Have fun in the sun with a beach theme party! Whether your party is near the ocean or in your own backyard, our beach party ideas include suggestions for easy summer crafts, decorations, games, and a lot more! We have the ideas and supplies to make your beach birthday party a success!
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Planning & Invitations
What Do I Need For the Party?
In addition to basic Beach party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following items for your Beach party:
- Water balloons
- Ring toss
- Summer>blowup inflatable toys
- Extra beach chairs
- Kiddy pools
- Lawn sprinkler
- Beach balls
- Sand pails and shovels
- Hula hoops
- Sno-Cone machine (can be rented)
- Sun screen
- Disposable cameras
- A summer pinata
If you are looking for fun and easy invitations with a personalized touch, consider our Personalized Beach Party Invitations that include the birthday child’s name and all the party details for you!
Creative handmade invitations are fun for guests to receive and build excitement before the party date. If you have time to make your own beach party invitations, we have provided some ideas to get you started:
- Write the party invitation on an inflated beach ball. Then deflate the beach ball and send it in an envelope. Your guests will have fun blowing it up to read the invitation.
- Punch a hole in the corner of a card-style invitation, and tie it with ribbon to a pair of kid’s sunglasses or a small personalized beach party supplies. You will need to deliver them by hand or use padded mailing envelopes.
- Include summer stickers with your beach party invitation and seal the envelope with one of our personalized beach party stickers printed with the party details or a fun message!
- Cut the shape of a surf board out of heavy cardstock and decorate the surf board in your child’s favorite colors. Leave one strip of white space down the center of the board for your to include the party details.
- Use creative wording on the invitations like “Splish Splash, it’s Kelly’s Beach Bash”, and “Swim on Over for some Fun in the Sun”.
- Write out card-style invitations and put each invitation inside a sand pail l or small beach tote. Hand-deliver them to your guests.
If you would rather not make your own invitations, but would still like a personalized touch, consider our Personalized Beach Invitations that include the birthday child’s name and all the party details for you!
For beach parties held on the beach, decorating is simple because the sun, sand, and sea are the main attractions. You will want to bring lots of sand toys, beach balls, and shovels for the children, plus beach umbrellas, extra beach towels and beach chairs. Remember to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well! Colorful balloons always add to the party atmosphere, and they can serve double duty by helping guests find the right spot on the beach. When guests arrive, hand everyone a lei, and have fun beach music playing on a portable sound system.
For a beach party in the back yard, we have lots of ideas to help you create a sunny beach atmosphere with beach theme decorations. Try just a few ideas, or go all out!
- Create your own mini beach by filling a wading pool with sand and sand toys. If you already own a sandbox, use that instead. Build a simple sandcastle and leave sand toys for the guests to play with later. Scatter lots of beach balls throughout the yard or hanging from trees, and hang extra bathing suits on a fence.
- If you have a playground set in your yard, put a wading pool full of water at the bottom of the slide and place a hose at the top so that water is running down into the pool as the kids slide down.
- Decorate your garage door to resemble a beach scene. First draw various parts of the beach on poster board and then attach them to your garage door. Include the ocean and some sand, plus a surfer, a dolphin or a shark. You could even cut a surf board shape out of cardboard and lean it against the door. Use sidewalk chalk to draw giant letters spelling out “Beach This Way” and an arrow pointing to your yard.
- Fill the yard with beach umbrellas, lawn chairs, and beach towels. Add a sand pail filled with a few bottles of sunscreen, and play fun beach music on a portable sound system. Give each guest a flower lei as they arrive.
- For table decorations, use seashells, starfish, snorkel masks or sunglasses.
- Make a banner that says “Welcome to [child’s last name] Beach” and hang it near the party entrance. See our selection of personalized beach banners and let us do the work for you!
- Either picnic food or a barbecue menu would be perfect for a beach birthday party.
- Sandwiches, hot dogs, or hamburgers are all good choices to feed your hungry guests. If your party will be at a beach, check in advance with the local town hall to be sure you can bring a barbeque grill onto the beach.
- Make little signs for each food item with a beach-themed name like Sandy Beach Burgers, Hang Loose Hot Dogs, Surf’s Up Salad, Fun in the Sun Fruit Kabobs and Catch a Wave Chip and Dip.
