This Retro Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Summer Surf Party was styled by KPI’s very own Amber Pugmire out of Utah/USA.
What a fabulous End of Summer party! There are so many TMNT ideas that are so cool! I especially love the graffiti “Cowabunga” dessert table backdrop. This party not only has a lot of Ninja Turtle ideas, but has tons of elements that would be perfect for a surfing, pool, beach, or summer party as well.
My favorite Ninja Turtle party ideas and elements from this awesome summer surf event are:
- The pizza lollipops
- The “sewer lid” cookies
- The party favor pizza boxes labeled “take out”
- The awesome graffiti “Cowabunga” backdrop
- The paper lanterns turned into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The watermelons carved to look like Ninja Turtles
- The stunning blue ombre wave cake topped with a fondant surfing Ninja Turtle
- and MORE!
Retro TMNT Summer Surf Party
Here’s what Amber shared about styling the Ninja Turtle Summer Surf Party:
“My boys LOVE the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so choosing a theme for their birthday party this year was easy. The challenge was that their birthdays are six months apart! So I decided that rather than throwing two separate Ninja Turtle parties in one year, I would combine both birthday celebrations into a Summer Party that both boys (and all of our neighbors) could enjoy!
As I was looking around for ideas, I noticed that many of the TMNT parties had a lot of dark colors (which is completely true to the Ninja Turtle Cartoon) and were often held indoors. Since this was going to be a party celebrating summer it had to be outside and I also wanted it to have a bright, happy feel to it. Then I realized that the word “cowabunga”, so commonly associated with the old-school Ninja Turtles, is also a surfing term! So I had my solution… combine the ninja turtle theme with retro surfing and I would have the perfect outdoor summer party!
I contacted Lauren of Lauren Haddox Design with my vision to see if she could translate it into printables and she exceeded every expectation I had! Not only did she come up with the perfect retro Ninja Turtle invite but she was able to design everything I envisioned for the food labels, activity signs, etc. and then added some of her own ideas from a banner to cupcake toppers to posters. I’m so grateful for how wonderful she was to work with!
I wanted the party to have a festive, summer feel so I strung lights and hung paper lanterns around our yard and then set out tons of outdoor tables and chairs. It was fun turning all of the green paper lanterns into Ninja Turtles. The tables were covered with chalkboard paper so they could be drawn on with chalk, markers and crayons left out in tin pails. There were also paper fans for younger kids to color and rolls of duct tape for older kids to use to make ninja turtle wallets.
There were also several water and beach-oriented activities set up around my yard, including a sandbox for younger children, a rotating Ninja Turtle sprinkler, a huge slip-and-slide complete with inflatable surf boards to slide on, and a water blob topped with beach balls.
The backdrop for the dessert table was a wood panel textured & painted to look like white brick. Then the word “cowabunga” was tagged across it to create the effect of graffiti. The table centerpiece was a “Cowabunga Carl” TMNT van topped with a cardboard surfboard. What surfing party is complete without a retro surf van?
The highlight of the dessert table was the AMAZING blue ombre wave cake topped with a fondant Ninja Turtle who was “surfing” on a fondant sewer lid. A HUGE shout out to Jen Hanna of Sweeten Your Day for making such an impressive and perfect cake!
It was so fun coming up with different Ninja Turtle and surfing themed treats to serve at the party! Of course pizza, sewers and surfing had to play a big role. There were some pizza slice shaped lollipops and chocolate nonpareil discs that reminded me of pizzas. For the sewer lid cookies, I wanted something different than the Oreos I had seen in other parties. When I came across Italian chocolate waffle cookies I knew they’d be perfect!
To drink, there was “Toxic Ooze” which tasted A LOT better than it looked or sounded, and “Waste Water” which was just water but sounded appropriate. There were also single serving juice barrels sorted into Styrofoam barrel coolers according to their color and labeled for the various Turtles. The drink station was topped with watermelons carved to look like TMNT faces and filled with glow sticks, so each turtle would glow in his appropriate color as night came. A HUGE thank you to my patient husband for carving the watermelons!
As the guests arrived, they were greeted with TMNT paper masks, seashell necklaces and green Frisbee “turtle shell” backpacks accompanied by instructions to “Shell Up”.
Before guests went home, they stopped by a party favor area labeled “Take Out”. There were stacks of empty pizza boxes for the guests to fill with their favors. All of the goodies were displayed on an industrial ladder to symbolize accessing a sewer tunnel.
I also made Glow in the Dark “Toxic Ooze” Slime for the guests to take home, which I poured into flip-cap pill bottles. The bottles were topped with printable bio-hazard labels from freshlycutcards on Etsy.”
Vendors & Credits:
Party Styling- Amber Pugmire of Kara’s Party Ideas
Complete Party Guide Available on ETSY!
Photography- Kara Allen of Kara’s Party Ideas
Printable Invitation, Banner, Cheesecake Toppers, Signs, Labels, and Posters- Lauren Haddox Design
Ninja Turtle Cake- Jen Hanna of Sweeten Your Day
Items and supplies used in this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop:
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