Nautical Theme Party
Host a boating bash, yachting party, or nautical theme party!
Chart a course for adventure with a nautical theme party! Wondering how to set the
marine scene for a seaworthy celebration? From air horns and party poppers to the
soothing sounds of ocean music, plus tasty lobster theme candy and shipshape snack
ideas, we'll help you set sail for a memorable party. Well then landlubbers, it's time to
get your sea legs ready because it's anchors away and "Chips Ahoy!" for the best
ever birthday party for your little sailor. The best sailor party supplies are at the
bottom of the page, so scroll down.
Here's how to set sail for this seaside shindig that she'll remember for years to come:
- Get cracking on a great party. Ensure crustaceans are part of the decor, even if
they're not on the menu. Search in the luau section of your local party supply for
plastic crabs and lobsters. If you're in a pinch, order them online, left. And the
kids will crack up when you give them a lobster bib for the captains dinner!A
nautical theme party is a breeze, and your creativity will abound to titanic
proportions when you think of the possibilities, like serving up lobster gummy
candy, left. Don't worry, they're not lobster flavored. And the sweet lobster
lollipops, top right, make terrific swizzle sticks. The finishing touch placing the
lobster pops in a glass rimmed in lobster red cocktail sugar! (Mix it yourself with
a few drops of red food coloring.)
- Bubbly beginnings: As everyone arrives, welcome them to your party with
Champagne mock-tails the way a cruise ship does when it sets off into the
sunset. Gather the girls for a "Bon Voyage" toast with sparkling apple cider in
plastic champagne stemware. Add a few fresh raspberries or pomegranate
seeds to the plastic glass for a convincing touch to the sea voyage. The drinks
will look like real bubbly when you replace sparkling cider cap with a cork top,
fold a napkin around the bottle neck and place the bottle in an ice bucket.
- Pop-eyes and ears: For a nautical theme party you'll want to launch your
imaginary watercraft with plenty of party poppers. Gather up the noisemakers
from New Year's Eve, too, as part of the "Christening." You'll certainly pop some
ears when you sound off the start of the party with the high tone air-horn, top
right. Extremely loud, you can apologize to the neighbors later. The air-horn can
signal straggling parents to leave. Then Porter Daddy can attend to the
luggage. Cruise director "mom" can use the horn to announce the first activity:
relaxation on the sun deck. Get ideas from our spa party page.
- Give anchors Away: Give her a sterling anchor ring to commemorate this special
party. For around $10, right, you'll anchor her heart. As favors these friendship
rings will help keep the memories afloat. If you can't find jewelry, give them a
gob hat or scarf decorated with an anchor.
- Do whatever floats your boat. It's not a boat party without a few sailboat props.
Here's how to have fun with toy yachts and boats:
- Swim with drinks! Float a toy boat in an ocean blue punch made of (with a
mix of Gatorade and a spritzer of lemon-lime soda).
- Nautical by nature. Don't be frustrated if your wooden boat won't float.
They're cute, but not always seaworthy. Don't fight nature; go with the
flow. Instead of forcing wooden sailboats to a titanic conclusion by
floating them in water, float them in a sea of blue candies or even tissue
paper. Or make an edible ocean with sugar you dye blue (all it takes is to
mix two drops of blue food coloring per cup of sugar).
- Get it to float out of thin air. The cruise ship inflatable, right, serves as a
decoration and guests can also sail away with them as a party favor.
- Show me the ropes. We don't need to tell you to swab the decks with fishing
nets. That stuff is easy to find at the local party supply. But finding ropes is
more difficult. And nautical ropes can cost a premium (hundreds of dollars for
thick and heavy ropes needed for rigging yachts). To get that nautical look, go
for a three strand rope. Cotton isn't strong, but it's great for decorative
purposes. More ideas with ropes:
- Rope them in with a bracelet of their own. Twist easy wristlets and
friendship bracelets with Alex Toys macrame kit, left. Ideal for kids parties
(8 and up), the kit has enough materials to make 22 bracelets.
- Teach kids how to tie the knot! Get the step by step instructions for
teaching boating knots to kids. Or try by "Boating & Sailing Knots" a kit by
Hog Wild Toys, left.
- Perform the Knot-gone magic trick. Get on board with the entertainments.
You'll impress the kids with the simple "Not-Gone" magic trick, right.
- String nautical flags to festoon the party space: Make your own nautical bunting
from triangular scraps of fabric that you staple or sew onto seam binding. Learn
the meaning of the nautical flags so you can recreate them or make your own
nautical flag symbols for place mats.
Nautical Party Invitations:
- Invitations and party wording ideas:
- Come sail away! Come and sail away with me!
- The S.S. Janie is coming to port Saturday, May 15 at noon to take you on
a birthday cruise sleepover.
- Departs from Port Smith at 123 Main Street
- RSVP Cruise Director Mary at 867-5309 for your boarding pass.
(Please call: the schooner the better.)Shipshape snacks and menu ideas
You can have some "reel" fun with nautical themed snacks and foods for your party.
For starters, stock the galley with sweets including Lifesaver candies, Chips Ahoy
cookies and Swedish Fish. Here are more ideas for the galley:
- Get fishy with it. You don't have to serve tuna sandwiches to get fishy with it.
