My name is Andrea. I’m a Mom to two wonderful little boys, Jack is almost three and Dean is five months old! I’m a teacher by trade, but currently tutor, run a small home daycare, and write in my spare time. Originally from Toronto, I moved here with my husband and a young Jack in September 2016 after spending five years teaching in both China and Hong Kong. I speak some Mandarin, even less Cantonese, passable French, and English. I love to travel, attempt pinterest crafts and recipes, workout, and spend time with my boys. My family loves to keep busy, and any chance we get we’re off exploring new places – either within Canada or abroad!
In My Beach Bag:
One of my absolute favourite things to do on a hot summer day is go to the beach. I love the beach! It’s my happy place. I used to like it for relaxing, reading a book, and soaking up the sun. Since having kids, that’s changed a bit, and now I enjoy going simply to watch the enjoyment on my kids’ faces, to play in the sand, and to splash around in the water. We’ve been on quite a few beach trips over the past few years, and I’ve learned the hard way (ie. I forgot a bunch of stuff) what I need in my beach bag.
So here goes:
1. Multiple bathing suits for everyone- if your kids are like my 3-year-old, he’s happy, he’s playing, everything is good. Then suddenly he’s cold and we go from having a blast to freak out in 5 minutes flat. Having a dry bathing suit is a game changer. We simply change him and continue on playing. Now, I say for everyone just in case disaster ensues- spills, bodily fluids, etc. You get the picture, better to be over packed than under!
2. Dry Clothes in a Ziploc (or other sealed) Bag – this way you can throw them in the bag with everything else and you don’t have to worry about them getting wet, or sandy, or dirty, etc.
3. Sand Toys – every time we go to the beach there are kids wandering around scavenging for toys. We usually share- but it’s nice when the kids have their own toys to play with
4. Life Jackets (or whatever the kids use for swimming)
5. Beach Floaties – we have a donut tube, a blow-up ball, and a two-person (kid) boat that the kids can be pulled in. They especially love the boat, as they can sit in it without actually having to be in the water
6. Swim Diapers
7. Potty – with potty training toddlers you never know, so we always have a potty on hand
8. Something for Shade – we have a beach umbrella, but the last couple of times we went to the beach we borrowed a tent shelter and boy was it a life saver. I’m waiting for them to go on sale so I can invest in one next year
9. Cooler w/ Snacks, Drinks, Lunch- I’m cheap, I don’t like spending a fortune on food, especially greasy food. So I always pack enough drinks for the day, snack food, and a smorgous board we can have for lunch
10. Cash – some places near the beach don’t take cards, its easiest to have cash on you
11. Sunscreen and Bug-spray
13. Water Shoes for everyone – especially where the water entry is rocky @ places like Regina Beach
14. A beach blanket for sitting on
15. For baby: a always bring my stroller that has a sun shade that goes all the way down, extra blankets for laying on, a floatie with a sun cover, and some toys to play with in the shelter
16. A blow-up bathtub: I use this for the baby, that way I can fill it with beach water early in the day and it warms up more to a temperature he likes and will sit in and play
17. Chairs (optional – but good if you don’t want to sit on the ground all day)
18. A wagon to haul everything around!
A Couple of My Fav Beaches This Summer…
#1. Regina Beach I’ll admit we’ve lived in Regina for almost three years now, and this summer was the first time we actually made it out to Regina Beach. We went once, lied it, and have gone back a few times! The beach is nice, with shallow entry for the kids, there is a park on site when they tire of the beach, there are bathrooms close by with actual showers and change rooms, and there are plenty of food options within walking distance. Finally, it’s a mere 40 minutes away, easy to find, and parking is close and plentiful if you get there early enough. A couple of things to keep in mind, it is popular, so on weekends it can get very busy. Be sure to get there early to secure both parking and a spot on the beach- especially if you are looking for shade. Also, the beach and water entry are quite rocky so I would suggest packing flip flops you don’t mind swimming in, or water shoes, especially for the kids.
#2. Watrous / Manitou Beach We discovered this little gem two summers ago when I googled places to visit within two hours of Regina. I had never heard of it. We went for a weekend that summer, and have been going back ever since. It is about 1h45min away, so it can be done as a day trip, we just did it last weekend, or could also make a great weekend away. I love this beach because it’s not too big, the water has shallow entry, and there are natural minerals in the water that make you float! It’s super cool- you literally can’t sink. You can walk right out into the lake and just float. Just like at Regina Beach, there are bathrooms and showers on site, a couple of food options (I always pack a cooler for our beach trips- but there are a couple of restaurants). However, because the beach is small there isn’t a ton of space. There also isn’t a ton of shade. I’d suggest bringing a beach shelter or umbrella, especially with littles. As for parking, it gets crowded- but you can park all along the street directly behind the beach, and there is one parking lot as well. So, once again, it’s not too fair if you’re not traveling light!
There are so many more beaches and lakes I want to explore, where should we go next? What’s your favourite beach?