Author and Southwest raconteur, Charles Bowden, likely summed it up best when he wrote, “Summertime is the best of what might be.”
Sensational afternoons and evenings appear constantly within reach in the summer. At Kayak Pools Midwest, we want to remove the “might” from Bowden’s quotation by crafting a simple, no-stress guide to planning a memorable summer pool party. Follow the steps below to ensure this year’s first poolside get-together is as enjoyable for the host as the guests in attendance.
1. Know Your Audience
The first step sounds simple enough, but proves essential. A pool party for old college friends is a different beast to tackle than a 10 year-old’s birthday bash. Take a moment to consider your guest list. With a clear picture of potential party-goers, preparation and planning become a breeze.
2. Pool Party Menu Ideas
When planning your menu, it’s important to recognize that guests are here to swim and may not all adhere to the same schedule. Therefore, provide guests with an assortment of dishes that will last the length of the party. Barbecue always sounds like a great item to pair with a pool party, until you’re busy sweating over a hot grill while guests lavish in the luxury of the pool. Instead, we recommend planning a menu that you can conquer ahead of time and that guests may enjoy at their convenience. Check out a list of ideas below.
- Antipasto plate: crackers, assorted meats and cheeses, grapes, pita chips, salsa or guacamole
- Shrimp Kebabs: Choose your favorite marinade ahead of time, and enjoy the minimal grilling. Just don’t forget to soak your skewers ahead of time to avoid a fire hazard. With younger guests, it might be a good idea to remove the skewers for plating.
- Tropical Fruit Salad: cool, refreshing and no cooking required! Chop a few of your favorites, we recommend pineapple, kiwi, grapes, and watermelon. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of honey and a little fresh lime juice and you’re all set! (Kick it up a notch: add sweetened coconut flakes prior to serving for a tropical crunch!
- Adult addition: Check out Epicurious.com’s list of 24 Favorite Summer Cocktails for can’t miss drink recipes.
3. Pre-Party Pool Maintenance
Guarantee your pool is party-ready by adhering to a few simple steps. Check and adjust your chemical levels in the week leading up to your pool party. Make sure that all filters are clean. Remember, weather affects the temperature of above ground pools. Manage this variable by adjusting your pool heater or utilizing your solar pool cover. Ensure your pool is in pristine shape by keeping it covered until guests arrive.
4. Essential Pool Party Accessories
Providing guests with a plethora of poolside entertainment and accommodations is essential to any successful outdoor bash. Check out our list of Fun Swimming Pool Accessories for added water fun. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated undertaking. Repeat step one and focus on your audience. Make sure to provide ample seating and fresh towels for swimmers. Include a couple of backyard party options for added entertainment: cornhole or bean bag toss is a competitive and safe activity for barefoot pool partiers, adults and kids alike!
5. Music: Making Your Pool Party Playlist
The proper musical accompaniment can make or break any party. Make sure you are prepared for the party with a poolside stereo option. It should be loud enough to entertain guests, but not so loud that it alienates neighbors. Avoid catastrophe with a waterproof iPod case. Obviously, defining the perfect pool party playlist is a subject of endless debate. Hosts lacking the requisite musical background need not fret. In the current era of online music streaming, an innumerable list of suggestions is little more than a Google search away.