When it's freezing outside and summer fun seems worlds away, bring the beach indoors for a day with an indoor beach party. What you'll lack in ocean waves and sunburns, you'll make up for with atmosphere that focuses on each of the five senses. Stock up on party decorations in the summer and fall, when beach and luau themed items go on sale.
Send out purchased or made surfboard-shaped invitations. Ask invitees to wear their favorite beachwear to the party.
Clear out the party room as much as possible. Instead of regular indoor furniture, use beach chairs, inflatable rings and beach towels on top of foam pads. If you can't remove large furniture such as a couch, cover it with a Hawaiian print sheet.
Decorate beach style. Instead of regular lighting, place LED tiki torches around the room and string novelty lights in shapes such as palm trees and seashells.
Set up two CD players: one to play a CD of continuous ocean sounds and another to play a CD of summer music. Summer music can include beach-themed songs or island music.
Spray coconut air freshener -- the scent is reminiscent of summer or tropical vacations. Light a couple of citronella candles if the room has good ventilation. Set out bottles of sunscreen for another summer scent.
Fix pitchers of rum-based tropical cocktails such as pina coladas, daquiris and Bahama mamas for the adults, and provide lemonade for non-drinkers and kids. You can also offer soda, beer and wine.
Heat up an electric grill or two and fix an indoor cookout of barbecue chicken, hot dogs and burgers -- regular and veggie. Serve with summer salads, coleslaw and corn on the cob -- look for corn on the cob in the freezer section of the grocery store in the winter. For dessert, serve ice cream or truck-style frozen treats.
Have a sandcastle building contest using salt dough. Mix 1 part salt, 1 part flour and 1 part water until a dough forms. Use plastic containers and sand molds to create shapes. For a less messy game, hold a limbo contest.
Give your guests favors such as beach balls, sunglasses, flying discs or beach towels at the end of the party.