Heads up! It's a Surfing Birthday Party!

Everybody's gone surfing, surfing USA! Just those iconic words are enough to bring images of the beach and the sound of the pounding surf to mind. While your little one may have absolutely no idea of what it means to go surfing, the hot weather may just call for a surfing birthday party.

Send out invitations that channel the surf, whether in Hawaii or California by writing all the details of the party on a miniature surfboard. Send that out in a large envelope with a bit of sand inside and you're all set for Surf City! Ask your guests to come in surf clothes and since you'll be hosting a creative surfer dude (or dudette) contest.

Set up your party area like the beach party it should be. Use colorful balloons in hot pink, purple, aqua, yellow, and lime green to set the scene. Anchor them in large pails if you have them and top them off with sand. Put up inflatable palms trees or bring in pots of real ones if you have them available. Hang paper lanterns on the ceiling and watch the beach come to life! As an added touch, you can cut out life-sized surfboards from colored paper and stick them onto your walls with double sided tape.

As each guest arrives, greet them with their very own lei. Then let them have their pictures taken beside a surfboard or with a background of the surf behind them.

The kids's table is decorated in a different way. After all, surfing isn't the usual thing, right? If you have beach blankets or towels, use those on the tables instead of the usual tablecloths. In the center, place a goldfish bowl filled a third of the way with sand and piled with shells and pretty stones. Have the place setting mis-matched, for example, an aqua plate could be paired with yellow utensils, a pink napkin, and a red cup. Nothing about pink being for girls here!

The cake table is a different story, though. Use a plain or surfer-printed material as a tablecloth. Get a grass skirt and pin it onto the table over the cloth. Nothing more could say, “surf's up!” than that. Set the cake on a stand and decorate around it with more sea shells. A simple cake could be one that is simply iced in various shades of blue and then topped with foam of white frosting with a surfer catching the waves. The sides can be decorated with chocolate seashells and sanding sugar tinted with red, blue, and yellow food coloring to simulate the sand. Mixing all these colors together create a nice, soft, brown.

Simple food is best at the surfing birthday party. One great idea is to buy small loaves of bread that have pointy ends like surfboards. Cut them in half and fill them with sliced turkey and cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Snacks of goldfish and pretzel sticks keep everyone happy. A nice dessert is pineapple upside down cake and mixed dried tropical fruits and macadamia nuts. For your beverage, why not have a tropical fruit smoothie? Just take a tropical fruit juice, add a plop of plain yogurt, half a banana, and ice, and process it in your blender. Served with a bendy straw, it's terrific!

For the favors, hand out sunglasses, a small bottle of sunblock, and a straw hat. Add a bottle of bubbles to that and a small bag of gummy or Swedish fish candy, which is suitable for vegans since they don't contain gelatin.