6 fun summer theme party ideas

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Planning a summer party but aren’t sure what summer theme to go with? The best part about throwing a party in the summertime is that there are endless options when it comes to summer party themes. 

Whether you’re planning a summer dinner party, an engagement party, or a BBQ we’ve got six fun summer theme party ideas perfect for the season! Choose your favorite summer party theme below, plan the party details, and send out the perfect summer party invitation to match.


Tropical Grid by Paperless Post.

1. Luau Party

Traditionally rooted in Hawaiian culture and stemming from the islands of Hawaii, luau parties are one of the most popular summer dinner party themes. They are a great way to make the most out of the summer season. While your party may not be right on an island in Hawaii during sunset, you can most definitely make the atmosphere feel like you are right there on the Big Island. 

When it comes to decorating a luau, you can make a little go a long way. Use fruits such as pineapples and coconuts for party decorations. You can even hollow out the insides and pour in your favorite Hawaiian themed cocktails or mocktails to serve. Some other Hawaiian and luau themed party touches that you can include are tiki torches, hula skirts, leis, tropical floral arrangements, and an aloha sign to welcome your guests.


summer theme party ideas
Garden Treasures by Felix Doolitttle for Paperless Post.

2. French garden party

One of our favorite summer party ideas for adults is the French garden party. To fully embrace a garden party theme, you will want to be sure to include a variety of wines and light refreshments, hors doeuvres to snack on, and of course a beautiful array of flowers throughout the party. 

Selecting wine to serve

While flowers may be the highlight of the party, the food and beverage details are key to creating a Parisian garden atmosphere as well. When it comes to choosing wine for your event, consider serving a selection of French white wines and rosés. This will not only tie the event theme together beautifully with the color scheme, but it will also make for a perfect midday summer treat. You can even make rosé rose-shaped ice cubes for a floral touch that will keep the wine from getting warm on a hot summer day. 

French bites

As for the food, consider setting out a selection of croissants, fresh seasonal fruit, or a cheese board with French baguettes. These refreshments will pair together perfectly with the wine and look beautiful when spread out on a table surrounded by floral arrangements.

Designing your garden

When deciding what flowers to include in your French garden party, stick to a light and summery color scheme. Light pinks, purples, and cream-colored hues blend together well and are fairly easy to work with. The iris is the national flower of France and can be found all over the country from balconies to parks. This makes for a great flower to include as it comes in a variety of colors.

Feel free to make centerpieces, a garland, and any other display of these flowers to embrace the French garden theme. You can even play around with some greenery as well.


Seashells by Paper Source for Paperless Post.

3. Beach Party

Why go to the beach when you can bring it to you with beach party invitations? With the summer season in full swing, you have the sun. Now, all you need are some key touches to make your party just as fun and relaxing as a day at the beach.

A fun way to incorporate details of a beach-themed party is by including decor that fits the setting such as seashells, sand-based centerpieces, and a combination of neutral and blue hues throughout the event.

Beach party BBQ food and drinks

When it comes to planning food for a beach-themed party, grilling is a great idea. From burgers and grilled chicken to seasonal vegetables alongside a crisp summer salad, you can’t go wrong with a summer BBQ that will be just as tasty as it is easy to serve.

As for tasty adult refreshments, here is a list of our favorite beach-themed party cocktails:

Whichever drinks you choose to serve, be sure to add some fresh fruit and top it with a drink umbrella to carry out the theme!


Pool Party by kate spade new york for Paperless Post.

4. Pool party

One of the most common summer party themes is a pool party, however, there are plenty of ways to make your pool party stand out from the rest! Don’t have a built-in pool? Not to worry, there are plenty of fun inflatable pools that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

Aside from the pool, there are other details that go into planning a fun-filled pool party. Here are a few of our favorite pool party ideas:

  • An ice cream bar
  • Inflatable drink holders & tropical spiked punch
  • A dedicated tanning area
  • A fire pit for when the sun goes down

As for pool party food options, you can never go wrong with appetizers and tasty finger food that is easy to grab in between dips in the pool. That said, chips and dip, a fruit spread, and mini sandwiches all make for great options for a summer pool party.


Slice of Summer by Felix Doolittle for Paperless Post.

5. Picnic party

Planning a picnic party is a great outdoor gathering to bring friends and loved ones together, and just so happens to be one of the easiest parties to plan. In fact, aside from a picnic basket and a large blanket or red and white checkered spread, most of the materials you will need for this outdoor party can be put together fairly easily.

For a summertime picnic party, the most important aspect, aside from the food, is the seating. Consider layering a few blankets and adding outdoor pillows for extra comfort for you and your guests. Once you have the seating arrangement set up, all you will need is cutlery, napkins, and drinkware that match the theme of your event. If you are looking to throw a traditional picnic themed party, you can use a standard white colored set. Otherwise, feel free to get creative with the color of the foodware and drinkware, as well as the picnic invite that you choose to use for your picnic.

When it comes to picnic food, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruits, veggies, and handmade sandwiches alongside some fresh-squeezed lemonade. However, a picnic party is also a great opportunity to enjoy a potluck with your guests. Not only does having a potluck picnic party make the planning process much easier for you, but you also get to enjoy a wide range of everyone’s favorite dishes as well. We have plenty of picnic invitations to get you started.


Chipboard Classic by Sugar Paper for Paperless Post.

6. Backyard bohemian BBQ party

As bohemian, or “boho,” themed parties are on the rise and a current trend among event planners, this is a perfect summer party theme and one of our favorite outdoor party ideas. To put together a beautifully crafted boho themed party, you will want to make use of natural wood materials and textured table runners or placemats, alongside warm colored rugs.

To set up the seating area, layer rugs on top of one another. Place wood pallets on top to create a long floor table for your guests to sit around. Be sure to include unique boho style pillows such as woven or macrame styles to tie this theme together. These pillows can be used as seats placed around the table for your guests to sit on. That said, don’t be afraid to fill the indoor or outdoor space with various floor pillows. The more you add, the comfier and cozier the party will become.

Aside from the main seating area, the details are equally important to plan to truly embrace a bohemian atmosphere. With that said, consider including the following boho decorations:

  • Pampas grass
  • Fresh or dried eucalyptus leaves
  • A neutral-colored tassel garland
  • String lights
  • Tapestry blankets

Since bohemian style decor is relatively neutral and warm, it will easily come together on the day of the event. Once the party is over, you will have plenty of leftover decor that you can reuse throughout your home. 

Now that the party is planned, send a summer themed invitation!

Whatever summer party theme you choose, you will want to make sure the invitation goes along with it. A themed party invitation will tell your guests what kind of party to expect, allowing them to dress accordingly and more so, spark their excitement for the upcoming event.

Once you’ve chosen from one of these fun summer party themes, follow our tips for summer party invitation wording to craft the perfect themed invitation.

When the day of your event arrives, you can sit back, soak up the summer sun, and enjoy a party that your guests will be sure to love! 


Browse Summer Party Invitations


Not sure where to start when it comes to creating a themed party invitation? Paperless Post provides online invitation templates for any themed party you plan to throw. We have BBQ invitationsluau party invitations, beach party invites, and more. Not only are Paperless Post’s online invitations customizable, but they also allow you to track the RSVPs making the planning process much easier to stay on top of.