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McCormick's "Dock of the Bay" Marinade dinner

McCormick's "Dock of the Bay" Marinade dinner

You don't need a coastline to have a beach party, just plenty of food, good libations and a really loud boom box. And for a real taste of the bay, try these menus.

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The Perfect Storm Party Inspired by this summer's blockbuster movie, The Perfect Storm, we've put together the perfect seafood celebration--and we promise, no one will sink at sea. Decorate the deck with fish netting, and attach plastic colored fish, seaweed, starfish, toy fishing rods.

  • Fashion a centerpiece from a clear plastic fish bowl filled with blue gelatin. When the gelatin is partially set, drop in some gummy fish.

  • Play the fishing goodie game with the kids. You'll need fishing poles, a blanket, an assortment of cheap prizes, and a volunteer.
    • Make a simple fishing rod with a stick, string, and a clothespin fastened to the end.
    • Set up a divider using a draped blanket, and have a grown-up or older child volunteer to work the other side of the divider.
    • The child casts her/his line over the divider, and the volunteer then clips a goodie onto the clothespin.

  • Instead of live goldfish, fill a wading pool with rubber fish and other sea creatures, blindfold kids (that's optional) and let them scoop out the critters. Or attach paper clips to the rubber toys, then attach a magnet to the end of a simple fishing pole, and send the little fisherfolk out to sea.

Gilligan's Grill Fest
Ahoy there, baby boomers! It's a party, an homage to honor TV's favorite nincompoop. Deck the deck with fishing net, fake sea creatures, seaweed and a hand-painted sign from the shipwrecked SS Minnow. Dress tables with grass skirts, available at most party supply stores. Serve frozen drinks in coconut shells. Spin boomer golden oldies.

More ideas:

  • Have a Gilligan's Island trivia contest. For a steady supply of Gilligan factoids, check out www.

  • Challenge guests to sing the theme song from Gilligan's Island. Whoever remembers all the words gets a coconut. Hand out lyrics (you can dig them up on the Internet) and have a singalong.

  • Hire a roving caricaturist (check the Yellow Pages for an artist in your area).

  • Invite friends to come as their favorite castaways: Gilligan, Skipper, The Millionaire and his Wife, the Movie Star, Professor and Mary Ann.

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