Everyone’s idea of an amazing beach party is on an island in Ibiza with cocktails, house music, massive pool floats and attractive people in swimsuits under the blazing sun… However, throwing your own sounds like an absolute logistical and budget nightmare. Well, it doesn’t have to be! You may not be in Mykonos or the Amalfi Coast, but you can still have a super fun party on any beach. A gorgeous location is always a bonus, but it’s the actual party elements that make a beach party truly unforgettable. Here are some ideas of how to throw a crazy beach party on a budget.
Build Your Own Set-Up
The first thing to decide on is your venue. If you’re lucky enough to have one and the budget for it, some beaches already have beach clubs with a pool, bar and DJ. Your job is half done. But if you’re on a budget or prefer something smaller scale, here are some ideas for creating an Instagram-able set-up.
You can make a huge beach blanket that will fit everyone by sewing up old bath and beach towels together. This way, it prevents fly-away towels or a picnic blanket that can be too light. It also involves recycling and is pretty economical.
Having some beach chairs on hand is also useful. However, investing in a bunch of beach chairs just for one party is a little impractical. Thankfully, you can make your own chairs from just broomsticks and cloth! The website Chica and Jo has a great DIY project for this, you could call some friends over and make them together.
You don’t need a full DJ set for ambience. Just get a bunch of portable speakers and make your own mixtape of your favourite party songs. Find out what your guests like listening to, and add those into the Spotify playlist!
Get some Drinks!
The first thing that comes to mind when you say beach party is: cocktails! Pink pina coladas, iced margaritas, rum-filled canchancharas, minty mojitos… But we also know that making cocktails is both expensive, time-consuming and just not practical for a large scale beach party. If you have a designated bartender with all the required ingredients and equipment, go ahead, but if you want drinks that cater to a mass, here are some easy options.
Beer is obviously the most party-friendly drink. You can get people to bring six-packs of their choice so you have a variety. The most important, however, is to bring a bunch of ice boxes. No guest would appreciate a warm beer, yuck! With an icebox, you can chill a big number of drinks at once, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, you won’t want to forget the underage guests. Now that you have an icebox, you have to buy ice! Also here’s a beach party hack — stick your beer into your shoe to keep sand from getting in either.
Another party favorite and sharing drink is sangria. It sounds fancy and tastes amazing, but prepping it could not be easier. Pick your choice of wine — white or red, then add summer fruits of your choice and some complementing fruit juice! Peaches, strawberries, apples and oranges are the typical fruits, and for red wine sangria, you can add some cinnamon or cloves for a little spiciness. Just chop up the fruits, toss them into a big container, pour in three to four bottles of wine, top with sugar and juice, and chill it overnight! You can just pop a ladle in for everyone to scoop their own drinks.
For a naughty mash-up of health and sin, alcohol-soaked fruits are a way to get a sweet buzz. Soak pineapple slices in Malibu coconut rum for a tart pick-me-up, or get a whole watermelon, stick a bottle of vodka in it and pop it into the refrigerator overnight. You can take out the vodka bottles the next day and carve out vodka-infused watermelon slices. A popular party treat that’s bound to get everyone on a sugar high is vodka gummy bears.
Feed the People!
Beach barbeques are the best because you don’t have to worry about cleaning out a grill or triggering the fire alarm in your house. You can just get cheap disposable grills and aluminium foil from the supermarket and throw them away after. If your beach has barbeque pits, you should definitely bring your own meat and grill up a storm. Sausages, pre-marinated chicken wings, ribs, and vegetarian-friendly options like buttered corn, potatoes, mushrooms and pineapples.
If there is no grill at the beach, but you are allowed to light fires, you can make your own mini grill. Get a sizeable tin can and cut two-inch strips down the sides of the can and bend them to form a base for your aluminum foil. Cover with thick aluminum foil, fill with some charcoal and place over a small grill. Get a number of tins so people can have fun grilling their own food.
Finger food is always the most convenient at beach parties. So order (or make, if you’re feeling up to it) a bunch of large pizzas in your guests’ favourite flavours and load up on chips. Make your own dips for the chips and nachos. Fresh salsa is always perfect for a hot day, you can add more chili if your friends like it spicy. Alton Brown has a really good recipe. Be careful though, this one calls for jalapenos.
Organize Some Fun Games
There are lots of things you can do. If you want to splash some extra cash and make the place look extra pretty especially when the sun sets, glow-in-the-dark beach balls will be a real stunner. Twister is also a super fun game that gets the competitive spirit going (you also get to see who’s flexible and who’s stiff as a stick). You could also set up a simple beach limbo by getting two people to hold a pole. And of course, just about any game can be turned into a drinking game if you want, even the simplest non-equipment ones like scissors, paper, stone. If you’re allowed to, and you have enough resources, you could even have a little beach bonfire! Roasting marshmallows and smores, singing songs in the evening, there’s no better way to end off your epic beach party.
Now that you know how to organize the most incredible beach party, here are some extra tips to ensure you maintain the fun atmosphere…
1. Keep a jar of vinegar on hand in case of jellyfish stings.
Not all beaches have jellyfish but do your own research and check if yours does. Nobody wants a ruined party because someone stepped on a jellyfish.
2. Get Ziplock bags to store your mobile phones.
We all want to Instagram and Snapchat the whole party, but you can’t do that if your phone gets soaked in seawater. Keep your phones in a sealed plastic bag to keep water out.
3. Bring some baby powder
Your feet will be SANDY after a whole day at the beach, and it will become uncomfortable to walk back with sand grains in your toes. Bring a tub to wash your feet off with. Everyone will love you for this.
Have a beachin’ good time!