A College Beach Party when pulled off successfully is one of the greatest college party themes of all. Imagine a party where college guys and college girls dressed in their bathing suits and could party and dance on real sand! This is how the college beach party started. If you can't throw a party at the beach, throw it in your basement or on your lawn. If you choose to throw it in your basement it really does not matter the temperature outside, or the season, because it will be nice and warm inside. Be sure to spread the word about the party (and let everyone know bathing suits are required) at least a week or two in advance so other college students have time to get a bathing suit.
A decent college beach party requires beach sand, and you are going to need lots of it. The idea is to cover the floor of a basement or yard with at least 2 inches of sand spread out evenly. This is a requirement for throwing a great beach party. (Disclaimer: Check with your landlord first if you don't own your house). Sand is expensive: unless you are rich, you probably can't afford enough sand to cover anything. You may want to look into "borrowing" sand from a local sand volleyball court, a beach, a lake, or several sand boxes.
Adding baby pools is way people can drink in your basement while standing in water. These pools add to the effect of feeling tropical. Chances are these pools will be ruined or destroyed by the end of the night so be sure not to use a pool you have to return.
Water guns are great because it allows everyone to squirt each other and is a great ice breaker. Chances are everyone will be soaking wet by the end of the night, so no harm done. Try to buy a few cheap water guns and set them aside, some college student will find them and fill them up.
Try to buy some beach balls, other (softer) balls and stuff that makes it look more like a beach.
Try to disguise your bar as a tiki bar by using any grass an bamboo you can find. Try to use other colored light bulbs such as green, red, or orange instead of standard white light bulbs. Party stores sell lights that look like small fires to add to the effect.
A proper beach party should have a variety of drinks available for guests. Depending on the amount of people that come (plan for as many as your house can hold) you will want to get a few kegs of beer for cheap beer drinking. Warning: Do NOT have any glass bottles in the basement because chances are college students will be barefoot and you do not want to take anyone to the hospital.
"Borrow" blenders from everyone you know and get some mixers for pina coladas, daiquiris, and margaritas. Get juices such as orange juice and pineapple juice. These types of drinks will require (the cheapest) handles of rum, vodka and tequila. Note: you may need someone with bartending experience to work the bar all night for this so people don't use all your alcohol up right away). It's also a good idea to get a few boxes of wine for those who don't drink beer or hard alcohol.
There are several games you can play at a college beach party that depend on the type of crowd you have at your party. Limbo, water gun fights, wet t-shirt contests have all known to break out at college beach parties, just be sure it is the right crowd for the right activity.
The music will depend on what type of crowd you have. Try to mix in some tropical music such as the beach boys or other beach music. You also want to try to keep the crowd happy so play music that will let people dance and enjoy themselves.
This is the hardest part. Cleaning up hundreds of pounds of wet sand is going to be a challenge. You may never get all of the grains of sand out of your basement or off your lawn, but try to do your best.
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