29 Fun Summer Party Ideas for a Sizzling Soirée

14 mins read
29 Fun Summer Party Ideas for a Sizzling Soirée
Written by: Sara Mezyk
October 17, 2023
14 mins read

Vibrant sunshine, warm breezes, and endless party opportunities are what make summer a season beloved by so many! And if you’re among the summer fanbase, you’re probably already organising your next summer soirée!

Whether you’re planning a low-key celebration with your nearest and dearest or looking forward to throwing a music festival in your backyard, the ideas for a summer party are as endless as the summer itself. This article has everything you need for a perfect summer bash: party themes, fun activities, and easy ideas to elevate your experience.

Get ready and dive into our list of 29 summer party ideas to make your summer bash truly shine.

Summer Party Ideas

Whether you decide on a theme or not, have a special occasion to celebrate, or just want to meet with friends and family, there are a few essential summer party ideas you can use to elevate every summer soirée.

1. Coordinate Colours

If you’re looking for a simple way to throw a put-together celebration, then consider coordinating colours. Choose one colour palette, e.g. pastels or neons, and follow it throughout your decorations, tableware, and even your outfit!

colourful summer party
Choosing to follow one colour in your party prep will make it easy to coordinate each party element.

2. Summer Playlist

No party happens without a good playlist; a summer party is no exception! Choose your favourite summer tunes to play in the background, or if your party is following a theme, choose a suitable playlist. A portable Bluetooth speaker will come in handy if you’re organising a party outdoors.

3. Basket of Essentials

Summer comes with all the things we love and all the things we would rather avoid. Whether you’re holding your party outdoors or indoors, prepare a basket of essentials for your guests. The basket should contain bug repellent, sunscreen, paper fans, and plasters, so your guests will be prepared no matter what comes up.

4. Host a Potluck

Hosting a summer party is a lot of fun, but organising it can also become hectic and costly. So if you want to avoid that, ask your guests to bring a dish with them. Set up a spreadsheet divided up by Appetisers, Salads, Main Courses, Desserts, and Beverages so each person can sign-up to bring a dish or a drink and you can avoid any overlap or confusion.

summer party family friends
Organising a potluck-style summer party will make the party prep easier.

5. Upcycled Ice Cream

Ice cream or sundae bars are quite popular for summer parties, so here’s a way to elevate them. Have you heard of the ultimate Japanese summer treat, kakigori or its Korean cousin, bingsu? Both desserts are based on shaved ice topped with all kinds of delicious things, like fruit and condensed milk. You can use a special machine to make the dessert or, with a bit more of your own muscle power, prepare it on your own.

6. BBQ

You can’t go any more classic than hosting a BBQ party. Provide a variety of marinated meats, delicious sides, and refreshing drinks to enjoy with friends and family. If you’re looking to up your BBQ game this year, you can organise a ‘Build Your Own Burger Bar’ or serve BBQ classics from different countries.

7. Hire a Venue

If you want to celebrate the summer, but don’t have enough space to pull it off, consider hiring a venue. You can choose between indoor spaces, rooftop bars, outdoor patios and courtyards. Not sure where to start? Tagvenue will help you find the best spot for your summer bash!

rooftop lounge venue during sunset
This intimate rooftop venue is perfect for a summer party! | The Canopy Club, Los Angeles, CA

Summer Party Activities

If you would like to engage your guests in more than just a chat, here are a few ideas for fun summer party activities that will make any party a memorable one.

8. Piñata Smashing

Usually seen at birthday parties or Cinco de Mayo celebrations, a piñata can be a fun addition to any celebration. Fill it up with sweets, glow sticks, temporary tattoos and other small items that are appropriate as party favours.

pinata summer party
Piñata smashing is an easy but fun activity that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.

9. Photo Booth

Photos will be taken at your party, whether you plan for it or not, so why not provide your guests with a real Instagram-worthy experience? You can either hire a professional photo booth or DIY one. If you don’t have the space or time to prepare a full-on photo booth, you can set up a nice photo backdrop for your guests to take amazing photos.

10. Talent Show

Transform your summer party into a thrilling talent show competition that promises fun and excitement for all. Encourage your guests to showcase their unique talents, whether it’s singing, dancing, magic tricks, or even stand-up comedy.

talent show summer party
Props and dress-ups are highly recommended for this unique summer party!

11. Lawn Games

Engage your guests by providing classic backyard games such as cornhole, bocce ball, badminton, and horseshoe throwing. The games are easy to set up and most people know the rules, so if you’re looking for an easy summer party activity – it’s definitely this one!

12. Backyard Movie Night

All you need for a movie night is a projector, a white surface (a professional screen, a wall, or even a bedsheet), and a good movie to watch. Put out sunbeds or blankets, throw in some pillows, prepare popcorn, and you’re set for an evening full of fun.

