Host a Pool Party
Plan a Party for the Kids
Let the youngsters make a splash at a backyard bash complete with swimming, games, and delicious finger foods.
Looking for more fun summer party ideas? Find creative themes, menu ideas, decorating tips, and entertaining shortcuts.
Spread the Word
Lure guests to your water world with aquatic-themed invitations.
To buy: $64 for 25, minted.com.
Looking for an easy DIY idea? Write the party details in permanent marker on rubber swim caps. It’s your call on whether you make guests wear them!
Set the Scene
A few simple, yet creative touches will do the trick. Need some ideas?
Place a blue beach towel over a white tablecloth to create a runner and use swim fins as a centerpiece. Throw colorful swim floats in the pool to create a festive—and fun—atmosphere.
Set aside small beach pails filled with an inflatable beach ball, a squirt gun, and Swedish Fish for party favors.
Play in the Water
Plan Fun Games
Relay races: Introduce the kids to a cooler take on the relay race. You’ll need two buckets for each team and anything that holds water―bath toys, plastic cups, sponges, or even ice-cube trays. Place a bucket full of water at one end of the yard and an empty bucket at the other end. Taking turns, each player dunks the water-bearing item into the first bucket and runs to the second bucket to unload the water. The team to fill its bucket first wins.
Ring toss: As a fun variation to the classic ring toss, blow up this cheery, inflatable octopus and float it in the pool. Have kids take turns to see who can get the most rings on the octopus’s arms. If you don’t have a pool, the game can also be set up on the grass.
To buy: $6.50, giantpartystore.com.
Take the Toys Outside
Want to keep kids occupied and give grown-ups a little relaxation? For the under-fives, invest in bouncy toys they can ride around the yard. Kids ages 10 and up will enjoy snapping pictures with inexpensive underwater cameras.
To buy: Ball Bounce and Sport Fun Hopper, $11, amazon.com; Kodak Sport Waterproof Camera, $17, walgreens.com.
Serve Fuss-Free Food
Sip Refreshing Beverages
Plan a Party for the Adults
Treat your guests to a poolside party after a long week and unwind with water games, delicious dips, festive summer cocktails, and more.
Spread the Word
Choose fun, summer-inspired invitations to get guests in the mood to make a splash.
To buy: Beach Balls, $7 for 24, tinyprints.com.
Set the Scene
Let the colors of summer dictate your color palette. Cool turquoise and white color color combo can't be beat. Place a life preserver in the middle of the table as a centerpiece and use sunglasses as napkin rings. Fill jumbo beach pails with ice and use as wine or beverage coolers.
Serve Easy, Delicious Food
The older crew will enjoy easy-to-snack on dips and spreads. Make the menu revolve around make-ahead dishes. A dish like this Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon is a perfect choice for an outdoor bash. Want a few more crowd favorites? Try these scrumptious Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, and Cole Slaw recipes.