Host The Best Swimming Pool Party: Food, Game Ideas and More

By Chris Tebbutt / February 25, 2019
pool party ideas

There is no denying that swimming pool parties can be great fun, especially during the hot summer months. Planning a successful party will take some work.  You can enhance your pool party to become better with pool party ideas. Here are the best swimming pool party ideas to help you plan a successful fun and festive pool party this summer.

Pool Party Theme

Choose an appropriate them to set the tone for the event. Your pool party theme will help you decide how to design your invitations, what foods to cook and which games to play. Some of the best pool party themes include:

  • Colors: Invite your guest to wear coordinated swimwear according to the theme colors, such as metallic gold or black and white polka.
  • Nautical: Anchors away with nautical motifs and bold stripe patterns in unassuming places, like side tables and porch pillows.
  • Pink Flamingo: Flock your back yard a day before the event for classic retro-inspired fun and personalize flamingo sunglasses as a cute party flavor.
  • Sweet Splash: Throw some donuts and inflatable cupcakes in the pool and create a candy wonderland that your guests will love.
  • Luau: Bring tropics to your party palate by incorporating some fruity flavors and aromas while dancing the hula under flickering tiki torchlight.
  • Surfer/ Beach: Use beautiful beachy votive candles and tabletop accents that will transform your pool party from an ordinary gathering. Include surfer-rock sections to the party music playlist to give those good vibes.swimming pool party themesIncorporate themed decorations and party supplies that are enticing and pocket friendly. You can make your food, favors or activities to match the theme. Here are some top pool party themes for adults:
    • Colors: Invite your guests to wear coordinated swimwear according to theme colors, such as metallic gold or black and white polka dots.
    • Las Vegas: You can change your menu with unexpected items, such as Ruben sandwiches or sushi. Place tables beside the pool for poker games or blackjack. If you want, you can buy some prizes and allow people play for them!
    • Carnival: This theme requires you to recreate the atmosphere around your pool by hanging yellow, blue, white and red decorations. Provide snow cones and cotton candy and hire a fortune teller or invite a person who is amateur tarot card reader.
    • Beach Party: To apply this theme, you do not have to dump sand everywhere! Instead, scatter seashells on table, cover chairs with beach towels and add some beachside favorite dishes, suc as ice cream and hot dogs.
    • Hawaiian Luau: It is the most popular pool party theme. You have to decorate the area with tropical flowers and bright colors. Consider including a carved fruit bowl with you refreshments. You can even ask your guests to wear Hawaiian print shirts and turn it into a contest for the most outrageous ones.

You can also look at making your own decorations

Swimming pool parties can be lots of fun, especially if they are well planned. The first step to making a pool party successful is setting the tone with the right overall theme. Choose a theme for your pool party and complete it with decorations, foods and activities for a festive time. The type of theme you choose largely depends with the guests you’ve invited. If planning an adult pool party in the evening go for a sophisticated theme, where’s you’ll want to go for a kid friendly theme if you are hosting a pool party for kids. Here 5 popular pool party theme ideas.

Under The Sea

under the sea pool party ideas

If you are looking for fun birthday party ideas this summer, host an “Under The Sea” themed pool party for your child.  As the name suggests, an “Under The Sea” theme is full of colorful decorations inspired by the ocean, such as sea turtles, octopus, crabs, fish and mermaids. You can find many animal floats and inflatables to match this theme.

When it comes to food, go for the “Under The Sea” inspired ideas, such as blue lemonade, sea-blue cake pops, blue jello in clear cups and star-fish sandwiches. Use small sand buckets to serve individual snacks for all children. Use ocean with sea styled graphics on your invitation cards to set the tone of child’s party. Just make sure not too much junk gets sucked into the pool filter!


beach pool party

Although the party is taking place at a swimming pool, you can bring the feeling of a beach party with the right decorations. Include a sandbox for kid pool party along with pails and shovels to play with. You add custom beach style signs, inflatable palm trees and beach chairs. Decorate the tables with starfish, pearls, seashells and other beach elements.  Drape large colorful beach towels over fences or chairs and put large umbrellas to provide both decoration and shade for the sun-soaked guests.

