Entertaining : Tropical Themed Party Ideas + FREE Printables

ideas for hosting a tropical themed party

Today we’re going to the Tropics for some fun in the sun and delicious food and drinks! Drink week continues with Tropical themed party ideas that were inspired by the yummy flavors of Seagram’s Escapes malt beverages, and when I received an email asking me to style a party around these drinks I was THRILLED, to say the least.

I wanted to create a party that was tropical in feel, but not “typical” or kitschy. I opted to forgo the grass skirt trim and flowery leis, but I did include mini drink umbrellas and shells & coral. I think food plays a major role in any good themed party so that was also an important element. I’ve listed all the details below to show you just how easy it is to pull together for a ladies night or birthday, a graduation party, or a summer party “just because.” Grab your sunscreen and lets head to the islands!

tropical party centerpiecetropical flavored drinks - Add shells to ice buckettropical themed party mini tacos shrimp cocktailchicken satay for tropical theme party trio of tropical salsasTropical themed party individual shrimp cocktailstropical themed party Tropical themed party

Get the Look:

  • I started with the fabric that had the right balance I was looking for: blue to emulate the sea, brights to reflect the beautiful florals, and neutral/brown to give it that rustic island feel. I found it all in this pattern that also felt a little retro to me.
  • Brightly colored flowers are in a vase that’s wrapped with a bamboo place mat cut to size. Lanterns and an open coconut surround it. TIP: To open a coconut, hold it in the palm of one hand and use a hammer to hit it with enough force to crack it. Turn the coconut slightly and hit it again until you’ve gone around the coconut full circle. It should be cracked open by this point. Make sure to have a bowl underneath to catch the coconut water when it opens up.
  • To serve all the food I used rustic wooden serving pieces and topped them with {faux} tropical leaves and palm fronds INSTANT island feel!


  • I made a trio of tropical salsas: Mango, Pineapple, and Papaya with Avocado. I didn’t really follow a recipe, I just blended different combinations out of green & red peppers, jalapeno peppers, red onion, black beans, cilantro, diced tomato, and lime juice & salt. These were served with rice chips for scooping.
  • Seems like islanders are always cooking pork on a spit so I wanted to use that as inspiration for mini tacos. I combined pulled pork with Sriracha and bbq sauce, and layered it onto soft shells with jalapeno slaw. They were really good! I used a biscuit cutter to make smaller rounds in the soft taco shells.
  • What’s a tropical party without seafood? Individual servings of shrimp cocktail are served in glass votive holders.
  • Chicken satay is one of my favorite foods. Just thread thinly sliced chicken breast onto skewers and brush with satay sauce when grilling. They’re so convenient to pick up and eat, and make great party food for all occasions.
  • A big tub of ice holds an array flavors of Seagram’s Escapes drinks. I added some shells to the ice for an unexpected touch. Did you know you can also use these drinks to mix into cocktails {see recipes here}? My go-to mix-in is Coconut Rum. I added it to the Kiwi Strawberry flavor and it was soooo good.

retro style post cards bannertropical party desserts - mini coconut creme parfaits strawberry cupcakes FREE Tropical Party printable invitation & tent cards FUN in the "sand" and sun paper fans to keep cool tropical trail mix favors Add Shells to ice bucket full of tropical flavored Seagram's Escapes

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Sweets & More:

  • I created a party banner with retro style postcards and used mini clothes pins to hang them on jute twine.
  • Sweet treats were Strawberry cupcakes from More Cupcakes topped with Driscoll’s Strawberries, and coconut creme parfaits topped with chocolate shells.
  • Send out invitations a couple of weeks beforehand {or more if you know people are busy}.  Download these FREE printable invitations here, and the tent cards here.
  • Graham cracker crumbs give a beach sand effect and I thought it would be fun and whimsical to “write in the sand” so I added the word “FUN” to it.
  • Be a thoughtful hostess and supply paper fans for guests to stay cool with. I find mine at World Market.
  • Simple parting favors are little bags filled with tropical trail mix. Make them up ahead of time or let guests fill their own.

Play List to Get You Started:

  • Bob Marley – Legend album
  • Jimmy Buffet – Songs You Know By Heart album
  • Carlos Santana – Supernatural album
  • Girl From Impanema by Astrud Gilberto
  • Hey Mambo by Dean Martin
  • La Bamba by Ritchie Valens
  • Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez
  • Cha Cha Slide

What do you think?  Are you ready to host a Tropical themed party?  I hope you’ll incorporate some of these ideas, and give these Seagram’s Escapes flavors a try.  And of course, drink responsibly.

Tropical Theme party ideas


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This party was designed and styled for our client, Seagram’s Escapes.  All opinions and photos are my own. Find out more about our styling service here.

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  1. says

    This party is GORGEOUS Chris! I love all your details. That vintage card banner is my fave! Those look like the perfect drinks for our block party on the 4th of July!

  2. Lelia says

    Loving this so much!! I’m planning a shower and need lanterns like you have here…where did you find yours? I’m having the hardest time hunting them down!!

  3. Leira says

    This is gorgeous! Where did you find the tablecloth!?? Ohh id love to have it for my mom’s 50th birthday! Thanks!!

  4. says

    I am going to try to recreate this masterpiece of a spread!!I have looked and looked and looked everywhere for the fabric in the cute luau picture! I have checked out joann’s but no luck!! Do you remember the name or brand of the fabric?!

  5. aly says

    thanks for taking the time to answer my question! I have been to three fabric shops and numerous websites searching and searching and searching… Thanks again!