It’s summertime, and we all know what that means… It’s the perfect time to be outside and enjoy time with friends and family. Planning a summer beach party is the perfect way to get a group together and enjoy the sunshine. Relocating your party from the comfort of your own home to the sea & sand takes some preparation. I have some great ideas for your next beach day outing including decorations, food, and activities.
On the beach – think functional decor. It’s nice to have a few festive touches, but with the wind, heat, and sand you don’t want to make your day too complicated. I suggest picking up festive serving platters, cups, umbrellas, towels, etc. that look nice but also serve a purpose.
It’s nice to have a few items as purely decorations, but you’ll want most of your items to actually serve a purpose as they’ll start to just get in the way. Flat surfaces are hard to find on the beach so keep your space for the most essential items. If you’re providing food and drinks like we did in my 4th of July birthday party, I’d suggest investing in a small folding table.
We picked up some table decorations and flags, but otherwise everything else had a secondary use. Our serving platters, plates, cups, tablecloth, and table decorations all featured red, white, and blue flag designs. Other ideas for beach themed parties include:
- Luau – featuring Hawaiian decorations including flowers, hula dancers, and flamingos.
- 4th of July – featuring all things patriotic and red, white, and blue!
- Oceanside – featuring everything we love about the sea – seashells, surfboards, dolphins, and waves.
- Sunset – turn your beach party into a sunset watching event with a bonfire, sparklers, and marshmallows.
- Clambake – go east coast and throw a clambake featuring lobsters, sailboats, and light houses.
For our 4th of July party, we kept the menu very simply. If you’re throwing a party, it’s always nice to provide food, but there’s no shame in asking your guest to pitch in. You could always provide the main course, and have guests bring sides. You could also throw a traditional pot luck BBQ and have guests bring their favorite summertime dish.
If you’re going for that classic summer BBQ try:
- Hot dogs, Brats, and Hamburgers – There’s a reason why it’s an American classic, definitely a crowd pleaser. You can also provide Turkey and Veggie burgers for anyone with dietary restrictions. These are really easy and quick to cook verses other meats like fish and chicken. You can also provide a toppings and condiment bar so that everyone can personalize their meal. We were able to pick a beach with public fire pits, but if you’re not so fortunate try precooking or sticking with foods that are ready to eat.
- Kabobs – These are easy to prep ahead of time. You can make a mix of veggie and meat kabobs to throw on the grill. Be sure to marinate your kabobs ahead of time for ultimate flavor.
- Easy Sides – You can’t go wrong with a nice chip and dip assortment, vegetable platter with dip or hummus, or fruit salad.
- Crowd Pleasers – Think about a dish or two that you can use to spice up the menu including taco salad, bacon wrapped hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, or cole slaw.
- Corn on the Cob – Doesn’t get any more summertime than this! Plus you can grill the corn straight in the husk and it’s perfect to grab and eat. I’d suggest bringing some corn on the cob handles so you’re guests have an easier time eating.
- Desserts – You want something that’s easy to grab and eat. We can cupcakes for my 4th of July Birthday party. You could also do cookies or berries & whip cream. Keep in mind that while some fruity cakes are perfect for summer – they’ll be hard to serve and eat on the beach. This is also the case for anything frozen including ice cream or popsicles. While these treats are perfect for summer, stick to other ideas unless you can store them in a frozen place during the heat of the day.
- Drinks – You’ll want to stick with light, refreshing drinks. Margaritas, Summer Seasonal Beers/Ciders, Sangria, Lemonades, Limeades, and Fruit Infused Water are great options. Jello shots are also a fun addition in varying colors – they hold up while in a cooler! 🙂
Aside from the decorations and food – no party is complete without some fun! Think about a variety of activities for your guests to do throughout the day. You’ll want to have several ideas in case certain activities don’t work out or hold guests’ attention. Think about ideas that appeal to a variety of ages and genders.
Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen throughout the day! Keep bottles throughout your party location to remind guests to protect their skin!
Some of our beach party activities were:
- A Ladder Golf or Corn Hole Tournament. This is something that everyone can participate in throughout the day. Make it fun by starting a single elimination tournament with prizes!
- Boogie boards, Surf Boards, Splash Balls
- Football, Volleyball, Frisbee
- Relaxing areas with Towels, Beach Chairs, and Umbrellas
- A creative / crafting station with Face Paint and Temporary Flash Tattoos
- Firepit with Skewers for guest to roast their own hot dogs or marshmallows
- Bonfire with Sparklers
- Good Music
Be prepared for a change in temperature or the elements. If you’re on the west coast, you know it gets cold in the evening so bring a change of clothes so that you’ll be comfortable. You also might run into rain so you’ll wan to be prepared with a rain jacket. Be sure to remind guests to do the same as well as hats, sunglasses, etc!