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Summer Party Ideas that Shine

Summer is a great time to gather with friends and family to celebrate. Kids are off of school, the sun is shining and that barbeque is begging to be used for entertaining!

Themed parties are always a lot of fun to plan, and there are so many creative theme ideas for a  summer party:

Snow Cone. I know we don’t want the real snow to come back for several months yet, but a snow cone party is one that’s sure to be enjoyed by all ages. With a machine to crush ice and a few different syrup flavors, the guests can keep cool in a delicious way.

Hawaiian Luau. This is one of the most popular themes for summer parties because there are so many fun ideas for a luau! A few ideas include pork sliders, a hula dance competition complete with grass skirts, a craft of making your own leis, tropical drinks with mini umbrellas... I could go on forever here!

Mexican Fiesta. I love all of the bright colors in a fiesta! The great thing about this party is that you don’t have to worry about matching colors - just toss a variety of large colors together with piñatas, mini sombreros and delicious Mexican food.

Waterpark. You don’t have to live near a waterpark to enjoy a water-themed party. You can create your own mini waterpark in the back yard with mini pools, water toys, water balloons and a slide. And remember: adult supervision is required at all times around mini pools.

Under the Sea. This party theme is great for an outdoor pool setting. A few colorful fish decorations, goldfish crackers, fish gummies and water toys are just  a few of the fun ideas for this theme.

Bugs Picnic Party. If you host your picnic near an outdoor play structure, your activity planning will be complete. You can serve chocolate covered ants (chocolate raisins), sandwiches, pasta salad and lemonade.

Drive-In Movie. For this party, you’ll need a projector to show a movie outside on a homemade screen (a white sheet over the fence works great). Guests can pile up their treat trays at a delicious concession stand full of candy, popcorn and pop. If you’re the crafty type, you could even make some ‘cars’ out of cardboard boxes for the little guests to sit in.

Beach Party. Nothing says summer like a day at the beach! Bring along some beach gear like water toys, umbrellas and a cooler of cold drinks along with beach-themed treats like beach ball cake pops and sandy pudding cups (crushed graham crackers topped with chocolate pudding). Depending on the rules of the beach, you may even be able to have a fire at night to roast marshmallows.

Little Artist. Art parties can get a little messy, but they are so much fun! By hosting an art-themed party outside, you don’t have to be as concerned with the mess left behind. Simply set out a few easels, paint, a large roll of paper and sidewalk chalk, and let your little artists create some masterpieces.

Garden. A garden party would be perfect both outdoors and in a greenhouse. The little guests can learn about plants and perhaps make their own little flower pot to take home as a favor.

Paintball. For the older party guests, a paintball theme is a lot of fun. Be sure to ask guests to bring a change of clothes if you plan on going out to eat after.

Camping. A BBQ feast, s’mores, campfire stories and more - there are so many ways to get creative with a camping party! You could host it at a local campground or even in your own back yard for a little overnight campout for the kids.

Lemonade Stand. For the crafty DIY parents out there, you could make your own little lemonade stand filled with different flavors of lemonade, pink lemonade cupcakes, cookies and more. You could save it for a fun little charity lemonade stand later in the summer.

Treasure Hunt. Hidden clues, mini shovels, binoculars and pieces of a treasure map could be used by your party guests to find a hidden treasure in your own back yard.

I hope you enjoy a fun summer with your family and friends filled with laughter, good memories and ice cream... lots of ice cream.

Cheryl is a married mother of one. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a strong interest in parties and event planning. She is the owner and writer for Moms & Munchkins (, which is filled with ideas for family fun, activities for kids, party ideas, party planning tips, holiday fun, moms’ night out ideas and more.

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