Throw a Beach Party Without the Beachby Martha Li
published June 03, 2010
You don’t need to live near the ocean to throw a beach-themed party. Sand or no sand, we’ve got advice on how to set up a fabulous beach-themed house party.
Decide on a party theme. Some ideas are a Mexican fiesta, a Hawaiian luau or a surf theme. Purchase supplies and décor to complement your theme. For example, for a Hawaiian theme, get plastic, colourful leis for your guests to wear, and serve drinks in hollowed out coconut (or pineapple) shells.
Let your theme inspire your menu. If it’s a Mexican fiesta you’ve got planned, then tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole and enchiladas are sure-fire hits. Mussels or clams are also excellent choices which instantly bring the beach to mind. Try Mussels Steamed with Lemon Grass and Chile De Arbol or Baked Stuffed Clams. Better yet, whip up Paella a La Basquaise which uses both mussels and clams. For more yummy beach bash fare, check out our Recipe Finder.
Create a song playlist. Music that ties in with your theme will set the mood, but asking your friends to bring their favourite CDs can be equally enjoyable. Some of our recommended all-time summer favourites are: “Soak Up the Sun” (Sheryl Crow); “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” (Jack Johnson); “Summertime” (Will Smith); and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole).
Set the table with beach-themed items. Make napkin ring holders out of a natural material such as raffia or place a single hibiscus flower, real or artificial, on top of each person’s elegantly folded napkin. For a centrepiece, place a candle inside a glass hurricane and fill with sand and seashells or smooth stones and marbles. Fresh, whole tropical fruits such as pineapples and mangoes also make for wonderful centrepiece decorations. Best of all, they can be cut up at the end of the meal for dessert!
Be creative when adding other beach décor touches. Fill small, plastic sand pails from the dollar store with ice and use as chilling buckets for wines, spritzers, and beer. Blow up a couple of beach balls and put them around the house. If you’re holding the party outdoors and don’t mind splurging, buy a kiddie pool, fill it with ice and use it as a cooler.
Serve drinks with a tropical flair. Buy fresh pineapples and use the shells as drink bowls. Don’t know how to hollow out a pineapple so the shell remains intact? Check out Hot Days, Cool Kitchen Tools for a funky pineapple slicing gadget. Then add little umbrellas to the drinks to give them a light and breezy look. Need cocktail ideas? Go to the Virtual Bartender for thousands of fun and flavourful drink recipes.
Party time! Set up your place at least one hour before your friends arrive. Greet your guests, hand each of them a fruity concoction in a pineapple drink bowl and toast to the fact that “life’s a beach”!