Summer Party Ideas, Themes, Food & Crafts

Two children in colourful clothes taking hits at a llama pinata with rainbow bunting in the background

Who doesn’t love a good summer party? You might be celebrating a lucky summer child’s birthday, enjoying a barbecue with friends and family, or enjoying some of the amazing sports we get through the sunniest season – whatever you’re up to, we’ve got the inspiration to make your get-together a super fun one!

Summer Party Themes

A summer party isn’t hard to put together – it’s just  decorations, drinks, food and friends! But what ties everything together is a solid party theme.

Tiki-Tastic Hawaiian Party

Bright, colourful and exotic – our Hawaiian party is everything you need out of a summer celebration! Our party revolved around a table setup with a grass table skirt around the edge and a jute table runner down the middle. We filled the table with the Aloha summer party range, filled a bowl with leis and popped a huge pineapple prop in the centre!

Check out the blog for details and our ideas for Hawaiian party games. You can also check how to put together a Tiki bar on our dedicated blog.

A moving image showing the process of setting up a Tiki bar for a summer party

Mexican Fiesta Party

Going down Mexico way next with a dramatically colourful fiesta party! Our theme included lots of bright paper fan decorations and tableware, then we dotted the table with maracas for a fun little accent the kids will love.

In terms of food and drink we put plastic cups of nachos inside an actual sombrero, and of course made brightly coloured plastic margarita glasses freely available! We didn’t need much in the way of entertainment, but the piñata was a huge hit.

Margarita recipe

You’ll need a shaker, a strainer, a sieve and a cocktail glass.

Chill your glass by filling it with ice while you make the drink.

Put lots of ice, plus 1 part tequila, ½ part triple sec and ½ part lime juice into a shaker, and shake hard for about 30 seconds.

Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, roll it in salt, and then double strain the mixture into your glass.

Tropical Party Ideas

This tropical party utilised our most sophisticated green-themed Tropical Fiesta partyware, but we think it looked pretty great! We complemented that theme with ombre wooden cutlery, which is natural but vibrant, and eco-friendly to boot.

We used plenty of palm leaf decorations, including this tropical palm garland and decorative leaves.

4th July Party Theme

Oh yes, we went fully starred and striped for a star-spangled Independence Day party! Everything included could be used for any USA-themed party, whether that’s cheering on a team in the Olympics or just helping a homesick yank.

We do have a whole range of 4th July partyware, and boy howdy did we use it, but we also interspersed the theme with some plain red, white and blue tableware and decorations.

Don’t forget about the fancy dress! We’ve got these cute Uncle Sam head boppers, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump masks as well as accessories like stars and stripes head boppers.

Moana Party

Everyone’s favourite Polynesian Princess makes an amazing focal point for a child friendly summer party theme.

We covered the table with this luau table kit, decorated with jungle leaf platters and even used some leftover bits of grass table skirt to give water bottles some tiny hula skirts.

The piece-de-resistance was the Kakamora cup design, which we made using an easy printable image of a Kakamora face and our tropical coconut cups.

Pineapple Party

Although lots of our summer themes have had pineapples involved, we figured why not go all out with the pineapple theme and make an entire party out of it!

We got out the inflatable pineapple, a pineapple honeycomb garland and some pineapple picks for snacking. Head over to the blog for some surprisingly simple crafting ideas and printables to go along with them, like cute little tops to make pineapple macarons and an easy way to make your own pineapple party bags.

Pineapple macarons made with yellow macarons, yellow icing and printable toppers

Seriously, how cute are these? All you need are some yellow macarons, a yellow icing pen and the free printables.

Festival Party Theme

For those years when you can’t make it to your favourite festival, we vote you bring the festival home with a backyard party modelled on your favourite event! For this one we definitely needed to get the vibe right so we used tropical and Hawaiian themes but added in as much eco-friendly partyware as possible. 

We made sure to have lots of cold drinks available by filling up our inflatable treasure chest with ice and filled up a pitcher with easy bulk-made cocktails.

Entertainment included some good old fashioned face painting, fairy wand making, and strategically placing an acoustic guitar to lure in entertainers.

Beach Party Ideas

Sometimes a beach day is totally needed, but not all of us have easy access to such a place. We channelled our strongest Baywatch vibes to bring a perfect beach day to the back garden, and it worked out pretty well!

We grabbed anything that was tropical and reminded us of a beach abroad – although if you’re more of a British seaside lover you could get yourself a classic seaside stand-in prop. We had loads of ideas for how to decorate, what to eat and drink, and what to wear.

How To Throw A Block Party

Finally, if you need some outdoor time but don’t have a garden, you can take yourself to the park or the streets (safely, of course)! 

Street parties are a fantastic way of getting to know your neighbours and reclaiming the roads from cars for a day. While there are a few legal considerations you need to make, with a little help from your neighbours it’s not too difficult to throw a party that includes everyone.

We even designed some free printable invitations, notices that the party is happening and notes to put on cars the day before.

Summer Party Crafts for Kids

Keeping the kids busy is a big task during the summer holidays, so put those little hands to good use and let them help with the preparations with these great crafts!

Paper Cup Fairy Light Bunting

The perfect warm-up craft for a street or garden party, all you need are some paper cups in whatever theme, pattern or colour you like, a string of fairy lights and a pair of scissors.

Some minor supervision is necessary, and if they’re being hung outside you’ll need to get waterproof outdoor fairy lights, but this craft project is a super simple and effective to get the kids in on the party preparation! 

Paper Bow Tie Bunting

Give your balloons a fancy finish with some crepe paper bow ties on your balloons! As well as balloons, all you need is some crepe paper, scissors, glue and string.

