One thing I love about the blogging experience is that it allows me to document all the important events in my son, Dutch’s life. His 1st birthday last July was a blessed and memorable occasion. We threw him a Summer/Beach themed birthday party at the park. Friends and family came from all around to have fun in the sun and celebrate his first year of life. Today I’m happy to share with you all of the creative ideas that came together to make this party so great. Hopefully it will serve as creative inspiration for your Summer party planning!
Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. Thanks for your support and be sure to check out my full disclosure here. All photo credits go to Kambria Fortuna.
Lets talk table decor first. I used blue vinyl tablecloths with fish netting draped over top, then scattered seashells, rubber ducks, palm leaves and VW buses all around. I designed a centerpiece with the help of my Mom and Grandma. I took a sand bucket and filled it half way with sand. Inside is a wooden letter D (hand painted blue), seashells, and sunglass food picks. My Mom designed the graphics for Dutch’s Surf Report. The Forecast is hidden here but it reads Another Year of Fun. I taped them to wooden skewer sticks, arranged them in the sand and adorned two rubber ducks on top.
For food, we catered in finger sandwiches and I labeled them Submarine Sandwiches. Since his birthday is in late July, the weather was warm. We purchased inflatable serving bars, filled them with ice, and placed the sandwiches on top and I covered them with food nets to keep the critters away. We served the food in plastic baskets lined with wax paper, and drinks were stored in our inflatable kiddie pool filled with ice. For sides, we served goldfish and potato chips with large scoops. I sat them side by side and labeled them Fish & Chips. Some additional sides were fresh fruit and veggies served in a starfish serving tray labeled Island Fruit & Veggies. I also purchased two collapsible tables for additional serving space.
I set up a Candy Bar for the kids labeled Dutch’s Sugar Shack. Here is the menu I created (my Mom designed the graphics):
- Catch of the Day (Swedish Fish)
- Life Savers
- Fresh Bait (Gummy Worms)
- Salt Water Taffy
- Beach Balls (Gumballs)
- Wipeout Cupcakes
I served the candy in sand buckets with sand scoops and tongs. We set the cupcakes on top of another inflatable ice tray and topped them with beach ball and sunglass cupcake picks.
I also set up a game/gift bag table. We played the Goldfish Game where each person guessed how many goldfish were inside the clear fish dish and the winner received a gift card. The kids also had a water balloon fight in which the winner won a gift card and I scattered inflatable beach balls and park toys all around for play. My Mom designed an awesome photo collage of Dutch’s first year which was the centerpiece of this table. I sat it against a large post that I decorated to look like a palm tree using burlap and palm leaves. I made the I’m One garland by hand with craft paper, string and embellishments that I had on hand (the wind wasn’t cooperating, therefore duct tape fastenings revealed). Each gift bag contained an individual sunblock pouch, a rubber duck, a mini inflatable beach ball, a squirt gun and some candy. I decorated the bags with printable surf themed tags that I found for free here.
I handcrafted a burlap garland for Dutch. I bought the flags pre cut at my local craft store, glued blue paper doilies to the front, then added letters, embellishments, and starfish with hot glue. We also hung a raffia table skirt as a garland and paper lanterns across the top of the gazebo.
For his high chair I made a rag garland. I taped it along the edge of the table tray with the leftovers from the raffia table skirt. We also draped a striped beach towel over the chair. I wrapped the post next to his chair with 6 inch burlap and fastened beach sign cutouts to it.
I give my Mom huge props for baking and decorating this gorgeous wave smash cake. She also ordered a custom cake topper from Etsy that was designed after a picture of Dutch. My Grandma created the surfboard up front with a felt cut out and some mod podge.
Classic Family Photo Moment!
Phew! I had no idea how much work I put into this party until I sat down to put this post together. But it was worth it! Looking back, I’m so happy with how it turned out. We had the perfect day celebrating our little guy!
Did you enjoy these Summer/Beach themed party ideas? Please share with me your favorites in the comments below! Dutch’s 2nd birthday is around the corner, don’t forget to follow us to keep up with all our creative party planning ideas!
Also, for more Summer fun check out our Summer Bucket List Series!