By 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.)
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