Summer is quickly approaching and with it plenty of opportunities to host a killer pool party. With the kids gearing up for break, now is the perfect time to start planning your summer kick-off bash. Assuming you have your staples (the pool and a nice-sized grill), it’s just a matter of picking a theme and applying your own creative spin. Once you’ve brainstormed a few backyard swimming pool ideas for your party, simply tailor them to your audience, pick a weekend, and your bash is underway.
Children’s pool parties:
- Try this recipe: Upgrade from standard hot dogs and hamburgers with grilled chicken and chorizo skewers. They’re perfect for picky eaters who might turn up their noses at veggie skewers, yet versatile enough to modify for the adults.
- Beverages: Serve a blue sports drink in a clear plastic cup topped off with gummy sharks or Swedish Fish candies.
- For fun: Fill a large bucket with water and a pack of squirt guns for an easy “battle station” the kids will love. Create an ice cream sundae buffet by filling miniature sand buckets with sweet treats under the shaded patio.
- Try this recipe: Surprise guests who may be expecting the usual grill fare of steak and skewers with one ridiculously easy chipotle crusted pork tenderloin recipe. Just have a backup dish on hand for those who may not eat pork.
- Beverages: Whatever you decide, have the cocktails and ice-cold beer on hand from the first early bird arrival to those friends you expect to be fashionably late.
- Consider putting a fruity twist on a summertime classic with a pineapple mint mojito. Stick to one or two signature cocktails to lower alcohol costs and make it easy on yourself as the mixologist and host.
- For fun: Repurpose a small inflatable kiddie pool by adding ice for an outdoor “cooler” perfect for stocking beer and water. Fill a buoyant pool toy with extra beer (remember cans, no glass!) and let it float around the pool for a cool grab-and-go vibe.
- Try this recipe: Go plant-based with this California grilled veggie sandwich that's sure to satisfy all palettes.
- Beverages: Always be mindful of non-drinkers or those who might opt for a healthier version of cocktails high in sugar and fat. Serve flavored sparkling water garnished with fresh citrus and keep a few low calorie essentials on hand like club soda and light margarita mix.
- For fun: Opt for functional décor that won’t end up in the trash like water-resistant throw pillows near the pool’s edge. Be eco-friendly and use what serving dishes and cups you own instead of buying paper plates and plastic ware. If you opt for glass, just make sure there’s a designated serving and eating area to avoid accidents near the water.
Since the swimming pool will naturally serve as the focal point of the party, ditch unnecessary extras like banners or balloons and focus on good food and simple décor for a successful event. You don’t have to throw an extravagant party for it to be memorable, nor do you need to blow through your summer budget. With a theme in mind, pick one or two of your top pool party ideas, finalize that guest list, and jump right in.