Memorial Day weekend are the days when many people open their pools for the first time. The long winter is finally over, and people are preparing for the hot, lazy days of the summer ahead.
If you’re opening your pool up, or just want to throw a killer bash to honor summer at someone else’s pool, or a hotel pool, we’ll give you the skinny on how to throw the best damn pool party ever. And this isn’t like your typical pool party: no kids allowed.
Check out our list below for some pool party tips, and remember to wait 30 minutes after eating before going into the pool.
1. Have a pool, or rent one.
First things first. You have to have a pool in order to have a pool party. Don’t have a nice one? May we suggest not buying a kiddie pool and setting it up as your friends arrive? And we don’t really recommend filling a truck bed full of water. There are plenty of places that will rent out pools for private parties, specifically hotels.
Seriously, no paper invites, that’s way too formal for a pool party. Spread the word on social media, shoot a text, keep it casual.
Don’t get crazy with streamers and balloons. You don’t even really need to decorate at all, unless you’re having a themed party, like a luau. Just have enough chairs and space for your guests, and make sure the area is well kept. Maybe buy a canopy if your yard offers no shade, so people can escape from the sun. If the party is going to stretch into night, have some fire pits set up, you can even hang lanterns around the pool.
Guests are stupid, they often forget everything except their bathing suit (hopefully.) Be prepared by offering fresh beach towels, white fluffy ones will feel luxurious, or you can get colored ones to make it pop. Have sunscreen and maybe some pool supplies like goggles.
It’s important to keep things light. The go-to is usually hot dogs and hamburgers, but it’s a little more sophisticated to have wraps, or baguette sandwiches. Make sure you have a lot of snacks to keep people entertained throughout the day, like fruits. Salads with mint will refresh your guests, but I personally prefer a nice caprese salad. Fish tacos cooked on the grill are a big hit as well.
Sorry to say, but it’s not a good idea to have hard alcohol around open waters. Stick to light beers, I like Corona and lime, mix up a nice sangria, or have one signature cocktail already prepared. Gin and tonics are a nice summer drink, but too much gin probably isn’t going to be safe.
7. Pool Furniture
You need somewhere for your guests to sit. It doesn’t have to be fancy, honestly. Just someplace where your friends can lie out in the sun and relax.
8. Pool Noodles
Or a beer funnel?
Cornhole is a classic game to set up for any outdoor party. Horseshoes take a little more work to set up, but are just as fun.
10. Walk the Plank
My friends and I used to get really drunk, set a long piece of wood from one side of the pool to the other, and attempt to walk across it without falling in. It’s a game that’s only fun if you didn’t listen to my “keep it light” comment when it came to drinks.
11. Pool Toys
You’re an adult, you don’t necessarily need pool toys. But there’s nothing wrong with grabbing some pool rafts so your friends and you can float around. Why not purchase a floating beer pong table?
Music is something that is so important, but not enough people think about it before the actual moment when someone says, “Oh, we should put some music on.” For pool parties, if it’s a bunch of my old friends getting together, I like to make lists of music we used to listen to. N*SYNC is always a hit. If they’re new friends, think about your set list before. Katy Perry Pandora is great for pop, or you could custom make a playlist.