I come from pretty heavy beach roots. Ever since my great-grandparents migrated to California from Germany (with a quick stop in Milwaukee), my family has spent their lives on the beach. It’s always been this way and just because I have a couple of kids in tow doesn’t mean anything will change. Point being? I know how to pack for a day at the beach. And those two kids I mentioned? They only make me more efficient. I’m always keeping an eye out for things to make going to the beach easier, and this is some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen on the market lately. –Alex
The Original Umbrella Stand, $25.00
I never used to worry about bringing an umbrella to the beach–until I had kids. I quickly found that putting your umbrella in the sand–and making it stay there–is a science. You grab your kid’s plastic shovel, only to have it crack on you. You quickly toss it to the side and finish digging with your bare hands. Finally– the hole is deep enough to stick the umbrella in and you get in there, packed good and tight. However, five minutes later the wind blows it out and you have to start all over again. No longer my friends, no longer. The Original Umbrella Stand is SO easy–it has two spikes on the end so you just need to step on the bar to get it deep in the sand–and it holds. Put your umbrella in and it will stay until the sun goes down. The other plus is that it has two openings so you can put two umbrellas in for that extra shade coverage. Order yours here.
Igloo Icy Tunes 18 Can Cooler and Music Player, $50.00
Nothing makes the day at the beach better than some music playing in the background. But who wants to haul the stereo down? Worry no longer. This cooler holds 18 cans, has a MP3 hook-up, and for you old school folk, it also can hook up a portable CD player as well. The must have 2-in-1 product. Order yours here.
GoPro Digital HERO 3 Sports Wrist Camera, $131.00
This camera is not your mother’s disposable waterproof. First off, it’s digital, secondly, it can take video, and third, it’s the aforementioned waterproof. AND, the picture quality is good. Originally made for the big wave surfers of Northern California, the wrist strap will stay put no matter the conditions. So, if you find yourself running after your child, taking photos, and a wave takes her out (I swear this hasn’t happened to me), you won’t have to worry about saving your camera as you save her. Get yours here.
Deluxe Wonder Wheeler Cooler & Beach Chair Cart, $46.00
The biggest hassle in taking the family to the beach is . . . how do you get all the paraphernalia down there? This cart is your answer. Though I personally don’t have one (too many stairs or too much of a hike where I go to the beach), I have a few friends who do and they swear by them. You can pretty much haul everything, including the kitchen sink. And, if you do have a long walk through sand, the big back wheels make it easy to do so. Order yours here.
Breezy Mama Tip: Going to the beach with a baby or toddler? Bring a small, inflatable baby pool. Set that up under the umbrella, pour a couple buckets of saltwater in it, and wah-la, you got yourself a happy baby.
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