Fun and Frugal Party Plans©
by Phyllis Cambria
"Bash At The Beach!"©
back to the beach for surf, sand and sun for this seaside soiree! While summer
is the most likely time to have this party, what about holding it in December?
Just think warm thoughts, put out some sun lamps, turn up the heat, and it won't
matter if it's 20 below outside, you and your friends will want to catch this
wave of fun!
You pick the spot--beachside, poolside, backyard or living room--here's the perfect plan for some surfside fun. One of the most popular themes of the day, it allows for easy, comfortable and casual garb, activities, refreshments and decor. Whether your event is for a personal or business occasion, this is sure to bring out the beach bum in your guests.Invitation Ideas: (Costs do not reflect postage.)
- Include some beach sand inside your invitation’s envelope. (COST: FREE if found at beach to $3 if purchased from gardening supply house.)
- Beach by the lake, river or ocean
- Backyard, garden, park or sand lot
- Pool, private or sports or country club
- Banquet room, transformed
- Any brightly lit patio or atrium
- Seafood restaurant
- Boat or barge
- Parking lot, transformed
- Convention center or airplane hangar for a real Beach Blowout
- Check your music store or library for theme collections of beach-based rock and roll music. (COST: FREE: if borrowed from library or friend. $3 and up per tape or CD purchase.)
- Rent a couple of videos like "The Endless Summer," "Jaws," the Frankie and Annette beach movies, or "Gidget" films. You can show them with or without the sound. (COST: FREE, if borrowed from the library or friend. $2 or more if rented.)
- If you can have the party outside, play volleyball or badminton. (COST: FREE if equipment is borrowed or owned. $10 and up for equipment purchased.)
- Limbo contests are fun even if you are not limber. (COST: FREE. Just use a broom handle. Any other costs will be for prizes.) For a more authentic contest, buy a bamboo fishing pole ($5 or more from sporting goods stores or discount department stores)
- If the party's indoors, put your bed’s box spring on the floor and cover in blue fabric. Borrow a surfboard or boogie board and stretch it across the mattress. Have everyone try to "hang ten" while you and your guests bounce on the mattress on this landlocked substitute for riding the wild surf. (COST: FREE and up depending if materials are owned or borrowed.)
- See how long you can toss a beachball around before someone drops it. (COST: $1-$5 for beachball.)
- If you are on the beach, invite your friends to make sand sculptures or get everyone together to make a huge sandcastle. (COST: FREE)
- Set up a game of touch football. (COST: FREE if football is owned or borrowed.
- Every party shifts into high gear with a lively hula hoop contest. Twirl and swirl your guests into a funny and fun festivity. (COST: $6.00 for hoops and whatever prizes you award.)
- And speaking of twisting, lay that Twister mat down and get the wackiest game since beach blanket bingo going. (COST: $12.00 for the game unless you own or borrow one.)
- You also can contact a gardening supply store to deliver a pile of sand to your backyard for sand castles. After the party, simply spread the sand throughout your garden or put into a child's wading pool for their beach-based fun at home. (COST: Varies depending upon location.)
- Grab your Karaoke machine, put in a selection of "beach" music for everyone to sing along. (COST: FREE on up for Karaoke machine or tape recorder and tapes. More if purchased or rented.)
- If you have a pool, hold contests to see who can swim the fastest or hold their breath the longest. (COST: FREE if you have a pool.)
- Another fun pool activity is to "salvage" for "sunken" treasure. Place a couple of objects at the bottom of the pool and let your guests try to retrieve them in the shortest time. (CAUTION: Don't let too many people dive for objects at the same time. They may hurt themselves underwater.) If you do this as a nighttime activity, do not put on the pool lights. Let guests try to find objects in the dark. Give them a set period of time and blow a whistle when it's time for them to re-surface. (COST: FREE if you have a pool. Other costs would be for prizes you may wish to give.)
- Bond your guests together by having them wear their best beach duds. These colorful outfits will be the start of your party decor.
- If the party is indoors, replace normal seating with beach and lounge chairs. (COST: FREE if beach seating is owned or borrowed.)
- Set blankets, straw mats, and beach towels around for additional seating. (COST: FREE if owned or borrowed.)
- Want to bring in some light in the gloom of winter? Make it summer indoors by replacing low wattage lights with 200 watt yellow bulbs for a sunny glow. (Make sure your lampshade and lamp is rated to hold a high-wattage bulb.) (COST: $1 and up per light bulb.)
- Spread fishnets over tables and large furniture pieces. (COST: FREE if owned or borrowed. $3 and up purchased from a novelty, party or fishing gear store.)
- Have a sun lamp? Set it near a lounge chair so friends can catch "a couple of rays." (Caution your friends to limit any exposure to avoid burns.) (COST: FREE if owned or borrowed. $10 and up if purchased.)