For foods, focus on fresh seafood to remain focused to the theme. You can also some ice cream, soda, chops and pizza. Keep the guests entertained with a game of volley and some soft music

Hawaiian Luau

hawaiian pool party

The Hawaiian Luau theme works well for any outdoor party. Incorporate large paper or fresh flowers, leis, bright colors and grass skirts into the pool setting. Place the brightly colored flowers anywhere for an enhanced festive mood. Consider hanging the grass skirts around fences and tables, for an elegant Hawaiian appearance.  Attach green leaves from trees with a couple of brown balloons for coconuts. For a more special look, consider floating some orchids on the pool water.  If you cannot find orchids, buy floating candles for use.

When it comes to food, serve coconut cakes, sweet potatoes, fresh papaya and fresh mango, grilled pineapple and pulled pork. For fun luau activities, do some hula hoops, limbo contents and hula contents. Some games to consider include pineapple bowling.

Pool Party Invitation

Send your guests an invitation in the mail rather than just an email or a regular old phone call.  Make sure that you mention the pool party theme when inviting guests to this casual gathering. This allows them to prepare for the party atmosphere, especially if you will require them to wear a themed swimwear. More importantly, clarify whether children are invited to avoid potential confusion.

Pool Party Essentials

Some guests may forget their swimming essentials. Therefore, if your guests are missing something have these items with you:

  • Extra towels
  • Extra set of clothing
  • Flip flops or sandals
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Pool Party Decorations

Work on creating a fun summer backdrop that transports your guests to paradise.  Add excitement to the décor with pops of color. Choose vibrant shades of purples, greens and pinks and place them around the pool. Use bunting or paper lanterns in bright colors to add a sense of an outdoor fiesta. If you want a little more grown up and sophisticated event, use a nautical theme with reds and deep blues accompanied with white details, adding touches of anchors and sailboats. For late evening parties, use themed electric lights to make a fabulous impression.

Pool Party Foods and Snacks

One of the best parts of a swimming pool party is the fun you can have by providing theme-based foods.  If there is a central pool party theme, you can get really creative with the kinds of foods you will prepare. Instead of the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, go for some classic snow cones, Baja fish tacos, tropical Guacamole, BBQ chicken flatbread and beach ball ice cream sandwiches.

These are some swimming pool party ideas you can follow to organize an exciting pool party. By following these ideas, you will create a pool part that will be talked about for many years to come.

If you have a pool, you certainly would want to have a beautiful backyard around it.  You want a space that is peaceful, cool and inviting.  If you are planning to throw a pool party, you may want to add pool party decorations to match your chosen pool party theme. The best part is that you can make these decorations on your own. Here are some DIY pool party decoration ideas you can execute.

Entrance / Welcome

Welcome your guests to your pool party by directing to the party area with signage, streamers or pennants that pave way for fun. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a sidewalk chalk to draw creative designs on the garden paths and driveway to show guests their desired entrance.

Pool Fence

Decorate the pool fence with flowered garland looped across the top. For a more festive look, hang plastic shovels, lifesaver-shaped floats and other fun beach items from the looped garland.

Food Table

If you have a gazebo, fill a bunch of colorful balloons with helium. Attach a long string and then fill the gazebo celling with them. This is a great decoration over a food table. Cut shapes out of paper and slip them into the forks to set as placeholders. Place your knives and forks in a cute flower pot instead of having them just lying out. If you will be using plastic cups, wrap a band of washing tape around them for a more stylish look.

Pool Area

  • Put Beautiful Potted Plants on the Pool Side

You do not have to spend a lot of cash luxurious pots to use plants in your pool side. You can decorate plain pots with jewels, lace, fabric or paint. Even if you are not a skilled master crafter, you can give a plain oil pot some personality by painting a simple, shimmery, gold strip around it. Place the painted points on the pool side for a natural look.

  • Use Overhead Decorations

Make an overhead decoration by tying large balloons to a heavy string. Tie the strings across the pool and over the food tables for a festive flair.

  • Bring a Toddler’s Plastic Swimming Pool

If you are planning for a kid pool party, consider getting a toddler’s plastic swimming pool for holding the children’s water toys, such as water balloons (for teens), water guns, floats, shovels and plastic buckets.

  • Create a Bowling Alley

This is also ideal for a kid pool party. To create a bowling alley, you need two standard pool noodles and one and half noodle.  Use a duct tape (it comes in beautiful colors and festive designs) and a tape to create a three-sided alley on the grass. Use plastic items, such as a large plastic glass and then use beach balls that are too big for the toddlers to hold as the bowling ball.

