often sourced locally
3 burgers and pizza - high calories for a high-energy day out
4 ham sandwiches, jam sandwiches - whatever your favourite sandwich is. The Irish love their picnics
5 crisps, chocolate and anything that is fast.
6 bananas, apples, grapes and watermelon - perfect for quenching thirst


The main thing is to enjoy your day at the beach and to keep you and your family safe at all times!