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Fun Birthday Pool Party Ideas for Kids—and Grown-Ups

For those lucky enough to celebrate birthdays during the warmest months of the year, a themed pool party can be an entertaining and memorable way to honor the occasion. Here are a few ideas of themed parties for kids and adults alike.

Kids’ Parties

Disney theme

Chances are, your little one has a favorite Disney film that she’s watched 50 times and knows every line by heart. These movies make an easy choice for a themed birthday party. Obvious picks that tie in with swimming are “Finding Nemo” and “The Little Mermaid,” but other movies—like “Frozen” or “Beauty and the Beast”—will work, too. Set up a screen and projector outdoors, and play the movie on a loop throughout the festivities. If you’re looking for ways to add visual impact to the shindig, your local party store will offer plenty of options for decorations, gifts and goody bags for guests.

Beach party

This one’s easy to do, since you already have the “ocean” to swim in! Think about other ways to turn your backyard into a beach. Set up a sandbox for kids to build sand castles (but make sure it’s a good distance away from the pool to keep debris transfer to a minimum). Stretch a net across the pool for volleyball games, and make a playlist featuring The Beach Boys and tunes from the Gidget movies.

Adult Gatherings

Hawaiian luau/tiki theme

Invite guests to wear Hawaiian shirts over their bathing suits, and hand out leis at the door. Serve a menu of kalua pork, grilled pineapple and hula chicken, and quench guests’ thirst with mai tais and pina coladas. For dessert, nothing’s more Hawaiian than shave ice; make sure to have a variety of syrup flavors on hand to suit every taste.

Pirate party

Distribute eye patches and plastic cutlasses to party guests, and encourage the copious use of “Arrrrr!” and “Ahoy, matey!” during party conversations. Toss “treasure”—plastic necklaces, fake coins and the like—into the pool and let party guests hunt for it; the person who brings up the largest haul wins a prize at the end of the night. Serve rum cocktails in coconuts, and set up hammocks around the yard for party guests to relax in.

Hosting a birthday pool party for a loved one is an excellent way to celebrate that person’s special day, and adding a theme will give the party an extra boost. Get creative with your theme, and incorporate thematic decorations, activities, foods and music to make the party one to remember.