Sand Castle University
Southeast,  Travel

3 Awesome Reasons To Do Sand Castle University In Gulf Shores

Did Sand Castle University pop up while browsing the top things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? This unique sandcastle building class has rightfully earned its way to the top of the list by offering families a hands-on, fun, educational course that will take your sandcastle building skills to the next level.

Sand Castle University in Gulf Shores, AL
Sand Castle University

We want to thank Visit Alabama Beaches for this incredible experience. As always, my opinions are my own. 

What Is Sand Castle University

Sand Castle University is the brainchild of Janel Hawkins, who came up with the incredible idea to teach others how to create beautiful sandcastles. As a professional sand sculptor, she has created numerous custom sculptures throughout the US and then began teaching sand castle building techniques.

Sand Castle 101
Finished Sand Castles from Sand Castle 101

She continues to pass that skill along by offering personalized classes that teach participants the art of sandcastle building. As her business grew, she was able to train more teachers, thus making more classes available. It is a wildly fun activity for groups of all ages, including smaller children.

Sand Castle University offers a variety of classes for all skill levels. Beginners can start with Sand Castle 101 and then move to the more advanced class, Sand Castle 202. They also offer a sea creature creations course in which you can make an Octopus, Crab, or Turtle.

Check out the fantastic birthday party options they have where kids sculpt their own birthday cakes or sea creatures!

Learn sand castle building techniques
Learn sand castle building techniques

TIP: Classes are offered year-round and quickly booked up during peak tourist season. I recommend booking your class before arriving. All-weather decisions are made the day of your booking. There is no fee if your instructor cancels your class due to the weather.

To book a class, hop on Sandcastle University’s website for class availability.

What Does It Cost?

Your group size and class type will determine the cost. It is not priced per person. Other group members are more than welcome to observe, but you will only be charged for class participants.

One of the things to consider is how much would you spend for your entire family to go to an attraction or out to eat on vacation? I found Sand Castle University a great activity. The class is an hour long, we spend time as a family with no distractions outside of a little friendly competition, and we left with a new skill that we can use again.

Tip: Children 3 years and younger may participate with an adult or hang out while class is in session. They do not count them in the total number oparticipants.

Sand Castle University
Sand Castle University

What To Expect At A Sand Castle University Class

  • You will get sandy! It is hard to create an incredible sandcastle without getting in the sand.
  • No prior experience is needed.
  • All the tools are provided. You only need to bring yourself.
  • Family and friends are welcome to come and watch, even if they are not participating. They can even join in the big group photo at the end.
  • Bring water and plenty of sunscreen. I would also recommend bringing a towel, sunglasses, and cash for tips.
  • During your session, your instructor will be teaching tips on making the base, sculpting, and decorating.
  • You will be getting water from the ocean. Don’t worry; they supply the buckets!
  • They can also do a custom sand sculpture upon request.
steps to building a sand castle
Step one: Mixing sand and water

3 Reasons To Sign Up For Sand Castle University

Learn A New Skill

Have you ever wanted to create amazing sand castles only to have them crumble immediately upon dumping your first bucket of sand out?

By learning new techniques, you are going to up your sandcastle game by learning how to create stable structures, ornate features, and fun tips to jazz up your sandcastle. It is a skill you will not only get to use during your Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation but also for any other beach vacation you may go on.

Learning tips forcreating beautiful sand castles
Learning tips for creating beautiful sand castles

My little girl loved every second of this class. At four years old, she still remembers some of the tricks of building a sandcastle while we play in our sandpit at home!

Tip: In my personal opinion learning a new skill is one of the best souvenirs you can bring home from any vacation.

They Come To You

One of the highlights of this experience is that Sand Castle University comes to you! When scheduling your class, you can pick the beach location. Whether at your beach condo, beach house, or public beach access within Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, or Fort Morgan. 

Sand Castle University brings all the tools you will need
Sand Castle University brings all the tools you will need

You may be surprised that the best tools needed to build the best sand castles are pretty simple! Everyday items like a paintbrush, melon baller, and cake spatulas are all part of the cart of tools. Your instructor will bring all the equipment right to the beach. More advanced sand carving tools can be used when doing advanced techniques during your castle-building lesson.

smoothing out the sand
Smoothing out the sand

Their website even offers a list of building tools you used during your session. Janel was so kind to give us a bucket, and then we wrote the Perfect Sand Castle Recipe on it to always have it!

Tip: The instructor does call you to let you know that they are parked and will meet you on the beach!

Sign Up For The Sunset Class

The gorgeous Alabama sunsets make planning a sunset class a must because you create exceptional sand art, but you will also get stunning photos. Nothing beats a gulf coast sunset, especially when it has sugar-white sand castles as part of the backdrop.

Sand Castle University in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL
Sand Castle University in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL

Another perk is that the day’s heat is over, making it much more enjoyable to play in the sand.

A class with Sand Castle University is a great addition to any Shores and Orange Beach Itinerary. For more ideas of family fun activities to do, check out our complete list of Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Gulf Shores.

Did you enjoy our article on Sand Castle University? Check out these other great things to do while in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

4 Reasons to visit Fort Morgan 

10 Top Kid-Friendly Places To Eat in Gulf Shores 

15 Things To Place On Your Gulf Shores Bucketlist 

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Sand Castle University

Sand Castle University in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL
Sand Castle University in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL