30 Most Popular Summer Party Themes and Ideas (2024)!

by Jillian Leslie on

Days are getting longer and school is almost out, and before we know it summer will be here! Time to host that incredible summer party!

Summer parties are such a big hit on our site, especially summer birthdays, so we thought we’d show off some of our best themes for your summer parties!

With the sun out, there’s nothing better than being outdoors, especially with friends and family! And by the way, what could be better than a summer themed birthday party!

So make sure you check out these 30 most popular summer party themes to help you come up with the perfect theme!

Turn up the heat because many are perfect summer party themes for adults too!

Also, if you’d like to decorate your party in style (and on a budget), we’ve loads of FREE summer party printables that you can download to make your party stand out!

You won’t be lost for ideas with all the fun summer theme party ideas we’ve rounded up for you! We’ve got ice cream socials, summer BBQs, July 4th parties, beach parties, and even watermelon parties, to mention just a few. Take a look for yourself! So get your flip-flops ready, because whichever summer theme party you choose it’s going to be a sizzling hot time!

30 Popular Summer Party Themes!

1: Ice Cream Parties

Summer ice cream parties are a great excuse, not only to eat lots of ice cream, but to make use of lots of colors.

Treat your guests to delicious popsicles and an ice cream bar or sundae bar, where they can make their own creations with fun toppings, such as nuts, sprinkles, chopped fruit, etc…

Browse real ice cream parties here.

Free Ice Cream Party Printables

Download our free ice cream social party printables or our kids’ summer ice cream party printables to add some fun and whimsy to your party

Ice Cream Parties

2: BBQ Parties

Even a simple summer barbecue can be turned into a fun party with friends with just a little creativity.

Your menu can be much more than just burgers on the grill. Add some tasty, tangy summer salads, ice-cold drinks, some s’mores pizza and some adorable BBQ grill cookies.

For instance, placing cold beers and ice in an empty BBQ is a great way to serve drinks!

We’ve rounded up even more barbecue party ideas to help inspire you, including this DIY tiered BBQ serving tray.

And how about setting up the adorable BBQ picnic candy table for your little guests. They will eat it up!

Browse all our real BBQ parties here.

Free BBQ Party Printables

We’ve even got these fun free Solo Cup BBQ party printables or our free rusting BBQ party printables to give your party some style!

BBQ Parties

3: Beach Parties

What can be a more summery party theme than a beach party?!

Lay out some blankets and have beach-themed party, even if you can’t actually have your party on the beach.

We’ve got plenty of ideas for you to take the beach to your venue, as you can see below with these gorgeous boho table settings!

Browse real beach parties here.

Free Beach Themed Party Printables

Download these free beach summer party printables to decorate your party with effortless style.

Beach Parties

4: Camping Parties

A camping-themed party can be just as much fun as sleeping out under the stars during the summer.

We’ve so many awesome parties for you to look through for fantastic camping and glamping ideas, such as the moon and star garland at this girls’ camping party!

What’s a camping party without s’mores? Here are some s’mores party ideas to inspire you.

Browse real camping parties here.

Free Camping Party printables

Decorate your party with style by setting up a s’mores bar. Download these free camping party printables to add some playfulness to your party.

Camping Parties

5: Garden Parties

Garden parties and summer go hand in hand. Take your party outside and the most of the great outdoors and the wonderful weather.

Treat your guests to a rustic floral party where flowers are the star of the party decorations.

You can add some butterflies to your party too and create a gorgeous whimsical vibe.

Browse real garden parties here.

Garden Parties

6: July 4th Parties

The most popular July party has to be July 4th! It’s an excellent excuse to spend the day eating great food with friends and family while enjoying the heat and sun.

We’ve got a ton of amazing July 4th party ideas for you, from creating your own July 4th paper wreath, to creating these fun patriotic cookies, to serving July 4th themed ice cream sandwiches!

Also don’t miss our post on safe firecrackers or our last minute 4th of July M&M cupcakes.

Browse real July 4th parties here.

Free July 4th party printables

We have 9 different free July 4th party printable collections to help you style your party on a budget and will serious patriotic vibes.

July 4th Parties

7: Pool Parties

Kids love nothing more than splashing around at a pool party during the summer.

To make it simple, order up some pizza, put out some goodies, make sure there are towels, and let your attendees have some fun!

Check out the great pool party ideas we have for pool-themed birthday cakes, cookies, and party decorations.

Browse real pool parties here.

Pool Parties

8: Lemonade Parties

A lemonade stand is such a part of summer and is such an excellent theme for a summer party.

The bright yellow is so cheerful that it’ll surely get everyone in the party mood.

Don’t miss our wonderful ideas such as serving your guests to pink and regular lemonade at your very own lemonade stand!

And how about serving these delicious strawberry lemon jello cupcakes!

Browse real lemonade parties here.

Lemonade Parties

9: Surfing Parties

If your more of a sporty type and love to surf, then a surfing summer party theme is just what you need.

I love the surfboard backdrop at this summer party. You can almost feel the sand under your feet!

Here are some adorable surf desserts to inspire you!

Browse real surfing parties here.

Surf Parties

10: Flamingo Parties

Flamingo parties have been a massive hit for a number of years now, and it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere any time soon.

It’s such a popular party theme with girls and there are so many incredible ideas out there.

Flamingo birthday cakes are always the show stopper, so you can’t really go wrong with this tropical theme.

Browse real flamingo parties here.

Flamingo Parties

11: Pineapple Parties

You can’t have a tropical summer party without a pineapple, right?  So why not make the pineapple the theme of your party?

It’s such a popular one here on Catch My Party and we’ve so many excellent ideas for you to choose from.

Even the simple idea of serving cocktails in pineapples is so much fun and your guests will love it!

Browse real fruit parties here.

Pineapple Parties

12: Luau Parties

You can’t get a better summer-themed party than a Hawaiian luau party!

They are a wonderful excuse to decorate your party with colorful hibiscus flowers and to transport your guests to a place where the sun always shines and where you can’t help but feel happiness.

Here is our roundup of 50 must-see luau party ideas. Don’t miss this.

Party tip: Hand everyone leis as they enter the party!

Browse real luau parties here.

Luau Parties

13: Tutti Frutti Parties

As I mentioned earlier, summer parties are a wonderful excuse to use lots of bright and vibrant colors, and another theme that allows you to do so are tutti frutti-themed parties!

Everyone from kids to adults loves fruit, so why not make it your main theme?

Just look at the amazing tiered tutti frutti cake and party decorations below. Simply mouthwatering!

Browse real tutti frutti parties here.

Tutti Frutti Parties

14: Watermelon Parties

Another favorite summer fruit and popular party theme are watermelons.

There are so many excellent watermelon party ideas on our site.

How about serving these adorable watermelon cupcakes at your party, or this thirst quenching watermelon agua fresca with these easy watermelon ice cubes.

Browse real watermelon parties here.

Watermelon Parties

15: Moana Parties

The movie Moana was such a big hit and is a favorite with so many children.

It’s a great excuse to use loads of color and the perfect theme for a summer birthday!

Don’t miss these beautiful Moana dessert tables to give you a ton of ideas.

Party Tip: As a party activity how about having your guests create this Moana canoe craft or Moana necklace.

Browse real Moana parties here.


Download our free Moana party printable decorations and use them to give your party that extra island feel!

Moana Parties

16: Picnic Parties

I love picnics! It’s a wonderful way to get together with family and friends and have a laid-back party outdoors in the sun.

They are so on-trend right now and are such a cool option if you are stuck for a summer party theme.

You’ll need a large blanket, some baskets, and delicious picnic food.

Browse real picnic parties here.

Picnic Parties

17: Boho Chic Parties

Boho parties are all about being more connected with nature which makes it a wonderful theme for a summer party.

