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The season of blue skies and sunshine, the summertime is the perfect time to party poolside! We can’t imagine a better way to spend the day than with good friends, toes dipped in the water and a cold drink in hand. If you need tips on how to host a memorable summer pool party, keep reading! We’ve compiled the ultimate pool party ideas, covering everything from cocktail essentials, the menu, music, and more!
Cocktails for a Pool Party
We fully intend to enjoy the summer season with some refreshing alcoholic drinks. Check out these simple but oh so delicious summer cocktail recipes for all the amazing people you invite!
1. Classic Margarita
It’s not a party without margs! No need to get fancy; just whip up a batch of classic margaritas.
- 4 ounces Blanco Tequila – Make it skinny with only 2/3 the normal quantity of tequila.
- 2 ounces Cointreau
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
2. Summer Mule
A fun take on the classic mule, this summer variation features fresh fruit and a sprig of mint! It’s a great way to beat the heat.
- 1 ½ oz Vodka
- 2 oz Ginger Beer
- ½ oz lime juice
- 2 strawberries
- 3 mint sprigs
3. Vodka Spritzer
A light and bubbly drink, this drink will be a hit! Not to mention it’s an absolute breeze to create, perfect for those who prefer to create drinks in batches.
- 1 to 1.5 oz Vodka
- 8 oz sparkling water or club soda
- Fruit of choice! Try out a combination of mixed berries or just add in a fresh juice like cranberry.
Here are all of the must-have items for cocktails that are as cute as they are refreshing!
- Reusable tumblers – Grab a colorful assortment of non-breakable tumblers for your guests to keep refilling!
- Acrylic drink stirrers – Skip the boring stir sticks and go for decorative acrylic designs instead! Check out these bright and cute cocktail drink stirrers!
- Drinking straws – Some drinks taste best through a straw. Grab a bundle of biodegradable, tropical-themed straws!
- Plenty of ice – It’s a total buzzkill when you run out of ice! Be sure to stock up & keep a cooler on hand for easy refilling.
Pool Party Menu Ideas
Next to alcohol, food is a highly anticipated detail at any outdoor summer party. Your guests will look forward to food straight from the grill along with some delicious dips and fresh fruit. Get inspired by these fan-favorite pool party menu items!
Earlier in the day, people will tend to avoid eating in combination with swimming. It can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. So give the people some light snacking options, including fresh fruit, small finger sandwiches, or cold cuts of meat. If you’re feeling creative, try your hand at a charcuterie board or grazing platter.
When it comes to finger foods, dips are the way to go! You can’t beat chickpea hummus or classic guacamole. But if you want to step up your pool party game, whip up a spicy buffalo chicken dip or spinach artichoke dip. We recommend at least one hot and cold option plus a small selection of chips. Grab a bag of tortilla chips, salted pita, or lightly sweetened crackers.
Off the Grill
Grilled foods are the way to go come lunch or dinner. There’s just something nostalgic about the smell of burgers and hotdogs on the barbecue. You can fancy up these classic backyard barbecue favorites with all the toppings or by complimenting them with unique appetizers. This might include bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers or zesty shrimp and chicken skewers. Make sure to get your grilling tools out!
Pool Party Playlist
It’s not a party without music! Whether you’re actively listening or not, it’s great to play in the background to set the mood. Check out the following Spotify playlists to see which ones spark your interest!
- Beach Vibes – Laid-back tunes perfect for a casual gathering at the pool!
- Summery Party – Upbeat summer classics for a more lively crowd.
- Summer Dance Hits – For when you feel like moving your feet!
- US Summer Hits of the 10s – Classic summer songs spanning the last decade.
- It’s ALT Good! – Alternative music for laid-back conversations.
- Country Nights – Hits with a little bit of twang for when the sun goes down.
Alternatively, if none of these playlists align with your preferences, feel free to make your very own playlist using the streaming service of your choice!
The pool is a blast, but sometimes you need a break! We recommend offering a few different entertainment areas for your guests to wander between throughout the evening. This will encourage them to stay at the pool party for longer as well as to socialize with our guests.
Fun Pool Floats
You can’t have a pool party without fun floats! These will allow your guests to fully enjoy the pool without having to set their drinks down. Grab a variety of Insta-worthy pool floats and inflatables at Funboy. They have everything from colorful and unique loungers to classic tubes. Be sure to check out their Malibu Barbie collection!
Cozy Lounge Areas
There is nothing worse than standing in the heat for hours on end! Do your friends a solid and invest in some lawn or patio furniture or consider renting. It’s so easy to create a cute and cozy lounge area, and guests will appreciate it whether they are enjoying a drink or simply want to chill.
Aside from playing mermaid water games, we love some friendly competition, and so will your guests. If you don’t already have a selection of outdoor games, now is the time to rent or buy. Grab a set of cornhole boards and host a small tournament or play a rousing game of Giant Yard Jenga. If you have any kids in attendance, yard games will help keep them entertained AND give their parents a much-needed break.
In addition to the above-mentioned options and traditional forms of entertainment, such as face painting and clowns, consider having a bouncy house. Bouncy houses are inflatable structures that are often used as playgrounds. Customizable inflatables come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can even be customized to match the theme of your event. In addition to providing hours of fun for children, bouncy houses can also be a great way to attract families to your event. With so many benefits, it is easy to see why bouncy houses have become a popular choice for children’s entertainment.
Pool Party Guest Safety
Amidst all of the summer fun, we also want to be safe! Take care of your guests by providing a cozy environment and stocking up on outdoor safety essentials. Your friends or family will appreciate it, considering they can enjoy the sun for much longer.
Inevitably, someone will forget their sunscreen! In addition to providing plenty of shade, we recommend a sunscreen bar. Set out a selection of sunscreens with varying levels of SPF. You might also have those that cater to different parts of the body, such as the face.
If you intend to serve alcohol, then you’ll also want to keep your guests hydrated. It’s dangerous to be outside in the heat for an extended period without water, but it’s even more so if you’re consuming liquor. Create a small and simple hydration station with all of the basics and encourage people to visit it frequently. In addition to water, you might also offer chilled tea or fruit juices. You could also get some liquid IV packets in a variety of flavors to get your guests drinking water for the perfect pool party.
Bugs are unavoidable when you’re enjoying the outdoors, but you can take steps to prevent them. Invest in large 3-wick citronella candles to place on tables. If you have the budget, line the pool or other social areas with Tiki torches with a citronella or cedar scent.
Sitting poolside is sounding pretty good right about now! Let us know your summer plans in the comments & which of these ideas were your favorites.
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