How to Throw a Summer Beach Party

How to Throw a Summer Beach Party

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Thankfully, summer is almost here and that means it’s time to party. The beautiful weather is begging you to go outside and be with nature. So while you’re planning your Fourth of July barbecues and camping adventures, don’t forget to spend sometime at the perfect summer venue: the beach.

Throwing a beach party can be tricky. There is the pesky sand and the vulture seagulls, but if done right, a beach party will be the best get-together you throw this summer. Here are some tips to make sure that your friends leave this party tanned and happy.


The words research and party should never really go in the same sentence, but it’s something you have to do. You don’t want to show up with all your guests only to find out you’re not allowed to party at that particular beach. Some beaches have rules about late night parties, regulations about bonfires, and restrictions on alcohol. You may need to reserve a spot on the beach or get permission to even throw a party there. After you do all that boring stuff, you’re ready for your party.


It’s important when you invite people to tell them to bring their own towels, blankets, or folding chairs. This will make sure that everyone has a place to sit without getting sand all over them. Be sure to bring a long folding table where you can lay out snacks, one or two beach umbrellas to protect your food and your guests from the sun, and extra bottles of sunscreen in case people forget. Trust us, you don’t want your guests to remember this party by the wicked sunburn they got.


A potluck is the easiest way to self-cater the party. Feel free to suggest some recipe ideas to your guests so not everyone brings the same thing. Fruit salad is a must for any kind of summer party, and this one is soaked in sangria for a boozy twist. For your main dish, keep up the summer feel with a chicken avocado sandwich on a French baguette. As for sides, you could get store-bought potato chips, or you could make these perfect homemade chips instead. To finish off the meal, serve these tasty orange cookies. They are sweet and tangy and perfect for a beach party.


Your party playlist should be fun and upbeat. You want your guests to feel the joy of summer, so make sure you have some summer classics on there as well as the hottest songs of this year. Just hook up your player to a pair of portable speakers and let the music blast.

This article was originally published June 14, 2014.

How to Throw a Beach Party

This article was co-authored by Stefanie Chu-Leong. Stefanie Chu-Leong is the Owner and Senior Event Planner for Stellify Events, an event management business based in the San Francisco Bay Area and California Central Valley. Stefanie has over 15 years of event planning experience and specializes in large-scale events and special occasions. She has a BA in Marketing from San Francisco State University.

There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 80% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 140,885 times.

Beach parties are one of the best parts of summer. You get to enjoy the great outdoors, great food, and the warm sunshine. If you’re throwing your own beach party, you’ll want to make it an event to remember for your guests. To throw the best beach party, make sure you provide enough food and drink for everyone, plan ahead, and keep the party going.

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Throw a summer beach party picnic

I don’t know why it is that food just tastes so much better when you eat it somewhere out of the usual … like for example at a restaurant.

Ok that’s probably a bad example because it is more likely that the food tastes so damn good at a restaurant because it has been cooked by someone who has had years of training and experience in making sure it tastes that good. And the fact that they don't have a couple of kids hanging off their ankles while they cook always helps too.

But try and explain why dinner at the beach tastes so much better than the exact same meal would taste at home.

It could be the sun, the fresh salt air, the carefree ambiance or the Coronas. Or it could be that you simply don’t give two hoots if the kids drop crumbs all over the floor or if they (or you) completely miss putting their pasta salad into their mouths because heck, you don’t need to mop the floor or clean it up. the birds will!

Whatever the reason is, as far as I am concerned nothing beats the ease and fun of a good old beach party picnic.

With the weather so deliciously warm in Sydney, we are making the most of it and as often as possible we pack up our dinner into a basket, chuck in the other summer beach party essentials, call up a few friends to join us and head to the beach for the afternoon.

We’ve got the beach party pack down pat - say that a few dozen times without getting your tongue in a twist - and trial and error has taught us what we need and don’t need to lug along to turn an afternoon at the beach into the ultimate summer beach party.

