1. Stock up on sunscreen. Most guests will remember to bring some but be prepared in case someone forgets.
2. Have plenty of towels on hand. Another item guests might forget to bring with them and it is certainly an essential! Have stacks of towels sitting around in a fun array of colors. They become part of the festive decor.
3. Serve "heat-resistant" snacks. Bowls of chocolate candy and mayo-based salads might not be the best for sitting out for too long. Offer up some simple fare such as a platter of fresh fruit, fruit pops kept in a cooloer, bowls of protein-rich nuts and chips with salsa.
4. Keep guests hydrated! Galvanized tubs filled with bottles of water will be appreciated by all. Fill the tub with frozen water balloons to keep drinks cool even longer and add another pop of color to your festivities! For the adults, mix up a pitcher of a signature cocktail so guests can help themselves. Check out our recipes section for some ideas.
5. Safety should always be first. Post your pool rules so everyone can see them. These might include not running on slippery pool decks and keeping glass containers away from the pool area. You can even hire lifeguards for your party. Contact your local YMCA for more information.
6. Have fun with your decor. A pool is quite the centerpiece for a party but that doesn't mean you can't add some additional oomph to the affair. Whether you go with trendy themes of flamingos or pineapples or stick to classic nautical elements and luaus, there are tons of run directions to go. Lighting is key, so using tiki torches with any of these themes and chinese lanterns will keep your party going after the sun goes down.
7. Provide plenty of shade. Everyone needs a break from the sun so make sure you have plenty of umbrellas around. You can even use one of those arched umbrellas right on next to the pool to provide a shady spot in the pool. Check out shade sails as another inexpensive option or go with a permanent trellis to break up the rays. A trellis makes a great way to define an area and you can hang lights from it easily.
8. Have some non-water entertainment. Set up a croquet set or other backyard game for those that might need some time to dry out a bit. A bucket full of bubbles will be a big hit with kids of all ages. Dominoes, chess, checkers, and backgammon all make great table games to have on stand-by.
9. Create a changing area. If you don't have a dedicated pool house, transform your guest bathroom into a resort retreat. Place a basket next to the sink with aloe vera, individual combs, lotions, and soaps. Designate a hamper for used towels and have additional fresh towels on display.
10. Play some tunes and relax. Pick a great summer Pandora station or match your music to your party theme. Latin-inspired music would go well with a Miami-inspired soiree or turn up those 80s tunes for a nostalgic trip back to the pool parties of your youth.