If you’re looking for an eclectic theme with a feminine touch, look no further.

You can never have enough flowers, teepees, pillows, and dreamcatchers, right?

Browse real boho chic parties here.

Boho Chic Parties

18: Cactus Parties

A cactus-themed party is perfect for summertime!

Use bright colors and festive vibes, and create a summer fiesta everyone will love.

Add some tacos and some cocktails and you’ve got yourself a summer celebration.

Browse real cactus parties here.

Cactus Parties

19: Mermaid Parties

It’s such a magical theme full of delight. You can’t get a much better summer mermaid party than one like this at the beach.

If you’re looking for mermaid treats, including ideas for under the sea themed cookies, cupcakes, and cakes, we’ve got you covered.

And here’s a fantastic collection of mermaid games and activities to keep your guests entertained

Browse our real mermaid parties here.


And don’t miss these fantastic free glitter mermaid party printables or our free retro mermaid party printables to decorate your party!

Mermaid Parties

20: Shark Parties

Summer and sharks go hand in hand, right?! If you are throwing a party this summer and are stuck on a theme how about throwing a shark-themed one?

It’s a great excuse to go full-on beach mode, as in the party below, with beach balls and shark warning signs as party decorations.

Browse real shark parties here.

Shark Parties

21: Minnie Mouse Parties

Minnie Mouse is such a classic and loved by so many of us. He definitely has a soft spot in my heart.

Give your Minnie Mouse party more of a summer tropical vibe, by adding flowers and pineapples.

Browse real Minnie Mouse parties here.


Decorate your party with our full collection of free Minnie Mouse party printables in pink or free Minnie Mouse party printables in red.

Minnie Mouse Parties

22: Summer Camp Parties

Summer camp is a big part of many kids’ lives, so why not make it the theme of your party?

Decorate with elements of the great outdoors, and of course, treat everyone to some s’mores!

Browse real summer camp parties here.

Free Camping Party printables

Set up a s’mores bar. Download these free camping party printables to add some excitement to your party.

Summer Camp Parties

23: Glamping Parties

Glamping parties are perfect summer parties!

Set up your large glamping tent and scattered comfy floor seat cushions for everyone to sit down at your laidback party.

Browse real glam parties here.

Glamping Parties

24: Backyard Carnival Parties

There’s nothing better than all the sweet carnival smells and cheerful music, so lift everyone’s spirits with a joyful retro backyard carnival this summer!

For unique inspiration, check out all our excellent carnival party ideas.

We also have great carnival party game ideas that all your guests will love.

Browse real carnival parties here.


To take your party to a new level, be sure to download this complete set of free carnival party printables or our new collection of free retro circus/carnival party printables.

Carnival Parties

25: Outdoor Movie Night Parties

An outdoor movie night is an ideal summer party theme as it combines the magic of cinema with the charm of the outdoors.

Guests can enjoy the warm weather while watching their favorite films under the stars, creating a cozy and memorable atmosphere.

It’s a versatile option suitable for all ages and occasions, offering relaxation and entertainment in a casual setting. Plus, with blankets, cushions, and popcorn, it transforms any backyard into a delightful outdoor theater experience, fostering socialization and nostalgia.

Browse real movie night parties here!


Make sure you download and use our FREE movie night party printables to decorate your party!

Outdoor Movie Night Parties

26: Sunset Dinner Boat Parties

If you are looking for a truly magical experience you might want to consider a sunset dinner boat party. It combines breathtaking views with delicious food, summer cocktails and great company.

It’s the setting perfect for special occasions or simply celebrating summer in style. With gourmet cuisine, refreshing drinks, and the gentle sway of the boat, it promises an enchanting evening that’s both relaxing and luxurious.

Browse real nautical parties here!


Download our FREE nautical party printables and use them to decorate your party!

27: Jamaican Reggae Parties

A Jamaican Reggae Party is the epitome of summer vibes, bringing together irresistible rhythms, vibrant colors, and laid-back island charm.

