20 Unforgettable Summer Party Themes

20 Unforgettable Summer Party Themes

Watermelon may be known as the most popular summer fruit, but many people wouldn’t believe that this juicy treat is actually classified as a vegetable in the cucumber family!

As long as you don’t share this lesser-known fact with any picky eaters, you and your loved ones can indulge in plenty of sweet watermelons to fuel your summer fun. If you’re planning on hosting any parties this year, you might be wondering what you can do to set your festivities apart from other gatherings.

Choosing a party theme is one of the easiest ways you can make your party more memorable. Keep reading this guide to discover 20 amazing summer party themes that are guaranteed to be a success.

watermelons on a table
Melon Party – Pool Party Invitation

1. Pool Party

Summer is all about soaking up some sunshine, so no theme is more classic than a pool party. Whether you have your own pool or you rent space at a local pool, everyone will be glad to get their invite.

To plan the best pool party, you’ll need plenty of snacks, cold drinks, cute pool floats, upbeat music, and space to relax. It’s always a good idea to set out some sunscreen so guests can reapply throughout the day in between games of chicken fight and Marco Polo.

2. Beach Bonfire

Some of the happiest summer memories involve trips to the beach, so why not invite the whole gang along for a bonfire? If you go close to sunset, then the weather won’t be so hot and the shores are guaranteed to be less crowded. All you have to do beforehand is make sure that you’re allowed to start fires on the beach you’re visiting.

Once you’ve got a nice blaze going, everyone can huddle together and roast hot dogs and make s’mores. If you bring along a cooler full of everyone’s favorite drinks, you can all toast to good vibes with great friends. Make sure you also bring along a volleyball and some other gear to squeeze in some games before the sun goes down.

3. Luau

Luaus are a crowd-pleaser because they’re colorful and they represent everything wonderful about summertime. To host your own luau, the key is to get lots of decorations like tiki torches, leis, grass skirts, Hawaiian shirts, a tiki bar, flowers, and rainbow streamers. Once the scene is set, your guests will dive right into the festivities by dancing, competing in limbo, and playing other party games.

20 Unforgettable Summer Party Themes luha aloha card invitation tropical festival flamingo
Orchids & Flamingo – Luau Party Invitation

You’ll also want to serve a variety of tropical foods like coconut, pineapple, roasted vegetables, smoked meats, fresh fish, and more. Kebabs are always a nice party food because you can fit all kinds of ingredients onto the skewers and grill up a bunch at once to serve a big guest list.

4. Barbecue

Barbecues are another popular summer theme because they’re similar to luaus but they’re a bit more laid-back and focused on food. Since guests will arrive with empty stomachs, you should set out some simple appetizers like chips and fruit for people to munch on while everyone waits for the fashionably late guests to arrive.

Depending on how many people you’re inviting, you might want to ask any friends who own trucks to bring along their grills, too. You also shouldn’t be afraid to cook some of your food in the kitchen, such as roasting vegetables in the oven and boiling some corn on the cob on the stove. Turning the party into a potluck is another simple way you can make sure everyone has enough to eat so you can focus on grilling up the best meats.

5. Outdoor Movie Night

What could be cooler than laying out some blankets under the stars and watching an awesome movie complete with snacks and drinks with your best friends or family? Thanks to improvements in technology, gone are the days when we had to crowd around a tiny laptop and hope the battery didn’t die. If you’re serious about quality, you can invest in some Bluetooth speakers and a portable projector for an immersive experience.

You can’t go to the movies without indulging in some buttery popcorn, candy, and soda, so be sure to set up a snack bar that puts real movie theaters to shame. To keep things simple, you can avoid popping your own popcorn and just serve the store-bought kind in classic movie theater bags or buckets.

6. Ice Cream Sundae Bar

When the weather is hot, nothing hits the spot better than ice cream. For an easy party that’s guaranteed to be a smash, you can never go wrong with buying tons of ice cream flavors, sauces, and toppings and letting people build their own edible masterpieces.

20 Unforgettable Summer Party Themes ice cream sundae bar

While there are many tasty ice cream flavors that come loaded with mix-ins, it’s better to stick with plainer flavors so they can act as a blank canvas. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookie dough, and mint are a few flavors to consider, but you can get some more inspiration in your freezer aisle. The most impressive feature of your sundae bar spread is going to be the toppings and fixings, so make sure you have lots to choose from, such as candies, cookies, fruits, nuts, sprinkles, pretzels, cereals, fudge, caramel, and whipped cream.

