To Sand or Not to Sand?
Bringing sand into your backyard can be an excellent way to give it that true “beach” vibe, and kids go crazy over the grainy stuff. However, keep in mind, that once you let it in you’ll never truly be rid of it. If you do decide to get sand, keep it in a contained area and do your research to ensure your chosen brand is safe for kids. Alternately, you can create a sandy-beach look with inexpensive tan towels or blankets, and to keep children entertained, you can create a station for “sand art” to enjoy the idea of sand with a minimum amount of mess.
Water, Water, Everywhere.
If you already have an operational pool, adding water to your beach party won’t be an issue. If you don’t, there are plenty of great alternatives, such as kiddie pools, water balloons, squirt guns, and various other types of beach toys. Just make sure to read up on water safety before you host your party. And if you don’t feel comfortable with water – for example, if a large number of small children will be present – there’s nothing wrong with keeping it confined to sprinklers and hoses.
Release the Umbrellas.
There are few things quite as likely to inspire a beachy mood as colorful beach umbrellas, and they’ll double as party-goer protection from the sun’s rays. While there are plenty of inexpensive options available, you might want to opt for sturdier choices if you’re worried about windy conditions, or if you want them to last for future beach trips. Plan ahead where you’ll place the umbrellas and whether you’ll need to dig holes, especially if the ground in your backyard is hard.
Enter the Universally Useful Towel.
It doesn’t cost much to stock up on beach towels, especially when retailers advertise steep discounts towards the end of the season (this is also a great time to buy decorative items and plastic dishware). Stack towels in strategic locations to encourage sun-bathing, or display them rolled up in large, decorative metal tubs (often marketed as “ice” or “beverage” tubs). Drape especially colorful ones over fences or attach to walls for an instant festive feel. And feel free to let guests take them home as party favors.
You don’t have to splurge on a new set of outdoor furniture for your party (although you’re welcome to use it as an excuse!) Any table or stool in your home can easily be transformed with a beach towel or beach-themed tablecloth. For seating, pull out the folding chairs you take to the beach, and ask your guests to bring their favorite items of beach gear as well.
Add Pizzazz with Plants.
Most local greenhouses and home improvement stores will have a selection of attractive potted plants to choose from. Adding a few miniature palm trees, ferns, hibiscus, mandevilla, or elephant ears will turn your backyard into a tropical paradise, and provide visual appeal long after the party. If you don’t want to invest in potted plants, you can pick up live or artificial blossoms at your local florist or discount store.
Pool and Party Supply and Dollar Stores.
Sites like ours or other stores near your city are good for finding supplies to decorate your pool, a luau or other beach-themed gathering. You can find everything from plastic leis to oversized sunglasses to battery-operated paper lanterns, and all for a good price. Big box stores are also a great source of inexpensive platters, plates, napkins, and more.
Beach Food Takes the Cake.
The wonderful thing about food intended to be eaten at the beach is that it’s simple and delicious – and of course, you get added flavor from all the energy you’re exerting having a good time! Make sure to get plenty of fresh fruit of whatever types are in season. Melons are a good choice, and provide plenty of food for a crowd. You can buy either whole fruits, or pick up pre-made fruit trays to save time. Get more beach food inspirations here.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate.
Even when you’re surrounded by water, it can be easy to forget to drink enough. Ensure that kids and adults alike stay hydrated by providing large pitchers of iced tea and water flavored with chopped-up fruit, and keep your blender buzzing with concoctions made of strawberries, bananas, coconut, mango, pineapple, and other tropical flavors. Use colorful straws and glasses to add decorative flair.
Whether to Worry about the Weather?
It makes sense to hold a beach party in a sunny climate, and to check the weather forecast to ensure an ideal beach day. However, rain or clouds don’t have to deter you from hosting a long-awaited beach-style event. If the weather isn’t as warm as expected, fill the kiddie pools with warm water instead of cold, and serve hot tea inspired by beach flavors instead of icing it. Consider adding a few warm, fluffy towels to the collection you provide your guests to quickly warm up shivering kids and adults, and buy or build a fire pit to quickly banish chills. If the weather gets really bad, modify and move the outdoor activities inside to keep the fun going.
Do you have any backyard beach tips to share with our readers? We want to hear your ideas!