Nautical Party Ideas

Updated March 23, 2017

Host a nautical-themed party at the beach or in the backyard during the summer months, or bring the theme indoors during the winter for a lively reminder of the sun and the sea. You can host a memorable nautical party on any budget, and easily adjust the theme to accommodate a party group of any age. Avoid the store-bought party supplies and use your creativity for everything from the invitations to the party favours for a one-of-a-kind nautical party.


Party planners can purchase plain white sailor hats and write the party details on the hats with fabric pens or markers for a hand-deliverable invitation. Alternatively, purchase a small, inflatable pool tube or buoy, inflate the tube and write the details in permanent marker. Deflate the tube or buoy, fit the inflatable invitation in a large mailing envelope and include a note to the recipient to inflate the invitation for details. Other nautical-themed party invitation ideas include card stock cutouts of boats, ship flags or anchors. Write the party details on one side of the card stock cutout and decorate the other side with glitter, stickers or markers.


Hang fish netting from the ceiling corners and fill some of the nets with inflatable and plush sea life, such as lobsters, crabs and fish. Hang plastic buoys, life preservers and painted cardboard cutouts of ships on the walls, and cover each party table with a blue tablecloth. Use a variety of different nautical-themed items for table centrepieces, such as model ships or yachts, lighthouses and vases filled with seashells. Use the party food as part of the decoration. Make a cake in the shape of a boat or life preserver, make ring-shaped cookies and decorate them with red and white icing for buoys and top hors d'oeuvres with flags attached to toothpicks.


Arrange a nautical-themed scavenger hunt for a party group of any age. Hide items, such as plastic boats, miniature fish figurines and inflatable beach toys. Make lists of the hidden items and have the group work in teams to find the items. The first team to find every type of hidden item wins the game. For an older party group, make the scavenger hunt a little bit trickier by hosting it in the dark with only flashlights to guide the teams. Have a young party group decorate cookies cut in the shapes of ships, anchors and other nautical items with icing and candies. Older children can also help to make the cookies and decorate them when the cookies have cooled. Play a game of "Captain Says" instead of "Simon Says," and have a fish-shaped beanbag toss.

Party Favors

For a simple adult party favour, fill a square piece of tulle with seashells and tie the tulle closed with a nautical-themed ribbon. Alternatively, find nautical-themed drinking glasses or mugs and fill them with candy or chocolate seashells. Wrap the favour in cellophane and tie it closed with a ribbon. For children, provide goody bags filled with plastic ships for the bath, inflatable pool toys, nautical-themed colouring books, gold foil-covered chocolate coins and plastic marine life figurines. For a single parting gift for each child at the party, consider offering miniature model ship kits for the kids to assemble at home.

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About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.