Pool parties are one of the best ways to get together with friends and enjoy the summer season. There is something about a pool party that puts a smile on everyone’s face. You can strut your stuff in a new suit or laze around in the hot tub. It doesn’t really matter if you would rather play water volleyball or lounge with a cocktail, the fact of the matter is, everyone takes pleasure in a well planned pool party. To be honest, a poorly planned pool party will usually be fun too; water plus friends, plus food, will almost always equal fun. But for those of you who enjoy having a plan and making sure things go according to it here are some tips for planning an excellent pool party.
Find the Pool: You may have a pool at your home or you have access to a personal pool via friends and family but if this is not the case you need to seek one out. If you can find a private pool you will be happier for it, this will ensure that you and your guests are not interrupted and you won’t have strangers scarfing down your delicious snacks. If you can’t find a private pool, try renting out a community pool. If you plan it well in advance and the pool is not too fancy the price for renting can be reasonable depending on the establishment.
Invites: Decide first if you want it to be a closer knit of friends and family or if you want it to be open to friends of friends, etc… If you want an all out bash you may want to stick with informal invites. You don’t need to mail personal invitations, it’s a pool party. Just create a facebook or other social media invitation and make it clear that anyone is invited. If you like the classic invitation or you are keeping it small; check out your local scrapbook store and pinterest for great ideas. Also, consider the fact that not everyone will want to swim so make it clear on the invite that there will be other options (eating, chatting, playing games) for those that want to avoid the water. That being said, don’t over-invite. You need to be sure that there is enough space outside of the pool for everyone to eat or lounge.
Decorations: The décor at the party will vary greatly depending on theme and audience. Obviously, if the party is for a younger crowd than the decorations may be a little more flashy and a little less expensive. Likewise, if you are hosting a themed party like a luau you will need to plan accordingly. If you want the theme of your party to just be the pool party itself and you have a varying audience than make it simple. Pick some fun colors and make them the accent for your party. For example, you may choose yellow and turquoise for your color scheme. With these colors in mind you could choose colored plates, pillows, and pool toys to match the theme. Another fun idea is to have balloons floating on the water; you can even put little lights in them if the party is in the evening. For additional lighting paper lanterns and stringed bulbs are a great accent (just keep them far from the pool, safety first).
Food and Beverages: When it comes to the food and drinks opt for something simple. As mentioned earlier, pool parties are going to be blast anyway, no need to try and impress people with a fancy meal. Some of your best options will be foods that aren’t messy or drippy. These kinds of foods can get in the pool or on the ground making it even more slippery. Try some dry finger foods like mini quesadillas, fruit/veggies on skewers, sliders, cake pops and tarts. Drinks are at your discretion but avoid glass containers. If you serve wine or other drinks in a glass you run the risk of having glass shards on a floor of bare feet or cleaning glass out of the pool which is a VERY extensive task.
Entertainment: Forcing people into games and other tasks is not recommended but it’s a good idea to keep them in your pocket. Have activities ready for participation if people are bored or want something to do. Another thing that will add to the atmosphere and fun is music. You can hire a DJ or band to play themed or preferred music but if nothing else have a playlist ready to put over speakers. If you are going to play music from your mP3 player over a sound system the best option is to rent professional gear. Pools have awkward acoustics and if you are using a boom box odds are the music will be immediately drowned out. If you really want some entertainment to impress you can hire synchronized swimmers or mermaids! There are also simpler options like flair bartenders or dancers.
Safety: As with decorations and food, safety concerns will vary depending on the guest list. A general guideline is to check out the area before hand looking for any danger areas like diving boards and slides. Make sure that everything is in order and secure and make adjustments for any other ways that you can further reduce risks. For instance, you can hire lifeguards online if you are expecting a lot of children (or drunken adults). Check your local listing or YMCA to find a registry of lifeguards for hire.
--Nikole Higgins, Communication Director, Nikole@utahlivebands.com