How to Throw a Pool Party

Three Parts:Planning Your Pool PartyPlaying Games At Your Pool PartyCreating a Pool Party Menu

A pool party is the perfect summer bash for all ages. You can play water games, eat plenty of snacks, and hang out with friends and family. Have a pool party for a birthday or holiday, or simply celebrate the season.

Part 1
Planning Your Pool Party

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    Choose a date. The main factor in deciding when to hold your pool party will be the weather, unless you plan on having your party at a climate-controlled indoor pool.
    • Choose a day with little to no chance of rain and high temperatures. However, if possible, avoid the hottest days of summer. Extreme temperature increase your risk of heat exhaustion.[1]
    • Plan your party on a weekend. This will allow for those that work during the week to be able to attend the party, and you can host the party during the day.
    • If you’d rather have an evening pool party when it’s not as hot outside, any day of the week could work.
    • If you live in an area where rain is frequent, consider setting an alternate “rain date” for your party. This way, guests will know what to expect if it rains on the party day, and you can still have your party later.
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    Find a pool for your party. If you have a pool at your house, you can host your party at home. Otherwise, you’ll want to look into local neighborhood pools and exercise facilities.
    • Inquire about parties well in advance of when you’d like to have your party.
    • Different pools require reservations and party fees. Depending on the facility, you may be able to rent the entire pool or just host your party during normal pool hours.
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    Send out invitations.[2] You can either send your invitations electronically or as paper invitations. Make sure to send them out at least a week in advance.
    • Use cute water-themed phrases in your invitations. Say something like: “Dive in for a night of fun with us at our summer pool party!”
    • If you can hand-deliver your invitations, consider giving out a “message in a bottle.”[3] Roll up your invitations, and place them in clear plastic bottles. You can even add a bit of sand or seashells to the bottom of the bottles for extra beach flair.
    • If you’re inviting a lot of kids to the party, make sure to include their parents, as well. At a pool party, you want to have as much supervision as possible for maximum safety.
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    Create a theme for your pool party.[4] Having a pool party theme will help you to decorate and decide on food for your party. Possible themes include:
    • “Luau”: Give all of your guests flower leis, and encourage everyone to dress up Hawaiian style. Decorate with tiki torches, and play Hawaiian music.
    • “Patriotic Party”: If you live in the U.S., and it’s close to July 4, you might want to make your pool party a patriotic one. Decorate with flags and red, white, and blue.
    • “Surf’s Up”: Throw a classic beach bash. Decorate with surfboard images, and play music like the Beach Boys. Place seashells around your tables for an added nautical touch.
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    Stock up on party supplies. When you’re planning a pool party, make sure to have plenty of pool supplies that guests can use and enjoy.
    • Practically, have extra sunblock on hand, and some extra sunglass, since it will most likely be bright outside. Also, have a few extra towels, in case someone forgets to bring one.
    • Even if you plan on having other drinks, make sure to have cold water available to party guests who get overheated.
    • You can also have an array of pool noodles and rafts for guests to float around on. Encourage guests to bring their own, as well.

Part 2
Playing Games At Your Pool Party

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    Choose a classic pool game like Marco Polo, or Sharks and Minnows.[5] These are games that anyone can play in the water without any additional toys.
    • To play Marco Polo, one person starts out as “it.” This person counts to 10, and everyone else scatters around the pool. The person who is “it” plays with their eyes closed. Every time they shout, “Marco!” everyone else must answer back, “Polo!” The person who is “it” tries to catch someone who says “Polo!” Whoever gets tagged then becomes the next person who is “it.”
    • In the game of Sharks and Minnows, one player begins as the shark, and the rest of the players are minnows.[6] The shark starts on the opposite side of the pool as the minnows. To begin the game, the shark says, “Sharks and minnows, one two three, fishies, fishies swim to me!” The minnows try to swim to the other side of the pool. If the shark tags them before they touch the opposite side of the pool, then they become another shark in the next round. This continues until there is only one minnow left.
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    Have a water fight. For a more freeform and fun game, have an ongoing water fight with all of your pool party guests.
    • Before the party, fill up water balloons, and set them out in large buckets.
    • If you have them, set out water squirters, and encourage guests to bring their own to the party.
    • To make it more fun for everyone, have plastic bracelets or necklaces in varying colors. Have one color, such as red, for people to wear if they absolutely do not want to be a part of the water fight. This way, those who want to avoid being splashed can do so.
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    Play volleyball.[7] Volleyball is a great game for pool parties because you can play in the water or out of the water.
    • If you don’t have a net, you can simply volley the ball back-and-forth. If you’re ambitious, you can even make your own pool volleyball net set up.[8]
    • Either use a volleyball meant for the water or an inflatable beach ball.

Part 3
Creating a Pool Party Menu

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    Serve refreshing snack foods.[9] When you’re planning a party poolside, you want to have plenty of light snacks for guests to munch on throughout the party.
    • Set out a plate of fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple, and berries.
    • Have plenty of tortilla chips with fresh salsa or guacamole.[10]
    • Serve cut vegetables with dips.
    • Have cucumber sandwiches for another bite-sized treat. You can even cut them into the shape of fish.
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    Have a cook out.[11] Grilling outside is a great way to include cooking in your outdoor pool party and feed all your guests a meal.
    • Cook burgers, hot dogs, or vegetarian burgers.
    • You can also grill seasonal vegetables like corn on the cob.
    • Prepare sides like pasta salad ahead of the party.
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    Have sweet treats on hand. Since it’s hot, it’s a great idea to have cold treats at your party. If you don’t have a freezer nearby, have coolers stocked with ice to keep them cool.
    • Serve individual containers of ice cream and popsicles.
    • For a healthier option, you can also freeze fruit, such as grapes.
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    Mix up summery drinks. For the adults, you can serve summer cocktails like strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas, mojitos, and hurricanes.[12]
    • For kids and adults who don’t want alcohol, you can serve lemonade, iced tea, and fruit punch.
    • Provide a permanent marker so guests can write their names on their cups.

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Categories: Event and Party Planning | Theme Parties