Create a Beach-Inspired Staycation for the Whole Family With These Fun Ideas

Turn your home into a tropical oasis — even if you’re miles away from the ocean — with these easy beachy and tiki recipes and crafts.

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May 21, 2020

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

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Photo By: Emily Fazio

Smell the Ocean Breeze

If you can’t make it to the beach this summer, turn your own home into an island paradise. One of the easiest ways to feel like you’re at the beach and conjure up those sunny vacation memories is by smell. Fill your home with the scent of salty sea air and a cool ocean mist with NEST’s signature beachy scent. It’s available in candles, hand soap and reed diffusers.

Buy It: NEST New York, $48.00

Take a Dip in the Backyard

If you’re landlocked with no watering hole, make your own pool day at home with an inflatable kiddie pool. And, no, it’s not just for kids anymore. The new Minnidip pools at Target are made big enough for adults and come in several stylish and Insta-worthy prints.

Buy It: Target, $42.99

Sip on a Pool Drink

There is nothing better than sitting poolside at a beach condo listening to the ocean waves in the distance while sipping a frozen piña colada. It’s the epitome of vacation. But you can still recreate the scene with homemade beach drinks. (And maybe play some ocean sounds in the background.) If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry. We’ve created a float version of the classic beach drink along with other beach-inspired DIY cocktails. You could even order some tiki-inspired drink umbrellas for the full effect.

More Recipes: If You Like Piña Coladas...Try These Twists on the Classic

Or Snack on These Beach Scenes

For the kids and the kids-at-heart, try your hand at some beach-inspired edible art such as banana palm trees or hummus and pepper crabs. It’s sure to bring a smile plus it encourages healthy snacking with fruits and veggies. And for something more indulgent, check out this recipe for piña colada tartlets.

More Recipes: 3 Beach-Themed Snacks Your Kids Will Dive Into

Play With Sand

If your kiddos love building sandcastles and digging moats at the beach, make an outdoor sandbox for the backyard. The plans for this DIY sandbox even include a roof! And if you want to take your sand sculpting to the next level, check out these pro tips from sandcastle masters.

For an indoor alternative with no upkeep, make your own multi-colored kinetic sand. This stuff magically sticks together (read: no mess!) and your little ones will love molding it into beach-inspired shapes such as starfish and shells. You can use sand toys to mold or even cookie cutters.

Get the How-to: Have a Beach Day at Home With This DIY Moldable Sand

Make Your Own Souvenir Tee

You can’t go on a beach vacation without popping into one of those lovable-yet-tacky souvenir shops for airbrush and tie-dye T-shirts; so, for a beach staycation, make your own souvenir tee at home!

Get the How-to: Summer Fashion: How to Tie Dye

Give Your Patio a Beachy Makeover

You don’t have to buy new furniture to make your patio or porch feel like a trendy vacation rental. There are easy swaps and DIYs you can do at home to update existing outdoor chairs, such as recovering cushions with beach towel slipcovers or revamping dollar store foldout chairs with macramé.

More Ideas: Pretty Up Your Patio on a Budget With These 10 Projects

Whip Up Coastal Classics at Home

If you can’t visit your favorite beachside seafood joint this year, make an iconic shrimp dish in your kitchen. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve figured out a couple of genius hacks to recreate beachy eats, from baking an entire Low Country boil in just one sheet pan to super-easy shrimp ‘n’ grits in a muffin pan.

Get the Recipe: Easy + Delicious Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil Recipe

Craft With Beach Glass

One of my favorite activities at the beach is combing for sea glass because it helps clean up the coast plus it’s not taking any nature away from the environment. If you have a bag of collected sea glass at home, turn it into new art for the summer. There’s so much you can do with sea glass, from wall hangings to shadow boxes to carving out shapes in the glass!

Get the How-to: How to Cut Heart Shapes into Beach Glass

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Resort-Style Spa

Staying at a fancy beach resort often means enjoying an ocean-front spa with luxurious amenities. If you’re missing the spa as much as the beach, turn your own bathroom into a relaxing oasis by adding loofahs and sea sponges. You could also swap out your soaps and lotions for ones with marine botanicals for the length of your staycation. Products with vitamin-rich seaweed are good for detoxing the skin.

More Ideas: 14 Finds to Deck Out Your Bathroom With Beachy Style

Make an Iconic Beach Town Treat

One of the best things about visiting beach towns is hitting up those shave ice shacks. And I don’t mean snow cones, which could literally break your teeth. I’m talking about Hawaiian-style shave ice: that amazing mound of powder drenched in syrup and topped with sweetened condensed milk. To me, that’s summer. And now you can get that iconic treat at home with the Little Snowie 2 shave ice machine. And if you need homemade syrup ideas, HGTV Handmade’s Marianne Canada has a great recipe for Coconut Lime Cream.

Buy It: Amazon, $219.00

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