Longing for a celebration with an island feel? Throw a Jamaican theme party! A Jamaican party theme can transform any event into a laid back beach celebration. Here are some ideas for invitations, decorations, activities, favors, and great Jamaican foods to help get you started with your planning.
Jamaican Theme Party Invitations
A great invitation helps set the tone for your event. Consider the main focus of your event when deciding what you want your invitations to look like. Do you love reggae music? Print a picture of Bob Marley for the front of your invitation. Do you want your party to have an island feel? Use images of palm trees and turquoise water. Here are a few more options for Jamaican themed invitations that you can make or purchase:
Invitation in a Bottle — Write our your party information on a piece of scrapbooking paper with a tropical theme. Then roll up your invitation and put it into a plastic bottle such as an empty pop bottle (these should be hand delivered.) For an extra touch, add some sand and small shells to the bottle. Leave it by your guest’s front door as if it were washed ashore.
Say it with Sunglasses — A fun way to send a Jamaican party invitation (that also turns into a great party favor) is to write out your party information on a decorative tag and tie it to a pair of sunglasses for each guest. Mail these in padded envelopes so they arrive in one piece, and be sure to ask your guests to wear their glasses to the party!
**General Invitation Tips** — If you choose to make your own invitations, don’t forget to include the date, location, and time of your event. It is also helpful to put the host’s name RSVP by date, and either your phone number or email.
Here are some great Jamaican themed invitations available for purchase:
Tropical Fish Invitations
Until Sunset Invitations
Palm Trees and Flowers Invitations
Jamaican Theme Party Decorations
Tropical Wall Mural from Shindigz.com
The colors of the Jamaican flag are green, yellow, and black. A great way to incorporate these theme colors into your decoration is through your tableware. Buy your tableware in these solid colors and mix them up in your display so that you have green dinner plates, yellow dessert plates, and black napkins, or green forks, yellow spoons, and black knives. You could also use these colors when decorating with streamers and balloons.
Here are some more inspirations for Jamaican themed decorations:
Hanging the Jamaican flag on your front door is another great way to set the tone for a Jamaican party theme.
Use arrangements of tropical fruit such as coconuts and pineapples for your table centerpiece. You might add some island flowers like hibiscus for an extra touch.
Arrange colorful beach chairs and umbrellas for party seating.
Add raffia table skirting to your serving tables for an island feel.
Hang beach signs on your walls.
If your celebration will be going on into the evening, consider hanging colored holiday lights or paper lanterns. This is a common decoration in the Caribbean islands and can help give your party a festive island feel.
Jamaican Theme Party Activities
Welcome Your Guests With Shell Necklaces — Make your guests feel like they’ve arrived on an island paradise by passing out shell necklaces to everyone as they arrive. These can double as a great souvenir!
MUSIC! — Jamaica is famous for its music, and including some great music is key to throwing a Jamaican theme party. The most well-known type of music from this island is reggae. No Jamaican party would be complete without music from Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. You should also consider playing some steel drum music and ska, which is a mix of calypso and jazz. Desmond Dekker and Toots and the Maytals are two more popular artists.
Bob Marley Legend
Steel Drum Island
Limbo –Use some fun music and a limbo stick or broom handle to have a limbo contest. Lower the stick after each round to see how low everybody can go!
Dancing — Designate one area of your party as a dance floor for dancing throughout the night.
Have a Persussion Jam — Set out a variety of instruments and let your guests have an impromptu jam session. These could include small bongo drums and maracas, or simply pots, pans, and spoons.
Dominoes — Playing dominoes is a common pastime in Jamaica. Set out a table where people can join in and enjoy this traditional game.
Volleyball — If you have a large enough area, set up a game of volleyball. This is an active game that can get a lot of guests involved and mingling.
Invite a Hair Braider — If you have ever visited Jamaica, you might have considered coming home with your hair in braids. A fun idea to bring this tradition to your event is to invite a guest (ask at your local hair salon) to come braid and bead your more adventuresome guests’ hair.
Jamaican Theme Party Food
There are a number of great websites offering all kinds of Jamaican recipes. Here are some suggestions for some typical Jamaican foods:
- Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork
- Rice with Peas
- Fried Plantains
- Bacon Wrapped Grilled Pineapple (cook on skewers)
- Bread Pudding
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic) — This is a spicy version of ginger ale
- Red Stripe Beer — Jamaica’s Beer
- Fruit Punch (either with rum or non-alcoholic)
- Pina Coladas
**For additional Jamaican recipes, check out www.Jamaicans.com.
Jamaican Party Favors
Send your guests off with some fun party favors. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
Enjoy the party!
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