Beach Party Ideas
Decorating your beach party is a breeze, since the sun takes care of your lighting, and the sea, sand and shells give you lots of natural atmosphere. You can add to the summery scene with colorful beach towels, and bring lots of beach chairs for your guests to lounge on.
Tie some helium balloons to one of your chairs to help your guests find you — but be sure to tell them what color balloons you're bringing, in case other groups have the same eye-catching idea. Beach pails and shovels make great decorations, and they give the kids something to play with.
If you plan on staying until after sundown, bring some tiki torches to light things up, and warm your guests up, when the sun starts to set. A bonfire, if the beach allows it, caps off the evening in true, beachy style.
You can't go wrong with bathing suits at the beach. Guys can top swim trunks with a tropical shirt to start feeling those good vibrations. Gals can slip into a gauzy, linen cover-up tunic or some seersucker shorts. Toss your shoes aside because nothing says summertime like a little sand between your toes.
And if you're staying after dark, you might want to pack a sweatshirt and jeans to keep you warm as the evening cools off. And, of course, you should definitely bring sunglasses, a hat, zinc oxide and lots of sunscreen so you don't have to end up wearing a nasty sunburn the day after your beach party.
Since the beach tends to bring out the kid in everyone, you can pretty much use the same beach party ideas for kids as you would for your adult guests. Set up a volleyball net, split your guests into two teams and have a tournament.
If you're not the sporty type, create a contest to see who can build the most impressive sand castle. And for really creative souls, you can play a version of sand Charades: Split your guests into two teams and have all the participants write down objects on pieces of paper. Each team picks a piece of paper and has to sculpt that object out of sand while their team guesses what it is.
Beach party food should be simple and not spoil in the heat — be sure to bring a cooler for all meats and salads made with mayonnaise. Cook up hamburgers and hot dogs on a beach grill, and serve potato salad and coleslaw alongside.
Fruits like orange wedges and strawberries help keep you hydrated in the sun. And for a sweeter dessert, roast marshmallows on the grill or bonfire to make s'mores.
Beach Cooler (serves 1)
- 1 oz. Bacardi 151 rum
- 1 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. papaya nectar
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes, and serve.
Non-alcoholic — sun tea, Sunkist soda, lemonade