- Serve the chips or cookies in clean, new, plastic sand pails, and use clean sand shovels as serving spoons for salads.
- Fill paper cups or plastic beach party cups with fish-shaped crackers or other small treats and place an umbrella straw upright in the middle.
- Be sure to bring lots of water and other drinks in a cooler to keep the children hydrated throughout the party.
- If your beach theme party is at home, fruit smoothies served in tiki cups will help children cool down and stay hydrated in the hot sun.
- Try our Nanaberry Smoothie recipe.
- If you’re looking for more summer drink ideas that will take less time to whip up, consider virgin Strawberry Daiquiris and virgin Pina Coladas made from store-bought mixes.
- Serve a vegetable platter that looks like a beach ball. Start with a circular platter. Place a bowl of dip at the top of the platter to create the top circle shape on a beach ball. Next, use carrots and slices of red pepper to create the dividing lines between each section of the ball. Fill in each section of the “ball” with a different colored vegetable, such as slices of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and yellow pepper slices.
- Serve each guest a Mini Beach Cup made from pudding and crushed cookies. First spoon vanilla pudding into a clear plastic cup and sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers on top as sand. Place a gumball on the sand as your beach ball, and a teddy bear cookie under a small drink umbrella to complete the beach scene.
- For a party at the beach, it’s easier if you plan to buy ice cream for the guests from a frozen treat vendor. And if your party is at home, either popsicles or an ice cream sundae bar are a sure hit with kids. You can create your own Ice Cream Cart by setting up a table with cones and ice cream at one end and a variety of toppings in serving bowls at the other end. Guests can “order” their scoops of ice cream from an adult, and then add their own toppings. Don’t forget the whipped cream and cherries!
Beach Cake Idea
No birthday party is complete without a birthday cake! It’s not that hard to turn a regular cake mix into something special that will fit your beach party theme. Here is how you can create a fish birthday cake using just a few decorations:
- Start with any flavor cake baked in a 9″x13″ cake pan.
- Let it cool and remove from pan.
- You’ll need two colors of frosting so that the fins and tail are a different color than the body of the fish.
- A green body with yellow fins would look good, but choose any two colors that you like.
- You’ll also need Necco wafer candies to make the fish scales, one chocolate sandwich cookie for the eye, and a small piece of red licorice string to create a smile.
- Cut the cake as shown in our drawings and arrange the pieces on a cake plate.
- Frost the body of the fish in one icing color and frost the fins and the tail in the second icing color.
- Then put the cookie eye and the licorice string mouth in place.
- The last step is to arrange the Necco wafers over the body of the fish to resemble scales.
Party Favor Ideas
Thank your guests for celebrating by sending them home with cool party favors! To find a large variety of beach party favors, visit our Fun in the Sun party page and click the “Party Favors” tab or the “More Fun Stuff” tab. Some of the favors we have include:
- Buckets and shovels
- Inflatable beach balls
- Lei necklaces and bracelets
- Silly straws
- Squirt guns
- Fun shaped lollipops and candy
- Reusable tote bags
Also check out our complete favor sets and personalized products such as zipper pulls, placemats, and stickers.
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Beach Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
- Beach Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Party Planning 101: Our useful party planning guide includes cake ideas, party etiquette tips, a printable guest list, and much more.
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
The children work together to stay out of the water in this tug-of-war game.
Get the kids moving in this version of musical chairs!
An easy and fun craft using paper plates to make a fish.
This is a version of Duck, Duck, Goose that’s played with water and is a great way to cool off in the sun!
This classic relay race with a few beach items is sure to be a hit!
Hand each guest some play money to spend at your own little beach shop.
The children pretend to surf as they dance, until the music stops and they have to wipe out!
Players use a sand shovel to toss ping pong balls into a bucket from a few feet away.
Girls will love making their own bracelets filled with floating glitter and beads.
Have your partygoers excavate a sandbox in search of seashells and prizes.
Teammates take turns running to the finish line and back while batting a beach ball in the air.
Fill a bottle with colorful layers of candy “sand” then eat it!
Players will team up to see who can “go the distance” in this fun water balloon game.
Your guests will love decorating our printable Beach coloring page.