We keep a basket packed with some basic essentials ready to go in the garage so that we’re good to go at the drop of a hat. Our summer beach party pack kinda looks like this

  • A large table cloth to lie on the sand. Size does matter in this case, so the bigger the better.
  • A sun shade and sunscreen
  • A couple of towels
  • A radio or portable iPod speakers (check out our beach party playlist below for some vibey summer tunes)
  • Hats
  • A footy, frisbee, beach ball or cricket bat and ball
  • A book or a magazine to devour when you have had enough of pegging the frisbee for a while
  • Disposable rubbish bags
  • An esky to keep drinks chilled
  • Disposable plates, cups and cutlery

As for the food, keep it simple I say. Pretty much anything is guaranteed to taste good when you are out in the fresh air surrounded by friends.

Some of the noms that we like to pack include:

  • Baguettes filled with chicken and mayo or salad
  • A whole watermelon sliced up and ready to devour
  • A container of salad or pasta salad
  • Bag of corn chips or baja mix
  • A couple of bottles of ice water
  • A stash of Coronas and a little container of lime slice.

All that’s left to do is gather a few friends, head to your favorite stretch of sand, lay like a lobster, dance like a flamingo and let the chilling officially begin.

How to Throw a Backyard Seafood Boil Party

Boiled lobsters and classic low-country boils are the easiest way to feed a crowd and put garden-fresh veggies to good use in the summer. Find everything you need to pull it off including an equipment list, recipes and tip

Since eating seafood like lobster, crab and peel-and-eat shrimp is both a deluxe food experience and a hands-on activity, it&aposs great for a party-especially in the summer. Boiling up a large pot of shellfish with all the fixings of a classic low-country boil-potatoes, smoked sausage, Old Bay seasoning and plenty of melted butter for dipping-is one of the easiest ways to feed a crowd. The benefits are endless:

  • You can make it your own by adding garden-fresh veggies, like green beans and corn, right to the boil or serving it with delicious fresh summer salads and grilled bread.
  • Fewer dishes! You only dirty a few large pots since almost everything can be cooked together.
  • The crowd and mess are contained to your backyard-plus the outdoors, with the help of your garden, does all the decorating for you.
  • This delicious meal is relatively hands-off (just boil, drain and dump!) and everyone will love it.

But before you send out your invites, you&aposll want to make sure you&aposve got the right goods to make the event a success.

What You'll Need:

  • Large Pot: To make a big low-country boil or to cook more than 6 lobsters, you&aposll need a super-large pot. A turkey-frying rig works too, because it has a jumbo pot and a sturdy propane burner.
  • Lobster crackers and picks, or kitchen shears make getting the meat out of the shells easier
  • An easy-to-clean table covering, newspapers or a paper table covering like this lobster-themed craft paper
  • Bowls or pails for discarded shells and peels
  • Lemon wedges for squeezing
  • Melted butter for dipping
  • Plenty of napkins (and maybe some bibs)

Seafood Boil Shopping Tips

How many: One 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound lobster per person, to yield 4 to 6 ounces of meat.

What to look for: Ask your fishmonger to hold each lobster up. Choose those that are kicking their tails when removed from the tank.

Or buy it cooked: Many markets will steam lobster for you while you wait (call ahead). Some stores also offer cooked, picked lobster meat.

How many: Three 21-25 count shrimp per person

What to look for: For sustainably raised shrimp, look for shrimp that&aposs certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can&apost find it, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America-it&aposs more likely to be sustainably caught. Look for raw, shell-on shrimp, either fresh or frozen.

Or buy it cooked: You can buy shell-on (or without shells if you want to skip peeling!) shrimp cooked too. But remember, they just needed to be heated through rather than cooked fully, so be careful not to overcook.

8 Secrets Every Outdoor Party Host Should Know

Try these tricks for a well-planned (and super fun) backyard bash.

1. Beat bugs to the punch.

We spotted this cute (and genius!) idea on Mom 4 Real: Keep insects out of drinks by topping glasses with patterned cupcake liners. Poke a hole through the center for a straw.

2. Reorganize your buffet.

"Place chips and salsa, veggies, and salads near the beginning, and end with more expensive food items, like meat and fruit," says Brittany Egbert at One Charming Party. "This will help stretch your spread, as people tend to fill up their plates before they get to the end."

