Ideas for Throwing a Boat Themed Party

Whether you’re planning a party for kids or grownups, a nautical theme is sure to please. Gather the right amount of nautical details to throw your guests a killer boat theme party.

What are some ideas for planning memorable celebrations aboard a boat for a special birthday? You should take a few factors into account. Many party decorations, such as boats, lakes, or oceans, can have a nautical or water theme.

Use these tips to throw the best nautical party ever!

Maritime-themed Party Decorations

A boat-themed birthday party can be brought together with the right decorations, whether you’re throwing it on your dock, at a lake house, or somewhere else near water. However, you must also get the important boat parts like a gas marine generator before you start prepping the boat for your party. To adorn your party with a nautical theme, consider using these items:

Bubble Machine

Create bubbles automatically and scatter them around the party with a bubble machine. Like the submarine’s air bubbles, this will appear floating in the water. Guests can join in the fun by picking up the bubble bottle from the table and blowing their bubbles.

Party Photo Props

Nautical photo booth props would be the ideal complement to your boat-themed photo shoot. Pictures taken with these aquatic-themed cutouts are sure to be a lot of fun. You can save money by printing and assembling these props from digital PDFs, also available for purchase.

Party Table Toppers

Nautical table toppers will impress your guests and tie the whole party together. These table decorations draw the eye and function as table numbers, making it easier for guests to find their seats.

Pennant Flags

Place photo on the subheading a blue and white pennant flag

Purchasing nautical theme pennant flags to hang around the party area is a great way to add to the sailboat theme. They can be flatly displayed on walls or strung from the ceiling to create the illusion of depth.

Wall Décor

Hanging plastic anchors and life preservers from the ceiling and walls of the party room would be a great way to set the nautical mood. Fish netting draped from the ceiling, and the walls would be another great nautical decoration.

All White Theme

White boat theme parties are currently all the rage, making them a fashionable choice for New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and other celebrations on the water. It’s a breeze to plan a party with this as the boat’s theme—one can always find a white shirt or dress in a drawer or the back of a closet.

In-Theme Snacks and Sweets

The food and snacks at a party are some of the best parts. If you’re tired of the same old grocery store fare, why not try seafood, grilled meats, or other dishes with a nautical twist? You don’t have to be an excellent chef to create delicious dishes with a nautical, coastal, or aquatic theme.

You can try these options for quick dinners and sweet treats:

Apple Boats

Cut some apples and cheese into boat shapes for your guests’ snacking pleasure. The boat’s base is an apple slice, while the cheese acts as the sail. A toothpick or pretzel can serve as the mast. 

Boat-Themed Cake

Place photo on the subheading a cake shaped like a boat

A celebration isn’t one without cake. Baking a round cake in two layers and cutting out the middle to make a cake that looks like a ship is a great way to make a cake for a nautical party. 


Cookies in seafaring shapes like starfish and sailboats can be served as a sweet treat. Boat cookie cutters are essential if you intend to make your cookies!

Crab Croissants

Croissants and crabs share a lot of characteristics if you look closely enough. Putting candy eyes on the croissants is as easy as gluing them in place with frosting.

The sky’s the limit in fillings. Ham, cheese, and vegetables are all great choices for savory dishes. If you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, try mixing in jelly or chocolate.


You could serve drinks with a nautical theme for your event. Drinks like the Pina Colada, Mai Tai, and Margarita will transport your guests to a carefree day at the beach or pool. 

Floating Fish

In search of some party entertainment for the kids? Get a bowl and fill it with the blue Jell-O. The next step is to fill the Jell-O with fish gummies purchased from the supermarket to imitate fish swimming in the ocean.


Seafood is an easy pick for a party with a maritime theme. Go all out because your guests have come to expect seafood. You can prepare any seafood in the ocean, from Mahi Mahi to salmon to shrimp. 

Mix-and-match options for your guests’ meals include pasta and stuffing. Including a range of seafood will help your theme come to life.

Shrimp Cocktail

Place photo on the subheading a shrimp cocktail serve in a cocktail glass

There’s no better appetizer to serve on a boat than a shrimp cocktail. It’s important to have enough dipping sauce available.

Water- and Boat-Related Activities

No matter your age or that of your party guests, there are always enjoyable things to do at a birthday party. Some fun things to do at a birthday party with a nautical theme are:

  • Dropping a note in the ocean.
  • Films centered around the beach or the ocean.
  • Playing tic-tac-toe with shells.
  • Quests for hidden treasure.
  • Taking pictures in a photo booth with a nautical or beach theme.
  • Water sports, swimming, etc.

Boat-Themed Party Favors

The custom of giving out party favors is widely held. Party favors can be purchased or made to fit the theme of your boat-themed event. Here are some creative suggestions for boat-themed party favors:

Bag of Seaworthy Delights

A party bag with a boat theme can’t go wrong when picking out party favors. Nautical party favor bags can contain anything from pencils and erasers with fish designs to gummies shaped like fish to bubbles to blue candies to miniature kaleidoscopes. 

Beach Goodies

Why not offer your guests beach-themed favors to accompany the nautical theme? Towels, sand buckets, and shovels are all completely acceptable. Instead of giving individual beach favors to each guest, consider giving a bucket to each family that attends the party.

Place photo on the subheading a hand-crafted anchor keychain surrounded by sewing materials


Inexpensive and useful, an anchor keychain makes a great party favor. It’s practical and will forever remind your guests of the fantastic time they had at your boat-themed party.

Naval Caps

Distribute sailor or captain’s caps to the guests. Distributing these at the start of the party will put everyone in the mood for a nautical celebration.

Sand Dollar

You can buy plastic if you want to use sand dollars as place cards. You can do this by using a paint pen or marker to affix the guest’s name to a sand dollar. Then place it on their table and let them take it home as a favor. 

Your boat-themed party is sure to succeed if you follow these ideas. Use these tips as a jumping-off point for a successful boat party!

For more ideas and recommendations, you may also read our Guide to Types of Party Favors for Children’s Parties.