Sun, Surf and tons of fun—there’s a reason heading to the beach is a favorite pastime. With these great beach birthday party ideas, you can bring the sand and surf to you anytime!
A beach party theme can be used for many unique types of events and group sizes and would make an extra cool theme for a birthday party for a group of teens or people of any age.
A party on the beach (or a homemade one) is also a great idea if planning an adult birthday party!
Beach Party Places
Birthday parties should be held somewhere festive, and beach party venue ideas abound.
Beach-themed parties may be held at the actual shore, at a home pool, at a public community pool, or even without any water at all at a park or in your own backyard.
Of course, if the water is available (even a wading pool), it will add even more to the seaside atmosphere.
Beach Party Decoration Ideas
Beach Themed Decorations
Take a cue from the colors of summer to decorate for your party.
Look for bright-colored party supplies especially. Have fun picking out tropical cups, plates, plasticware, table decor, beach balls, etc.
On invites, menus, party gift tags, welcome sign and other details at the event, include cute shore related things such as:
- Sea shells
- Palm tree or tiki prints
- Disney’s Little Mermaid
- Pink flamingos
- Fish and other ocean creatures
- Summery flip flops
You could also use this mermaid template printable for both decorations and as a kids’ beach party craft.
If you can, bring the beach to the backyard with sand, beach chairs, and umbrellas.
Try filling up a kiddie pool with sand to serve as the main play area, or lay out tan-colored sheets for the picnic eating area to resemble sand.
For extra decor and fun, look for the long, inexpensive (usually $1-$5 each) “noodle” pool toys. They are bendable, float, and are about 6 feet long.
They also come in bright colors and could be used in all sorts of ways as decor or party favors.
Ocean Party Decorations
Hang up streamers in Sea Colors such as blues and aqua, and buy or build cutouts of ocean animals to place around the party.
You can easily make them by cutting out large pieces of cardboard, poster board or foamboard and adding paint!
A giant sun—made from an oversized yellow balloon, beach ball, or made out tissue paper and hung on a wall, would be a great addition as well!
Add an Inflatable Shark swimming around for a bit of fun as well!
Beach Birthday Party Food Ideas
LifePreserver Donut Rings
Take white powdered mini donuts and add red stripes using decorating gel, licorice, or other red flat candy to create a cute lifepreserver out of candy.
Make blue Jello in individual cups, and sprinkle crushed graham crackers on half of the top to make a sandy beach. Add a toothpick umbrella and a gummy shark into the jello for even more beach fun!
Beach Themed Snacks
Ideas for treats and snacks are seashell-shaped chocolates, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, “Sandie” cookies, or other beach theme goodies.
Related: Easy Snacks for Kids Parties
Consider having a bar with Tropical cocktails (if adults are present) and summery non alcoholic drinks as well.
For an extra bite of fun, try these shark themed drink ideas for your party as well!
Other Favorite Summer Food Ideas
For main dishes, consider grilled seafood, hotdogs, and burgers.
Side dishes can be as fancy as skewered fruits and cool picnic salads or as simple as big dill pickles and potato chips.
Those who grew up around a beach with a snack bar will feel nostalgic munching nachos, funnel cake, or disco fries (french fries with gravy).
Ice-cold drinks put into a chest full of ice will allow guests to dig for favorites.
Dessert ideas include ice cream bars or Push Ups, a theme-decorated cake (especially for a birthday party).
Fun Beach Ideas & Party Activities
- Beach balls are fun anywhere. Keep-away and other games will happen naturally, or use for one of these Fun Backyard Games.
- If room and rules allow, a game of beach volleyball is always fun. You can easily set a court up without a net by stringing a piece of rope in between two chairs or poles.
- If water is available, swimming will no doubt be the major activity. If children are involved, hiring a lifeguard might be a good idea.
- For non-swimmers, board and card games can be available.
- For little kids, setting up a sandbox or area with beach toys is a nice option. Sand toys will keep kids busy, especially if you make a sand castle building contest.
- A horseshoe pit is easy to set up and is a game loved by Adults especially. Supplies are usually available in sporting goods sections of stores like Target in the spring and summer, or buy a fun themed set from Amazon or Oriental Trading.
- Buckets (like a giant beer pong game) and Cornhole are also favorites.
- A water balloon toss is good for keeping cool when swimming is not an option.
- Look into party rentals (bounce houses, etc.) for more fun—try to find one with a shark on it!
- Playing surf music (such as Beach Boys tunes) will add fun and atmosphere.
Be sure to also check out all of these fun summer party games to try as well!
Perfect Favors for Summer Parties
- Beachball to take home
- Flip Flops
- Bubbles (Be sure to have a Bubble refill station available)
- Mini personal fans
- Visors that the kids can decorate while at the party
- Fun sunglasses
- Colored layers sand in bottles
- Character or other fun shaped water bottles
Other Tips for Hosting a Beach Themed Birthday Party
In invitations, it is good to let guests know if the food will be served and if anything special should be brought or worn (such as kites, swimsuits, or safety gear).
For an outdoor party, providing sunscreen, towels, and water toys for attendees is considerate, as there will likely be someone who forgot something in the rush to attend.
These items can be displayed obviously to everyone on a special “supplies” table so guests know they are free to take what they need.
Also check out these tips for making summer parties easier to clean up after!
Birthday parties are a time for enjoying friends and celebrating. A beach party theme is an especially good event for a casual group that is up for some good old-fashioned fun.
It is an easy theme to throw together quickly with a lot of options for party favors, foods, activities, and decor.
For more suggestions, check out all of our Summer Pool Party Ideas & Tips.