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Ocean-Themed Party Ideas

By August 26, 2010

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I was visiting family in northwest Washington state last week and made the requisite trip to Birch Bay, a small beach community just south of the Canadian border. After stocking up on salt-water taffy at a local institution called The C Shop, we popped into a cute little store called Primrose Lane.

As you might expect in a seaside town, Primrose Lane was stocked with ocean-themed gifts and decor. As someone who lives closer to inland lakes than ocean waves, it was fun for me to look at their glass sailboats, starfish ornaments and other beachy decorations and dream about moving closer to the coast.

Since returning home--and maybe because my mind still wants to be on vacation--ocean-themed party ideas keep popping up on my radar. There are many cute ways to incorporate boats, mermaids, Nemo and other under-the-sea images into a birthday bash. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • At the shop in Birch Bay, I spotted the seashell garland pictured here. You could easily replicate the idea by carefully drilling one hole in each shell and stringing them together with twine. Hang the garland above doorways or above the cake table at a party.
  • A'Dell from the blog Style Lush compiled a list of ocean-themed party links in preparation for her daughter's upcoming Finding Nemo birthday, including sea-themed invitations from Tiny Prints and a set of ahoy sailor printable party supplies from Parties by Hardie.
  • Yesterday, Ohdeedoh featured a birthday party inspired by the child's zodiac sign: cancer. Since crabs are the symbol for cancer, the family went with an orange and red beach theme. I love the crab cake topper holding a "1" sign to celebrate the birthday boy's big day.
  • Decorative fishing nets (compare prices) are a must at under-the-sea parties, as are seashells (compare prices) and gummy sharks (compare prices).
  • If you're leaning toward a mermaid theme, check out Living Locurto's post about the mermaid party she threw for her daughter. Included are instructions for making no-sew mermaid tails. My sister did that one year for her daughter's mermaid party and then gave the tails as favors. Big hit.
  • Several Etsy sellers offer beach-themed party supplies, including cupcake toppers, mermaid hair clips (for the birthday girl or to give as favors) and crab-covered favor boxes.
  • As for dessert, you could cover a castle-shaped cake (compare prices) with crumbled 'Nilla Wafers, follow the directions in Hello, Cupcake! for shark cupcakes, or ooh and ahh over this darling under-the-sea cake from Olanos Cakes.
  • Party Planner Kate Landers shared her ideas last year for a classic red, white and blue sailboat birthday.
  • If you need a party activity, how about making sailboats out of half clam shells, twigs (as masts), scraps of fabric (as sails) and Playdough (to hold the twig masts in place)? Here are some other boat crafts from About.com's Guide to Family Crafts.

Has anyone ever thrown an ocean-themed party? Please share your ideas!

July 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm
(1) Lyndsay says:

Great ideas, these will really help with planning my son’s 6th birthday. Thanks!

July 23, 2011 at 9:12 am
(2) kidsparties says:

I’m so glad, Lyndsay! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’d love to see pictures of your son’s party when it’s all said and done. Here’s an easy way to submit some: http://kidsparties.about.com/u/sty/birthdayparties/ReadersBirthdayPartyIdeas/

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