Boat theme parties can be a lot of fun to throw. Invite your guests to a day at sea with the right nautical flair. Using our tips that cover everything from boat theme invitations to party favors, you’re sure to host the best nautical party your friend group has ever seen!
Boat Party Invitations
Boats are an essential icon for these events, but there are other options as well. Try one of these fun boat theme party invitation ideas.
Create a passport for each of your guests out of cardstock. Write your party information on the inside left flap of the passport. If you have pictures of all of your guests put them on the right side. Add official-looking stamps and seals for greater effect. There are premade sets available at online retailers alternatively.
Nothing says “beach” quite like flip-flops. If you are aiming for a lighthearted feel trace a flip-flop shape onto a piece of paper and glue it to a new flip-flop (the flip-flops do not need to be expensive or large). Write your party information on it and mail your flip-flop in an envelope along with some sand. It’s sure to give your friends a laugh!
3. Message in a Bottle
Fill several plastic bottles partway with sand. Write your party information on a piece of paper then roll the paper up and slide it inside the bottle. Close the bottle with a cork and stick a mailing label onto the side. This creative idea is sure to delight your guests with its dramatic flair! If you need help, you can buy a set at an online retailer.
4. Sailor Hats
Fold sailor hats out of newspaper. Write your party information on the brim of the hat then fold it and place it in an envelope. Ask your guests to wear their invitations to your party and award the ones that do with a special prize.
Send your party invitations with the catch of the day. Purchase several plastic fish and hang a tag with your boat theme party information on it from the fish’s mouth using some fishing line. You can ask your guests to bring their favorite fish dish for a potluck meal or ask them to bring cans of fish to donate to your local food pantry. Add another fun element by asking your guests to return their fish attached to a personal fish story. At your party, you can turn it into a game by having everyone guess whose fish story is whose.
Boat Party Venues
Choosing the correct venue is vital to hosting the best possible boat party. Refer to our suggestions to make sure you give your guests the most memorable night in the most unforgettable location!
If it wasn’t obvious enough, the best place to host a boat party would be…on a boat! Renting a boat might be one of the more expensive options on our list, but if you’re willing to spend to make your party absolutely exceptional, this is surely the choice for you.
The beach is an excellent nautical party venue to host any type of boat theme party. Search for a beach shack or any similar rustic venue overlooking the ocean so you and your guests can play around in the sand and take a dip in the water at the end of the night!
If you want a scenic backdrop to your party, then a pier at sunset would absolutely be the way to go. You could even surround your boat theme party with boats by hosting it on a dock.
Boat Party Decorations
For a boat theme party, your party space should look as if you are at sea. There are so many options that it may be hard to choose your perfect nautical theme party decorations! That is why we have compiled a list of sailing party supplies and ideas below for your nautical theme celebration.
When decorating for your party it is important to decorate with certain colors to keep your party theme. For example, use colors like white and blue when decorating to keep up with the ocean and sailor theme. Use these colors when you purchase tableware, ribbons, balloons, and streamers.
10. Primary Colors
Nautical flags generally come in bright, primary colors. Use these colors as part of your color scheme.
Costumes can make any theme. Ask your guests to dress up in their best nautical gear.
12. Pennant Flags
A great sailboat decoration idea is to create a pennant out of nautical flags to hang in your party space. You can hang them on the walls or make them 3D by stringing them across the ceiling.
Wrap white sheets and rope around stair railings or columns to give the impression of a sailboat.
14. Wall Décor
Decorate your walls with life preservers and plastic anchors to fit your boat theme.
15. Nautical Stars
Use miniature nautical stars as table confetti. You can also hang larger stars from the ceiling.
16. Fish Netting
There are many creative ways to decorate with fish netting to create a nautical atmosphere. Drape fish netting on your walls, from the ceiling, over your mantel, on your tables, etc.
A cheap idea is to make nautical candles by filling votive candle holders with supplies like seashells, sand, and sea glass. Then place a votive candle in the center. Place your nautical candles all around your party area.
