As the summer is winding down, many pool owners are looking towards the end of their swimming season. Some of you are also thinking of planning one more pool party for the season. This is your chance to shine and leave your friends and neighbors with memories of an amazing season ending pool party. Although tons of fun, planning and hosting any party can be hard work. With some advanced planning and smart preparations, your pool party should be easy and enjoyable.Your main focus for this event should surely be your pool, seeing as how there is no pool party without it!
Pool Party Chemistry
The first thing you are going to want to square away is your pool chemistry. Get your water is in balance for the party so that your guests will enjoy their swimming time. Also, especially if there are children in attendance, have some chemicals ready for after the party ends. High bather loads can send your chemistry for a loop so be ready to combat this issue. At the very least, make sure that you have a stock of pool chemicals like chlorine tabs, shock, and pH control on hand for the conclusion of your pool party.
Pool Party Cleaning
Back in the days when I was a lifeguard, we had two levels of pool cleanliness. There was the everyday cleaning routine, and then there was something we called "Party Clean". Make sure to give your pool a good brushing and manual vacuuming to ensure that the water and walls are free of dirt and debris. Give the entire outdoor party area a good cleaning as well - pool deck, planter areas, doors leading to the pool. Your guests will appreciate a clean pool, and a clean pool is more inviting and will bring more guests in the water! If you do not have the time to brush and manually vacuum the pool, then use your automatic cleaner a few times in the days leading up to the party.
Pool Party Decorating
In regards to the more creative and fun aspects to the party, I recommend adding a splash of color! Colorful pool rafts, even just a few - really brighten up the pool, and everyone's mood. A Jumbo beach ball adds more color, and starts fun "keep it in the air" games. If your party will extend into the night, consider the lighting around the pool, and again - add some color. Blue or Red light bulbs on your porch lamps, colored snap-on lenses for your pool light(s), and my personal favorite, the new Chill Lites, really sets a party mood.
Other decorations you may consider could be string lights around the patio, balloons strung together into garlands to hang on the fence, and if the pool won't be used much, floating floral displays or candles. Or, if all your rowdy friends are coming over, floating beverage containers.
Pool Party Games
If your party will host swimming children, think of some pool games to occupy their time and give them a reason to shout "Look at Me!" Diving games are always fun, and most kids (and many adults) love to play water sports games, such as pool basketball or a game of pool volleyball (extra fun when played with a beach ball). Pool noodles are also a fun way to add some color to the pool, and when you have a dozen or more, you'd be surprised at the fun games that inventive minds will create from a simple pool noodle.
Of course, you can also run relay races, organize Marco Polo games, diving contests or any other games that don't cost a cent. You already have the biggest toy - your pool!
Pool Party Food & Drink
Along with your great pool party decoration ideas, food and drink will surely be a focal point of the party. If budget is a lesser concern then catering this event will lift much of the stress from your mind. If that is not doable, then there are few things to definitely consider when planning a menu. Try to choose snacks that can be prepared ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to socialize among your guests. Finger foods and other dishes that are light and easy to eat will make things much simpler for everyone to enjoy. Fun fruit platters or fruit kebabs are always a crowd pleaser, and adds more color to your pool party!
In addition to your cool blue pool water, stock up on H2O to drink; the heat combined with heightened activity can dehydrate your body rather quickly. Even though your guests may be wet on the outside, their insides need to stay hydrated. If you're serving alcohol, also plan other fruity summer drinks like watermelon lemonade or other fun (colorful!) fruit juice mixes.
With all of these aspects falling into place, you cannot forget about pool safety! This should be a concern even if there are little to no children in attendance. Keep in mind that things like a missing skimmer cover or an uneven patio, or a low spot that gathers water may be well-known by you, but an unsuspecting guest could end up getting hurt. Mark or block off any areas of concern. If there are children in attendance, be sure to clearly mark where your deep end starts, and have enough floats or noodles for the shorter guests to be able to use.
With the risk of an accident, it is imperative that you designate one or more adults, not under the influence of alcohol, to closely monitor the swimmers. For the best pool safety at your party, contact a local recreation or swimming center to inquire about hiring a lifeguard for a short amount of time to free up you and your guests.
All in all, keep this event within the realm of your capabilities and don't over complicate things. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out and end up having a horrible time. This is a pool party and you are having it to entertain yourself and your guests. With a little preparation and a little good fortune, there should be no problems, and your guests will be talking about your unforgettable pool party for a long time!
Enjoy your Pool!
SPP Pool Expert