It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the infectious energy of reggae music, sway to the beat, and feel the warmth of the Caribbean sun, even if you’re miles away.

With tropical decorations, spicy Jamaican cuisine, and cool beverages, it’s a surefire way to transport your guests to an exotic paradise for an unforgettable summer celebration.

Jamaican Reggae Parties

28: Olympics Parties

An Olympics Party is the ultimate summer event for sports enthusiasts, offering a spirited atmosphere where guests can engage in friendly competition and celebrate the thrill of athletic achievement.

With a variety of sports-themed activities and games, colorful decorations, and podium-inspired awards, it’s a fun-filled celebration that brings the excitement of the games right to your backyard.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply enjoy a good game, an Olympics Party promises an unforgettable experience full of camaraderie and summer fun.

Browse real Olympics parties here!


Cheer on team USA with our FREE Team USA party printables for kids and use them to decorate your party!

Olympics Parties

29: Barbie Parties

A Barbie Party is the ultimate summer bash, especially a Malibu Barbie pool party, offering endless opportunities for fun and creativity.

With vibrant decorations, themed activities, and poolside glamour, it’s a dreamy celebration straight out of Barbie’s world.

From Barbie-inspired crafts to fashionable dress-up games, the possibilities are endless for Barbie party ideas, and Barbie party activities.

Add a unique twist with a FREE printable Barbie bingo game, ensuring non-stop entertainment for all your guests.

Browse real Barbie parties here!


If you arre on a tight budget and looking for some FREE printables we’ve got you covered. Download either our FREE Lets Go Party Barbie printables or our FREE vintage Barbie printables!

30: Sunshine Parties

A sunshine party is the perfect summer celebration, radiating warmth and joy with its bright and cheerful ambiance.

Embracing the spirit of summer, this theme infuses your gathering with positivity and energy, uplifting the mood of all attendees. With vibrant yellow decorations, sunflower accents, and refreshing citrus drinks, every detail reflects the essence of sunny days.

It’s a delightful way to bask in the beauty of the season, bringing friends and family together to soak up the sunshine and create unforgettable memories under clear blue skies.

Browse real sunshine parties here!

Sunshine Parties

Summer Party Theme FAQs

What are some family-friendly summer party ideas?

Some family-friendly summer party ideas include hosting a backyard BBQ with lawn games like cornhole and giant Jenga, organizing a “DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar” where kids can create their own treats, or planning a “Water Balloon Bash” with water balloon tosses and games to keep everyone cool and entertained.

How should I decorate my party to give it a summer vibe?

To give your party a summer vibe, decorate with bright colors, tropical elements like palm leaves and flamingos, string lights, beach towels, fresh flowers, and beach-themed decorations.

How can I throw a summer party on a budget

Opt for a potluck-style gathering where guests contribute dishes, utilizing outdoor spaces like parks or backyards for free venue options, and DIY decorations using items like string lights, mason jars, and colorful tablecloths. Make sure you download our FREE summer party printables!

What party food can I serve at my Summer party?

You can serve a variety of party foods at your summer party, such as grilled burgers and hot dogs, refreshing fruit skewers or fruit salad, colorful veggie platters with dips, cold pasta salads, BBQ chicken wings, shrimp cocktail, sliders, and refreshing beverages like lemonade, iced tea, or fruity mocktails for non-alcoholic options.

What are some fun summer party activities for kids

Some fun activities include water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, sack races, slip-and-slide races, arts and crafts stations, bubble blowing contests, sandcastle building competitions, outdoor movie screenings, and backyard camping adventures complete with stargazing and s’mores around a campfire.

Need more summer party ideas?

Again, have fun browsing all the amazing real summer parties added to our site!

24 Popular Summer Party Themes!

1 comment

  • Gene M

    Gene M wrote:

    Hey, JILLIAN LESLIE Great post and good ideas for a summer party.