What Are the Best Tips for Throwing a Caribbean-Themed Party?

Nick Mann

Whether it's for celebrating a birthday or just a get-together, a Caribbean-themed party can bring a taste of the islands to almost any locale. In order to make the party a success, it will require proper planning. Following five tips should help most people with both the planning and execution of a Caribbean-themed party. These include choosing the right decor, implementing a tropical dress code, choosing appropriate music, setting up fun activities and finding authentic food and drink.

Fake palm trees can be used to decorate for a Caribbean-themed party.
Fake palm trees can be used to decorate for a Caribbean-themed party.

Perhaps the most important part of a Caribbean-themed party is setting up decorations. For this type of party, it's usually best to decorate to provide a beach vibe. This can be accomplished by first setting up a few tiki torches and some fake palm trees. These can be found either online or in many party shops. Also, stringing up white lights and placing some sea shells around the area can help add to the ambiance.

A Caribbean-themed party should contain tiki torches.
A Caribbean-themed party should contain tiki torches.

Another issue is the dress code. When going for the Caribbean feel, it's important for party-goers to dress appropriately. In this case, the fashion should be casual and laid back. Some ideas for clothing could include tropical shirts, khaki shorts, beachcomber hats and sandals.

Jerked chicken can enliven a Caribbean-themed party.
Jerked chicken can enliven a Caribbean-themed party.

Selecting appropriate music is another important part of the party planning process. When it comes to a Caribbean-themed party, it's usually best to stick to music from that region. For example, reggae and ska are common types of music associated with the Caribbean. In addition, junkanoo is the music of the Bahamas, and should work well for getting people in the spirit. If possible, the party planner could also hire some steel drum musicians to add even more authenticity to the event.

Sea shells can help make the Caribbean-themed party feel more authentic.
Sea shells can help make the Caribbean-themed party feel more authentic.

Setting up some fun activities is another detail that should be addressed when planning a Caribbean-themed party. In order to keep the event running smoothly, playing a party game such as the limbo is a possibility. If the event is outdoors, it's also possible to set up a volleyball net and play some beach volleyball.

In addition, finding authentic food and drink from the Caribbean should be a priority. When it comes to food, seafood like fish and shrimp tends to be a good choice that meshes with the island theme. Also, barbeque ribs, jerked chicken, pineapple and coconut can be a big hit. For desert, it's typically best to stick with a fruity dish like key-lime pie. Typical beverages include rum for alcoholic drinks and fruit punch for non-alcoholic ones.

Caribbean-themed parties may include alcohol from the region.
Caribbean-themed parties may include alcohol from the region.

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Discussion Comments


@lonelygod - If I were you I would see if there is a Caribbean restaurant in your city that offers catering. We had a catering company provide all sorts of Caribbean food for our spring break party last year.

If you are dead set on making your own food though, I would suggest making a bunch of Caribbean appetizers and serving those. Alcapurrias, sweet potato croqueuttes, fresh corn and yuca fritters and any dishes made with plantains are a good way to go.

As far as decorations, I would do a search for "Caribbean festival" online and you'll be able to see oodles of pictures that feature fantastic costumes. We took lots of ideas about colors and textures from those images for our party.


Can anyone suggest some great foods to make for a Caribbean themed party? Also, are there any decorations that would really make my party special?

My friends are going to be getting married in the Caribbean and we thought it would be fun to throw them a themed going away party since a lot of us won't be able to make the location wedding. While were sure it would be fun it is just too costly to fly down there and it is really tough to get the time off work, especially enough time to make sure a fantastic trip worthwhile. I think I would be way too sad spending that much cash on just a weekend trip.


@ Domido - I have to agree with you that Caribbean parties are the best! And they are not just wonderful because of the natural lightheartedness they bring out in folks.

With a little imagination, and just a few bucks, a Caribbean party can be expertly carried out! I’ve done princess parties, pirate parties, fairy parties; I’ve thrown more themed parties than I care to think about. And I really don’t care to think about how much I spent on them, either.

However, with the Caribbean party I threw, I was pleasantly surprised to find really cute and effective decorations and dishes at our local dollar store.

Nothing at this particular store costs more than a single dollar – I decorated to my heart’s content for about twenty five bucks. They had party favors galore, too!

Plus, there are all kinds of cheap and fun ideas for games and decorations online that you can carry out with things that most folks just have on hand.


Oh, I just love Caribbean themed parties! I’ve given several, and for totally different occasions. There’s just something about the islands that brings out the happy in people!

My nephew was turning thirteen and he wanted a pool party. We went the extra mile and made it a Caribbean pool party. All we needed was a little island music, some fun island food and, naturally, our bathing suits!

We all had a blast – and even the thirteen year old was pleased (anyone with a thirteen year old understands how significant that is).

I’ve also thrown them as office parties, my dad’s fiftieth birthday bash and as an icebreaker party for Vacation Bible School one year.

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