Beach Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

Bring the surf and sun from the seaside to your home with a beach party that's sure to make waves. Have guests come in bathing suits or luau apparel to get in the mood to soak up the fun. With themed party gear, games and treats, your beach-inspired party will make a splash with your little one's friends and their parents. Let's dive right in and see what you need to plan the perfect beach party for birthdays or other special occasions.

Beach Party Theme Ideas

Hula Party

Take out the tiki torch and palm trees (even if they're fake), play Beach Boys tunes and get the kids ready to shimmy in grass skirts. Use floral, surfer and tropical decor and tableware to tie the look together. A hula party is a blast for adults and kids alike with ideas like:

  • Serving fruit kabobs.
  • Setting up a tiki bar.
  • Providing a lei-making station.
  • Holding a limbo competition.
  • Make a seashell tealight party favor.

Under the Sea Party

Make a splash without getting wet with an underwater world perfect for an animal lover or an aspiring marine biologist. With patterned tableware and decorations, your child and guests will feel as if they're in an octopus garden.

  • Twist 3-foot lengths of crepe paper and stick them to the wall so they look like seaweed.
  • Use a disco ball to create the illusion of shimmering water on the walls.
  • Instead of potato sack races, have mermaid or merman races.
  • Use croissants for sandwich bread and affix googly eyes to the tops to make them look like crabs.
  • Line the center of tables with shells and starfish, which you can make from salt dough.
  • Make seashell wind chimes.

Fun in the Sun

Think flip-flops, sunglasses and beach balls. Even if the festivities are inside, a summer-inspired party will chase away any winter blues.

  • Decorate flip-flops.
  • Play balloon volleyball.
  • Include a pair of neon-colored sunglasses in beach buckets that double as goodie bags.
  • Play musical beach towels instead of musical chairs.
  • Decorate cake pops so they look like beach balls.

Beach Party Planning and Invitation Ideas

After you and your child pick out the perfect theme, it's time to send invitations and get busy with party planning. Give your guests enough notice by sending invitations three to four weeks in advance. Use your creativity to make your invites stand out and get guests excited for the big day. Ideas include:

  • Hand-delivering messages in a bottle.
  • Handwriting or pasting the party's details on inexpensive flip-flops or sandal-shaped paper.
  • Tying raffia around the top of simple invitations and hanging a starfish or shell charm from it.
  • Printing the party's details onto a beach ball those invitees must inflate to read.
  • Ordering beach-themed personalized invitations and address labels from Birthday in a Box.

Beach Party Decoration Ideas

Decorations for a beach party are only limited by the imagination. Birthday in a Box makes decorating for parties simple with themed tableware, centerpieces, party favors and activities that help you effortlessly add the perfect festive touches. Here are some decoration ideas that are great for any type of beach party:

  • Pinatas: A pinata exists for any beach party theme that you can imagine, including those shaped like seahorses, tiki statues, sandals, beach balls, sharks and hula girls. Don't forget the matching balloons.
  • Decorative tablecloths: Use disposable tablecloths that match the main party colors. If you're hosting an under-the-sea party, look for a table cover with a water print on it. For a luau party, use grass table skirts.
  • Backdrops: If you can't have a party on the beach, bring the beach to you with decorative backdrops, including those that have a beachscape or an underwater scene.
  • Centerpieces: The perfect centerpieces add to a party's atmosphere. Fill a small plastic bucket with sand, for example, and adorn it with shells or a bouquet of lollipops, small balloons or fruit kabobs.

Beach Party Food

The beauty of beach parties is that the food looks wonderful with the addition of items like little umbrellas, sandal-shaped straws, and themed tableware. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cupcakes: Use cracker crumbs to create the illusion of sand on the frosting. Place a small umbrella on top. Alternatively, create a water scene with blue frosting and place gummy fish or other underwater creatures on top.
  • Grilled foods: Have a surfside cookout with grilled foods like hot dogs, kabobs, burgers or Hawaiian pizza.
  • Ice cream: Cool treats are always a hit. Have an ice cream sundae bar or a Hawaiian ice bar. Make ice cream sandwiches using shell-shaped cookies.
  • Mocktails: Make non-alcoholic versions of tropical drinks. For example, blend pineapple juice, coconut milk, ice, honey and yogurt to create a mock pina colada.

Beach-Themed Party Favors

Send guests home with something useful, fun and age-appropriate. Place the treats in plastic buckets, coconut shells, personalized favor bags, mini treasure chests or themed favor bags. Check out these kid-approved beach party favors:

  • Sunglasses
  • Mini beach balls
  • Suncatchers
  • Silly straws
  • Gummy kabobs
  • Personalized luau-themed magnets, zipper pulls, bookmarks or magnets
  • Sea creature bathtub toys
  • Sea creature stickers
  • Flip-flops

Beach Party Activities

Classic games never get old. Use beach or underwater themes to give them added interest. Simple favorites include:

  • Starfish ring toss
  • Water balloon volleyball
  • Ocean-themed scavenger hunt
  • Squirt gun tag
  • Crafts with beach or tropical themes
  • Sandcastle or sandman competition
  • Decorate seashells
  • Beach-themed photo booth with props like snorkels, goggles, flippers, big sunglasses and fishing poles

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