PINS: 5 Tips for a Taking Kids to the Beach (+ a GIVEAWAY!)

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My family love, love, LOVES the beach. HOWEVER, we do NOT like crowds. Our favorite way to spend a day or weekend at the beach is to head down the National Seashore (PINS) until we can’t see any more people. We set up our ‘camp’, turn on some tunes, and play and fish and explore to our hearts content – without having to worry about encroaching on others. Padre Island National Seashore is, hands down, our favorite place in the Coastal Bend.

If you plan to head down, here are a few tips and tricks.

Important to note: PINS is very remote. Once you enter the park, there is little to no cell service. There are no stores and no bathrooms once you hit the sand. Past the 5 mile marker, you MUST have a 4WD vehicle. There are times that the beach is hard packed and it’s a super easy and smooth drive – but other times it can be pretty bumpy and soft – making a higher clearance, 4WD vehicle a must. Remember: if you get stuck, there is no cell service and it will cost a pretty penny to be towed out – fortunately, there are usually people heading up and down the beach that will be willing to help you out. Handsome Husby has pulled out people just about every trip!

With all that said – here are 5 packing tips to hit the Padre Island National seashore with kids!

1. Sunscreen

Perhaps the most obvious for a beach trip to the National Seashore. Sunscreen. I prefer to slather my kids in a lotion sunscreen of spf 50+ right before we head out the door. At the beach, I follow up with a spray waterproof sunscreen for the body and a stick sunscreen for the face. This is of course to prevent sunburn. Very important! A burnt child is a miserable child! Keep them happy and not pink! We also put our kids in long sleeved rash guards + bring hats and buffs. Fun Fact: the long sleeved rash guards actually help keep you COOLER than if you were without a shirt. My husby has been a surf fisherman for a lot of years – we learned our tips from the best!

Kids on the beach2. Snacks & Drinks

The water makes kids ravenous! So be prepared. We make sure we bring plenty of water and other drinks so no one gets dehydrated. My kids love to stop at Super Stripes on the Island before we hit the beach to grab a few fun treats. In addition to a letting them grab snacks – they LOVE the good2grow drinks – depending on the time of day, they can choose from juice, waters or milks. We had down the beach very early (in the dark sometimes!) to fish, so grabbing a fresh milk + a breakfast taco is the perfect way to pass the time as we find the perfect spot. good2grow’s new ready-to-go Organic MILK is perfect for kids on the mooove as both flavors (Strawberry and Chocolate) are great sources of vitamins A and D, and have 8 grams of protein per serving. good2grow juices, waters and milks have no artificial colors or flavors, which is why parents love them. Kids love good2grow’s Organic MILK because both flavors are delicious and topped with more than 200 of their favorite licensed characters! Added bonus is that the drink container has a fun character that the kids can play with in the sand later! I love that good2grow sticks to only the good stuff, inside and out. {Be sure to scroll to the end of this article to grab a printable coupon to try good2grow + enter to win a $100 Gift Card!}


As for food, we pack serving sized snacks in individual baggies, so sandy hands do not contaminate the entire packed container. We love to bring fruits and vegetables to snack on. Chips and crackers tend to get soggy and attract my worst enemy… THE SEAGULLS. The best snack we pack are frozen grapes. Be sure to bring your own trash bag and take all of your trash – including water bottles and caps – out of the park. Even better – use your time at the beach to fill an extra bag!

3. Inflatable Pool and Air Pump

Yes, I bring a pool to the National Seashore for my little ones. Sometimes here in the Coastal Bend, the waves get overwhelming, not only for the kids but for parents like me who have multiple kids to keep an eye on. Now, I pride myself on having eyes in the back of my head, but even with those, I won’t chance it. Save yourself from going crazy and buy an inflatable pool. We set up our beach canopy and then inflate the pool with an air pump that plugs into our dc connector in the car. You can also use this pump to quickly inflate beach floaties too! Voila my friends! Set your chairs up under the shade and along the pool to watch your little one have fun all while you are able to keep an eye on your older children.

4. Five Gallon Bucket

I know, I know, why bring a bucket when you are already hauling tons of sand toys which includes sand pails? Well, it has multipurpose use. First, you can use it to fill the pool. Yes girl, this will save you multiple trips back and forth from the water to the pool. Second, you can tether it to a leg of your sun canopy. Again, we live in Corpus Christi Texas, the wind does not care if it is your beach day, it will blow your canopy away! So, tie and weight it down with the bucket of water. Third, if you are the fishing sort, you can throw a few sea creatures in it so your children can take a closer look and have some fun. Fourth, after we pack up from our time on PINS {where there are no showers to rinse off,} we bring the bucket to the side of the car, and all the kids dip their feet in before they get into the car to rinse off the sand. Also – pro tip: BABY POWDER helps the sand slide right off!

5. Potty Seat

My husband and I usually drive for miles and miles down the National Seashore until we can not see anyone. Yes, a few cars drive by from time to time, but we like that we are alone away from the crowds. Being this far away from “civilization” means that their are no stores, showers or bathrooms, so bring a potty seat. Trust me. When nature calls, your kids can not wait to get packed up to drive miles back to the restrooms. Line the potty seat with trash bag that you are able to tie and toss in the dumpster on the way out of the Seashore. {You can thank me later.}

I’ve got so much more to share – but I’ll leave it at this for today – stay tuned for my next article where I’ll give you the do’s and don’ts of camping on the beach – one of our favorite things to do!

10 Fun Beach Games for Preschoolers4- Corpus Christi Moms BlogShout out to our friends at good2grow for partnering

with us so that you and your kiddos can give it a try!! 

Good2grow Organic MILK is available at select retailers, including STRIPES and Circle K stores in the Coastal Bend! (Full store list at good2grow.com/find-store). Enter your email HERE to receive an exclusive coupon for your purchase and a chance to be one of 5 people to win a $100 Visa gift card!

good2grow beach picThe coupon can also be printed from the link HERE {valid through 8/31/21!}

If you have any other beach tips or tricks, feel free to share them in the comments below!