Tips 'n Tricks — April 18, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Ideas for a Beach-Themed Party

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ajkkafe / iStock / thinkstock.com

ajkkafe / iStock / thinkstock.com

Nothing says “good times” quite like a party on a beach. Unfortunately, the sand, surf and blue skies aren’t always readily available, especially for those of us who don’t live on a coast.

When you can’t get to a beach, why not bring the beach to you? With the right playlist paired with an assortment of tropical drinks, a beach-themed party is a guaranteed good time.

It’s also a very versatile theme: from birthday party to bachelorette to themed BBQ, just about any event can be infused with a little bit of ocean-side fun. Here are 7 creative ideas that will help you throw the ultimate beach bash.

Invite Your Friends to Have a Ball
Get everyone on board with the theme from the get-go by sending beach-inspired invitations. Forgo the traditional paper card with something more creative: why not try beach ball invites? Inflate each ball and use a permanent market to write out the invitation details. Let the ink dry, then deflate each ball. Send the deflated beach balls to the lucky recipients, instructing them to blow up their beach ball for details.

If you’re able to hand deliver invitations and want to make a big impression, handmade message in a bottle invites will wow your guests. Scoop a bit of sand into the bottom of a clean, empty bottle and pop in a rolled up invitation.

Pick a Scheme
There’s a lot of flexibility within the beach theme, so you can pick a color scheme that matches the mood of the party. For instance, a fun, lively night might call for a more tropical theme, with bright pinks, turquoises and yellows setting the energetic mood. A more subdued event, like an afternoon birthday party or baby shower, might invite a sea glass toned color palette with soft purples, blues and greens. A nautical theme of navy, white and red would be the perfect fit for sophisticated soirée, like a themed dinner party or a girls’ night out.

Cool Down With Popsicle Drinks
Try serving your cocktails frozen for a fun twist on classic tropical drinks. With a few key ingredients and some popsicle molds, your options are nearly limitless. How about a honeydew cucumber margarita popsicle or a mango Mai Tai pop?

Prefer something alcohol-free? Try unexpected combinations like peach with ginger, grapefruit with rosemary, or berries with mint!

Sea-Inspired Sweets
Cupcakes are a classic party go-to: not only are they easy to serve and a cinch to clean up, but they allow lots of room for fun and creativity.

Here’s an idea that even a beginner can do: try dripping a cupcake, icing side down, in some crushed graham crackers. You’ll be left with sand-dune looking cupcakes, which you can top with a mini cocktail umbrella.

If cupcakes aren’t your thing, opt for a buffet of saltwater taffy—no other candy conjures up images of the sea quite the same way.

Natural Tablescapes
Plastic beach toys might make for great kids’ birthday decorations, but an adult-oriented event might call for something more subdued.

For simple yet beautiful centerpieces, look to Mother Nature for inspiration. A few pieces of driftwood with seashells peppered in between will bring just the right amount of beachiness into your tablescape, without being overly cheesy.

Drinks in Buckets… or Buckets of Drinks
Forget coolers! Serve bottled drinks in ice-filled beach buckets—or better yet, forego bottles and cups altogether and serve the drinks directly in the beach buckets!

Put Your Watermelon to Work
If summer had an official fruit, it would definitely be watermelon. Serve up a fruit salad, but don’t hack up your watermelon—use it as a serving dish! Instead of slicing the fruit, cut off the top of the watermelon and hollow out the insides, preserving the fruit inside for your salad or for other recipes. Fill the hollow watermelon with your fruit salad, for a serving dish that stands out.

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