Beyond the Toga: Beach Blowout

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Now that it’s finally summer, everyone’s looking for a beach trip to relieve the stress of that job or internship. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to the beach—and even if they do, it doesn’t last all year long. Beach themed parties are an awesome way to bring the beach to a campus . “It’s a great way to have a sick time in a different environment,” says Jon Gottlieb, the President of ZBT at University of Miami who played a major role in throwing ZBTahiti, a beach themed party at his school.


Simplicity might not be a bad thing: sandals, summer styled shirts and a Hawaiian lay are enough to get the job done. Or go in your swim trunks/bikini. If you do want to get decked out you might want to wear a full hula skirt or a full snorkel outfit—fins included.


This is the type of a party where you can really set a mood. Think plastic palm trees, inflated beach balls, Hawaiian leis and a reggae/beach music mix.  For outside parties, put out tiki torches, hang colored lanterns or even build a small bonfire. To really bring the beach to the party, buy bags of sand from Home Depot. Warning: put a tarp underneath and just know that the clean up may forever so it’s definitely a move for a larger group to take on. The sand itself is not too expensive but the clean up may be.

For drinks, serve daiquiris and pina coladas or other fruit flavored concoctions in glassware with colorful umbrella toothpicks. Or cut up a pineapple and infuse it with vodka (this might need a few days to marinate).

Gottlieb says the most difficult part of planning is “getting all the decorations together in a way they can withstand the atmosphere of a college party.” His fraternity added inflatable palm tree coolers, that combine ascetically pleasing decorations with a useful purpose.

Set Up:

A beach themed party takes some time to set up so you might want to start a few days in advance (especially if you’re using sand). Try to get as many people in your group involved in the setup, which can be a fun way to prepare and start the party early. When the scene is set and the music starts, kick back and enjoy all the work you put in to bring the beach to your college campus. Cara Yochai a rising junior attended the beach party at UMiami. “ It’s cool because its like you’re on spring break or at a vacation spot—not just a regular frat or house party.”

Junior > English > Washington University in St. Louis

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