Birthday Parties  /  

Jul 23, 2020

Retro Ocean Themed Birthday Party

Surf’s up: this retro ocean themed birthday party is totally rad! This theme was so cute we miiiiight need to find a way to incorporate this into our next get-together. On-trend ocean blue tones, vintage surf details, and an ocean wave-inspired balloon installation are just a few of our favorite parts of this day! If your little one throws his hands in the air like he just doesn’t care every time “Baby Shark” comes on, then you’ll be adding every picture from this party to your Pinterest – it’s a good one! Scroll down to see the moments we loved the most!

The concept designer, Darling Loves shares more about her son’s birthday party. That’s right this adorable design is for her own son’s party, what could be sweeter than that? Read on to hear more from this sweet Mama…

With a name like, “Cove” an ocean-themed birthday party was bound to happen. And, with baby shark, “do, do, do, do, do, do” constantly coming from his sweet little mouth there was no doubt that 2 was the year! Since baby shark themes had been showing up everywhere, I really wanted to keep the party more retro ocean/surf themed with a touch of shark here and there.

I went to work scouring children’s books because that’s always the best place to find inspiration! Plus our frequent vacations to 30A, Watercolor, Florida helped frame the scene. Picture food truck stations, beachside umbrellas, and plenty of play! I ran across the retro-inspired lifeguard stand in teal at one of my favorite little beach-side shops, Duckies, and immediately knew that this Candylab toy would make the perfect cake topper with it’s #2 on the side! I grabbed a few of their retro cars with surfboards and purchased a couple of extra little surfboards to use as cake toppers.

Coming up with the ideas for the treats is always one of my favorite parts of party planning. Our largest cake was on a spinning platter so that everyone could turn the cake to see the entire under-water seascape that had been hand-painted with frosting. The two additional cakes were unique to themselves but still complemented one another. I just had to have sea turtle macarons! Not only were they super cute, but these thin mint flavored fellas were also delicious! Since not all kids like macarons, I decided to go with chocolate covered Oreos decorated as little orange crabs. The kids got a kick out of these and pretended like they were going to pinch them. Our cupcakes were a mix of delicious flavors and were topped with shark fin macarons. The mini cupcakes were adorned with little paper umbrellas. And for the cookies, I loved the idea of vintage VWs! Bambella did an awesome job bringing my vision to life. We included surfboards, little sharks with party hats, and some fun sayings like “hang 2.” We also had a fill-your-sand-bucket candy booth complete with shark and sea-inspired gummies, jelly beans, and more!

The food stations were set up like food trucks. I set up a build your own grilled cheese with an assortment of cheeses, slices of bread, spreads, and fresh fruit to let the little ones keep it classic and let the adults make it gourmet. I had one person supervising the panini press! Such an easy way to make a delicious grilled cheese! We also had a waffles and wave stand where our guests were able to pick all of their favorite toppings while we made either a mini or giant Belgium waffle for them! For our drinks, we created a “sand bar” which was complete with coffee and flavored creamers, tea, juice boxes, and water. Our indoor “beachside” eating was so much fun with our white tables and umbrellas. The kid’s table was a fun mix of surf and ocean paper products. We even used some leftover wallpaper from our photo station as a table runner!

Our activity stations were groovy! I love Anewall wallpaper designs and was thrilled to use their removable wave paper as the backdrop for our photobooth area. The kids loved that station and couldn’t stop posing! Our other stations included a sand booth with sea creatures hidden in the sand, ocean puzzles, ocean blocks, and our pretend ice cream truck tent! The beach balls were a blast! Thankfully, we had a large enough space that the kids could toss them around freely! The craft tables worked well for all age ranges. We had a “make your own jellyfish” option with paper bowls and crepe paper, as well as a “decorate your own cardboard surfboard” option. The older kids got really creative with all of the cool ocean themed washi tape they used to decorate their boards. Our giant inflated shark rides were a favorite for the little guests. But, the biggest hit was our DIY retrofitted cars with surfboards that our smaller guests could drive around! Nothing a little painters tape and spray paint can’t do! Face painting and ocean balloon animals topped things off!

When it was time for the kids to go home they each got to grab some funky sunglasses, ocean slime, a sea urchin ball and an extra cookie for the road.

Surfs Up! Turning two was pretty Rad!

Want more party ideas like this ocean themed birthday? We’re still not over this camping-themed birthday party!

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