beach luau birthday party

Last month, we celebrated our daughter’s birthday with a beach luau themed party, just in time for Finding Dory and the summer season. She adores the beach so it was perfect for her.

It fell on Memorial Day weekend, so was fun to plan and be at the beach with our family and friends. And while we are lucky to be near the beach, (I was so excited for this party because after moving from New York, I always wanted to have a beach party in San Diego), you can easily do this theme in your backyard and make it a luau. I sent invites online to be green and told guests to simply bring their own beach chairs or beach blankets.

Here are the details:



We have a surfboard and boogie board at home that we brought and I draped this sign over them via shimmery white letters I found at Michaels, (like these ones here). My best friend made the sign (and had made a similar one for brunch near the beach for my baby sprinkle not too long ago) and her sweet finishings of shells at the ends really made it special.

We had beach balls, fish paper signs for the food that went with the theme and shell stickers on each sign, both found at Michaels, (see pics below), luau themed napkins, a grass skirt table skirt for the easy to carry folding utility table we had topped with a yellow table cloth. We also brought our beach wagon to put gifts in with an Aloha sign and had a beach umbrella set up with balloons so people could find us.

beach umbrella luau

I had bought this portable tent for my 4 month old in case he napped in there or if it was windy, but since my mom was at the party, she held him the whole time in a beach chair as he napped and the kids actually loved going in and out of the tent!

portable tent


Beach friendly snack food was key for us since our party time wasn’t during a meal time plus that meant nothing would get to sandy while eating. I did a lot of individual packaged things like fig bars (called them sand castle bars), goldfish bags (labeled fish out of water), fruit snacks (these finding dory ones), popcorn bags, fruit skewers on drink umbrellas that I saran wrapped to keep sand off, these delicious coconut cookie thins (said they are sand dollars), pretzel rods in a bucket, (called them diving sticks) and hershey kisses in a treasure chest (as pirate’s treasure of course). Everything I had was finger friendly so I didn’t have to put out plates or silverware. Oh and don’t forget to put out baby wipes, comes in so handy at the beach. I found fun Finding Dory wipes online.



We had everything in cans or boxes to make it easy and served organic coconut water boxes, San Pellegrino sparkling fruit drink cans for moms and dads (labeled mermaid lemonade) and served octopus punch (ok it was really Honest organic fruit juice boxes) for the kids. And of course mini water bottles to stay hydrated (as ocean water).



We ordered cake pops from a local well known donut shop on the coast here, (VG Donuts) which made it easy for everyone to eat and we still got to sing happy birthday with an Ariel Mermaid candle I ordered and flop flop candles I found at Papyrus but also here (see cake pops pic above).



We gave out beach buckets/shovels and kites that I got a local dollar store but you can easily find online. I also ordered these super cute beach labels that I put on each bucket as a thank you for coming.

beach party


Luckily the beach is a child’s playground and you don’t need to plan much:) Between playing in the sand and running around, the kids had a blast. Since it got cloudy that day, the kites were awesome to use from the favors too! (we had to have something from Frozen for my 4 year old and the Elsas flying high in the sky were a hit…we also had Star Wars ones for anyone not into Frozen).

Overall, it was fun in the sun!




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