Chill Vibes and Good Times: Summer Party Ideas

How do you beat the summer heat? Invite friends and family over and just chill! When the sun is sizzling, there's nothing better than a pool party to escape the summer heat. Invite everyone over for a day poolside and set up a cool buffet of refreshing drinks and beach-themed treats. Browse the ideas below for fun beach theme party decorations and food ideas like sun tea, sea star sandwiches, sandal cookies and more. 

Turn up the chill with a theme

A wall and partial table decorated with summer themed hanging decorations and tableware
Summer themed foil and latex balloons attached to a summer cooler

Design your party around a theme to get the most impact out of your decorations. Choosing a theme guarantees your decorations will work perfectly together and provides a coordinated color scheme. A well put together party theme gives you the look of a professional event. Don't forget the finishing details, like a matching balloon bouquet!

Summer's coolest themes 

Prep your party table like a pro 

A table top buffet set up in a chafing dish surrounded by brightly colored plates, napkins, cups and cutlery.
Summer themed plates, napkins, cups and cutlery laid out against  a white background.

People gather around food at a party. Give them a reason to be impressed by more than your menu. On-theme plates, cups, napkins and cutlery make your design a hit. A well-dressed table ensures your party buffet looks as amazing as it tastes. 

Dress your table to impress

Cool down with ice cold treats

ice cream sundaes and fresh fruit in single serving cups served in summer themed cups displayed with matching napkins and serveware.
Popsicles and ice cream beverage cup displayed on a table decorated in a summer theme.

Get in the chill zone with cold treats. Scoop ice cream in themed cups and offer various toppings so guests can build their own ice cream sundaes. Put a selection of Popsicles in a tub with ice so guests can grab their favorite and chill out. Use fun themed sipping cups in shapes like ice cream cones so your party attendees look cool as they sip back and relax. 

Chill zone must-haves


Serve sandal cookies on a bed of sweet sand!

Get your summer on! Munch on cute flip flop cookies that are a breeze to make. Take your favorite oval-shaped cookie and cut strips of fondant to make the straps then decorate as you please. Lay the finished cookies on a bed of brown sugar "sand". We used a sand pail to maximize the beachy effect! Finish it off with a custom sign to let guests know they're in for a treat!


Sandal and sea star sandwiches

Can't get enough edible flip flops? Cut bite-sized sandal sandwiches out of toasted white bread, rye bread, ham, pepperoni and cheddar cheese. Place a yellow tomato and two green bits of chives to make sandal straps. Pair them with sea star peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and place the whole bunch on a beach of brown sugar. Cute and delicious!


Lei out luau cookies to snack on!

While everyone's having fun in the sun, meet them at the table with these summery sweets. They're easy to make: just cover sugar cookies or butter cookies with white royal icing and attach fondant hibiscus petals. Yum!


Beat the summer heat and brew sun tea for your pool party!

Take advantage of the summer heat and brew sun tea for that anticipated pool party! Pick your favorite brewing method and brew directly in the drink dispenser – if you're feeling adventurous add a bit of lime and mint leaves to the final product. You'll have to keep cute summery cups handy because sun tea and pool parties go together like surfers and waves!


Take their taste buds to the tropics!

Give each guest their own private island to snack on! Decorate cupcakes in bright pink frosting with a palm tree pick and a gummy orange for the perfect poolside treat. These colorful desserts aren't just for snacking – they add tropical flair to the tablescape, too!


Make waves with a dressed-up drink dispenser!

Create the ultimate refreshment station with a too-cool beverage dispenser, sunny shades, and a headpiece made from a palm tree and a hibiscus flower hair clip. Surround it with a mini oasis of pineapple cups everyone can use to sip their refreshments. Ahhhh…