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Family Beach Party Ideas & Tips

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What’s better than a family reunion?  A family reunion beach party, of course!

Your family will definitely have a time to remember if you throw a beach party.  With a beach party, there is something to do for everyone!


Need some beach party ideas when it comes to the food?  With a beach party, you have a whole ocean of food right there!  But if your guests don’t like the self-serve option, here’s some menu items to serve up!

  • Sand castle rice crispy treats:  This is as easy as making rice crispy treats using the actual tools used in sand castle making!  You may prefer to cut rice crispy treats into little squares and building a castle that way, so you don’t have to cut it later.
  • Munchy buckets:  On the snack/food table, have munchies such as chips and pretzels served out of buckets spilling onto plates, and have the little shovels for your family to serve themselves.
  • Fruit/veggie tray beachball:  Serve up a few different colors/types of fruits and veggies on a round platter, but arrange the fruit in such a way that it looks like a beach ball!  Don’t forget a dip!
  • BBQ food:  BBQ and beach go so well together.  Hotdogs and hamburgers are both easy to make, just watch out that those pesky seagulls don’t snatch them up!
  • Island tea:  Brew up some refreshing iced tea, serve with lemons and one of those fun umbrellas!  Don’t forget the plastic “glasses” and straws!


When it comes to decorations for a beach party, good news for you:  the beach comes pre-decorated!  There are unique instances where you may want additional decorations, though.  If you rent a pavilion, you’ll surely need something to take away from that drab shelter, so here’s some beach party ideas for decorating:

  • Balloons and streamers:  With a pavilion, balloons and streamers can make all the difference in appearance.  Making a canopy out of the streamers is cheap, easy and it looks cool!  All you do is swag streamers from the middle of the pavilion to the corners and you have a canopy!
  • Banners:  Banners can be put up anywhere on the beach, really, as long as you use two poles, or even two palm trees nearby.  Having a custom banner made?  Perfect!  You’re bound to find somewhere to put it!
  • Kites:  With a beach normally comes a bit of wind, so put this wind to use by having a bunch of kites flying!  It is not only a pretty thing to look at, but you can find some really cool kites!  Encourage family members to bring some with them.
  • Tiki torches:  They look nice and keep bugs away!  These are especially nice if you plan on throwing an evening or night time beach party.
  • Sand toys:  These can be scattered in “corners” of the party for a little extra beachy effect, and also be used to entertain the kids!
  • Pool cooler:  Instead of using traditional coolers, buy a small, inflatable kiddie pool, add ice and your beverages!  Don’t forget to decorate the pool itself by sticking in an inflatable palm tree or little crabs!
  • Fish nets:  Fish nets can be used as decoration, and you can also attach fake fish, sea shells, fishing lures and so on!
  • Surf boards:  If you have a few surfers in the family, see if they would be willing to lend you their board to prop up in the sand!  These can also make terrific photo props if you set it up just right!


Games are a completely necessary aspect of a family reunion, especially to keep the kiddos busy.  The beach is the perfect place for games; you’re outdoors, and have water and sand at your fingertips (and in your toes, underwear, other places…).  Put all of these to use to make your games!   Here’s some beach party ideas for you and the kids:

  • Net games:  Games such as beachball, volleyball and badminton can keep people busy for hours!
  • Water games:  You’re at the beach, don’t be afraid to get a little wet!  Bring items such as squirt guns and water bombs, oh, and be sure everyone brings a bathing suit!
  • Nature hunt:  Send all of the kids on a nature hunt with a list of things to find and a bucket.  The first to come back with everything on the list is the winner of the game!
  • Naturama:  Using the items from the nature hunt, glue them down to a canvas board, add a little paint, and voila!  A beach party masterpiece.

Check out Beach Games and Activities for Kids for more great beach party ideas for your tropical family reunion!

Find a balance

For beach parties, yes you are at a beach where sand, water and sun are abundant, but it is important to find a balance in all of this by adding some shade!  Not everyone can tolerate the sun for long periods of time, so be sure to either rent a pavilion, set up a tent with refreshments, or have a bunch of those giant umbrellas!

If you want to keep everyone happy, provide them with things that will keep them from getting cranky.  When you have fun in the sun, you should also have it made in the shade!

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