3. Offer easy-to-grab utensils.

"Wrap cutlery in a napkin &mdash and tie with a pretty ribbon if you're feeling crafty," says Seri Kertzner at Little Miss Party. "The bunches look polished, and are easy to hold with one hand as guests fill their plates at the buffet."

4. Choose sturdy, but lightweight plates.

"I love trendy melamine dishes because they're not breakable," says Courtney Whitmore at Pizzazzerie. "They're perfect for poolside gatherings and backyard parties with kids."

5. Opt for chic but inexpensive centerpieces.

Candles are Kertzner's go-to table décor. She loves placing votives and pillars inside inexpensive lanterns sold at IKEA.

6. Get ice ready days before.

Instead of lugging bags of ice home from the grocery store, plan ahead. "A few days before a party, I start filling up large zip-top bags with ice from my freezer's ice machine," says Lexie Sachs, a product analyst in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

7. Make salad party-pretty.

Tori Tait at Thoughtfully Simple loves to present single-serve salads in berry baskets that she preps ahead of time. "It's a quick way to upgrade salad to appetizer status, instead of having everyone pile up on leafy greens from one big bowl," she says.

8. Serve frozen desserts with speed.

Like ending your bash with a cold treat, but don't want it to melt while you're doling out scoop after scoop? Try this trick. "Pre-scoop ice cream into small bowls, place them on a cookie sheet, and stow them in the freezer until you're ready to serve," says Tait. This is especially helpful when you have a bunch of kids clamoring for dessert all at once.

TELL US: What are your outdoor party planning tricks?

Photos: Courtesy of Mom 4 Real, Little Miss Party, and Thoughtfully Simple

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Building a DIY chicken feeder makes feeding sessions fuss and mess-free. It’s easy to fill up, built to last, and able to withstand the elements. RELATED: 20 Cool DIY Homesteading Projects For a Simpler Life No-Spill DIY Chicken Feeder Tutorial What You Need: 1 4 in.-wide PVC pipe, cut to size depending on your desired length…Continue Reading

Beach Party Ideas: Decorations

To set the scene for our party, I hung a beach scene shower curtain from Walmart between two trees, then set up my buffet table in front of it. (Here’s another shower curtain option.)

Next, I added a white tablecloth, a colorful beach towel as a table runner and two kid-sized Adirondack chairs.

And you can’t throw a party without a bunting.

So I made one out of a beach towel. Click for the instructions for the no-sew beach towel party banner.

I scattered a few felt and foam beach balls around the table, too. (I made those, too!)

More Beach Party Decorating Ideas

These crafts and decorative touches will help you recreate the beach vibe at home.

    from Studio DIY from The Country Chic Cottage from Heathered Nest from Craftivity Designs from Heathered Nest from Create, Craft Love from Southern State of Mind from See Vanessa Craft from Hello Wonderful from Celebrate and Decorate

Indoor Beach Party Ideas: Activities

A beach party just is not the same without a fun activity for everyone to do. Limbo is a perfect game for both young and old. A hula-hoop contest is another fun way to break the ice and get everyone on their feet.

Of course, if you have a lot of space, nothing says beach like a sandcastle contest.

Sandcastle Contest

Cover the floor of a separate room in plastic. Purchase small plastic kiddie pools and fill with sand. Have shovels, pails and castle molds for each pool. Divide everyone into teams, save for three judges. Set a timer for 30 minutes and allow everyone to work while the judges stay out of sight, perhaps helping prep food. Once the time is up, have the judges come back and declare one team the winner. You can award small token prizes or just let them be first in line at the buffet table.

Kids Crafts

For a children's party or one with a lot of kids, having a craft area set up will keep them busy and give them a small souvenir from the party. Craft ideas include:

  • Making seashell photo frames
  • Creating sand art candles
  • Drawing ocean pictures
  • Paper plate fish
  • Seashell painting

Throw A Retro-Inspired Beach Party This Summer

Crank up your '50s playlist, and grab your vintage sunnies. We're spilling all the inside scoop on how you can throw an unforgettable retro-inspired beach party in your own backyard this summer.

