Sandy beaches, waves and a splash of birthday fun, Shannon Qualls of Parties and Potty Training takes the creative plunge with this Surf Shack & Underwater Adventure Joint Birthday Party. To celebrate her sons Mason and Asa (with birthdays only two days apart!) she chose two themes that worked together swimmingly. So put your toes to the nose and dive in to enjoy incredible cakes, “Reef-Reshments” and a radical snack filled surf shack! ;)
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- “Reef-Reshments” Stand, Stafish Treats and “Wave” Popcorn Cones
- Asa’s Underwater Adventure Dessert Table with an amazing shark cake by Kims Cake Studio
- Bubble Favors, Octopus Piñata Cake and Sea Creature Cookies
- Mason’s Surf Shack with decorative surf boards, goldfish snacks and chalkboard sign wave report!
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Shannon…
My two oldest boys birthdays are two days apart. This year we decided to do a joint birthday party because I was having our youngest son a month before. I wanted to have two distinct parties in one, so I chose a “Surf Shack” theme for my younger son and an “Underwater Adventure” for my older son- meshing the beach and the ocean.
Taking advantage of their summer birthdays, we rented a spray park for the event and had about 40 minutes for set up. With a team of great friends and family, we were able to pull it off just as guests were arriving. The best part of the event? Built in activity! Kids came ready to cool down and play in the water.
I wanted the seating area to feel like guests were under the sea, so we created paper lantern fish, jellys and sharks and hung them from the umbrellas as well as from the canopy of the custom coral reef dessert table.
I love serving meals at birthday parties, but because of the time that the spray park was available for private parties, it didn’t make sense. Instead we opted for yummy snacks. Mason’s Surf Shack served snacks of veggie cups with ranch or hummus, Gold Fish, Sun Chips (fish and chips), and fresh fruit. I wanted to keep it light and fresh since we had so many yummy desserts to devour!
For Reef-freshments we served Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade and water. Since lemonade is my boys favorite refreshment, my mom squeezed all of the lemons the day before and made the rest from scratch. Water was a no brainer since it is always refreshing in NM heat. It was a good thing we packed extra water too because it was one of the hottest days on record!
Asa’s Underwater Adventure boasted a shark cake with a treasure beach ball, turtle cake, octopus cupcakes (with a surprise inside!), starfish rice crispy treats, under the sea creature sugar cookies, coral reef popcorn and homemade ice cream.
When working with Kim, our cake lady, I knew that I wanted to use The Pastry Pedestal for something different and unique. We decided to create an octopus whose tentacles rested on the different cupcakes. It looked amazing, but alas- the heat won and we placed the cupcakes on the coral reef so they wouldn’t melt all over.
Last year we had a Whacky Cake (originally inspired by The Meringue Bake Shop) included with the boys birthday cakes. This year my son requested another one so Kim created the beach ball next to the shark for my oldest and the octopus head for my younger. In the pictures you can see they were filled with candy.
Since it was my oldest sons golden birthday, my friend had a custom octopus piñata made. It was HUGE! The kids had so much fun trying to break it open. My husband ended up having to take a turn with the bat to release the candy.
A friend of mine painted the surf boards used at the surf shack. My husband created and painted the coral reef dessert table, and signs for the tables. He also built the awnings for the snack and drink tables as well as the chalkboard easel. My mother in law sewed all of the canopies.
- Event Styling and Coordination: Shannon Qualls of Parties and Potty Training
- Photography: Greg Qualls, Gloriane Ortega and Abigal Garcia
- Printables: Matthew Carlson
- Cake and Cupcakes: Kim Garcia of Kims Cake Studio
- Popcorn: Walker’s Popcorn
- Straws: Shop Sweet Lulu
- Plastic bottles, Paper Lanterns: Kara’s Party Ideas
- Paper Lanterns, Party Favors: Oriental Trading Company
- Ice Cream Cups and Alphabet Letters: The Tomkat Studio
- Blue/White Cabana Fabric: Carousel Designs
- Acrylic Cupcake Holder: Pastry Pedestal
- Party Favors: Target
- Party Shirts: The Children’s Place (alterations by mother in law)
- Drink Dispensers and Lifeguard Drink Stand: Pottery Barn