5 Summer Birthday Party Ideas for the Best Celebration Ever

summer birthday party ideas
Anne Menke /Trunk Archive

This time of year always feels like a party—the picnics, the barbecues, and Labor Day celebrations galore. So if you’re a Gemini, Cancer, Leo, or Virgo, you need to get creative with your summer birthday party ideas so they stand out from the rest of the get-togethers. (We know your friends will come anyway, but it never hurts to mix things up now, does it?)

The thing about a birthday shindig is that it should reflect your personality in some way, shape, or form—after all, it’s the one day of the year that’s 100% about you. When it comes down to it, who you’re with is way more important than what you’re doing… but if you can do something awesome together, it’s a win-win.

We swear these five summer birthday party ideas are just that—and more. See some of our favorite out-of-the-box options, and then rein in your best friend for a little planning.


There’s nothing chicer—or more fun—than a quirky Mad Hatter–themed tea party. The thing is, no one wants to be sipping on hot beverages in 80-degree heat, so this is where the twist comes in. To go along with the season, serve several varieties of iced tea instead of hot, all pre-brewed in labeled Mason jar dispensers. (PS: Don’t forget a boozy option or two.) Set up a spread of all your favorite tea party treats, including scones and clotted cream, mini cucumber sandwiches, and tiny jam tarts to keep guests full before you blow out the candles.


Deck yourself out in your finest summer attire, and have a champagne toast with all your favorite people on deck. If your friends seem up to it, you can do a full dinner cruise, but we think cocktails are a bit more low-key, and it ensures that there’s room for plus-ones. Word to the wise: If you wear a dress, make sure it’s long so you’re not tugging it down all night in the wind.


You learn early on when you celebrate your birthday in the summer that friends tend to escape to the beach on weekends (they often set out as early as Thursday night). Make sure you can get everyone together by having a relaxing dinner on the Tuesday or Wednesday of your birthday week. You may have to plan it a bit later on in the night—remember, most people will have work—but it will still be a special time to reminisce about the past year and think about the one to come.


It’s time to get your wine tasting on with your besties, and one vineyard just won’t do. Plan a tour de vin complete with several stops and lunch at one (some wineries surprisingly even offer brick oven pizza… yum). To make sure everyone can have fun, hire a driver or charter a bus. Now go have your grape escape.


Summer means sangria, since all the best fruit is in season. Have friends over on the patio, rooftop, or even by the pool to sip the chilled beverages (it just needs to be alfresco). Since you’re the birthday girl, pick your favorite fruit-and-wine fusions, whip up a few pitchers, and designate a friend to play bartender if you need refills later in the night. If there’s time, you can also make a cheese board, but let’s be honest, the custom sangria combos are going to more than impress.

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