Related To:

Set the Scene

To help with planning, think of your favorite old movies when choosing your retro beach party decor &mdash Beach Blanket Bingo and Gidget were our inspirations. We started by setting out towels and outdoor pillows in ice cream-inspired colors to create a casual, poolside hangout area and swapped in a small wood stool for a table to hold drinks and snack plates.

Invite All Your Pals

Get the retro vibes flowing before your guests arrive with vintage-style invitations. We found these '50s invites on Zazzle.com and customized them with details of our soiree. Go all out with the theme, and ask guests to dress in vintage beach attire.

Vintage Snack Attack

We chose a simple, casual menu of snacks and treats for our retro beach party. When thinking about your menu, incorporate low-fuss popular foods from the decade, and add cheeky cards to get your guests into the beach party spirit. Here, we filled a tray with "beach balls", "pool mats" and "crunchy crabs." Tip: Lay a piece of wax paper down on your tray before filling it for easy cleanup.

Fun in the Sun

Those hot summer days outside can lead to sunburns &mdash not to mention all the bug bites. Make sure your guests are covered on both fronts by filling a basket with a variety of sunscreens and bug sprays. If you have a pool, make sure to offer waterproof sunscreen options as well (especially for the kiddos!).

Beach Club Decor

We set up this beach club-inspired corner where guests can grab a towel if they need one. To keep with the theme, we displayed a big float with a fun message and pretty gerbera daisies draped inside. Remember to give everyone plenty of spots to relax, too. Guests can easily move floor pillows around to wherever they want to sit.

Dress Up Soda

Add paper straws in bright, retro colors and tissue-paper flowers (with washi tape) to dress up glass soda bottles.

Take a Dip

For another easy, retro-inspired snack, pour dip (like gaucamole, hummus or salsa) into clear plastic cups and add sliced carrots and celery. We included a "Take a Dip" sign to keep with the cheeky summer theme.

Fruity Cones

Kids will love these yummy fruit cones after a swim in the pool. Add a variety of fruit to the cones including berries, grapes, or diced cantaloupe or pineapple. Make things easy, and use pre-cut fruit from the produce section.

Coconut Cocktails

Serve the adults a delish cocktail &mdash like one of these summery cocktails &mdash in these adorable faux coconut shell cups. Pretty paper umbrellas and striped straws make the drinks feel even more festive and beachy.

Retro Sunglasses

Your guests can truly embrace the retro beach party vibes with a vintage sunglass station like this one. We found $1 sunglass frames at the local thrift store and set them up on a table so guests could grab them on their way to the pool.

Colorful Fruit Juice Ice Pops

The kids (and adults) will certainly appreciate cooling down with fruit juice ice pops. Fill up an aluminum tub with ice and stick all the pops in there for guests to grab and enjoy.

Hula Hoop Station

Take guests back to the 1950s with a hula hoop station. It'll keep the kids busy for hours, but chances are, the adults will really love it, too. We used a simple outdoor side table to hold all the hula hoops for anyone to stop by and spin. Make sure you set this up in an area that has plenty of room for hula hooping.

Refreshing Snow Cones

There's no shortage of retro desserts to choose from, but it's safe to say snow cones are an all-time favorite. Easily make faux snow cones with crushed ice and food coloring, and add an unexpected element with a candy ring pop garnish. Make an adult version by pouring your prepared signature cocktail on top of crushed ice.

Stay Dry

You can never have too many towels at your beach party! We set up a basket by the pool and stuffed it with colorful towels. Even if you don't have a pool, offer towels for guests to lay on the grass or put down on chaise chairs. Our pup Billy got into the beachy spirit too, with a festive summer flower necklace.

Easy Signature Dessert

We stacked chocolate cake snacks on a cake stand and added fresh cherries as our signature dessert. As an alternative, leave some of the cakes in their packaging for guests to take home.

Watch the video: VLOG#37. SUMMER BEACH PARTY EN ALLES REGELEN (August 2022).