Under the Sea Birthday Party

An under the sea birthday party is a versatile theme and really offers a lot of possibility and is fun to do. There are so many creatures in the ocean that you can decorate with!

You can also use some of the ideas for decorations if your child is having a pirate party, or a mermaid party. Just add in some pirate stuff (think skulls, swords, and jewels) amongst the underwater scene you will create. Mermaids would look great on the invitations or on the party favor bags.

Ready? Let's create a beautiful under the sea birthday party!

Under the Sea Birthday Party Invitations

We used the under the sea birthday party theme for my daughter when she turned one. The invitation had the following wording:

"Under the Sea, Under the Sea,
Come and Turn One with Me!"

For the place, it read "Port of Call"; for date it read "Sail Date", for time it read "Dive Time", and for RSVP, it read "SOS to".

I designed the invitations on the computer, using an under the sea background and put a photo of my daughter on top of it.

I've seen many other cute ideas though! Try cutting card stock in the shape of a fish, and print out all party information on it. You can also use blank index cards as invitations, but decorate them with your child's thumb prints. You can turn the thumb prints into little fish by adding in the face, fins, and tail with a fine tipped marker!

If you can hand deliver your invitations, a creative idea is to roll up treasure looking map invitations into an empty water bottle. The invites can be printed on regular paper and you can tear the edges of the paper and ink the edges using a stamp pad (Distress Ink works great). Or, carefully burn the edges of the invitation for an authentic look (be careful)! Remove the label from a water bottle and add your own cute label, and roll up the invitation to go inside.

Under the Sea Birthday Party Decorations


The wonderful thing about an under the sea birthday party is you can find appropriate decorations everywhere. Keep your eye open at dollar stores! Snatch up any ocean themed fish stuff you can find!

seashore decorations

Try posting a sign to greet guests at the front door that reads "Happy to Sea You!" . Be sure to have some fish cut outs on the sign!

You could also have your guest of honor dress up as a mermaid or a pirate. And that goes for Mom and Dad too! It definitely adds to the theme!

Perhaps you have some seasonal "beachy" decor already in your house that you can use. Definitely utilize any seashells you have collected while on vacation! Place them all around on the party tables and around the cake.

It is very easy to find images of fish to download and print on to paper. Print out two mirror copies of the image, cut them out, and glue a piece of thread in between the two halves of the fish. These can then be hung from the ceiling. It will be hard to see the thread and the fish will appear to be swimming!paper bowl jelly fish

You can buy a blue plastic tablecloth on a roll, and attach it to the ceiling, billowing it to create waves! You can also attach it to the walls and add pictures of ocean life. You can use some brown butcher paper and cut out a bottom of a boat, and also attach it the ceiling. This will truly give the effect of being under the sea!



Keep your eyeseashell centerpiece open for brown fish netting. This really looks great as a nautical decoration. You can drape it over the tablecloth, or pin it from the ceiling. You can even add some fake fish inside the net, and dangle some green streamers from the net to resemble seaweed.

Bubble machines are fun to add to a party too, especially for the little ones. A bubble machine works great for this theme!

They also sell these fun mylar balloons that you control by a remote control. My daughter got one for Christmas from Bed Bath and Beyond. They have a shark, a clown fish, and a bass. All would be a fun addition to the party, both for decor and for the party participants to play with!

Under the Sea Birthday Party Food


If you have snacks, try serving them in sand pails or fish bowls! It helps add to the decor of the under the sea birthday party!

Goldfish crackers and Swedish fish candy is perfect for this theme! Blue jello jigglers in the shape of fish are also fun.

For main courses that are kid friendly, try fish sticks and seashell macaroni and cheese. You can also serve octopus! This is done by cutting hot dogs in half lengthwise, creating eight cuts for legs on one half. When you boil the hot dog, the legs will curl up and the hot dog turns into an octopus! Sandwiches can be cut into a fish shape if you have the right cookie cutter. Adults at the party would probably also enjoy shrimp cocktail, which also fits the theme.

Keep in mind you can make any food and make it fit the under the sea birthday party theme by simply giving it a cute name. For example, blue Hawaiian punch can be poured into a punch bowl, and now can be called Ocean Punch with the help of a little sign. Call the snacks "Fish Food".

Under the Sea Birthday Party Cake

There are so many cute cake ideas out there, but I will share the simple cake I made for my daughter when she had this theme.

All it required was a trip to our local candy store, which had the more "hard to find" items. These items were: chocolate aquarium rocks, and Swedish fish.

The rocks looked unbelievably real, and they were so good! After I frosted the cake blue, the bottom of the sea (the sand) was created by crushing graham crackers finely in a food processor. The chocolate aquarium rocks were then added on top of this "sand" layer on the bottom of the cake.

under the sea birthday cake


I stuck on a few Swedish fish, and Goldfish crackers that come in different colors. The seaweed, is multi-colored licorice strips!

I made a cake board by cutting out a larger rectangle from stiff cardboard, and covered it with some of the plastic blue tablecloth I had. I decorated the corners of the cake board with seashells.

Under the Sea Birthday Party Games


It is nice to have an activity out for the children to do while they are waiting for everyone to arrive. One game that works well is to have pails of sand on the table with buried seashells. Have them try to dig and find as many seashells as they can. Place them in a baggie for them to take home. Be forewarned: This can get messy and is best done at outdoor parties.

For a craft, decorating photo frames with fish stickers and seashells is a great idea. This is especially nice if you have taken a photo of the child at the party. You can print them out during the party and place them in the frame for them to take home.

seashell frames

Fishing games are really fun and an obvious choice for an under the sea theme. And there are so many ways to do fishing games.

For young children, you can make little paper fish with a number on them or a "try again". Glue a paper clip near the mouth of the fish. You can then make fishing rods using a pencil and some yarn. Glue a magnet to the end of the yarn. The children take turns "fishing" for fish with the magnet. If the child catches a fish with a number on it, they can get a wrapped prize with a corresponding number labeled on it. If they get a fish that says "try again", they should return the fish and go fishing once again.

I once attended my friend's son's birthday party and she did a really cute fishing game. She hid behind a couch, where she had all sorts of prizes. The children took turns with a play fishing rod (with a large plastic hook). At each child's turn, they would place the fishing rod behind the couch, where my friend was hiding and would tug at the line. She would add a prize to the hook, but not before she first added a sock or an old can. The kids laughed and laughed! What I also thought was clever is she had a parent clue her in on who was fishing, so she added a specific prize for them (boy prize, girl prize, age appropriate, etc).

Kids also enjoy Diving Under the Waves! For this game, you will need a large blue piece of fabric (disposable plastic tablecloths work well). Lay it open on the floor, and place seashells and little plastic or stuffed sea creatures under the cloth. Have all the children stand around the cloth and pick up an edge. Just like a parachute, have them all wiggle and jiggle it, while shouting out one of the children's names to go diving! That child then dives under the wiggling ocean waves and quickly fetches an ocean treasure to keep. Take turns with all the children until they all have a gift from under the sea!

And for almost any party, you can incorporate a Pin the Something on Something game. For an Under the Sea birthday party, it is fun to play "Pin the Fin on the Shark"!


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