Beach Day at Sherwood Island

Family Fun Beach Sunday at Sherwood Island State Park, Westport Connecticut

Beach Day is a staple activity of summer fun.  Back in the day I would just pack a towel, sunglasses a book and sun tan lotion.  As a mom, a fun day in the sun is not as simple, especially when you have young children.  When I leave the house I carry with me a backpack that feels as big as a parachute, but it really is a life saver. For a day at the beach in addition to the basics (food, milk, diapers and wipes) I need to protect my boys against sunburn.  But how do I do that when I hate carrying a lot of things.  So I turned to my trusted sidekick, Amazon Prime!


As the mom of a two year old and a soon to be know it all thirteen year old, I have a couple of extra people for whom to pack. My oldest is always ready to go but never has any of the things required (like a towel, actually putting on sunblock and water shoes). For our beach day we chose to visit our neighboring state of Connecticut, Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. A beautiful beach between Sherwood Mill Pond and the Long Island Sound. We like being close to the water so we can which means not a lot of shade unless we bring our own, so I set out to find a sun tent or umbrella, that was affordable, easy to set up, light and compact to carry.  So here’s what I found:

SEMOO Lightweight Beach Shade Tent Sun Shelter with Carry Bag  This tent has four stars on Amazon, but as I read the reviews I was a bit hesitant to get it.  However, a $19.99 price tag and free same day shipping with Prime I figured I’ll give it a try. Now I was hoping to get a video of my efforts to set up the tent, but with a twelve year old watching the two year old, a nine year old girl looking for shark teeth and a husband busy recording other things I was unable to get a helper.  It was a bit windy so the process was a little challenging, still not that difficult. All you need to do is connect together the fragmented poles into two poles that slide through the top of the tent and hook to each of the four corners.  Not as complicated as it may sound, however In hindsight I should have:
1. connected the fragments to form two poles

2. taken out the tent to slide the poles through
3. Hooked the poles at each corner
4. Anchor the tent down

The process should have taken me about 5-7 minutes tops, but since I did not bother looking at the contents of the tent or the instructions until I got to the beach, it felt a lot longer.  Taking the tent down and folding away was less than five minutes and it fit back into my beach bag.

SEMOO Beach Shade Tent
SEMOO tent out the bag

Now the actual tent was quite useful, it provided enough shade for my two year old and for me, considering he would not leave my side for most of the outing (but that’s another issue). Depending on the position of the sun you would have

to place the tent strategically, but it is not difficult to move if you need to reposition it.  If it is windy, you will still need something heavy inside to weigh it down. In my case my mom bag did the trick just fine.  I had purchased an easy to carry mat last summer, as I mentioned I like to pack light and chairs are usually to bulky for me, so I placed the mat in the tent to allow for more leg room and for a sun bathing area. I keep one of these mats in the trunk of my car and another in the shed for backyard fun. I also have a smaller bamboo mat but that was a gift from Thailand and I’ve had it for close to ten years so if you find one like that, jump on it 🙂

Now as far as durability, I only used it once so far but it was used by several tweens throughout the day, a 9 year old and a toddler and it survived.  We shall see how many more uses I get, but for 19.99, free shipping and two day guaranteed delivery, I say it is a steal!.

This was my two year old’s first day at the beach and he was quite excited.  I had purchased a one piece swimsuit from Amazon in Small when he was 9 months to go to the pool which still fits.  The suit ran a bit large on the infant size small 9-12 months but it offered the covering he needed when he was small and it fits perfect this summer.  To be fair, my boy was a preemie and now that he is two he is about 36 lbs.  This suit offers great coverage and he loved wearing it.

Since yellow is his favorite color I also got him yellow water shoes, aqua socks, which came in very handy as he did not want to put his feet on the beach sand (yet he was okay put his hands in it, but who am I to judge).  I also got water shoes for my son who wears a size 8 in men and a pair of aqua wave water shoes for myself, because why not. Now I could have gotten cheaper water shoes had I gone to a local discount store, but I didn’t feel like digging through bins of water shoes trying to find the right size and color so I just figured since I was ordering the tent for our beach outing I might as well add the water shoes.  I did spend some time searching through Amazon for the items to be the right price and to actually ship within two days. This took a little bit of time because I was ordering on Thursday morning and I wanted it guaranteed for Saturday and you don’t know the guaranteed shipping date until check out so I kept having to leave cart

You probably noticed that everything I referred to was purchased from Amazon and you probably think is because of the affiliates links but you would be wrong.  I tend to procrastinate a lot, wait for last minute and often opt to avoid crowds so shopping online is my go to solution.  I constantly look for reviews that seem as honest and sincere as possible, once I noticed that Amazon kept asking me to review and answer questions based on my purchases I figured it wouldn’t hurt to apply to the affiliate program and include the products I purchase into my blogs. So while I would rather purchase from local shops, ever since motherhood the shopping experience has changed but I leave that to another blog.

So as I mentioned my husband was unable to help me because he was recording other things, so here’s the evidence.  Enjoy the video of our beach day 🙂 (By the way, he is also a Web Developer so check out his channel if you want to learn how to set up your own WordPress Website).