For people young and old, one of the most exciting things to do in the warmer months is hit the pool. If you have an upcoming poolside party to plan, whether it’s a birthday bash, a Fourth of July get-together or simple outdoor entertaining, treat your guests to some fun in the water.
Outdoor Entertaining and Pool Party Ideas
Let’s face it—everyone loves a fun poolside party, especially when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. If you’re looking for pool party ideas and how to maximize your outdoor entertaining spaces, keep these outdoor entertaining tips in mind.
- Think about the guest list
Not sure how many people to invite to your poolside party? A good rule of thumb is to relate your guest list to the size of your outdoor entertaining spaces, including your pool. Assume everyone will want to swim. You can consider inviting five extra people for every 20 on your list. This way, you balance out the people arriving late or leaving early.
- Determine the décor
As far as pool party ideas go, décor depends on the age of your guests. If you’re hosting kids’ birthday party, choose elements that are bright and playful. If your outdoor entertaining plans involve teens and adults, go for décor that’s more simple and chic. Pay special attention to lighting for a more sophisticated environment. Consider tiki torches or Chinese lanterns for charm.
- Plan the food and drinks
When planning your menu, go for items that fuss-free. Don’t tie yourself to a grill or plan food that will keep you in the kitchen during the poolside party. In terms of food, factor in nonmeat eaters. If you’re planning on burgers and hot dogs, consider some grilled tuna sandwiches or veggie kabobs as well. Dessert tables can feature fruits, pastries, snow cones or ice cream.
Save yourself some effort by using part of your outdoor entertaining spaces to build a beverage station with a bartender. Select a signature beverage and provide a few self-serve selections like lemonade, water or iced tea.
- Consider a theme.
While a poolside party is essentially a theme in itself, you can get even more creative with your outdoor entertaining by making it even more unique. A Hawaiian Luau is one of the most popular pool party ideas, making decorating simple and affordable. You could also go with Vegas night by designating an area where guests can play games like poker and blackjack. Just grab some folding tables and chairs, cards and tokens that they can redeem for wacky prizes.
- Swim safely.
Whether your pool party is full of children or adults, keep safety in mind at all times. Before you start your outdoor entertaining—and throughout the day—check the pool area for potential dangers. Ladders, steps, handrails, diving boards and slides should be inspected prior to use. Never allow a child to swim alone without adult supervision. Make sure there is always a life-saving flotation device near the pool. Also, if you own a pool, you should be knowledgeable of basic CPR techniques in case of any accident.
And while you’re at it, take the opportunity to enhance your outdoor entertaining spaces even further by building up your landscape. On any budget, you can add water features, a fireplace and even a kitchen area for a true outdoor entertaining oasis.