18. Ocean Backdrops
Create or purchase an ocean backdrop to hang on your wall. This will help make it look like you are actually on the ocean. If this is too much, consider hanging fake portholes on your walls and attaching a miniature ocean backdrop behind them.
19. Main Table
If you’re having a central table at your party, decorate it accordingly. You can spread seashells across the table as well as hang a rope around the table. For an added touch, place an anchor on either side of the main table.
Navy blue and white are traditional nautical colors. Decorate your tables with a navy blue tablecloth paired with white tableware topped with nautical supplies.
21. Sand Dollar
Buy toy sand dollars to use as place cards for your guests. To do this get a paint pen or some sort of marker and write the guest’s name on the sand dollar. Then, set it at their table and allow them to take it home as a favor!
Create nautical centerpiece decorations by surrounding flower vases with miniature lighthouses, yachts, or sailing boats. You can then decorate it more by adding seashells, netting, life preservers, and more!
23. Bubble Machine
Set up an automatic bubble machine to release bubbles throughout the party. This will be just like the air bubbles from the submarine under the water. Placing bubbles on the tables will also encourage guests to pick up the bottle and create bubbles themselves.
24. Lifeboat Sailing Photo
Grab a life vest and a life preserver to hang up at your party. Not only does this work as a great decoration, but it also is a nice backdrop for a photo opportunity!
Boat Party Games and Activities
Nautical themes can also evoke lots of different emotions from people. So try and evoke an emotion of fun and excitement by playing these awesome sea boat theme activities at your next nautical theme party!
25. Temporary Tattoos
Help your guests feel like actual sailors with a temporary tattoo station. Make sure to have nautical tattoos such as anchors and palm trees.
26. Don’t Say…
To begin, give each player a bag of treasure. The treasure can be plastic or chocolate coins, fake jewels, etc. Then, choose several words such as beach, yacht, nautical, ocean, waves, or boat. Write them onto a large whiteboard or piece of paper and hang it up. If any player says one of these words after the game has begun, they must give up a piece of their treasure to whoever called them on it. Award the player who has the most treasure at the end of the game.
27. Sand Bottles
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the younger kids at your party why not have them make sand art? To do this, set aside a table at your party with bottles and different colored sand. Then allow the children to put the sand in the bottle in any sort of design they want. Have them take it home as a favor!
28. Crab Race
Have your guests split up into at least two teams. Then have them crab walk from one end of the room to the other. Once they return the next person on the team must go. The first team that has every member finish wins!
29. Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course at your venue for the kids or adults to maneuver through. To make it fit your theme set up a bell at the end so the first person to finish can ring the “captain’s bell”.
30. Nautical Tug-O-War
Split your guests into two groups and give them a rope. Then, have them play tug of war and tie a flag around the middle of the rope. The first team to get the flag over a specific area is the winner!
31. Model Ships
Purchase several model ship kits and set them up on a large table. Then let all of your guests try their hand at building their very own boat.
32. Starfish Craft
For this craft, you will need pieces of wax paper, a large bucket of sand, and several glue bottles. Give each guest a piece of wax paper and tell them to create a starfish shape out of glue on their paper. The starfish shape should be filled in with glue. Then have them cover their glue starfish with sand. Let the glue dry then cut out the starfish shape with scissors.
Remember to think about sailing ideas! Get a mini toy boat for guests and a kiddie pool to set up in the back of your party. Then fill the pool with water and allow people to race their boats to the other side!
34. Nautical Symbol Activities
Before your party grab a list of nautical safety symbols from the Internet. Then set up a board with the safety symbols and ask your guests to guess what each one means.
Boat Party Menu Ideas
You don’t want your guests to feel like they are stranded at sea with nothing to eat! Therefore, we have compiled a list of nautical themes party menu ideas for you to serve.
35. Apple boats
Make boat theme snacks for your guests by cutting apple slices and cheese. The apple slice is the bottom of the boat and then the cheese is the sail. The mast can be made out of a pretzel or a toothpick. This will be a menu winner.
