5 things to do when it rains at the beach

NEW ORLEANS  (WNGO) – Whether it’s a week-long getaway or a weekend jaunt, sunshine is generally the preferred forecast at the beach. However, back when you made your plans, there was no way to know about the non-stop rain that Mother Nature was sending to your vacation destination. Here are five ideas from our Travel Girl, Stephanie Oswald, for keeping things cheerful when it rains at the beach:

1. Go old school.

Remember making these? Teach your kids some arts and crafts on a rainy day.

Remember making these? Teach your kids some arts and crafts on a rainy day.

Rain at the seashore doesn’t call for a day of electronics.  Old-fashioned fun can be had with traditional multi-piece puzzles or board games. Smart parents will pack at least one brand new game or puzzle when heading to the beach. If you have multiple puzzles, you can split them up between teams and have a race.

If your child likes arts and crafts, break out the potholder loops and have them start on holiday gifts!

2. Lights, camera, action!

Kids just want to have fun -- and you don't need sunshine for quality time.

Kids just want to have fun — and you don’t need sunshine for quality time.

If the weather is so treacherous that you don’t even want to venture out to the local movie theater, turn your hotel room or beach house into a “do it yourself” cinema with the help of Netflix or a favorite movie you packed from home.  Amp up the fun by giving each family member a job: popcorn popper, ticket collector, announcer, ice cream supplier, etc.

Invite the kids to perform a “pre-show” in place of the previews.

3. Get your game on — or be wowed.

A bed of nails is one of the displays at WonderWorks.

A bed of nails is one of the displays at WonderWorks.

Have the whole family compete for points at a game complex such as Dave & Buster’s or Chuck E. Cheese — or be entertained at WonderWorks.

Before you go, look online for deals. Some entertainment centers and attractions offer major discounts during the week, such as half-off on Wednesdays.  You might also find printable coupons good for tokens, tickets or anytime discounts.

4. Turn your hotel into a hunting ground.

Info gathered at the tourism center or your hotel's front desk can help create clues for a scavenger hunt.

Info gathered at the tourism center or your hotel’s front desk can help create clues for a scavenger hunt.

Be super-creative and make your own scavenger hunt, with clues hidden throughout the hotel grounds or safe area near your beach house. Include clues that will teach the kids about the destination or famous people in the area.

Tourism brochures (ask at the front desk!) can be a great resource when you’re writing up clues.

Provide miniature prizes such as coloring books, toiletries or “coupons” for ice cream on the next sunny day. The grand prize could be a bag of their favorite candy — after all, it’s vacation!

5. Grab an umbrella and walk on the beach anyway!

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Keep it safe! As long as there’s no lightning in the area, even a rainy day can make for great selfies  or fun photos on the beach.

Plus, you’ll teach your kids how to cope when things don’t go as planned.