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    Throwing the Perfect Pool Party in Winter

    November 24, 2014


    Maybe you just need a break from the winter, or perhaps you have a child who was born in the winter and wants more than anything to have a birthday pool party. Whatever the reason is, it is possible to have a great time in an indoor pool environment even when the winter rages on right outside. We will look at some of the options for a pool party including possible venues, potential games or activities, party themes and more.

    It can be difficult to accommodate a child’s birthday in the winter, especially when polar vortexes wreak havoc all around us. When you think about it, there really aren’t that many options available for entertaining your child’s friends and throwing a big party. You can probably count on one hand how many options you have – laser tag, Chuck E. Cheese and bowling. There really isn’t much else other than these options available. But something different and unique is available to you.

    Rather than spend hundreds of dollars for extra tokens for the kids to use at arcades or pizza joints, a new and alternative idea for a fun winter party is a swim party. There are various different indoor pool options available to you. You are not bound by the same time restraints as some of those other places mentioned. At some places for instance, your kids may have to hurry and eat up the pizza, open presents, use the tokens and get out. There is definitely more flexibility with indoor swimming parties. [1]

    Winter Pool Party Location

    You may have local recreation center pools near you with group rentals for aquatic parties, or packages with private rooms and several hours of swimming included in the price, and access to other fun facility areas. You can look around local areas near you and compare cost and what you will be getting from all of these different offers. Many prefer the hotel suite option because of the free dinner and the added slumber included in the party, not to mention less cleanup involved.

    Children may not even think about having an indoor pool party, and who can blame them? it is hard to think about swimming when we get buried under so many feet of snow on a monthly basis – and depending on where you live, this could be longer periods of time with bigger piles of snow accumulating. Children would be intrigued by the idea that you can experience a little bit of summer in the middle of winter by means of an indoor pool.

    There are a few local areas that can be considered for a great pool party – the most common one being – you guessed it – resorts and hotels. For a fraction of the price it would be to do anything else, you can have a sleep over, access to the pool, and a free breakfast – and no clean-up. Maybe have both parents rent out rooms to have 2 or 3 kids in each, with a parent in each room. Going a step awesome-er, Great Wolf lodge and other indoor water parks make the ultimate winter pool party location, and have hotel rooms surrounding the waterpark..

    Other benefits of a winter pool party include bringing your own cake, snacks and drinks. You can opt to get a hotel that has a party room included for a bigger, more spacious feel. You can bring in your own decorations which include streamers and balloons and even bring in themed decorations if you want. If you are still unsure of what kind of theme to use, perhaps a trip to your local party supply store will inspire you.

    As a suggestion, if there is no limitation put on the amount of kids invited, you may not be able to get a hotel. There is nothing that says you have to be restricted to just a hotel, though – there are many other areas that can allow you to have fun in the water – local park districts, the YMCA and gyms rent pools for kids parties. [2]

    If you prefer something other than a hotel pool, you can choose other indoor pool options, such as an indoor waterpark or local pool. Everyone would love to go down a waterslide in winter, and indoor water parks may come with special packages. The local pool may end up costing more for all of the guests, and the time at the pool is limited. [3]

    Party Themes and Activities

    Regardless of what activities you have planned for the pool party, it's best to let all of the children swim and play in the pool before getting to the food and cake. Let the kids use all of their energy up before starting the food and rest of the activities that may be planned for the evening. Depending on where you choose to go for your indoor winter pool party – hotel, indoor waterpark or the YMCA – the possible activities are countless. Find out from the hotel when the pool is less busy, so you can take advantage of your time in the water.

    Of course kids can choose to just splash around, but other fun games and activities include races, Marco Polo, water volleyball, shark and more! Include pool toys in the fun too like diving rings for competitive fun. There may even be an indoor slide option as well. There are so many different things kids can do in the water.

    You can create a theme for the pool party. Some people have a pool party theme or luau theme, but a theme isn’t necessary. A possibility is to have a theme consisting of animals. There are many animal-related pool products such as inflatable ride-on floats, goggles and kickboards. The little goggles might even be a good idea as a give away. Or a pool noodle! With all of the available pool products and toys on the market, it makes its own category of a theme right there! Pool animal floats are colorful and friendly for all children.

    A luau theme might be the best option, as you can get many items that feed into the theme. A Luau theme allows you to have leis, a coconut and hula skirts. Hula hoops or Swim-Thru Hoops  are great examples of activities that tie right into the theme of a luau pool party. You can also consider a beach theme, and include beach balls and sand pails.