The best thing about this craft is that it doesn’t need to just be for balloons – you can easily make some bunting, decorate gifts or use them alone dotted around the room to add to the theme.

Pirate Photo Booth

If you’re having a pirate party, what better fun could you have than making – then playing with – your very own pirate ship that doubles as a photo booth!

This is a slightly more advanced craft from our friends at Red Ted Art, and needs you to have a very large piece of cardboard, paint, duct tape, string, and a craft knife. As with any time a knife is involved, make sure the adults are doing the cutting!

DIY Balloons

Although we think we’ve got most themes covered in the balloon department, there’ll always be that awkward little one who wants something totally unique!

Don’t despair if you can’t find what they want – just make your own at home using plain, light coloured foil balloons, some balloon glitter and a glue pen. We have some templates for you to download; let your imagination run wild with the possibilities!

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk

This craft is a two-in-one – they get to help make the chalk, and then they get to draw with it! The perfect activity for block parties, or parties in a garden with a patio or paving.

All you need is some plaster of Paris, powder paint or food colouring, an old tin and a chopstick, and a silicon ice tray for shaping and setting.

Summer Sport Celebrations

Although we can enjoy sports at most times of the year, it’s most fun to get into the action in the summer! From World Cups and Euros to the Olympics and Wimbledon, summer is the best time of year to get active and cheer your favourite team or player on to victory!

Celebrating a Summer of Sport

After the disaster of 2020, in 2021 we had our fill of international sporting events, starting with the Euros! With up to three matches on some days, football season is a fantastic opportunity to spend a day with mates, light the barbecue and fly your flag in support.

We also had the fantastic Olympics and Paralympics, events where all of the UK can join together and celebrate Team GB. We went wild with decorations in red, white and blue!

Team GB Union Jack flag and bunting

Wimbledon Themed Parties

When you’re celebrating the most important tennis tournament in the world, there are a few traditions you can’t forget – strawberries and cream are the biggest, of course, but as that’s easy we opted instead to offer a recipe for Pimms. 

We’ve also got some delightful printables for you like this tennis-themed bunting with strawberry edges and an almost very rude phrase on it, plus our printable bingo cards for situations like matches running over, celebrity spotting and player behaviour.

World Cup Viewing Parties

Getting family and friends together for an epic football watching party that can only be enjoyed every four years! We’ve got printable invitations and sweepstakes, themed party food ideas, and cardboard masks of your favourite famous footballers.

World Cup Party Food

Obviously you’re going to need something to eat at your World Cup party, and we mean more than just burgers or pizza! Check out our loaded hot dog recipe, country-themed cupcakes, and a few drink ideas for the over 18s among you.

Football Party Ideas

Unfortunately for the football lovers, it isn’t on all-year round, but there’s no reason you still can’t enjoy a football themed party.

Set up the table with a fake grass table cover and use football themed partyware, from cups and plates to bowls and napkins. We’ve even included some printables for water bottle labels that make them look like referees, and for presenting red and yellow napkins as red and yellow cards.

As well as sorting out the food, we’ve got some ideas for football-themed party games – they’re mostly for kids, but there’s no reason adults can’t have fun too!

Summer Party Food

Keeping your guests well fed and watered is an essential component of any great party experience, which is why we’ve written a whole blog on sizzling summer barbecue ideas.

We’ve also got sweet treat ideas for any successful football party, and some finger sandwich suggestions for a summery tea party – very sophisticated! 

Sizzling Summer Barbecue

Everyone has their favourite foods to eat on a barbecue, so we’re not worrying too much about that here – instead, get loads of ideas for tableware, signs, and games for the kids to play while parents do the important cooking work! 

The red gingham party range is perfect for a classic barbecue, including hot dog trays and chip scoops.

Teddy Bear Picnic Ideas

Using a lot of the same red gingham picnicware as the barbecue blog, here we have some more specific ideas about teddy bear themed food that the kids will love – plus, printable invites

Also included is a little craft idea for making a beehive lantern with actual chocolate bees on it – it’s the little touches that make these teddy bear picnics feel magical.

A round yellow paper lantern with chocolate bees stuck over it to look like a beehive

8 Ideas for the Perfect Summer Picnic

If you wanted to go a little more grownup with your summer picnic plans, you could try out some of our ideas for having a vintage tea party! It’s all about tea, scones and finger sandwiches on cute cake stands.

Summer Party Games

Although most of our game ideas are for children, there’s plenty in here for all ages!

30 Summer Party Games The Whole Family Will Love

Keeping the kids entertained throughout the summer holidays can be a real challenge at times! That’s why we’ve created this super list of outdoor summer games for the garden.

From DIY Twister to chalk hopscotch, most of these activities can be done with very few items, just using things like bean bags, water balloons and homemade chalk.

Our Favourite Scavenger Hunts

If you follow our blog, you’ll probably know that we LOVE a scavenger hunt here. We’ve got them for Halloween and Easter, online, indoors and outdoors, plus a bunch of printables to make them work with hardly any effort on your end!

If you set it up well you can keep the kids going for hours trying to find everything on their list or following the clues. Perfect for summer holidays, bank holidays, and weekends where you just need a little break!

How To Keep The Kids Entertained

Even more outdoor ideas for kids during the summer holidays! We’ve got outdoor games and ideas, fun things like bubble wands, and even some special treats for those kids lucky enough to have access to a swimming pool.

You know what else is great fun in the summer? Fancy dress! Whether they’re learning through costume or playing games, it’s a fun and inexpensive way to keep the kids entertained.

Hopefully you’ve found something here to help out with your summer celebrations, to keep the kids occupied or make the most out of whatever sport is big this summer. This list is only going to keep growing, so make sure to bookmark and check back regularly!