Most people will be excited to load up a bowl, but having some waffle and cake cones on the side will also be appreciated.

7. Scenic Picnic

Picnics are an incredible opportunity to eat some refreshing comfort foods and play games with loved ones while you enjoy the great outdoors. You can easily plan a picnic in your own backyard, but your party might feel more special if you can find a nearby park that has more space and greenery to enjoy.

The good news is that nobody expects anything fancy at a picnic, so meal prepping won’t be too tiring. If you buy big loaves of bread, you can assemble a bunch of sandwiches with different flavor combinations and slice them into convenient servings in no time. You can also head over to your grocery store to search for a party platter of prepared sandwiches and even side dishes.

Some other picnic foods you should make or ask guests to bring include potato salad, pasta salad, fresh fruits and veggies, cookies, brownies, sweet tea, and lemonade. To keep the fun going, you should also tuck some playing cards and board games into your picnic basket.

8. Obstacle Course

Are you and your loved ones down for an adrenaline rush? If you like to compete and play silly games together, then you can become their new favorite person by hosting an obstacle course party. If you have a big backyard or access to a local park, you can buy or rent tons of inflatable gear that will make for an epic challenge.

If you want to take more of the stress out of planning, then you should also consider going to a nearby attraction that will provide the setup for everyone to enjoy. Some party venues could include an obstacle park, a trampoline park, a zip-lining park, or even an amusement park. Make sure to ask about group discount rates if you decide to take your party to one of these places.

9. Tea Party or Brunch

If you’re putting in a lot of work to plan a party, you might as well make it as Instagrammable as possible! Tea parties and brunches are elegant yet not as difficult to prepare as they might look. By following this guide, you’ll be able to impress all of your friends and family and also make them feel like royalty when they attend.

20 Unforgettable Summer Party Themes tea party brunch girly loose tea roses elegant

By taking advantage of bakery goodies and freezer-friendly recipes, you can have enough food to satisfy any crowd without getting overwhelmed or spending beyond your budget. As far as your setup goes, you can find gorgeous decor, furniture, and tableware for a bargain at places like thrift stores, dollar stores, and clearance racks at your local home goods store.

10. Magic of the Seas

Whether you’re throwing a party for kids based on The Little Mermaid or a party for adults with a more mature theme like sailors and mermaids, there’s plenty of magic to explore under the sea. The highlight of this theme is the costumes guests can dress up in and the unique pictures you’ll be able to take of the crew.

One possible party game could be a treasure hunt where everyone has to work together to find the treasure chest that’s hidden away in a shipwreck. To fuel all this fun, you can stay on theme by serving seafood dishes or even vegetarian sushi for any guests who don’t want to eat their fellow sea friends!

11. A Day at the Fair

If the fair isn’t coming to your town or it’s too expensive, then who says you can’t recreate the festivities in your own backyard? Since fairs offer a diverse amount of entertainment, you can pick certain elements that you think your guests would enjoy the most. For example, a carnival party for kids could feature activities like face painting, a petting zoo, and games like ring toss.

While you won’t be able to have any thrilling rides in your backyard, you can still set up activities that even adults would enjoy. If you hire a food truck and a local craft vendor to come to your house, you can give your party a more authentic fair feel. You even have the option of scouting local talent like dancers or psychics to provide extra entertainment.

12. Neon Night

Are you and your friends night owls? If so, you can dance the night away at an unbelievable glow-in-the-dark dance party. Imagine how cool it would be to dance under the moonlight with a soft summer breeze to keep you cool. You could even combine neon night with a pool party to create the wildest adventure.

To host a neon night, you’ll need lots of glow sticks, party lights, speakers, and refreshments to keep everyone energized. You can also set up a glow-in-the-dark paint station where everyone can take turns painting cool patterns on each other and posing for photos.

13. Summer Cooking Competition

Summer is known for classics like fresh lemonade and homemade pies. If you’re looking for a fun excuse to gather up all of your loved ones, then you can invite everyone to a summer cooking competition of your choice. Once you choose a summery dish, the guests can bring their best creation over and everyone can enjoy sampling and rating their top picks.

