What could be more relaxing than stretching out on a lilo sipping cocktails or dancing to a backdrop of holiday music and palm trees? A pool party brings that holiday vibe to every occasion – and if it's an indoor pool, that summer lovin' feeling can happen whatever the season!
Obviously you're going to need a pool and if you don't have one ready and waiting in your back garden or basement, you could look into hiring a leisure or spa facility to host your party – but it won't come cheap! A quirky option for hot summer days is a series of children's paddling pools dotted around the garden with fun inflatables floating on them, which gives the pool party vibe in a fun and inexpensive way.
For children, a pool party could mean a swimming party at your local pool followed by a meal in the facility's restaurant – many leisure centres offer special packages for children birthday parties, especially complexes that have fun pools with log flumes and wave machines.
Tropical: Think flower garlands for the guests, grass skirts and Hawaiian shirt fancy dress, palm tree decorations and cocktails served in hollowed out coconuts! For entertainment, set up a limbo dancing pole!
American Pool Party: Popular with teens, but can also work well for adults. For the grown ups, go for an American diner theme around the pool, with 50s movie star pictures and swing music. Encourage 50s style dress with big hats, skirted swimsuits and huge shades for the ladies, and vintage style swim-wear for the gents!
For Children: Take influence from the plethora of American kid's TV shows to base your party around – how about a Mary-Kate and Ashley themed party, Princess Diaries or Sabrina the Teenage Witch?
Your invitations should sum up the theme of your party and let guests know what they should bring (i.e. will you provide towels, or should they bring their own). Funky invitations can easily be made at home in the style of your event – for a casual, party with a summer vibe, fun flip-flop or sun hate shaped invites can easily be made out of coloured card. More sophisticated events, like the 50s diner theme, could have invites printed onto vintage American cars or jukeboxes.
Parties with an outdoor pool at home lend themselves well to barbecues and casual outside dining. For an indoor party with pool-side tables, buffet or picnic style catering keeps the event informal and easy to cater. Themed parties like a tropical bash can have the appropriate party food – for a real authentic touch, Hawaiian delicacies like Kalua-style chicken, port or turkey (Kalua means the food is cooked wrapped inside banana, ti or luau leaves) or exotic sea food could be served. Pool and pizza parties are popular with teens and make for easy catering if you have the pizza and dessert delivered.
Get a whole load of inflatables to liven up the pool – think blow-up floating tables for those alcohol free cocktails, lilos and beach balls. Pool side, make sure there are plenty of clean, dry towels, sun loungers and seating. Add disposable cameras to each table for guests to capture those belly flops and swimsuit malfunctions!
Obviously, around water, safety is a paramount concern. For children, even shallow paddling pools can pose a very real risk, and children should be under adult supervision at all times. For adult parties, alcohol and swimming pools do not mix. Consider serving only alcohol free drinks until the swimming aspect of your event is over, and make it clear to your guests that the pool will be out of bounds once the booze starts flowing!