Under the Sea Party

A Little Mermaid Birthday Party for a Sweet Four-Year-Old

July 1, 2017 , In: The Stuff We Do , With: 2 Comments

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This weekend we had a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating Kamryn’s 4th Birthday!

While browsing the cake catalog at our local grocery store, she saw an Ariel cake. This was not just any cake, but the kind where the Ariel doll is in the center and the actual cake is her big, fancy dress. From that moment, she was convinced that she wanted an Ariel birthday party!

I am always thrilled to throw a theme party, and The Little Mermaid is one of my favorites! So, away we went!


Food is 100% my favorite way to create a theme. A cute food table can really just bring the party together. Since this is almost always the place where adults and children congregate, it also really drives home the theme.

While crafty food fun is definitely one of my strengths, cake decorating is not. I was not about to chance a disaster, so Princess-Ariel-The-Cake came straight from the baker at the local Alberstons (Note: We did have to buy the doll and got that here). Thank goodness that Albertsons makes delicious and affordable cakes! We have used them for many parties, and they do not disappoint!

All of our food had a theme straight from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. We had:

  • Sebastian Sandwiches
    • Mini croissants were used as the crab body that we filled with peanut butter and jelly. Now, we knew our guests and their allergy status, but for a party where you want to avoid the use of peanut butter, you could totally fill these with turkey and cheese or other favorite sandwich fillings. I think a tuna salad would be especially theme-erific!
    • The eyeballs were candy eyeballs from the cake decorating section hot-glued to toothpicks!

  • Seaweed
    • For the seaweed, we had two different types. The first were bamboo skewers with grapes lined up. Easy and adorable! The second were Key Lime Pie Twizzlers which were the perfect color and looked awesome hanging out of a bubble glass!

  • Under the Sea Snacks
    • Another inspired idea came from inspiration from Amy at Mainly Homemade(she even includes a printable recipe!). These were easy, fast, cute and tasted great! We used honey graham crackers, store-bought cream cheese frosting dyed blue with gel food coloring, goldfish crackers and pearl candy decorations. Make sure to keep the frosting fairly thin so they are not caked on but thick enough so the goldfish and candy pearls will stick.

  • Shark Bait
    • Did you know that Jello makes Cotton Candy Jello!!?? And it is blue?!?? And smells JUST LIKE cotton candy??!?! Now, I did not actually eat one of these but my kitchen smelled like cotton candy for about 24 hours! Yummo! We purchased 5 ounce clear snack cups with lids, filled with blue jello and let set for a couple of hours. We then popped in some Swedish Fish! Just before the party started, we topped with whipped cream!

  • Seaweed Dip
    • Simple spinach dip (we use this brand, and it is hands down the BEST!) in a bread bowl with bread chunks and broccoli florets for dipping made this cute and easy.

  • Oyster Pearls
    • We had two sizes of oyster pearls. The large size were pearlized bubble gumballs and the small size were white Sixlets. Again, an easy and cute item for your Under the Sea table!

  • Flounder Friends
    • What child doesn’t love a big old bowl of goldfish?

The table was all set up right before the guests arrived so the kiddos could eat whenever they were ready, and I could spend time at the party, not in the kitchen. With the Ariel plates, napkins and tablecloth, it looked perfect!


Each kiddo got an Ariel favor bag before they left filled with some fun Under the Sea treats. Each bag had a paint set and paintable treasure chest. For the two-year-olds, we got finger paints instead of brush paints for their bags. Each kiddo also got a pack of “Flounder Friends” and two chocolate gold coins for their treasure chest.

There were two babies at the party and we didn’t want to leave them out, but we knew they could not paint. The littlest one received a set of Ariel PJs and the other received Goldfish crackers and a princess spoon and fork set. I loved that we could include even the babies in the fun!


Overall, the décor for the party was simple. A few swirly Ariel spinners hanging from the ceiling, a handmade sign that said “Ariel’s Grotto” and a few Ariel tablecloths.

Perhaps my most FAVORITE part of the décor and party overall was the photo wall. I am a sucker for a photo wall. If you have been to one of my theme parties, you just might have a photo in front of some cute background. For this party, we created an Under the Sea background so that every party-goer could “become a mermaid!”.

We hung a shiny blue tablecloth to look like water, hung some green lanterns that looked like coral, added some green streamers as seaweed, and attached some hand-painted fish with bubbles. Then, each child stood in front of the backdrop holding a hand painted mermaid tail to “turn into a mermaid/merman” before they entered Ariel’s Grotto (the backyard and way to the water slide!). It was a definite hit!

Activities & Fun

Most parties in the summer in Phoenix are either pool parties or at some sort of indoor facility. It is simply WAY TOO HOT to do anything else. Since we wanted to stick with the Ariel theme, we chose a bounce house/water slide! The kids absolutely loved it! It was small enough that the younger ones and older ones both had fun.

We also printed some Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and Under the Sea coloring pages online and had these available with crayons for anyone that didn’t want to jump or slide. Lastly, we put out a bunch of sidewalk chalk for patio fun.

Overall, this party was a great time and the birthday girl loved it! And that is truly the most important part!


    • Amy
    • July 11, 2017

    Wow fantastic party you threw. Thanks so much for trying out the Ursula’s Tentacles. So fun and I bet the kids loved them!

      • gluttonforchaos
      • July 11, 2017

      They totally did! Thanks, Amy, for the inspiration!

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