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Quick! Hit the beach, before it’s too late!

Kites: photo by K.Killilea - Kid o InfoBy Katy Killilea

At the first whiff of spring, our dear little Ocean State shifts toward summer mode. The Del’s truck is patrolling the playgrounds and the CVS sunscreen displays are in full bloom. But it’s still too early for flip flops, and it could actually still snow. So it’s not too late to take advantage of one of our state’s most precious resources: the empty beach. Be warned, the empty beach/fair weather season is brief–shorter even than asparagus season–so if you want to enjoy it, make a date on your calendar to hit the beach without delay.

Aside from the die-hard, all-weather beach goers (those in assisted living facility speedwalking clubs, owners of golden retrievers, or people who meet in beach parking lots to play Scrabble and smoke huddled in cars), you can expect to have a beach pretty much to yourself at this time of year. It’s the ideal time to take advantage of the open space: run around like crazy, fly a kite without knocking over someone’s umbrella, practice your Kadima serve, or teach your kids to throw a Frisbee with precision. In our family we often bring along the equipment for these kinds of shenanigans on summer beach jaunts. But during the summer, there’s no room and the Frisbee inevitably lands one too many times on a sleeping person’s towel. The time is now. April is the best month for beach sports. (Except for the wet sports, of course.)Building-photo by K.Killilea - Kid o Info

On a weekday trip to Barrington beach with some other nursery school-age children, we flew kites, and sighted boats, feathers, ladybugs, jellyfish (or was it a piece of very wet, jiggly wood?), seagulls, sea glass, stones, shells, and sea plants of many colors. The children could run as far down the beach as they liked and we felt no need to chase after them; there were no other people, so we could see them clearly as we sipped our drinks, chatted, and ate M&Ms.

The children enjoyed the kites, even though the strings were atrociously tangled from last year’s attempts to re-pack them. They built structures from driftwood and stones, dipped their toes into the water, and ran around like Tasmanian devils.

Kidoinfo offers an informative list of beaches if you don’t have a favorite in mind. Please let us know your recommendations!

Photo credit: Katy Killilea

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  • Since eating out usually factors into everything we do, I like to go down to Matunuck to the Ocean Mist, eat & drink there, and then have a post-prandial family walk along the beach. One MUST be aware, however, of the migratory patterns of the invading college kids, and go there only before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

  • Down at my end of the world we LOVE East Beach and Napatree Point in Watch Hill, and also Misquamicut and Westerly Town Beach this time of year. And after 5 p.m. in the summer, when the steaming masses of humanity leave for the day!

  • For Bahar–at the Barrington/Warren beaches, pollution is definitely a problem. Signs are posted when the water is considered, by officials, too polluted for swimming. But even when signs aren’t posted, some swimmers get an itchy rash from the water.

    Also one friend who was swimming in the Barrington waters had her swim suit fill with tiny biting crabs which made her run on to the beach and strip naked to get the crabs off of her. She describes it as excrutiatingly painful. This happened out in the deeper water.

    That being said, I let my kids swim in it.

    It is definitely too chilly to swim in it in my opinion. Yikes.

    And welcome to the area, Bahar!

  • Enjoyed the article. Is the water too chilly to swim in this time of year? What about in summer? We’re new to area and are worried about the pollution in some of these beaches.

  • Being one of the parents there that day, I can vouch for how much fun it was to have the whole beach to ourselves! Not too hot, not too cool. Just right. And having a clear view of the kids as they ran the length of the beach made it fun and relaxing for us moms. Thanks for a great article, Katy!

  • Loved being refreshed by Katy Killilea’s “Hitting the Beach.” We should all take advantage of living near the shore before the tourists arrive. This is our special time. Loved the kido photos, too.