Just cut fish shaped-sandwiches, meats and cheeses with cookie cutters. And
since most kids won't like fish sticks as much as they will like chicken strips, give
them their favorite but call them fish n' chips. Fishing for more ideas? You can
make cookies that look like fish sticks and peas. The fishing pole cookie idea,
left, by Wilton, is equally alluring.
- Dinner at the captain's table: Captain Daddy doesn't need to be present at the
dinner table and you don't need to serve bay shrimp (and many kids won't go
for it anyway) to prepare a dinner fare worthy of the Captain's Table. For a
sweet beginning, set a gummy bear into a lifesaver at every place setting along
with a place card and menu. Start with a small appetizer. It's smooth sailing
with the Shipshape Snack idea left, from Family Fun. Starting with a ridiculously
cute red pepper, cheese and a pretzel stick for a sail, this appetizer is sure to
get a smlle. Follow the appetizer with a tasty salad and finish with Chicken
Kebabs and a mango dip. It will provide just enough of the port of call elegance
she wants at her birthday dinner. For desert offer a "port wine" (grape-juice
with a converted with a label).
- Crush cookie SAND-wiches. Here's a dessert idea that "pails" in comparison to an
ordinary stack. Crush Nilla wafers to make sand. You can crush icing filled vanilla
cookie sandwiches, too for the same effect. Left, from Family Fun is a dessert
that uses applesauce, but you could try pudding and garnish your creation with
chocolate covered shells.
- Do not forget the donuts. When breakfast calls, get white glazed donuts, and
decorate them with red icing gel in the name of the birthday girl. For example,
personalize with "S.S. Susan." Check out donut parties too!
Shore up for some seaworthy cakes:
More nautical decoration ideas
- The sand-castle cake is a classic. You'll find recipes and more at Wilton.
- Cruise along for an easy cake with the cruise ship cake pan, right.
- Now you see the light. A lighthouse cake is a welcome beacon, left.
- This idea may save you! If you can't find life preserver decorations, then make
your own life preservers from Styrofoam rings you wrap in red ribbon. You'll find
these more readily available during the holidays for wreath making.
- See this seagull decoration. Your nautical party isn't complete unless you have a
seagull decoration. Arrange it strategically near the buffet table for a few
laughs. But don't be gullible, seagull decorations are hard to find and you'll have
a hard time finding them at the local party supply. With a wingspan of nearly 20
inches, the decorative seagull, right, provides the key atmosphere for your
party. It measures 20 x 9.8 x 1.1 inches (and it weighs 7.4 ounces).
- The whimsical pelican fan, right, provides a much needed breeze. It's an ideal
choice if you live seaside and host nautical parties often.
Games and activities for a nautical party
- Soothing sounds of a seaside spa. Say "ah" to a spa an set the tone for the royal
spa treatment with the sound of soothing ocean waves. You can download your
MP3 player instantly. Now load up cucumbers for the girls eyes and give them all
a manicure and pedicure. Blue nail polish, left OPI nail lacquer will be a hit!
- Sail with paper. Teach kids how to make origami sailboats. Once you master the
quick video it's a breeze to show the kids and they'll come home with a new skill
- It's smooth sailing a shuffleboard game. A shuffleboard game, which is a classic
activity on cruise ships, will entertain kids eight and up for an hour or so. Kids
try their luck in rolling roller-bearing pucks across the table aiming to score
points. Wondering where to get a shuffleboard game? Shuffle on over to
amazon to find a popular tabletop shuffleboard, right. This game made of solid
wood will occupy a large table.
- Get gobs of gob hats to decorate. A gob hat is the classic white sailor's hat, right.
You may find them available in bright neon colors for a party, but a white gob
hat is ideal for allowing the kids to express their creativity. Use a puffy pen to
write the name of the guest, such as the "S.S. Brittany." Don't have time to
order gob hats? Here's how to make sailor hats from newspapers and nautical
appliqués and trims.
Resources for a nautical theme party
The nautical theme is just as popular with boys as it is for girls, but you can add a
layer of fun by adding a theme within a theme. Are are some ideas for girls themed
birthday parties or boys themed birthday parties from our other party pages:
- Is your party turning into an underwater theme? Then, see also:
- Does your party have a tropical twist? Then see also:
- Looking for lobster party ideas? Sure, it's an unusual theme for kids, but here is
inspiration from a mother in Santa Cruz who did created a kids lobster party for
her son. Make a lobster costume. Come on baby, it's a cinch!
Real Nautical Parties
Sailor birthday party ideas
- Sailor birthday party: Ahoy! You'll sail away with this children's party loaded with
a nautical theme. You'll find yachting flags, cupcakes and cookies with stick flags
and a nautical napkins idea. It's a sailor's birthday party that keeps with the
red, white and blue theme for a July birthday very simply.
Nautical parties are now growing in popularity! If you're planning a nautical party, yachting
party, boating party, (or even a lobster party), we'd love to hear from you. Please share
party ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter.
All about nautical parties...
(C) Copyright 2009-2012 by M.C. Nygard. All rights reserved. Updated 9.6.12.
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