Ah summer, we wait for it, eagerly anticipating those longer days of warmth and fun outdoor activities. We know that not everyone has easy access to the beach or a pool, so we put together some fun party ideas that can happen anywhere during the summer, and why not? Summer itself should be celebrated and so should birthdays!
As a season, summer is so delightful it has inspired songs like “Summer in the City,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Summer Breeze” just to name a few. In keeping with the theme of the season, we want to make your summer birthday party a breeze and guess what? You won’t need a pool!
Summertime Birthday Blues
Once you reach a certain age, birthdays may not be met with quite as much enthusiasm. Well, the song “Summertime Blues” says that there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues, so why not make that your birthday theme? For your party, think about combining the color blue with blues music.
This party leaves you plenty of options for décor and a soundtrack. Pick up vintage objects at the thrift store, and if they aren’t blue already, paint them or accessorize them with blue to match your theme. Use blue patterned dishware and antique lamps and table cloths. Have an old guitar handy but don’t let it get too abused or too distracting.
The great part about the Blues era is that it spanned decades and produced amazing and influential music. The Mississippi Delta is often regarded as the birthplace of the blues. The mythical Bluesman Robert Johnson wrote a song called, “Hot Tamales” about tamales from Abe’s BBQ in Mississippi, and the son of the original owner of the restaurant commented, “Hot tamales and barbeque and blues go together.”
It goes without saying that a Summertime Birthday Blues party isn’t complete without some good ole’ home-style barbeque, standard southern food and of course, hot tamales. Blues music often used food as a metaphor, so you can reference old blues songs to help you add to the menu.
If you are ever at a loss for conversation topics, you can always talk about the rich history of the musicians and songs. Play the songs while you all enjoy the flavorful and comforting food of the blues surrounded by the soothing color of the ocean and the sky.
Dog Days of Summer Birthday Party
It is a furry friendship that spans the ages. New evidence in a study published in the journal “Current Biology” suggests that the first dog and human bonds may date back as far as 27,000 to 40,000 years ago.
It’s been a long time coming, but man’s (and woman’s) best friends can be fun party guests. This party is only for those individuals who really LOVE dogs. For the Dog Days of Summer Birthday Party, it’s your party, but it’s gone to the dogs!
Dogs are excited about everything, especially going someplace new. Invite your friends with well-behaved and socialized dogs to a dog park or other safe, fenced-in area and let the fun begin. Encourage guests to bring dog-related items and put little party hats on the pups for pictures.
Since it is summer, a kiddie pool is great for letting the pups cool off and beat the heat. You may want to schedule this party in the morning or later toward the evening to avoid any extreme heat. Make sure you bring towels for drying the pups off afterwards.
For food, any easy snacks, drinks and a dog-shaped cake will suffice. If you aren’t at a dog park with water provided, make sure you have a cooler, clean water and bowls for the dogs. Dogs are naturally loving and gregarious, so this party is guaranteed to be fun and exciting. Supervise the doggie guests to make sure nobody starts growling or brawling.
Spaghetti Western Birthday Party
Spaghetti Westerns were films made in the 1960’s that were produced and directed by Italian directors and filmed in Italy using American actors. The most famous spaghetti westerns were those directed by Sergeo Leone starring the young, rising star Clint Eastwood.
Since the plots of many of these low budget movies take place in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico yet were filmed in Italy. This means the food you serve can be the best of both worlds. Who doesn’t like Italian, Mexican cuisine or both? Spaghetti and tacos? Yes, please.
Also, these films had a unique style. Was there anyone cooler than Clint Eastwood in those films? Can’t think of anyone. The attire is decidedly western and extra points for anyone who finds one of those ponchos like the ones Clint Eastwood wore.
For activities, you can always show the films or even look up some facts for possible trivia games. If you are searching for inspiration for décor or wardrobe, watch some of those old movies and enjoy the subtle humor and bleak landscapes and be glad you weren’t born in the wild west.
Hipster Happening Birthday Party
The word “hipster” has origins dating back to jazz music in the 1930’s. It was once synonymous with “being in the know.” Nowadays the word conjures images of young men with creative mustaches in tight pants and is often used as an insult.
Despite the underlying negative connotations of the name, hipsters are a lot of fun and know how to throw a good party. Let your friends know that in this case, it is not hip to be square. They need to show up hip and ready to party like a hipster.
Just in case your friends don’t show up prepared, greet them at the door with plastic thick-frame glasses and stick-on mustaches for dudes and scarves and flowers for the ladies.
For the décor, stick to vintage – typewriters, record players, old musical instruments and cameras. Also, it’s a good idea to have a large, strange object for photos. Obviously, food and drink are essentials that must be given plenty of consideration.
Some hipster food and drink favorites are cold brew coffee, kombucha, craft beer, whiskey, tacos, kimchi, kale and anything you can find in a mason jar. Bonus hipster points if you decide to book a food truck for your hipster throw-down.
Of course, the music for the evening should be on vinyl, the more obscure, the better. If you are looking for activities, check out old school board games or cards.
