Bring Summer Into Your Simcha
SimchasParty Planning For A Season Of Relaxation

Bring Summer Into Your Simcha

How to use every kid’s favorite season as celebration inspiration.

Shelly Danz

Shelly Danz is founder and chief party officer of Atlanta Party Connection,, which connects mitzvah and wedding clients with top vendors, secures exclusive deals and discounts on services, and provides planning tips and inspiration.

What does your mitzvah kid love most about summer? Does he or she count the days till sleepaway camp, help plan your family’s travels abroad or live to hit the beach?

No matter when your mitzvah date falls, you can use your child’s favorite summer activities as inspiration for a simcha celebration, a great departure from typical mitzvah themes. Summer-influenced parties can transport your guests to the most relaxed season.

Some possibilities:

  • Get campy. Summer camps are popular with teens, and bringing that camp vibe into a mitzvah celebration can be great fun for kids and adults. Consider a more casual dress code, and investigate outdoor venues that have space for dancing and dining.

Or bring the outdoors inside with creative campy touches, such as having your DJ teach guests a cheer to shout when your mitzvah kid enters the party, making a bunk bed the focal point of a lounge for the kids or creating a campfire for serving dessert s’mores.

Find more camp-themed ideas on my Pinterest page (

  • Take a trip. Your venue can become your mitzvah kid’s favorite vacation spot, using décor, food and ambience to set the scene.

New York lovers can send guests down “streets” to taste real NYC bagels and lox, fold-over pizza slices and hot pretzels, pushcart vendor style.

To honor a treasured Israel visit, a milk-and-honey-themed celebration can use murals of landmarks along the walls, fresh oranges in tablescapes, and plenty of Israeli food and music.

Family photos of visits to your city or country of choice also make great decorations, either in centerpieces or as wall decorations. Or you can use travel in general as your décor motif, using maps, globes, airline tickets and luggage to provide your guests with the sensation that they’re going places.

See more ideas at

  • Surf’s up! For a mitzvah kid who never wants to leave the beach, a sand and surf theme is ideal. Think of a tropical paradise with palm trees, beach balls and limbo contests. Some venues have pools on site, so you can invite teens to hit the water after they heat up the dance floor.

Beach-inspired party favors could include flip-flops, toy sand buckets filled with treats and logoed sunglasses.

  • Backyard bash. If your mitzvah kid loves to hang at home with friends during the lazy days of summer, transform your party into a backyard retreat. Consider décor touches to replicate the look of twinkling fireflies and summer constellations, set up hammocks and beach chairs in conversational groupings, and bring on the traditional bean bag toss and cornhole.

Food can be barbecue-casual with beloved warm-weather treats such as popsicles and ice cream sandwiches that seem so special out of season.

Your mitzvah kid may find other elements of summer more exciting. Find out what he or she loves most, and shape a seasonally inspired simcha that is unique and personalized. Long live summer!


Shelly Danz is the founder and chief party officer of Atlanta Party Connection (, the premier bar and bat mitzvah resource in the metro area, helping thousands of families create their ideal mitzvah celebrations. APC connects parents with top vendors, secures exclusive deals and discounts on services, provides party consulting, and produces a twice-yearly Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo. The next expo is Aug. 27.


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