With the summer upon us, having a few beach party ideas to hand means you’ll never be short of ideas for making the most of the season.
While we all love going to the beach, not everyone is fortunate enough to live close enough to one. And even if you are, you’ll often have to fight for space amongst all the sunbathers and families there.
So having a beach-themed party at home is the perfect alternative. You won’t get sand in your shoes or have to deal with screaming kids crying over their melted ice cream.
Beach party ideas don’t have to be expensive and can be wheeled out at any time of year, just on the verge of summer. Here are our ideas to help you make the most of this fun theme.
Get into the beach mood
Get yourself a beach backdrop
No beach party is complete without something that says you’re at the beach and near the water, and this backdrop is perfect. It’s 185 x 110 centrimetres in size, washable and durable, you display it by hanging it along a length of rope. Just looking at it will make you happy.
Have everyone look the part
In your invitations, make sure you ask your guests to dress in their beach gear and bring a pair of sunglasses with them too. You can provide a room at your place for people to get dressed in. You can also help your guests out by leaving a trunk of spare t-shirts, shorts and sunhats they can add to their outfit.
Throw in some beach props
No beach is complete without an inflatable beach ball and if you’ve got a backyard, you can throw the beach ball around outside. Add some foliage with a few inflatable palm trees.
If you’re using a buffet, you can use Hawaiian grass table skirts to give your tables a wooden feel, as well as hide away any extra drinks and food underneath.
Why not serve your food on paper plates that evoke the sea and sand?
Set yourself up with a summery soundtrack of songs that evoke the summer or contain “summer” in the song title. Some examples of this: Cruel Summer (Bananarama), Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran), Summer Nights (John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John).
A few active beach party ideas
Play Balloon Volleyball
Volleyball is a popular game to play at a beach, and if you don’t have a backyard, this version is a great alternative. Using a balloon also means you can play indoors without any risk to furniture, though you might want to clear away any breakables. You can also play this version by sitting on the floor. String up a net (with rope or a long bedsheet), then split everyone into 2 even teams placed on opposite sides.
To start the game, instruct the first team with the balloon to hit the balloon gently across the net to the next team. The other team then hits it back. If a team fails to hit the balloon, or the balloon hits the floor, the opposite team scores a point. Make sure you set a time limit for each round. The team with the highest score in a given series of rounds wins.
Playing with sand
Any activities involving sand are best placed outside or on a balcony, to avoid the mess. You can buy sand at hardware stores, then empty as much as possible in a large crate or sturdy box.
Then you can use the sand in a variety of ways: getting guests to write messages in the sand using a stick or a pencil. You can encourage guests to write the most obscure word they can think of for others to guess; another ideas if to have people guess a drawing you’ve made in the sand.
No list of beach party ideas can be complete without a sandcastle-building contest, done in pairs or single people. With some water jug close by, to wet the sand, give players a specific time limit to create their best fortress. You can also ask people to build a sandman, which is like a snowman but made of sand.
A photo scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get everyone out of the house and exploring the neighbourhood. You will need to plenty of time to prepare this game, because you’ll need to decide where the hunt will take place or what items players will need to look out for. Make sure everyone has a working camera on their phone with enough space on their memory card.
You can hold the hunt around your home; if you’re hunting in your local street or within a small part of your neighbourhood, make sure everyone gets a map. Some of the items or peoples to find and take a photo of could include: a newly-planted flowerbed, a person wearing bright yellow, something freshly painted, a reflection of the sun onto something interesting, someone doing something summery.
Beach party ideas for food
You want to keep the food simple and lightweight, just as you would if you were eating at the beach. Hotdogs, bacon rashers, chicken wings, sandwiches, cakes, homemade potato salads, garlic bread and fruit are some ideas for you. Have some ice cream definitely on hand and some fruity cocktails and beers.
If you’ve got a backyard or balcony, then consider setting up a small grill for a few grilled meats, potatoes in foil and marshmallows.
Keep all your drinks in a cooler as you would if they were at the beach. White wine is a perfect drink for the beach.
You can also think of food as a potluck and ask your guests to bring what they consider to be beach food. Make up a list first of what you need so people have ideas of what they can bring; you don’t want to end up with a party where everyone’s bought ice cream! Find out what people are bringing so you can fill in the gaps.
Having a few beach party ideas to hand means you have no shortage of ideas, when someone suggests “let’s have party!” They’re a great way to enjoy the summer without the hassle of needing a beach, and they cost way less than having to travel to one as well.