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Pool Party Guide: Tips for creating the perfect summer time poolside celebration

  1. Invite your guests: Create a guest list and send out invitations (either physical or electronic) at least a few weeks in advance.

  2. Picking a theme: what is the occasion of the party? A holiday, a birthday, just for fun? Planning a theme can help out with the menu, a color scheme, decorations, and music. Some fun pool party themes might be tiki, retro, Hawaiian luau, tropical vacation, disco, sea creatures, backyard beach, pirate, mermaid, 80's, or movie theme.

    Pool party menu and snack ideas

  3. Plan the menu: Decide on a menu that includes a mix of light snacks, refreshing drinks, and possibly some main dishes or desserts. Consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of your guests. 

  4.  Drinks: Make sure your guests can be properly hydrated. Supply plenty of ice cold water. It would also be fun to have a signature cocktail (alcoholic or not, depending on the occasion and age of the guests, of course) or specialty drink options for some variety. Even just a fun fruity drink like strawberry lemonade or a sparkling punch.

  5. Set up the pool area: Make sure the pool area is clean and well-maintained. Set up chairs, tables, and lounges for guests to relax in. Consider adding some pool toys or floats for added fun. Make sure there are umbrellas or other sources of shade for those that need a break from the sun. Be sure the pool water is properly balanced and cleaned before guests arrive.

    Patio umbrellas for shade around pool

  6. Prepare for the weather: If it's hot outside, make sure to have plenty of sunblock and cold drinks on hand. If it's cooler, have blankets, outdoor heaters, or a fire pit available for guests to use to warm up.

    Create a pool party playlist of fun upbeat songs

  7. Create a playlist: Put together a playlist of fun, upbeat music to keep the party going. Consider taking song requests from guests. 

    Pool party games and activities

  8. Set up games: Consider setting up games like Marco Polo, water basketball, or pool noodle races to keep guests entertained.

  9. Party favors: depending on the theme and the age of the guests, party favors can be a fun addition. Some ideas for pool party favors are pool toys, goggles, sunscreen, flip flops, candy, sunglasses, squirt guns, or a reusable water bottle.

  10. Have a backup plan: Have a plan in case of inclement weather, such as moving the party indoors or to a covered area.

    Pool party decorations

  11. Don't forget the decorations: Add some festive touches to the pool area with decorations like balloons, tablecloths, centerpieces, signs, streamers, and fun  themed tableware. You might even want to set up a photo booth area with a fun backdrop to encourage photos of the event. If your party will go into the evening, think about hanging up some string lights or tiki torches to provide some lighting once the sun goes down.

  12. Other fun poolside activities: Providing other activities can be a fun way to create a more memorable experience. Set up a screen and a projector for a movie night. Have a karaoke machine for some poolside entertainment. Roast marshmallows or hot dogs over a fire pit. 

  13. Keep safety in mind: Make sure to have a designated lifeguard on hand, especially if there are young children at the party. Keep a first aid kit and a phone nearby in case of emergencies.

  14. Have fun! Most importantly, relax and have a good time with your guests.

What tips would you add to this list? We'd love to hear about your successful pool parties and your favorite pool party tips.

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