When Not Using the Pool

If you will not be using the pool, another great DIY decoration idea is to fill the pool with balloons that just float on the top. Fill the balloons with regular and not helium. For an adult pool party, fill large balloons with helium, attach a long string to reach the bottom and float the balloons above the water.
There are many other DIY pool party decorations you can try out. If you are using a specific pool party theme, make sure that the decorations match with it.

Pool Party Game Ideas

Games really liven up a pool party. Just because it’s a pool party, your guests doesn’t have to spend the entire day swimming.  Surprise them with unique pool party games, such as Pro-Chip Island, Swim Up Blackjack, Diving competition, water tag, noodle joust or swim competitions. Throw some lounges and floating tubes for people to relax in.  You can also incorporate some active games, such as pool volleyball.

Games for your pool party are essential. It is recommendable that you plan three to five games for a daytime pool party. Games help to make your pool party more interactive and enjoyable. When coordinating games for kid pool parties, it is important that you have one or two designated chaperones for safety. Here are 5 reliable pool party game ideas you can use.

  1. Marco Polo

Marco Polo is all about tagging each other inside the water. Choose someone to be “it”. “It” closes their eyes and tries to tag other players. Each time “it” calls out “Marco”, the other players respond by saying “Polo”. When “it” makes it and tags another player, that player becomes “it”.  If you permit players to get outside the pool while playing the game, then if “it” shouts “Fish out of water”, then the person outside the pool becomes “it”. If there are many people outside the pool, then “it” chooses the one who takes over their place.  Polos may have goggles on at any time, but Marco may not have.

  1. Noodle Joust

Choose two players to sit on a blow up raft in the center of the pool.  Give each player a pool noodle. Let them joust with the noodles and try to get each other off the raft. The winner of the Noodle Joust competes with the next player.

  1. Shark in the Pool

This game is the very similar to Marco Polo. However, in this one, players are allowed to move in and out of the water. The shark, is tagged “it”. What “it” does is to tag other players in the pool. The person shark tags become “it”. You can include variations for this game, by allowing the shark to wear a snorkel, a mask and fins to allow them to swim fast to catch players. Players are allowed to move out of the water for up to 5 seconds at time to give the shark a chance to catch them.

  1. Water Dance

This pool party game is ideal for teen/kids. Divide the group into two teams. Let each team come up with a team name and a dance they perform in the water. You will need to have a playlist for the best songs teens like. Choose an adult to be judge. The team that comes up with the best dances becomes the winner.

  1. Ping Pong Scramble

Ping pong scramble is all about collecting ping pong balls in water. Let the players make a circle in the pool. Dump of large amount of ping pong balls in the middle of the large circle. The player that collects the most balls becomes the winner.  Remember to place colored laundry buckets or baskets at the edge of the pool for each to place the ping pong balls they have collected.

Before the game, use a permanent market to give each ping ball a point value. The team or individual who scores the highest value emerges the winner. Alternatively you can mark the balls with two different colors, let each team choose a color. Teams must collect the balls with their own color in a given timeframe.

These some of the most exciting pool party game ideas. Other pool party games include Frozen T-Shirt, Water Tag, Dive or Jump, Octopus Pool Game, Colors and many more.

Pool Party Ideas For Adults

Pool parties aren’t just for teenagers and children, adults can also get in on the fun too! However, when you are planning a pool party for adults, you will realize that the approach you take should be totally different with that for kids.  In this article, we will discuss the best pool party ideas for adults to help you organize an unforgettable event.

Decoration Ideas

pool party decorations

Use themed slipovers and tabletop decorations to emphasize the theme and enhance the atmosphere. Keep the furniture arranged in small groups around the pool perimeter. Plan the lighting accordingly by incorporating votive candles, electric lights and tiki torches to illuminate conversational spaces without the need for harsh flood lights. Decorate your pool with inflatable beach balls, themed rubber ducky’s and squishy water bombs.

Add potted palms and plants give the pool area an exotic appeal. Keep the changing rooms separate from the bathroom to accommodate the wet swimsuits, hair ties and extra towels. Provide attractive votive candle holders, fun shaped soaps and themed hand towels. Keep your serving tables set up on the outside area. Create a separate venue for dining for a change of scenery. Add themed place card holders to each table to identify covered drink and dishes names.

