Nothing says summer quite like a pool party.
No Pool? No problemo. Buy an inflatable or a paddling pool for the kids and loads of water games and guns for some fun. Okay its a garden party by any other name but much more fun.
To make a really big splash with your party you just need to put a little effort into the little things and the party will take care of itself.
Here are our top tips for hosting the perfect pool party.
Set the Scene
Firstly, choose an umbrella theme or colour palette for your party; beach, tropical or even Ibiza style. This will enable you to tie all your accessories and activities together which will give it a great ambience and vibe.
It’s a really good idea to have a few different areas to suit all your guests, whether this is a kids area, a bar, a shady chill-out zone for guests to eat or sit and relax. You can use lots of outdoor rugs and beautiful towels to create the different zones. Brightly coloured accessories (grahamandgreen.co.uk) and throws (londonthrowcompany.com) will also add to the feel.WE absolutely love these ingenious blow up bean bags from Lamzac. (See our Outdoor Room feature in LIVE for more ideas).
Decorate the pool area and zones with inexpensive decorations including brightly-colored paper lanterns, seashells, and pebbles.
Turn the Music Up
No party is complete without music so get compiling the perfect summer playlist. Think Beach Boys and other shamelessly cheesy favorites. If you don’t want to create your own then find one on a music streaming site, such as Spotify. One great way to bring music into the garden is to hide Bose Free Space speakers (bose.co.uk) around the garden as they’re fully weatherproof and designed to give top-quality sound outdoors.
Serve Fuss-Free Food (and plenty of it)
The perfect pool party needs food so make sure you’ve got plenty of summertime snacks on hand but choose food that is easy for you to create and even simpler to eat.
Outdoor eating doesn’t necessarily mean hosting a BBQ but in our experience, a selection of sausages, burgers and corn on the cob never fails to get gobbled up happily. If you want to step it up a gear then do as much as can in advance such as simple salads, a coronation chicken and lots of lovely crusty bread. Serve it buffet style so everyone can help themselves and buy colourful paper plates for easy clearing up.
For a selection of easy-to-serve food;
- Crisps, crudeties and dips (see our Smoked Salmon dip in a Bowl and Carrie’s Dip)
- A selection of salads (see Salads 3 ways in BITE)
- Sausages and Chicken (either BBQ or oven baked for ease)
- Room temperature food such as Coronation Chicken or cold meats and cheese
- Serve seasonal strawberries or fruit in a Watermelon bowl
- ‘Smores’ on a stick ready to be roasted on the BBQ or Firepit.
- Buy mini ice creams and Lollipops for kids (or make your own See Mini-Bites )
- We’re also loving the idea from Party organisers Sharky & George have devised the “sit on sandwich”, whereby each child fills a ciabatta with their favourite fillings, wraps it tightly in foil and sits on it for five minutes.
If you don’t want to cook at all (no judgement here) then take the easy option and order in pizza. Everyone loves a slice of Pizza (well the kind of people who attend pool parties) and that just possibly could be the best party combo ever!
Get the Toys Out
A pool party wouldn’t be a pool party without some ridiculous inflatables to float around on. Who doesn’t want to ride on a giant flamingo? If not on the pool then inflatables also make great seating options. Our favourites are from Grahamandgreen.co.uk
Create buckets filled with water guns and water balloons for the kids to have a massive water fight. You can also come up with a list of fun and games for everyone to play including Marco polo, a Treasure Hint, Deep Sea Diving and Volleyball.
Not to be a kill joy but do remember to ensure that there are a couple of adults at a time keeping an eye on children playing in and around the pool
Drink but Don’t Sink
Obviously, you need lots of lovely alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and remember to keep them cold. Keep a huge tub of ice at hand or fill a paddling pool with beers and bottles for some extra wow factor.
Create a Kids Zone
If you are partying until dusk then light up your garden with candles, fairy lights, and electric lights in the trees and shrubs which will bring a magical quality to the garden. B&Q has some excellent garden lighting, and trouva.com and the Conran Shop (conranshop.co.uk). Another option is to use tea lights in jam jars or coloured Moroccan tea glasses from Re-foundobjects.com.
We love the idea of creating an outdoor cinema in the garden and the partying continuing. If you do this then remember your Cam Combo….