Mermaid parties have been a popular theme for children’s birthday celebrations for about as long as we can remember. There’s just something about those mystical maidens of the sea that captivates the imagination. After all, what little girl doesn’t dream of being Ariel?
Whether you’re celebrating by the beach, renting the children’s party room at a water park or aquarium or turning your living room into the ocean floor, we have some helpful suggestions to throw an under-the-sea mermaid ball that’s sure to be adorable.
Mermaid Party Invitations
We’re sure you’ll want the perfect invitations to let your little mermaid’s friends know she’s throwing an underwater bash. Whether you prefer stylish or whimsical, there are many mermaid and under-the-sea designs from which to choose. We recommend a simple and elegant typestyle in complementary colors, such as teal blue and pink.
If you’re asking your guests to come in costume, be sure to send the invitations well in advance to give them time to prepare. You can even set the scene by sending a personalized photo invitation of your little girl dressed up in her best mermaid outfit!
Remember that mermaid parties tend to be all-girl affairs. If you’re inviting boys as well you may consider a mixed theme. Pirates and mermaids go well together, or even a “mermaids and surfers” beach party or luau party.
Mermaid Party Costumes
Half of the fun of a mermaid party is getting to play dress-up, and it’s not difficult to fashion costumes for your guests. Before the party, purchase shimmery blue or green fabric and cut to be worn as a long skirt. Sew on (or apply with hot glue) another piece shaped as a “tail,” with the ends tied and tucked under to keep it from looking flat.
Whether you’ve asked your guests to arrive in costume or not, you’ll want to provide plenty of accoutrements to get the girls in the mermaid mood. After all, a mermaid can’t have too many accessories! Some favors they will love include strings of plastic beads and pearls, sea shell necklaces, even Hawaiian leis. Glittery tiaras and sparkly Christmas garlands worn as scarves will make them feel like real princesses. When they’re all made up, hand out plastic hand-held mirrors to admire their beauty!
Mermaid Party Decorations
To make the party room should feel like an underwater paradise choose decorations in blue, green and every color in between. Hang the streamers from the ceiling for the under-the-sea look and drape gossamer in shades of blue from the walls and ceiling to simulate waves of water. Clear helium-filled balloons can be attached to furniture with fishing line to look like floating bubbles.
Blue, green, pink and gold are lovely colors for tableware, or find cups, plates and napkins with under-the-sea characters and designs. For the centerpiece try mylar balloons weighed down with stuffed or plastic animals or even mermaid Barbies. Liven up the rest of the room with plastic, stuffed, or inflatable creatures from the sea like fish, crabs, sea horses, dolphins, turtles and octopi. They can be strewn about the ocean floor or even hung from the ceiling to appear to be swimming.
If you’d like a wonderful way to make the party feel magical from the start, consider renting a bubble machine and placing it by the entrance. The girls can even join in blowing bubbles with bubble wands every time a new guest arrives!
Mermaid Party Activities
Everyone knows a mermaid’s favorite activity is collecting treasures from the bottom of the sea. You can have a simple hunt for buried loot by burying plastic gems, beads and jewels, gold-covered chocolate coins and other trinkets in a sandbox or kiddie pool.
For a fun variation, let the mermaids fish for their treasure. Hang shimmery blue fabric across the lower half of a doorway to represent water, and have someone hide behind with treasure to hand out. Make a fishing pole from string, a stick and a clothespin at the end. When the girls toss the line into the water, the person behind attaches a small prize!
If you’d like to hold “Mermaid Races,” have the girls climb in long pillow cases or bags up to their waists and see who can be the first to crawl and squirm across the floor to get the crown. Other fun games include “Pin the Tail on the Dolphin” and “Mermaid Limbo.” For the latter, make a limbo stick from a cardboard tube or broomstick wrapped with streamers and flowers. Play festive calypso music and have two adults hold the stick as the girls line up to see how low they can go.
If you’re an artist (or know one who will help out) paint a life-sized mermaid on foam core, with a cut-out circle just large enough for the girls to poke their faces through. The girls will love having their pictures taken as mermaids!
Mermaid Party Crafts
Art projects are always a constructive and fun activity to keep your party guests busy. Try cutting fish and other sea creature shapes from construction paper before the party, for the girls to decorate with paints, marker and glitter. When they’re finished you can even hang them from the ceiling to add to the under the sea decorations.
Another fun activity is to make underwater paintings. Have your guests draw pictures in white crayon on white paper, then paint the paper with light blue water colors. The paint won’t stick to the white crayon, and the scene will look as if it’s under water.
Your mermaid princesses will love to decorate their own crowns and tiaras with glitter, markers and crayons. Cut the tiaras strips of poster board ahead of time, making sure they’re long enough to fit around their foreheads with room to spare. This is a good crafting activity to do early in the day so the girls can wear them throughout the party. Or, embellish a picture frame with glitter, plastic gems, sticker and paint. If you’ve taken pictures of your guests posing as mermaids, print them out before the party is over. Now you have a picture for the frame!
Mermaid Party Refreshments
Some dishes that fit the under-the-sea theme include macaroni and cheese made with shell-shaped pasta, “sushi” sandwiches of turkey, cucumbers, carrots and cream cheese in rolled white bread and bananas, pineapples and other fruits served on skewers or pretzels as “fruit kebabs.” Popcorn shrimp and fish sticks also fit the theme, but be sure to have chicken tenders as well for fussy eaters.
To make “Mermaid Punch,” mix blue Kool Aid with ginger ale and blend with ice. Garnish with cherries, orange slices and a paper umbrella! For another blue ocean treat, chill blue Jell-O in clear plastic cups. Before it’s solid, add Swedish Fish or other gummy creatures, and top with a wave of whipped cream when ready to serve.
A “Mermaid Beach” birthday cake is a fun way to go if you’re baking it yourself. Ice about half of the cake with blue and white swirls to resemble the ocean, the rest yellow and white for the beach. Add brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs for the illusion of sand and garnish with candy seashells and mermaid cake toppers. If cupcakes are more your style, try blue frosting garnished with pink candy flowers.
After the Mermaid Party
When the party is over you’ll want to send your guests home with goody bags filled with trinkets and treasures to remind them of their under-the-sea adventures. Plastic beach pails are excellent containers that will see many uses after the party is over. You can also decorate white or blue paper bags with underwater designs and mermaid stickers. Fill with costume jewelry, ring pops and candy necklaces, foil-covered chocolate coins, fish pencil toppers, small bottles of bubble bath and mermaid stickers and sticker books.
Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of your mermaid princesses to send with personalized thank you notes!