To amp up people’s competitive spirits, you could brainstorm an awesome prize that will inspire everyone to try their hardest. The results are sure to be delicious and you’ll have plenty of time to socialize between tastings.

14. Boats and Booze

If you have the budget to rent a boat or you know somebody who wouldn’t mind sharing theirs for the day, then you could have a blast planning a boats and booze party. Depending on how many people you’re inviting, you could keep things intimate with a small motorboat or rent out a larger ship from a company that has convenient party packages.

Whether you’re on a lake, river, or ocean, the views will be spectacular, especially if you opt for a sunset cruise. Guests can enjoy good food and drinks, lively music, party games, and water activities if they feel like taking a dip.

15. Sports Party

Whether you’re throwing a party for kids or adults, everybody can get pumped about a sports theme. You could decide to make one sport the main focus or you could have an extravaganza with tons of different games to play. As long as the weather is nice and you have some drinks to keep everyone hydrated, the fun can last for hours.

If you’d rather watch sports than play them, you also have the option to take your party to a sports stadium to watch some professional teams battle it out. While it’s true that you can always make hot dogs and popcorn yourself, nothing beats the taste and experience of having iconic junk food at a sports stadium.

16. Chinese Dinner Party

People who are interested in hosting the most elegant summer party should look into planning a Chinese dinner party. Imagine sitting outside under twinkling Chinese lanterns while you and your loved ones share a family-style meal. To create an authentic dining experience, you should get a revolving tray so that everyone can serve themselves with ease.

If you don’t want to visit your local Asian market and try your hand at cooking, you always have the option to dress up normal takeout by serving it in beautiful dishes for a more homemade appearance. Be sure to also serve your guests a shot of traditional Baijiu so everyone can toast to a lovely evening with friends.

17. Flower Arrangement Class

Are you tired of going to painting classes when your loved ones want to enjoy a night out on the town? One of the most unique twists on this popular activity is flower arranging. Since tons of gorgeous flowers are in full bloom during the summer months, you and your guests will have a lot to choose from.

You can call your local florists to see if any of them can send someone over to your house to host a flower arrangement lesson or find a company that will host you and take the stress out of planning. If you decide to have the party at your house, be sure to serve plenty of wine and finger foods to create the ultimate relaxing day with loved ones.

18. Butterfly Beauty

Butterflies are one of the sweetest telltale signs that summer is approaching. A butterfly party is a simple but beautiful summer party theme that lends well to creativity during the planning process. While there are no rules, your party should be full of colorful decorations and butterflies soaring through the sky. The centerpiece of your snack table could also be these rainbow pull-apart butterfly cupcakes.

If you want to take your party to the next level, you could even invite your guests to a local butterfly conservatory where you can walk around a picturesque garden and see dozens of species of butterflies. The pictures are sure to turn out incredible since the butterflies will land directly on you.

19. Music Festival

Summertime is when the most popular music festivals happen, but their popularity comes at a huge price. If you and your pals can’t afford to make the trip to Coachella or Lollapalooza, then why not recreate the experience at home? If you know what the artist lineup is going to be, then it’d be easy to make a playlist of those artists’ best hits for an authentic concert feel. For people who aren’t as interested in the mainstream, then feel free to create your own music festival dream lineup and party to what you love.

Lots of people enjoy going to these festivals because they can dress up and take unique photos. If you want to go the extra mile, you can set up a photoshoot area where you and your friends can take stunning photos that look like you’re in a fancy setting.

20. Fiesta

Since Hispanic culture is so rich and exciting, it’d be simple to throw a memorable party that pays homage to you and your loved ones’ favorite elements. Some fiesta ideas could include setting up a taco bar, hanging a piñata, making margaritas, and getting colorful decor.

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can always recruit some help from an authentic Hispanic restaurant and support a small business. Don’t forget to make a party playlist full of Spanish music to create the perfect atmosphere.


Get Ready to Celebrate With These Amazing Summer Party Themes

If you loved these summer party themes, then planning your next bash will be a breeze. With so many exciting options to choose from, you’re guaranteed to create plenty of memories that will last a lifetime.

No party can get started without inviting your guests, which is why Greetings Island wants to help make the planning process as easy and fun as possible. Check out our summer party invitations, which have a wide range of themes and designs to choose from.