Start with the basics. The age of the group will be your cue for planning and preparing food, music, games and more. Safety should be your number one priority as pools pose certain risks and hazards. Then, choose a theme for the party if you’d like, and move on to food, drinks and music. Finally, plan activities as you see fit.
The level of difficulty and the time commitment for preparing your party will vary depending on factors such as how elaborate your menu is, how many guests you’re inviting, and so on.
You will need:
Address safety first. You may want to consider hiring a lifeguard or two depending on the size of the group that will be attending the party. If you don’t choose to do so, be sure someone present is certified and capable of performing CPR. If young children are present, ensure they are supervised near the pool. If there will be alcohol at the party, be sure someone will not be drinking to handle any emergencies. Make sure your guests know basic information about your pool, including the depth(s), entry and exit points, whether the surfaces around your pool are slippery when wet, and how to avoid injury on the diving board if you have one. If the party is at night, set up adequate lighting, such as Tiki torches.
Next, prepare a menu. A pool party is the perfect environment for a casual and fun menu. You could arrange for a large order of pizza to be delivered halfway through the party, or you could grill burgers, hotdogs, grilled chicken and veggies. If you’d like sweets to be at the party, cookies, cake and ice cream are all great options. If the group is small enough, you could welcome kids to make S’mores over the grill. A good rule of thumb when serving big groups is to prepare one-and-a-half servings per guest.
Stock beverages. People will likely expect a simple menu of summer staples, but you can go as elaborate as you’d like. The perfect beverages for your pool party are lemonade, iced tea and water because they are refreshing and still hydrating. Sodas and juices are also of course great options, but encourage your guests to stay hydrated while swimming. If there will be adults, account for how much alcoholic beverages you will need. If you are unsure how much to supply, overstock just in case.
Lastly, plan entertainment and activities. Pool accessories like rafts, noodles, and water volleyball sets are great for all ages. These will likely provide endless entertainment, but arranging games can be a fun surprise for your guests. Arrange music either by means of an outdoor sound system, a DJ or a live band.
Invite your guests. Be sure they know there will be a pool and as such, they should plan accordingly with proper attire, towels, etc. Make the start and end time of the party clear to your guests as well.