The Lake Must-Haves


If you've been watching our IGTV Daily Life shows, you're probably aware that it's been raining, for like two months straight. And we're so over it. But a few weeks ago was 100% sunshine, and we happily took advantage of that by heading up to spend our afternoon at Mt. Gretna Lake.

Packing to spend an afternoon at the lake has looked very different at different stages of my life. Middle school was like "Hey Mom did you pack my bag?", and college was more like "I've got a towel, sunglasses, and a journal to make me look like I'm contemplating life. Boom packed."

These days, with two kids in tow, it looks very much like "Grab all the buckets and shovels, and did you get the floaties?" "Where's the sunscreen?" "Do we have enough snacks?!"

June was beside herself with excitement when we told her we were going to a lake, with a beach, that *might* have seashells for her to find. She jabbered about "all the shee-shells" she was going to see as we wound up the little mountain roads lined with trees. It turns out, there are shells on a lake beach, but most of them still have giant snails inside of them, and we had to leave the best shells behind.

I wanted to share a few of the items we packed because, over the last 3.5 years of being a parent, there are a few things I've come to love and depend on when swimming or outdoors with kids.

Mexican Blanket: These work great for sandy surfaces because they are a little thicker than a beach towel and make a great place to plop the baby with some toys. I picked mine up at a thrift store for only a few dollars, but you can also get one here and here.

Really Big Beach Towels: When it's just me on the beach, I don't mind a smaller towel, but with kids, it's so nice to have more sand covered when they lay down to warm up or eat snacks. My favorite big towels are from

Cooler For Snacks: I love my Watermelon Cooler because not only is it incredibly cute, but because it's soft (unlike a giant hard cooler on wheels you gotta lug around!) It holds just the right amount of snacks for your trip. This one on Amazon is pretty too!

Sun Safe Swimwear: June is 3.5 now, so other than a good coating of sunscreen, I tend to just let her wear her regular bathing suits with no additional rash guard or anything. Sunny, on the other hand, is still little and needs lots of sun protection. Primary sent both June and Sunny suits this year and they're incredibly well made, comfortable and are almost all reversible. Amazing!

And because I have two little girls, obviously....

Top Knots: You probably already know that I'm obsessed with Top Knots. They're just the cutest thing ever. And to top it all off (see what I did there 😂), they make Swim Knots. It's the same Top Knot you've come to know and love, but made out of swimsuit material. Just perfect. They kindly sent Sunny several different swim knots for the summer, and I loved them all. (Herehere and here.)

Beach Toys: I love our little set from Target. (Similar set here.) Cute, fun and nicely priced. I snagged mine last year in September when everything goes on sale and we've used it all year long in our sandbox, bathtub and of course, at the lake.

Sunscreen & Detangler: I'm such a big fan of the spray on Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen. It works, is baby friendly, and even though it's the thick mineral stuff, it sprays on nicely allowing you to really cover up your kiddos without too much effort. I equally love Honest's Detangling Spray. In fact, we use this year round for June. It smells heavenly too!

Floats: Definitely don't' forget a few fun floats. They also work well as a support for babies who can't sit yet. Just pile up a bunch of sand on one side so it can't slide, fill in the middle with a towel and plop that baby in there! (Totally getting this one for next summer...) 


Baseball Cap: Last but not least, now that I'm getting older (Ha! 32 next month...), I've started wearing my favorite walk in love. Baseball cap when we're outside a lot. Not only does it protect my face from the sun, but I've also found it really helps with my allergies certain times of year --- by keeping the pollen and dust out of my hair and eyes.

So there you have it, my favorites for lake days with our kids! What can't you live without? I'd love to know! Share the love, my friends!