Beach birthday party: group of friends having a toast at a beach

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than a day of fun in the sun. Whether you’re planning an adults-only beach birthday party or a kid’s birthday bash, we have plenty of tips for a splashy celebration. 

Check out some of our favorite beach birthday party ideas from games and activities to food and party decorations. Plus, find birthday party invitations to perfectly match your beach day vibes.

14 Beach Birthday Party Ideas to Make a Splash

Beach birthday party: kids holding some balloons at a beach

There’s something exciting about spending the day in the sun, laughing with friends, and splashing around in the water. Plan your next beach party birthday celebration with these top ideas, including inspiration for your birthday party invitations

1. Make It a Theme Party

Beach birthday party: Birthday Shark Invitation

Design: Jessie Steury

What’s more fun than a beach birthday party? A themed one! Take your event up a notch by choosing an unforgettable birthday party theme. For instance, you could host an under-the-sea party with mermaids and deep sea creatures as your motifs. Or maybe you want to make it a flamingo party and deck out your area with vibrant pink decor.

Another popular beach theme is a shark party complete with shark teeth and lifeguard attire. Be sure to grab a matching invite like the Birthday Shark Invitation that includes a riff on those lyrics you just can’t get out of your head!

2. Set Up Birthday Decorations

No birthday celebration is complete without a bit of party decor. Tie birthday balloons and streamers to your shade tent or add them to tables with food. Use strong rope or string to keep everything in place — and keep in mind that balloons tend to pop in high temps, so keep those in shady areas if possible.

If you’re hosting a beach-themed party at home, bring the beach inside with decor like seashells, lighthouses, and driftwood. Drape a net over the gift table and add starfish, clams, and pearls to amp up the decor.

3. Decorate Palm Trees with Lights

Beach birthday party: Neon Tropics Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

Palm trees are synonymous with beach vibes. If you happen to be near palm trees (and it’s allowed), dress them up by adding string lights. If your beach doesn’t have palm trees, bring along some inflatable ones instead. Get guests ready for the big beach celebration with a leafy invite like the Neon Tropics Invitation that offers retro vibes and a festive feel.

4. Stock Up on Party Supplies

Get ready for the big event by stocking up on essentials like beach towels, umbrellas, and sunscreen. Depending on the beach, you may be able to get loungers and umbrella rentals for your whole group. If not, plan on everyone bringing their own — and don’t forget to mention this to guests on your digital invitations

Be sure to grab a few things to keep guests entertained. Beach balls, buckets, and sand-digging tools are great for a kids’ party while adults may prefer to throw around a frisbee or play a game like Spikeball.

Don’t forget to grab the essentials when it comes to food. Napkins and paper plates are key for chowing down on beach fare like watermelon, sandwiches, and BBQ. Make clean-up a breeze by bringing along trash bags. 

5. Have a Pool Party Instead

Beach birthday party: Palm Springs Pool Invitation

Design: Carmia Jordaan

Don’t feel like getting sandy? Bring the beach vibes to your home and host a pool party. If you don’t have a pool, you can also plan the event at a local recreation swim center or check with local hotels if they offer a day-use pool rate. Choose a festive beach party invitation like the Palm Springs Pool Invitation, which features a retro pool adorned by tropical palm leaves.

6. Order a Sandcastle Birthday Cake

For something truly unique, order a custom birthday cake that looks like a sandcastle. You can also DIY your cake with a sandcastle cake recipe that uses brown sugar to mimic the look of sand. For easier eating (and cleanup!), consider cupcakes with beachy toppers in fun shapes like beach balls, starfish, flip flops, and umbrellas.

7. Get Grillin’ with a Beach BBQ

Barbecue Fun Invitation

Design: Anupama Srivastava

Summer beach cookouts are magical. Whether you’re grilling while watching the sun dip below the horizon or cooking up party foods under the searing sun, BBQ birthday parties are a staple of the season. 

Grill hot dogs, burgers, and veggies for the party guests. Be sure to set up a table with condiments and fixings. To generate excitement, send an invitation like this Barbecue Fun Invitation that features the stars of the big day: hot dogs, skewers, and grills.

8. Download Cool Tunes

Celebrate your birthday with friends and family by jamming out along the seashore. Make a playlist of some of your favorite summer-inspired songs. You can curate a list of all the songs you love or choose a beach-inspired playlist on an app like Spotify. Don’t forget to bring a Bluetooth speaker and charge up your phone so you can listen to tunes late into the night.

9. Lounge on Festive Inflatables

Fun Pool Floats Invitation

Design: Ana Sharpe Design

Whether it’s a kids’ birthday or an adult celebration, floaties make beach birthdays better. Order giant flamingo, llama, and pineapple floaties. If your birthday is in winter, you can even find holiday-themed floaties like reindeer and snowmen to bring down to the beach. (Hey, you don’t have to get in the water. It’s enough for the photo opps!)

Let guests know what type of fun is in store for them with an invite like the Fun Pool Floats Invitation featuring an inflatable donut and flamingo front and center.

10. Play Games in the Sand

Keep your guests entertained for hours by playing beach games like cornhole. Kids will love jumping into the waves and snorkeling in calmer bays. Bring along boogie boards or surfboards for more active party guests. 

11. Host a Luau Party

Luau Crown Invitation

Design: frau brandt (photo courtesy of Patrick Nied)

Get inspired by Hawaiian culture and host a traditional luau party. Serve Kalua pig, poi, and poke bowls. Hand out leis to all of your party guests and host a hula dancing competition or lesson to get guests in on the fun. Invite guests to the birthday party of the year by using this Luau Crown Invitation where you can upload a photo of the birthday honoree and include important event details.

12. Get Competitive with Beach Volleyball

If you want an active birthday bash, consider hosting a beach volleyball tournament to celebrate. Divide guests into teams of two and host several rounds of competition to determine a winner. For something more casual, let everyone play in one giant mish-mash of a volleyball game.

13. Cool Off with Refreshing Food and Drinks

Fresh Lemonade Invitation

Design: Ashley Ottinger

It’s no secret that the beach can get hot. Keep guests cool and comfortable by offering refreshments like sparkling water and lemonade. Stop by an ice cream shop or order from a beach cart to enjoy a colorful popsicle or savory cup of fro-yo. 

You can also make lemonade or ice cream the theme of the event and choose a matching invite like the Fresh Lemonade Invitation featuring an enormous pitcher and sliced lemons.

14. Don’t Forget Beach-Themed Party Favors

Say thanks to your guests for taking the time to celebrate your beach birthday party with fun and practical favors. Create gift bags with flip-flops and beach towels they can use on their next sandy adventure. Or pass them out at the start of the festivities so they can enjoy them right away!

Get Beachy For Your Birthday

Colorful balloons tied to a car

With these beach-inspired decorations, games, and themes, you’re all set for a day filled with sun, sand, and fun. Use them to celebrate a kid’s birthday or an adult’s latest trip around the sun. 

As you begin planning your beach birthday party, choose from our collection of birthday invitations. Customize the design by updating the color palette and adding elements like music. Once you’re done, send the invite to everyone on your guest list with just a few clicks.

For more party planning ideas, continue browsing our Stationers blog. You’ll find party tips specifically for kids’ events as well as adult-only birthday celebrations to ensure you have the most memorable time ever.