Ahhh, the Caribbean. Creating Caribbean party themes is a pleasure. Anyone who has ever been to any of the Islands knows what I mean. Turquoise blue water, white beaches, rum drinks, and the Island beat give this theme all the ideas needed to create an awesome party.
As with most theme parties, you’ll need a decent-sized room or backyard, or you can rent a party room. The Caribbean party themes, weather permitting, definitely would be great in an outdoor setting (especially if you have a pool). Or, in the winter, Caribbean party themes are just what is needed for an escape from the cold weather.
One creative idea for Caribbean party themes is to make fake flight tickets, arrival destination at one of the the Islands on the date and time of the party. Another idea is to create a flyer for a “Caribbean Festival” (or Jamacian Reggae Jam, San Juan Latin Dance Contest, Bermuda Triangle Party, etc.).
Other options are to get tropical looking blank invitations or paper and print them on your computer, or to buy fill-in-the-blank invitations.
Caribbean party themes call for grass skirts, beach hats, rasta wigs, reggae hats, dreadlock wigs, coconut bikini tops, bright prints, etc. Be sure to note on the invitation if you expect your guests to dress up!
Caribbean party themes favors (or game/door prizes) for your guests can include palm tree shaped votive candles, shell necklaces, reggae CDs, small bottles of hot sauce, sunglasses, sun visors, sunscreen, small bottles of Bacardi, a gift bag with several of these things, or any other gifts that have a Caribbean flair.
Decorations and favors for the Caribbean party themes abound, but you have to be careful to include only stuff that you’d find in the Caribbean. In other words, you aren’t having a luau, so no tiki masks or other uniquely Hawaiian decor. You can, however, use many of the luau or Hawaiian labeled decorations for your Caribbean party. Here are some ideas for decorating:
* Cover a wall with a tropical photo mural
* Scatter tan and shades of blue balloons around (beach colors) or bright tropical floral colors like yellow, pink, purple, green. There are even balloons shaped like flamingos, shells, and palm trees! Or, get white and blue round paper lanterns.
* Use any of several kinds of palm trees, flamingos, parrots, tropical fish, and suns (inflatable, metallic, paper, tissue, lighted strings or otherwise) for Caribbean party themes.
* Exotic flowers (real or silk) or tropical candle holders or luminaries can be table centerpieces or accents anywhere in your party area.
* Grass skirting on the tables is a neat touch too. If you really want to go all out, you can get a grass tiki “hut” and use it as the bar or other serving area.
* Don’t forget to have Caribbean party themes tableware and napkins in a bright floral or flamingo pattern, mix and match bright tropical solid colors, or even shell-shaped plates and coconut cups!
The Caribbean’s unique flavors will be sure to delight your guests! Be sure to use Caribbean sauces and spices like Jerk sauce, Jamacian hot sauce, tabasco, and a host of pepper sauces and spices when creating your food. Some menu ideas are: Jerk Chicken (or Pork Chops, Beef, Lamb), Fried Plantains, Banana Bread, Jamacian Rice and Beans, Fishcakes, Seafood Patties, Coconut Shrimp, Any kind of Kabobs (with Island style spices), Conch Fritters, Spicy Pasta Salad, Crab Souffle, and for those who aren’t that adventurous, regular barbequed chicken.
Have some Caribbean sweets and desserts on hand too! Try Bermuda Triangle cookies, coconut cookies/cake, pineapple cake with rum sauce, rum bananas, pineapple tarts, fruit pies, fruit salad with pina colada sauce. Be sure to have stuff on hand for non-fruit lovers, like chocolate cake, chocolate souffle (remember the French influence on some of the islands), etc.
Don’t forget tropical drinks! Serve daiquiris, pina coladas, rum punch, Bahama Mamas, and a whole host of other tropical drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Caribbean party themes wouldn’t be complete without Bacardi-based rum drinks!
If it’s a birthday or other celebration, you’ll need a cake. Or you might just want a cake as a dessert item. With a tropical theme, I’d go with coconut or pineapple upside down cake! Or you might want a round or sheet cake decorated as Bob Marley or with the Bemuda Triangle. Other ideas could be a palm tree, Jamacian flag, turquoise ocean with tropical fish, steel drum instruments, etc.
Anyone up for a conga line or limbo? How low can YOU go? Other than those games, I wouldn’t “clutter” the party with any scheduled games. Let the music and the guests entertain themselves. Dancing and rum make for great fun!
Reggae, steel drum, calypso, and other Caribbean sounds are mandatory. You can also play an Ocean Sounds CD (This would be nice during a sit-down dinner.) Or, hire a band or DJ and let them worry about keeping the sounds coming!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns Party Planning Ideas http://www.party-planning-ideas.com a resource for party planning. Check out the site and send her your requests for articles about specific party themes.