Pool Party Food Ideas

pool party food ideas

Pool party for adults is not complete without a bunch of foods for guests. Prepare the food before the event starts to avoid last minute rush.  Plan of delicious foods, such as chips, tacos, watermelon slices, fresh lemonades and popsicles. If you want, fire up your grill and prepare some burgers and hot dogs. Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to keep your guests hydrated.  Avoid alcohol as it does not go well with heat and sun. Add drinks, like orange lemonade, non-alcoholic sangria, non-alcoholic mojito and Paloma fizz cocktail.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Remember if you still need help with anything remember to leave a comment below. We are always hunting for new pool ideas at nerdgrade!

One of the best parts of a swimming pool party is the fun you can have by providing theme-based foods.  If there is a central pool party theme, you can get really creative with the kinds of foods you will prepare. Instead of the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, go for some classic snow cones, Baja fish tacos, tropical Guacamole, BBQ chicken flatbread and beach ball ice cream sandwiches.

These are some swimming pool party ideas you can follow to organize an exciting pool party. By following these ideas, you will create a pool part that will be talked about for many years to come.

If you have a pool, you certainly would want to have a beautiful backyard around it.  You want a space that is peaceful, cool and inviting.  If you are planning to throw a pool party, you may want to add pool party decorations to match your chosen pool party theme. The best part is that you can make these decorations on your own. Here are some DIY pool party decoration ideas you can execute.

With summer in full swing, the best way you can cool off is by hosting a pool party.  You need some Top Pool Party Food Ideas. Pool parties are great way to end the summer and there is no better celebrate summer than splashing and having lots of fun in the pool. Of course, no pool party is complete without a bunch of foods for the guests.  Whether drinks, main dishes, side dishes, salads and of course dessert, it is imperative that you plan yourself well. You certainly do not want your guests to starve after spending most of their time playing in and around your swimming pool. Here are the best pool party food ideas to help you plan your pool party this summer.

What to Serve for Your Pool Party

pool party food ideas

Food for your pool party should be easy pick with your hands.

  • Dips
  • Subs
  • Pizza

All are good options.  To save on your pool party food, consider starting the during the normal meal times.  Your guests will certainly expect lunch if the party starts at 11:00am or noon, but not so much at 2pm.  It works well for the evening too, most people will not expect dinner for a night pool party that starts at 7:30pm. A later start may not work if you are planning a kid’s party.

More importantly, avoid getting everyone to sit down for a meal.  Meals can be too heavy and kids will want to escape to continue playing. Most of your guests are more likely to go for foods that are easy to grab on.  During this time fire up the BBQ for your party, it is the ideal time to be grilling!

Kiddie Pool Food Holder

Kiddie Pool Food Holder

If you are worried about food getting mushy and warm in the hot heat, consider filling up a kiddie pool with ice and place all your food in it to keep it nice and fresh.  A kiddie pool not only helps you to keep your food cool, but also showcases your pool party theme.

Zucchini Crisps

Zucchini Crisps

Chips are a perfect pool party snack, but if you want a low carb diet that still packs the crunch, consider baking your own Zucchini crisps.   Consider seasoning fresh zucchini slices with parmesan, pepper, salt and olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes and ensure that each serving contains 2.4 g net carbs.

Fish Tacos and Mini Sliders

Fish Tacos and Mini Sliders

Grill fresh snapper, mahi mahi, salmon or halibut on foil on the BBQ and season with pepper and lime. Warm small tortillas for serving and top the tacos with a cilantro, fresh salsa, chopped cabbage and cayenne aioli. Pineapple mango salsa is also a perfect option during summer. Other perfect barbecue foods are mini sliders.  You can buy mini beef burger patties from food stores or make them on your own. Alternatively, you can do fish sliders or use grilled mushrooms for a vegetarian option.

Non-Alcoholic Summer Drinks

Non-Alcoholic Summer Drinks

Sun, heat and swimming do not go well with alcohol. Apart from the safety factor, you need to consider dehydration, especially for full day pool parties.   Here are some non-alcoholic drinks adults and kids will love:

  • Non-alcoholic mojito
  • Paloma fizz mocktail
  • Orange lemonade
  • Non-alcoholic sangria

These are just some pool party food ideas you should consider. There are many other foods you can choose to provide depending on the theme of your pool party.














About the author

    Chris Tebbutt

    In 2016 I got my first house that had a pool and I had no idea where to begin. Over time I have learnt how to do most things myself (I am really into DIY) and wanted to share my information with other. I was one of the people who thought if water smelt like chlorine, that meant there was too much chlorine in the water!

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