Few experiences capture the essence of summer as strongly as a day at the beach. When the hot, humid weather hits, the beach is the only place I want to be, lounging in the sand, cooling off at the shoreline, and relaxing under the sun. And given the perfection of a summer day at the beach, the only way it can be made better is by hosting a party and inviting your favorite beach bum friends to enjoy the salty, sea air with you.
Keep your party casual, transportable, and by all means as relaxed as a day at the beach should be.
Preparing for Your Beach Party
Write your invitations on a deflated beach ball. Ask your friends to inflate the ball and bring it with them to the party, along with their own chair, beach blanket, and towel.
Prior to your party, check with local officials to determine the rules regarding alcoholic beverages, bottles and whether you will be responsible for taking your trash with you when you leave, or whether there are receptacles on the beach for your trash.
If required, obtain a permit for your party or bonfire (if you plan to make one).
Research the cooking facilities that are already available on the beach, and what kind of grill, if any, you can bring with you for preparing food.
Be sure to have enough large coolers and ice to transport your food and beverages to the party and keep them at a safe temperature until they're consumed.
Favors and Activities
Give everyone your party favor at the beginning of your party. Make it a beach pail with a shovel, sunscreen, water squirt bottle, and sun visor. If your budget allows, toss in an after-sun product too.
Bring equipment for a game of beach volleyball.
Organize a sand castle building contest.
Everyone can use the pail and shovel you have given to them. Judge creations in any number of categories including the tallest castle, biggest castle, most authentic looking castle, etc.
If you're on a beach with interesting sea shells, send your guests scavenging for the best variety of shells. You'll know who tried the hardest by the amount of sunburn on their back and shoulders!
Remember to bring along music and play your favorite beach songs throughout the party.
Challenge your guests to a hula hoop contest to see who can keep one spinning for the longest time.
Enhance your fun on the beach by preparing as much food as you can before you leave home. Just be careful to transport the food at the correct temperature.
Szechuan Cold Garlic Shrimp - This recipe needs to be made in advance to allow adequate time for chilling.
- Lobster rolls always remind me of summer road trips through New England.
Grilled Gourmet Sausages - Many stores now offer a wide variety of sausages from Italian pork, to spicy chicken or turkey, to seafood blends.
Serve on crusty rolls topped with any of the following: grilled onions, sweet, hot, or pickled peppers, mustard, ketchup, or salsa as the sausage dictates. Plan to cook the sausages on the beach for maximum freshness.
Corn and Lima Bean Salad - Here's a great combination of summer vegetables, destined to travel well, seasoned with great flavors from Peru.
- Who doesn't love this do-it-yourself treat in the summer?
Purchased Frozen Fruit Bars - This will be a refreshing treat during the heat of your party.
Don't forget assorted cold beverages such as beer, iced tea, lemonade, and water. Have fun!