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The Top Boat Activities to Try With Your Family

There are over 11.85 million registered recreational boats in the United States. With that amount of boats in the water, there must be some fun that you don’t know about when it comes to boat activities. 

If you are a first-time boater, a boating enthusiast, or a prospective boater, there’s a lot of boat activities for you to try in the water with your family. 

Check out this list of top family-friendly boating adventures this season. 


Driving the boat is half the fun when you turn it up to top speed. The other half can be enjoyed with an inflatable tube tied to the back of the boat. 

Your kids will love the thrill of soaring over the ocean’s waves as you make daring doughnuts. It can also be enjoyed by the adults, just make sure someone responsible is behind the wheel. 

Boat Sleepover 

If you have ever been camping then you know the peaceful feeling of sleeping under the stars. Take camping to the next level by sleeping on your boat. 

Whether you have a cabin or just a deck, you can unfold your sleeping bags, when the weather permits, to sleep under the stars. Or pitch a tent to shield yourself from the chill of the night or a raining evening. 

Be sure to put down your anchor so you don’t drift out to sea. 

Raft Picnicking

Boating fun can also mean staying in one spot. Find a shaded area under a tree or a sandbar to have a picnic with the family. 

You can use a raft to have a picnic or as transportation to your shaded paradise.

Bring a cooler for soft drinks or juice and nonperishable snacks that are easy to assemble.  Add some board games or a ball to toss around for some fun after you eat. 

Fishing and Crabbing

If this is your first time out on the water and you want to catch some dinner then you can use a boat guide. 

Taking a charter boat for deep-sea fishing is perfect for older kids.

If you have smaller children then you might want to rent your own boat to go fishing. This will give you a more flexible schedule and room for the little ones to run around.

Either way, you can hire a guide to help you with baiting, navigating, catching, and maybe even filleting your dinner. 

Crabbing is another fun way to introduce children to the water. You can give kids a string with some bait wrapped around the end. When your child sees a crab on the line tell them to call you. Then scoop the crab up with a net. 

Be sure to follow the fishing regulations about what to keep and what to let go. You will also need a fishing license for everyone who will be participating. 

Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

The surface of the water is just one part to be explored. Take your boating fun under the surface by diving into it. 

To scuba dive, you will need to be certified and at least 12 years old. So this activity will work for older children.

You will also need gear like masks, flippers, oxygen tanks, and wet suits. So, unless you are investing in a new hobby, registering for a scuba excursion is the most economical option. 

Snorkeling requires a mask, flippers, and a life vest. It also does not require certification. Younger children can also participate. 

You will see less of the ocean by snorkeling rather than scuba diving, but it is cheaper and safer. Plus, you can do this activity from your own vessel. 

Learn to Sail

Before you buy your own boat you might want to learn boating skills like sailing. Register for a group class with your family.

You will learn basic boating terminology that will apply to any type of boat. Tying knots and navigation skills will also be included in your training. 

Sailing is an excellent way to appreciate the water as you rely on the current and the wind. It’s the natural way to learn boating essentials that could be helpful if you are left in a difficult situation while on the water. 

Constellation Gazing and Navigation

Before GPS systems and even compasses, sailors and voyagers used the night sky to find their way through the depths of the sea. 

Learning the constellations to navigate is a fun and useful skill to teach your children. They can use their knowledge while camping if they ever get lost or impress their friends with astronomical trivia. 

Being out on the boat at night creates the perfect environment for stargazing as well. Light pollution doesn’t obstruct the natural splendor of the stars so you will see more of the sky than you ever have before.  

Firework Display

As a first-time boat owner, you can take your boat out for a test drive to see fireworks during the holidays like the Fourth of July. 

You are usually close to the shore so you won’t have to drive far out into the ocean. You will also have plenty of neighbors in case you need assistance or want to make some friends. 

Staying Safe with Boat Activities

No matter what type of boat activities you choose to enjoy on the water it is important to stay safe. Remember to always use life vests and teach your children the safety guidelines. 

Visit our blog on boating safety before you venture out onto the water. 



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