12 Summer Themes for Parties That Celebrate Sunny Days

Make the most of all those summer weekends with party themes for every age and event.

Published March 30, 2023

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When the weather is warm and the sun is making everything sparkle, it's the perfect time for a party. Get inspired with the best summer themes for everything from birthday parties to family reunions. Summer is the season to celebrate, so pick your theme and make the most of that gorgeous weather.

Ice Cream and Sunbeams

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Who doesn't love ice cream on a summer day? You can make this frosty treat the star of your summer party with a few great decorations (and of course, plenty of the good stuff).

  • Rent an ice cream maker and set up a sundae bar in your backyard.
  • Cut popsicle shapes out of poster board and hang them as decorations.
  • Decorate with balloons in ice cream colors, plus plenty of confetti to symbolize sprinkles.
  • Ask everyone to bring their favorite ice cream toppings for the sweetest pot luck ever.

Summer Solstice Bash

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There's something magical about the longest day of the year, especially since it tends to be perfect weather for an outdoor solstice party. Invite everyone in your neighborhood or make it a small get-together with your closest friends.

  • Make it a camping or glamping party so kids can hit the sack even when it's still light out.
  • Set out plenty of clocks so everyone can appreciate how late it's staying light.
  • Hang yellow paper streamers to look like sunlight.
  • Have a bonfire after it gets dark to prolong the brightest night.

Peachy Beach Party

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No fruit says "summer" quite like peaches, and you can combine their sweetness with a beach or pool party for the ultimate summer event. This makes an awesome adult summer birthday party theme, but you can use it for any warm weather bash.

  • Serve peach pie and ice cream to make everything sweet.
  • Decorate around the pool or beach with peach streamers and balloons.
  • Mix up plenty of peach drinks so everyone can enjoy some refreshment.
  • Send out invitations with peaches on them, reminding everyone to bring towels and sunblock.

Fairy Garden Party

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Whether you're a kid or just love the magic of fairies, this fun summer party theme is totally magical.

  • Pick up a bunch of wearable wings so everyone can get in on the magic.
  • Decorate with lots of flowers and pastel streamers.
  • Hang fairy lights everywhere if you're having the party at night.
  • Make fun and fruity finger foods like strawberry skewers.

Lemondade and Sunlight

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Let that beautiful yellow sun inspire your whole party! This simple theme works for everything from a summer-themed birthday party to a low-key family cookout.

  • Decorate with lots of yellow streamers and balloons.
  • Serve summery yellow foods like mango, egg salad, and potato chips.
  • Have plenty of lemonade on hand in pitchers for everyone to enjoy.
  • Ask guests to wear yellow to match the theme.

Surf's Up

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Even if you don't live near the beach, you can still have a surf-themed summer party.

  • Hang blue streamers and wave decorations to stand for the water.
  • Prop real or cardboard surf boards near the drink and food tables.
  • Play surf music to get everyone in the mood.
  • Encourage guests to wear surf-themed outfits.

Picnic in Paradise

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Summer is picnic season, and it makes a perfect party theme. This is a totally scalable party that works for any age or size of gathering.

  • Scatter picnic tables around your lawn or a park.
  • Top the tables with classic red-and-white-checked cloths.
  • Serve traditional picnic foods like pasta salad, sandwiches, lemonade, and watermelon.
  • For a funny touch, scatter plastic ants on the tablecloths.
Quick Tip

A lot of summer parties work really well as potlucks, and picnics are perfect that way. Share the cooking chores by asking guests to bring a dish to pass.

Grown Up Summer Camp

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Whether or not you went to summer camp as a kid, you can go now with this awesome summer party idea. It's all about embracing the playful and campy theme.

  • Let guests know you're planning an overnight so they can bring their camping gear.
  • Have supplies for a classic camping cook-out with hot dogs and marshmallows.
  • Set up some grown-up camp crafts like making wine charms out of pony beads or painting your faces.
  • Tell scary stories around the campfire after it gets dark.

Sunshine and Rainbows Party

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This super fun theme works for kids' parties as well as grown-up ones. It's perfect for a backyard bash.

  • Decorate everything with streamers in every color of the rainbow.
  • Serve rainbow foods like fruit salad, rainbow-decorated cupcakes, and drinks in all the pretty colors.
  • Make a rainbow balloon arch and take lots of pictures of everyone with it.
  • Put out bouquets of rainbow flowers.

Backyard Water Park Bash

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Make your own water park for kids of all ages with this fun-filled party theme.

  • Borrow water toys from friends and neighbors.
  • Turn on the sprinklers for a wet obstacle course.
  • Have plenty of water park treats like snow cones, hot dogs, and ice cream.
  • Play upbeat music to get everyone in the mood for summer fun.

Summer Flower Festival

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Summer is such a great time for gardeners, and having a party is a perfect way to show off all your hard work. You can make your flowers the theme.

  • Send out invitations with flowers on them.
  • Give party favors of seed packets or cuttings from some of your plants.
  • Use edible flowers to decorate the food or freeze in ice cubes.
  • Set out plenty of patio chairs near your gardens so people can enjoy the blooms.

Classic Summer BBQ

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Don't forget to lean in to that summertime classic of the BBQ party. You can give your party a unique twist by choosing a specific cuisine or decorating like crazy.

  • Make your own custom BBQ sauce or order little bottles of your fave to give out to partygoers.
  • Decorate in patriotic colors and make it a 4th of July bash.
  • Make it a kid classic with all those party games you remember, like a three-legged race or an egg and spoon relay.
  • Turn it into a BBQ cocktail party with drinks like rum punch.

Celebrate With Summer Parties All Season Long

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There's so much to celebrate in the summer - from the great weather to those awesome summer birthdays. Make every weekend a party and try out all the themes you can. Don't forget to end the season with bash that ties it all up!

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12 Summer Themes for Parties That Celebrate Sunny Days