Come March, after we’ve endured countless days of snow, cold hands and wet socks, we all start longing for summer and sun. We itch for sand, for backyard parties, shorts and bathing suits, popsicles, the smell of sunscreen and time with at least our feet in the pool. Winter may almost be over…but unfortunately summer is still a long way away.
To try to beat the winter blues, we think that all March babies should indulge in an indoor summer-themed beach birthday party. If you’ve been feeling the winter blues, or are just in need of a good party, try throwing your own indoor beach party!
Make or print out invitations with a summer beach theme or use evite.com and choose a summer theme for your online invite. Let people know that attire is “beach casual” and bathing suits are encouraged. Tell guests to bring a towel to lie on and their favourite beach toys.
Some guest may not have summer wear available, so make sure to have captain’s hats, sunglasses, tie-dyed shirts, even a grass skirt or two to share when they arrive. It will bring people into the party and create a festive “summer” air immediately. As each guest arrives, give them a flower lei. Play the Beach Boys and other great summer tunes to get people in the mood.
Put a sign on the door that says, “Welcome to the Beach, Beware of Sharks” or something kitschy and cute that reminds guests as soon as they arrive that this is a beach party. Push the furniture back to accommodate beach towels, umbrellas, and even an inflatable pool that you can fill with plastic balls for the kids to “swim” in. You can also decorate with grass skirts around the tables, tiki torches (don’t light them indoors!) and lots of beach buckets, beach balls and other summer toys. String patio lanterns across the room to create a summery mood and create a sandbox (as long as you don’t have expensive carpet!).
What do you eat at a beach party? Grilled food! Either brave the cold and pull the BBQ close to the backdoor or use a grill pan in the kitchen. Roasting also works for most grill recipes, which is simple and low-mess.
For the main course you can make sliders (mini-burgers), veggie kebabs, fish tacos and mini-pizzas. For snacks throw together some fruit kebabs, chips and salsa (put the chips in a bucket!), popsicles, watermelon Boats and fish crackers. These adorable DIY picnic plates are perfect for serving cake or snacks on.
Speaking of cake, why not make some shark and beach cupcakes to send home with the guests in order to keep the beach theme flowing. Make some toasted s’more bars to mimic the dessert you would make if you had a bonfire on the beach and be sure to serve homemade lemonade during the party.
There are lots of great games you can play at an indoor beach party:
A game of Marco Polo, without the pool. Blindfold the kids and have them search for you by calling out “Marco.” and you answering “Polo”.
Seaside crafts. Pick up an assortment of seashells and stones at a craft store, along with googly eyes, pipe-cleaners, pom-poms, glitter, and anything else that can be used to decorate them. Have the kids decorate the shells to create monsters or other shell creatures.
Play “Beach Volleyball” with bright colored balloons.
Get a broom stick and have a limbo competition (you’d be surprised just how bendy little kids can be!)
Have a Hula Hoop contest to see who can keep the hoop twirling the longest.
A scavenger hunt for beach-related items is perfect for an indoor beach party. Hide a plastic sand shovel, sunglasses, sunblock, swim goggles, a beach towel and flip flops. Give each party guest a list of the scavenger hunt items, and have them search the house until the items are located.
Fishing. Get long sticks and string to resemble fishing poles. Stick a magnet on the end of the string and have kids try to snag laminated fish with paper clips on them. Label each fish with a prize.
If you do the seaside crafts, the kids can take theirs home with them (pet rocks and shells are pretty awesome). Otherwise, a sand bucket with a pair of flip flops, sunglasses, sunscreen, or lipbalm, some temporary tattoos and maybe even a water bottle will rock every kids world. And parents won’t be inundated with dollar store crap — these loot bags are full of things their kids can actually use.
Or, set up a photo booth in one corner with a camera, computer and printer and take pictures of each child in their beach get up (and don’t forget to do a group photo!) that you print out and send home in a seashell or other beach-themed picture frame.
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