- Bring out your collection of seashells from trips to the beach. (COST: FREE)
- Use straw mats or beach towels as tablecloths. (Straw matchstick blinds will work in a pinch.) (COST: FREE if owned, $5 and up for purchase of beach towels, mats or blinds.)
- Suspend large kites from the ceiling for color and a touch of the beach. (COST: FREE if owned. $5 and up if purchased.)
- Place inflatable beach toys around the room. (COST: FREE if owned. $1 and up if purchased.)
Refreshments and Serving Ideas:
- Have a surfboard? Mount on two sawhorses and use as a table. (COST: FREE if owned or borrowed. $25 and up if purchased new or used.)
- Use sand pails and sifters as food containers, and beach tools as serving pieces. (COST: FREE if owned or borrowed. $1 and up if purchased.)
- Inexpensive terry cloth washcloths make thirsty, beach worthy napkins. (COST: $.25 each at the local dollar store.)
- Cut 2" lengths of paper towel cardboard rolls, cover with kraft paper and trim with shells for napkin holders. (COST: $.50 cents)
- Fill a new straw beachcomber hat’s brim with chips. (COST: FREE if hat is owned or borrowed. $1 and up if purchased for hat and chips.)
- Serve goldfish-shaped crackers in a goldfish bowl. (COST: $1 and up per bag, $3 and up to buy bowl.)
- Boil, broil or bake lobsters or crabs. (COST: Depends on location and season.)
- Cook a large pot of your favorite chowder and serve with oyster crackers. (COST: $1 and up per person.)
- Serve raw clams and cocktail sauce (Combine ketchup, horseradish and lemon juice to taste.) (COST: Clams: FREE if available for digging, $3 and up per dozen depending on location and season.)
- Have a weenie roast. (COST: $1 and up per person.)
- Serve "shrimp on the barbie" or traditional shrimp cocktail. (COST: $2 and up per person depending on location, type of shrimp, and season.)
- Barbecue chicken, or serve it fried and cold. ($2 and up per person)
- Roast marshmallows over a campfire, grill, fireplace, or hibachi. (COST: $1 and up per bag of marshmallows.)
- Carry your guests back to their campfire days with s’mores: Roasted marshmallow, topped with a square of chocolate, wedged between two graham crackers. (COST: $.50-.75 per person for ingredients)
- Bake cakes in a variety of pans (cupcakes, bread, square, rounds and novelty) to make a sand castle. Frost them in white, then sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the frosting to get the sandy look. (COST: $.50-$1.00 per person. Cake and frosting ingredients)
Beach Party Shrimp Sauté
Serving Size: 8
1 cup oil
2 pounds medium shrimp -- about 60, in shells
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper -- coarsely ground
1 tablespoon oregano -- crushed
1 cup onion -- thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic -- mashed
2 jalapeno peppers -- sliced (seeds & all)
In large pan or wok over a camp fire (if at the beach) heat oil.
Add washed unshelled shrimps and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Shark In The Water (One serving)
- Combine 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce curacao, and a hand full of cracked ice, shake well and strain. Pour over ice in a tall glass.
- Fill the glass with lemonade mix*, add ½ ounce strawberry mix*.
- (*To make a mix, dilute concentrate with 1/3 the required amount of water.)
- In a blender, pour 1 ounce of light rum with 1/2 ounce each of creme de banana and blackberry brandy over a handful of crushed ice.
- Add a splash of orange and pineapple juice and a dash of grenadine.
- Mix until the drink is slushy.
- Pour into a tall glass and garnish with an orange slice.
Virgin on the Beach
In a tall, ice-filled glass combine 2 ounces each of cranberry, peach, orange, and pineapple juice. Add an orange wedge to garnish the glass.
Party Favors and Prizes:
Put your guests immediately in the mood by giving them a variety of beach toys to wear or win at the party and bring home to remember their day "day at the beach.
- Day or night, sunglasses, straw hats, and visors are called for.
- Arm them with squirt guns and other water toys.
- Personalized beach-themed drinking containers.
- Give them a kit to build one and then tell your friends to go fly a kite!
- You also can provide them with a towel for sitting.
- Beachball or Frisbee ™ for tossing.
- To tote home all their goodies, give your guests a straw bag, plastic or canvas tote.
- Beach-themed keychains or magnets
- Tanning lotions, eye and nose sun protectors
- Instant photos of your guests in their beach bum best.
(COST: $1 and up, if you have a dollar store near you…search through every aisle. The trinkets and treasures are buried there.)
If you are having a problem finding any product or service for your event we will be happy to help you search for it.
Contact: Phyllis Cambria at : E-mail her
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If there are any items that you cannot purchase in your area, especially personalized and customized items, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to make all purchases and ship to you in one package.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Throwing a Great Party, Phyllis Cambria and Patty Sachs, 300 pages of "everything you need to know" party information.Take a Peek