• An activity guaranteed to engage all family members at the same time regardless of age or interest.  
  • A task that also teaches teamwork, promotes creativity, costs nothing, and uses the individual talents each family member has to offer.  

Not possible you say?  


There is actually one activity – so basic, so easy, so much a part of just about anyone’s childhood, it’s hard to imagine we could ever forget it.

I’m talking, of course, about building sandcastles. 1 (35)

How about taking that simple activity to the next level and turning a childish pastime into art?

The next level is what I saw this past weekend during the annual Discover Presque Isle celebration. Tons of events (kite flying, arts and crafts booths, pancake breakfast, classic cars, segways, kayaking, yoga, paddleboarding) over a 3-day period took place on different beaches, but the one that really caught my eye was the sand sculpture competition on Beach 8.

I was anxious to get there, but of course arriving too early wouldn’t be very interesting since things would just be getting started. Three hours in, however, was a great time to arrive. The beaches were packed with participants and also some very seasoned beachgoers anxious to see the artists in action.

Check out some of the scenes we found when we arrived:

And then, of course, there were the competitors themselves…..busy working on their masterpieces! (You can click on these to see the full shot)

Of course, leaving now was a bit of a letdown…..we wouldn’t get to see the final results. So, when it was time for our son to be picked up from work that evening, we took him down to view the finished creations. I couldn’t even believe it but the beaches were even more packed than they had been that afternoon…..everyone was listening to the bands, swimming, admiring the sculptures, and waiting for the bonfire to be lit.

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But definitely, it was worth the second trip……there were some most innovative works!   Again, you can click on these and see some of the amazing detail!

None of this even touches the pull I felt from the first moment I set foot on the beach and saw all the families engaged in their tasks working together to bring their visions into sand form.  I’m not even a beach person and I could definitely see me doing this.

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A SANDsational way to spend a day with your family and friends, don’t you agree?!


80 thoughts on “THAT’S SANDTASTIC!

  1. I love the creativity. We’ve seen these at different beaches and I’ve always loved watching people work and and create this art. These are very cool pictures. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see yours…:)


    • It’s the first time we’ve ever seen anything like them, George, so you’re well ahead. It was most interesting to watch them create these though…..who knew not only how much was involved, but also how much could be done with just sand! Ours may be a while in coming….unfortunately, right now we probably qualify at the level of the pic of the little mound with feathers sticking out of it…..but perhaps next year we’ll get busy…….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nice! You’re quite right this would be an excellent way to build team work. I’d previously suggested cook-and-eat team building exercises. The team gets together to prep, cook, lay out, serve.. This would be an excellent team activity too. The only possible down side would be seeing your work colleagues in their beach wear … 🙂


  3. Wow people are really into this sand thing. The pictures look beautiful– and the artistry? Dayuuum 😮

    Do they like make a sketch before building? I can’t even figure out how the dragon head happened.


  4. I actually looked at the photos in reverse … seeing all the end-of-day results before the work in progress. So while I was amazed and impressed by the sand sculptures, seeing the scale of the work while it was in process made it even more impressive. I certainly didn’t realize they were so massive.

    I’m just so amazed at any artistic talent because I certainly don’t have any!


  5. Absolutely amazing! The skill & dedication that goes into creating such masterpieces is awe inspiring. I’m very impressed – love the dragon & dinosaur! Puts all my past beach holiday sand castle competitions to shame!!! 😊😊


  6. The sand formations are pretty impressive – how cool! A! I think you have really settled in and are discovering the specialness of Erie! Wonderful post!


    • It was fun to watch and to go around in the evening looking at the finished works. But I’ll tell you, Tonya, these artists (some of them) were DETERMINED and INTENT while they were working. Very strange to see such a mix of approaches, families having fun, intense artists, determined-to-win contestants, friends having a good time, just a really neat event!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a special event. You know, Lake Erie has made quite a recovery. You are the second person this week who has posted about activities/vacationing there. I remember what bad press it had back in the 70’s, pollution, etc. My husband was hired to build a nuclear power plant there, then 3 Mile Island happened, and the nuclear industry met with great opposition. Seems like that was a good thing.

    Really enjoyed this post, love the sculptures, I’ve seen it done on a few Atlantic coast beaches…always a great event. Thanks for sharing. ☺ Van


    • How interesting! I knew about the bad reputation for a few years there, but had no idea about that whole nuclear power plant idea that never happened.

      I’ve never seen sand sculptures done in person before….this was a real treat for me. I’m really enjoying it here and am glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Super suggestions 🙂 And so true and joyful and full of life! I have always held on to the idea of making ice-cream. One of those old-fashioned wooden machines. I hold some fond memories from a childhood. The act of combined churning was a lot of fun. And throwing ice down dad’s neck 🙂


  9. Thanks for giving me a nudge! I must remember to visit FIESA when I’m in the Algarve at the end of August. I always mean to go and see it floodlit at night. This time I will! 🙂 Happy weekend, A!


  10. It’s amazing what people can do with sand, isn’t it. Reminds me of that time I went to the Netherlands. In a place called Scheveningen they have this annual sandcastle tournament. Those people are better with sand than some are with clay. Write on – Craig Wilder.


    • Wow. I will have to have a look at that Netherlands sandcastle tournament online! Amazing stuff people can do for sure…I was bowled over just with the ones here!

      Nice to see you over here today! Glad I got you off that ledge for a few!


  11. Boy, it’s a long scroll down here to reply!!! You must be famous. Or lovable.
    I like the alligator best, and the turtle. Though I’ve seen sand castles that were huge and marvelous. Did you get to see the bonfire lit? Did you get a shot of that?


  12. Remarkable art, Torrie. People are gobsmackingly clever aren’t they? Ingenious, creative kids at heart. What a beautiful day – and guessing by the size of that bonfire – a luminous night.
    Thanks for the day at the beach.


  13. I look at these huge fancy sand art pieces and all I can think is “How do you DO THAT???” Can’t even get my head around it.

    My favourite was the hole. That’s my kind of sand building. No, seriously. I love a hole in the sand. 😀

    But the feather one gave me a heart attack, being someone with a dead bird phobia. Still feel a bit sick.


    • Hah! Agreed on the hole…I used to love that when I was young…however, these days there is the concern about getting out of the hole once I’ve managed to get myself in! LOL.

      Know what you mean on the feathers….I had the thought when I saw it that it was a hillbilly’s idea of a sandcastle……scary!

      Liked by 1 person

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