13. Campfire & S’mores

This is an idea for the colder summer nights. Gather around a cosy campfire, share stories, and indulge in the classic summer treat of s’mores. Don’t worry if you don’t have the space for a campfire, as s’mores can be prepared over a grill or gas stove.

outdoor venue space with private booths and a central fire place
There are venues that offer campfire areas, so if you don’t have one in your backyard, consider hiring a venue! | The Airedale Bar, London, United Kingdom

14. Water Balloon Volleyball

Make a splash with an exciting game of water balloon volleyball, where teams compete to keep the balloons from touching the ground. This game is great for bringing laughter, friendly competition, and is a refreshing way to beat the summer heat.

15. DIY Workshop

To activate your party guests, organise a DIY workshop activity. You can do many things with your guests that they can enjoy without much preparation or skills:

  • Paint and sip – Each participant paints a painting while sipping on a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). You can provide the blank canvas and a set of paints or buy paint-by-number sets.
painting workshop in daylight-lit venue
Unleash your inner artists during this special summer DIY workshop party. | Studio Inqu, Melbourne, Australia
  • Air dry clay DIY – Air dry clay is versatile and easy to manage, so it’s perfect to work with during a laid-back summer party. You can create jewellery trays, pins, and decorations. Look for project inspo on YouTube or Pinterest.
  • Candle painting – For candle painting, you just need a pillar or taper candle (white or any other light colour) and colourful tealights or wax melts. Use paintbrushes to decorate the candles.
  • Macrame – To do a macrame project, you need a macrame cord, scissors and a good tutorial to follow, like this one. This type of workshop can be easily done for small groups as well as for large ones.
  • Flower arrangement – Flower arrangement is the perfect summer workshop. You can use store-bought flowers, pick some from your garden, or use artificial ones if you would like your projects to be long-lasting.

Summer Party Theme Ideas

Adding a theme to your party is a great way to add an extra layer of fun. It can also help you coordinate all the party elements to create an unforgettable experience for your guests. Take a look at some of the themes that you can rock for your summer party.

16. Tropical Getaway

Transport your guests to a tropical paradise with a getaway-themed party. Decorate your party space with palm tree decorations, Hawaiian leis, and tropical animals. Serve tropical cocktails and mocktails and a mix of island-inspired dishes.

17. Pool Party

Beat the summer heat by hosting a pool party. Provide inflatables, refreshing beverages, poolside snacks, and a playlist to keep the party vibes going. If children are going to attend your party, hire a lifeguard to make sure everyone can play safely.

outdoor pool with sunbeds and colourful floaties
Even if you don’t have a pool in your backyard, you can hire a venue that has one and still enjoy splashing about! | Holiday Inn Melbourne On Flinders, Melbourne, Australia

18. Beach Party

A beach party is best organised on, well, a beach. But even if you don’t have access to one, you can still enjoy this classic summer party. Transform your backyard with beach balls, towels, and umbrellas to create a fun beach atmosphere. Set up a volleyball net for a round of beach volleyball, and serve seafood, chips, and ice cream.

19. Around the World

Where will your party take you this year? Let’s see what the world has to offer when it comes to picking a theme for your party:

  • Spanish tapas party – Serve an array of small plates filled with classic Spanish delicacies like patatas bravas or chorizo, set up a pitch of sangria, put on flamenco music and transport your guests to the vibrant streets of Spain.
  • English breakfast – Set up a buffet with staples like bacon, sausages, eggs, beans, toast, and grilled tomatoes, and indulge in a traditional English breakfast.
  • Greek Mamma Mia – Transform your party into a Greek paradise with a Mamma Mia theme inspired by the beloved musical. Serve a Greek feast including moussaka, souvlaki, Greek salad, and tzatziki, and finish with baklava for a sweet finale.
  • Wild Wild West – Transport your guests to the era of cowboys and saloons with a Western-style BBQ with grilled meats, corn on the cob, and baked beans. Don’t forget to ask your guests to wear boots and cowboy hats for the complete look.
  • Mexican Fiesta – If you missed this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, throw a Mexican fiesta for your summer party. Serve tacos, guacamole, salsa, churros, and margaritas, and add some Latin pop music to complete the atmosphere.
western-style venue
Yeehaw away during a wild (west) summer party! | Moonshine Saloon, London, United Kingdom

20. Picnic

Create a whimsical picnic party with checkered blankets, wicker baskets filled with delicious finger foods, and a picturesque location. Enjoy the warm weather with your loved ones and soak up the sun. Not really a fan of the outdoors? Throw a picnic in your living room for equal fun!