    What about the opposite of a luau theme? You can also choose to have a Winter Pool Party or a Snowflake swimming theme party. Conveniently, there are many winter-themed items that can be easier found around the time of your Winter Pool Party – items include wrapping paper, ribbons and yarn just to name a few. [5]

    It is important to have a checklist for your pool party. This is an essential piece to the puzzle you can’t go without. The following list should serve useful for your party.

    • Cake or Cupcakes with candlescake-pool
    • Drinks and Snacks
    • Paper Plates, Cups, Utensils and napkins
    • A contact list of all of the children’s parents
    • Games and Movie on DVD
    • party decorations, optional theme decorations
    • Party Favor Bags

    Party Favors,  Food and Final Details

    For the final touches, you can’t forget about your unique foods and party favors and goody bags. Make the party even more memorable with food and drinks – include juice boxes, water bottles and snacks like popcorn, raisins, gummy fish, Goldfish crackers and chocolate chips. Small Sandwiches and Pizza are always popular choices for dinner. To go with the cake, a secondary desert option is Blue Jell-O with gummy fish stuck inside. Add even more fun to the blue Jell-O with gummy fish by placing it inside of little fishbowls. [2]

    Another option you can use for a side dish or as a dessert is a sand cake, or sand pudding. Use a sand pail to fill and alternate cookie crumbs and filling, with the cookie crumbs on the top. Use the shovel for serving.

    1 pkg Vanilla Waferssummer-sand-pudding 3 or 4 Oreos 8 oz Cream Cheese 1/4 C Butter 2/3 C powdered sugar 2 small pkgs French Vanilla pudding mix 2 3/4 C Milk 12 oz Cool Whip

    Crush Oreos and Vanilla Wafers in a food processor.  In a separate bowl, cream together softened 8 oz cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. In another bowl, mix pudding with milk.  Add to cream cheese mixture.  Fold in cool whip.  Layer into buckets with sand, pudding, sand etc.

    Another great idea for the party is cupcakes – whether you have them on the side or as a substitute for cake. On these cupcakes you can consider dual-frosting. On one half you can put blue frosting while the other half has a vanilla or light brown coloring frosting to mimic a beach. You can also have blue frosting on one side and on the other, crushed Golden Oreos to look like sand as well.

    You can send kids home with beach balls, little fish toys, cheap inflatable accessories or toys for the pool (such as a rubber duck), and little bags of Goldfish crackers. Additionally, you can consider sending them home with pool-themed candy. For example, Swedish fish, licorice (as candy pool noodles) and gummy sharks.5

    Looking to have a little less junk food? Other fun items to use for party favors that are non-food related included magnets, buttons, bookmarks, stickers, placemats and zipper pulls. [7]

    Still on the fence about throwing your kid an indoor pool party in the winter? Let’s look at the benefits of this type of party. Set up for the party is easy, and you don’t have to clean up your house for guests . The rooms are set up and all you need to do is provide the decorations, food, cake and toys. Don’t worry about cleaning up either. Indoor pools – especially in the winter – should come heated. and is a nice change from the cold atmosphere outside.

    Let’s not forget that with a pool party, you can have so many games. Tag, races, playing with toys, floating on inflatables – there’s no limit to the fun or the activities. If you did decide to do the party in a hotel, you could make the party into a slumber party-pool party combo, and even take advantage of a complimentary breakfast in the morning. If you do decide on a hotel, just remember to ask ahead of time to find out what hours the pool is less busy. And be sure to designate or hire a lifeguard for the pool time.

    You can decide what size party and where you want the venue to take place. If you are aiming for a hotel, you will need a smaller amount or limited amount of kids. Meanwhile, in some indoor water parks or park districts that may offer packages, you can have up to 20 kids or more as part of the package.  

    Debbie Farnan
    SPP Pool Expert


    [1] Gerlock, Jennifer. "Steal This Idea: Winter Birthday Party In A Hotel Suite." Hip As I Wanna Be. N.p., n.d. Web.

    [2] Kothari, Lisa. "Winter Swimming Pool Party." Atom. N.p., n.d. Web.

    [3] Klein, Melissa. "Host a Pool Party at a Hotel.Host a Pool Party at a Hotel. N.p., n.d. Web.

    [4] Jacobs, Ilene. "Plan a Fun Winter or Indoor Birthday Party." Care.com. N.p., n.d. Web.

    [5] Melissa. "5 Foot 12 Creations: Swimming and Snowflakes: A Winter Birthday Pool Party." N.p., n.d. Web.

    [6] "Summer Sand Recipe - Teaching Heart Blog." Teaching Heart Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web.

    [7] Janet. "Kid's Summer Pool Swim Party Ideas & Supplies." Squidoo. N.p., n.d. Web.

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