36. Shrimp Cocktail
A shrimp cocktail is a great boat theme appetizer. Make sure to have plenty of dipping sauce to serve with it.
An obvious choice for your nautical theme party – seafood! Your guests will be expecting seafood so go all out. You can serve salmon, mahi-mahi, shrimp, anything that dwells beneath the waves! You can also add other food items like pasta and stuffing so your guests can mix and match. Having a variety of under the seafood will bring your theme to life.
- Mussels – Mussels are a must for a sailboat meal.
- Breaded Fish – For a lighter seafood taste try breading fish, such as halibut or salmon, and serving it with a tasty sauce.
- Oysters – Oysters are a favorite seafood option. Arrange them on a platter for your guests to eat.
- Steamed Lobster – Serve steamed lobster with steamed vegetables and baked potatoes for a traditional New England seafood entrée.
- Lobster – If you are having a formal party or if you have the budget for it, serve your guests lobster as the main meal.
- Crab Legs – Crab legs are another excellent seafood option.
38. Pizza Rafts
Buy pizza bagels at your local grocery store and say that they’re life preservers!
Try to serve drinks that evoke the sea at your party. Cocktails like Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, and Margaritas will all remind your guests of sunny days spent by the ocean or poolside and will be perfect for your party. You can also choose to only serve drinks that are blue, but we would recommend also providing light drinks like tea and lemonade – yum! Ask your friends for tips on how to make their favorite drinks.
40. Floating Fish
Looking to entertain the kids at your party? Grab some blue Jell-O and put it in a bowl. Then, get fish gummies from the grocery store and place them in the Jell-O. It will look like fish that are swimming in the ocean. These under-the-sea food tips may even get the kids to eat fish.
For dessert, serve cookies cut into nautical shapes like sailboats and starfish.
42. Lifesaver Cake
No party is complete without a cake. A great idea to create a nautical cake is baking a two-layer round cake and cutting a hole in the middle. Frost it with wide alternating red and white stripes like a life preserver.
43. Sand Cake
To theme your cake you can even make it look like sand. Buy some beige or brown icing to ice your cake, and then some sprinkles of the same color. It will give the “sand” texture.
Boat Party Favors
The easiest way to get your guests to remember their fun time at your bash is to give them nautical theme party favors to take home with them. That is why we have compiled a list of sailing theme party giveaways for you to give out at your party that is sure to make your guests remember you for a lifetime!
44. Nautical Goodie Bag
Stuff lots of different gifts and treats into goodie bags to give to your guests. These can range from netting, fish theme pencils, fish gummies, you name it. Use nautical theme goodie bags or tinted blue goodie bags to represent the ocean water.
45. Ships Bottles
Try and find miniature ships in a bottle. This is a classic nautical staple and your guests will love being able to display this in their homes.
46. Beach Goodies
Keeping with the nautical theme, why not give your guests beach theme favors? These can be sand pails, sand shovels, beach towels. If you’re trying to save money give one bucket or beach favor to each family that comes to the party instead of each to one guest.
47. Anchor Giveaways
Miniature anchors are the “weigh” to go. These can be found at most party stores for a relatively cheap price. Additionally, they fit great with the theme of your party.
48. Life Preserver Prizes
Life preservers can be bought at a lot of dive or sailing stores. If you can find miniature versions, try and put your name on them and give them to your guests. It’s a fantastic gift to give and a great way to remind your guests of the party.
49. Fun Sailor’s Caps Ideas
Give each guest a sailor’s cap or captain’s hat. You can hand these out at the beginning of the party for guests to wear throughout the night and to get everyone in a nautical spirit!
50. Open Face Cardboard Cutout
Create a submarine scene with a spot for guests to stick their faces in the open windows. Set up a camera so everyone can take a snapshot to put in a frame and take home.
With our suggestions, your boat theme party will be off to a great start. But our tips for décor, games, and favors are just that. Use our tips as a stepping off point and keep the boat party afloat!