Summer of 69 Birthday Bash
The mention of hipsters invariably leads one’s mind to wander a little further down the rabbit hole and into the past to the hippies. After all, the name hippie was created from the word hipster.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind on the surface of the moon. Pontiac introduced the Firebird Trans Am, and Woodstock attracted more than 350,000 people or should we say, hippies.
Whether the name is muttered with derision or exclaimed with enthusiasm and reverence, hippies were an interesting counterculture movement that for better or worse, made an impression and left a mark. The hippie subculture was an alternative lifestyle aimed at rebelling against society, getting back to nature and peace, man.
Party attire for a Summer of 69 Birthday Bash is loose clothing made of natural fibers, peasant blouses, bell bottom jeans, tie-dye, macramé, psychedelic designs, paisley and stripes. For girls, dresses were either long and flowing like something Laura may have worn on “Little House on the Prairie” or shockingly short for the times.
Hippies liked to be natural, so hair was typically long for both men and women. This means it may be time to go wig shopping. The best or perhaps worst part of the attire is that you won’t have to worry about shoes or pedicures. That is if you want to go for an authentic, hippie vibe. Walk around barefoot and enjoy nature but watch out for anthills or any other dangers your feet may encounter.
Food should also be organic and natural. Think tofu burgers, tempeh and lentil and brown rice casseroles. It doesn’t have to be that extreme, but meals should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables and exotic flavors.
For music, the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Kinks and many more were all popular that year. As for the setting, try something outdoors in nature to give it a festival feel. For your hippie party, sing together and enjoy the music of the time, make some jewelry, paint or do something else creative and fun.
No matter what you do, give peace a chance. Since hippies often chose flowers to represent peace, you should, too. Wear floral patterned clothing or sew flower patches on clothes. A nice touch is to have flowers available for decoration and for guests to carry and wear in their hair.
Let our florists at Rose Cart of San Jose in San Jose, CA create the perfect arrangements for your scene. We can provide fresh flowers that would make any hippie smile and flash the peace sign.
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems Summer Birthday Party
The popularity of the song, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” extends beyond the realm of country music and for good reason. Even if you have never heard the song, the sentiment behind it is something we can all celebrate. If you have been working too much and dreaming of getting a little more laid-back on your birthday, preferably by the beach, this party is perfect for you.
If you live near the beach, the beach is the obvious choice for a setting. However, for those who are land-locked, you can still pull off this party. You need sun, a beach chair, a towel and a drink in your hand. For food, Mexican fare fits in with the song lyrics, but BBQ can also pull up a chair at this shindig.
Your party attire can be found in the lyrics – tank tops and flip flops. Any kind of laid-back beachwear will suffice. The activity should just be enjoying the warm rays of the sun. Since the song is about not having shoes, shirts or problems, don’t bring any of that to this party, especially those problems. Have some fun in the sun with your friends and/or family.
Some Other Ideas and Party Settings
The best part about summer is that we all get the urge to get outdoors. Even when the temps rise and it’s a hot time in the city, summer is all about having fun in the sun, so if you can pull off a summer birthday party outdoors, go for it.
When it comes to outdoor gatherings, there are many ways to celebrate. Tailgates are easy and fun, especially for sports fanatics. There are block parties, which can bring a neighborhood or community together. Block parties require quite a bit of planning if they include local businesses or vendors. For smaller, more intimate gatherings, consider a picnic or garden party for the birthday celebration.
Since the weather is likely to be hot, a charming ice cream social can get everyone together and keep them cool. For those who prefer beverages to desserts, a Sangria Social, Beer-Tasting Party or Mixology Party might quench thirst and create an easy-breezy summer birthday party atmosphere.
If you fear that boredom could cause your festivities to flop, have some activities prepared. A movie projector is an interesting addition to a party, especially if you are having it outdoors. Artistic activities like painting and drawing are appealing and fun and can provide guests with a keepsake.
Scavenger Hunts, Twister, water balloons, hula hoops, giant Jenga and horseshoes are all nostalgic games that can keep guests entertained and just might make them feel like they are kids again.
When it’s Too Hot Outside
One area’s mild summer is another area’s miserable, oppressive and sweltering heat. If temps are high enough for the National Weather Service to issue an Excessive Heat Warning for your area, better plan accordingly and keep that party indoors in the A/C, so your guests stay comfortable. Your party will definitely be flopping if your guests start dropping.
If you find yourself planning a summer party indoors, don’t despair. You can still achieve a summertime atmosphere inside. Bring the outdoors in and decorate your home with fresh flowers. Flowers are symbolic of summer so incorporate flowers into the décor and even the food. There are many recipes that explain how to make food look like flowers. Your guests will marvel at your creativity and enjoy having tasty treats inside without suffering the overwhelming heat. If you would like more of a western theme, succulents are perfect and can even be given to guests as gifts.
For an indoor summer birthday party, serve refreshing lemonade, fresh fruit and anything colorful that feels like summer. Make up cocktails early and freeze them with popsicle sticks to make “poptails.”
No matter what theme or setting you choose the most important aspect of any birthday is celebrating your time on this earth and the blessing of another year with the people you love. With some creativity and planning, a summer birthday party can take advantage of the best aspects of summer and create lasting memories for the guest of honor and the other guests, and you don’t even need a pool.