21. Music Festival

Create your own music festival for this year’s summer bash. Encourage guests to don their best festive attires, create a playlist with their favourite musicians, and enjoy an evening of dancing, singing and partying. If you want a complete feel, set up tents to sleep in for the night.

summer music festival
To create festival vibes, you just need loud music, the right attire, and a cold drink in your hand.

22. Christmas in July

If you’re a fan of Christmas and December can never come quickly enough for you, throw a special Christmas-themed party this year. Set up your Christmas tree, bake cookies, buy gifts, and enjoy the holiday spirit twice this year!

23. Underwater Adventure

Two of the beloved Disney films, Moana and Little Mermaid, can be an inspiration for an underwater-themed party. Incorporate ocean-inspired decorations, tropical refreshments, and fun activities like hula dancing or treasure hunts. Don’t forget to set up the Disney hits playlist!

24. Camping

If you treasure undisturbed time with your friends and family, camping gives you a great opportunity to do so. And if you can’t go on a camping trip, simply transform your backyard into a camping wonderland! Set up tents, a bonfire, s’mores, and stargazing, and enjoy this unusual summer party.

campfire summer party
The starlit sky, a crackling campfire and great company are all you need for a perfect summer party.

25. Glamping

If you like the idea of a camping summer party but would like to add a touch of luxury, why not throw a glamping party? Combine glamour and camping by setting up luxurious tents, lounge areas, and fairy lights. Serve gourmet dishes instead of BBQ and cocktails instead of canned sodas.

26. Tutti Frutti

One great thing about summer is the abundance of fresh, juicy and colourful fruits, so why not make it a theme for your party? Create a vibrant and colourful party by incorporating fruity decorations, fruity cocktails and mocktails, and fruity desserts for a refreshing and delicious experience.

27. Carnival

Bring the excitement of a carnival to your backyard with colourful booths, games, popcorn, cotton candy, and a lively atmosphere filled with laughter and joy. Don’t forget joyful music and prizes for game winners.

carnival summer party
The joyous atmosphere of the carnival party promises endless fun and laughter.

28. Vintage Affair

Travel back in time and host a vintage-themed party. Create a nostalgic ambience with retro decor, classic cocktails, and vintage attire. To avoid confusion, inform your guess which time period you mean by ‘vintage’: is it the Roaring 20s, the nostalgia-filled 90s, or (this is  one for you, Gen Zs!) the 2000s?

29. Alice’s Garden Party

Create an enchanting wonderland with an Alice in Wonderland-inspired garden party. We’re talking about whimsical decorations and tea party treats. Play a round of croquet and organise a flower arrangement class in place of painting the roses.

Haven’t found what you were looking for? Our list of 170 party themes will surely help you find the perfect theme for your summer bash! 

Final Thoughts

As the sun sets on this article filled with summer party ideas, themes, and activities, it’s time to start planning your next summer bash! Whether you opt for a tropical getaway, a backyard BBQ, or a lively talent show, let your party represent the carefree spirit of summer. 

We hope these 29 summer party ideas will help you throw an epic summer bash that will leave your guests talking about it for seasons to come. Check out our list of outdoor party ideas if you’re organising your party outdoors. For 4th of July party ideas, search for some inspiration here and here.

Cheers to a summer filled with endless fun and parties that will leave a smile on everyone’s face!

Looking for a venue for your next summer party?

From elegant restaurants perfect for a sit-down dinner to chilled outdoor spaces you can hire all to yourself, Tagvenue has everything you need for a perfect summer soirée.

FAQ

How do you make a summer party fun?

To make a summer party fun, focus on creating a lively atmosphere with upbeat music, colourful decorations, and engaging activities like a talent show or DIY workshops. You can also add a theme, e.g. Christmas in July, glamping, or tropical getaway, and encourage guests to play along with it by dressing up.

What theme is best for a summer party?

The best theme for a summer party depends on your personal preferences and the vibe you want to create. Some popular summer party themes include a tropical getaway, a beach party, a music festival, or even Christmas in July. Choose a theme that resonates with you and your guests, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

How do you host a good summer party?

To host a good summer party, start by planning ahead and creating a relaxed and inviting environment. Offer a variety of refreshing beverages, and delicious summer snacks that cater to different interests and ages. Remember to include fun and engaging activities, such as lawn games or water balloon volleyball. You can also add a theme to your party. Don’t forget to keep things flexible and encourage everyone to have a great time!

How can I host a summer party at home?

Hosting a summer party at home is easy and convenient. You can utilise your outdoor space (remember to provide shade for hot days!), or organise it indoors. Set up comfortable seating areas, and add fun elements like games, a photo booth or photo background, or a DIY workshop to keep your guests entertained. Remember, it’s all about creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone to savour the summer vibes.

Tagvenue Blog
Private Events
Seasonal Parties
29 Fun Summer Party Ideas for a Sizzling Soirée