Summer time may seem like the best time to plan a pool party, but since summer plans seem to book up fast for most people the planning might best be done a month or two in advance of when you would like to gather your favorite people for a good relaxing time in the sun and dip in the cool water. Maybe you even want to consider a month other than those favorites of June, July and August and look at indoor pool options for any time of the year if you do not have your own backyard splash zone to feature. Whichever route you choose, there are certain things you can make sure and have taken care of before the day guests arrive to indulge in refreshments and fun.
First, do an informal poll of those youd most like to include to make sure you arent picking a date already booked by a mutual friend for something like a wedding, holiday barbecue, or perhaps a childs milestone birthday party. Also be sure to check availability dates of any facility you might be using if not your own pool. Then choose your date, make any reservations, and get invitations out as quickly as possible. If you want to include a theme then you can add pizazz to your invitations by making them match the theme. Will it be a pirate pool party with plank walking? Then treasure map directions on the invites are a small but effective idea to throw in. It could be an even simpler idea such as featuring refreshing citrusy colors and foods at your party and cut your invites into the shape of lemon wedges with bright orange ink used for all the pertinent details.
Once you have picked a date, any theme you might want, and sent out the invitations then its time to start gathering supplies. This is also a good way to create goody bags if you are so inclined. Many of your guests will bring their own towels and sunscreen if you are outdoors. However, wouldnt it be nice if you are able to offer those things to anyone who might need one? You can find sample size bottles in most drug stores and get some nice sunscreen for an inexpensive amount. Likewise, you can buy small hand towels to include along with flip flops or sunglasses from a dollar store. While you are there, pick up a few water noodles and maybe some squirters for fun in the pool. Each of these items can be in bins for each guest to take with a larger pile of bath sized towels just for use while at the party. Do not forget to put up any sun umbrellas and extra chairs that you might need. If you arent wanting to buy very many and you have a large number coming to your home for the party then consider renting these items from a party rental store. You may even find companies that include delivery and retrieval as part of the fee. When renting a pool facility these types of items should be in adequate supply already and you can cross it off your list. They will also take care of making sure the facility is clean and ready for your arrival. This is a good time to remind you to schedule a thorough cleaning and servicing of your own pool if you will be able to host the party on your own property.
After supplies are gathered you can focus on the refreshments that might be available for your guests. An easy solution to providing these items is to provide beverages and a main dish and ask each of your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. This potluck style can be a great way to get the invitees included in any theme. Going back to the citrus idea, perhaps you might request that there are juicy colors prominent in the foods brought or even citrus ingredients themselves. If you wish to have a bit more control over the food and want to cover that area on your own then make sure you include a variety of finger foods and small snacks that are easy to eat in between swims in the deep end. Sliced fruit, vegetables, and cheese are all easy and low on the messy factor. For a party that is longer or centered around the lunch or dinner portion of the day, deli meat or hot dogs make a nice addition to those along with some hearty salads. The one area you wont run risk of going overboard on is water and lemonade. Make sure there is plenty of hydrating fluids and then you can round it out if youd like with items like carbonated juices and drinks and maybe even a specialty punch. Have a freezer stocked with popsicles and dessert is covered as well.
Finally, when the guests arrive, show them to appropriate areas to use for changing stations if they need them. Save yourself a bit of time by changing into your own suit before friends arrive and secure any rooms you dont want accidentally wandered into by others. Also make sure pets that arent outdoor ready are safe and secluded from errant doors. If you are renting a facility it is nice to wait at the entrance until a reasonable amount of time has passed for late guests to arrive. You do not need to call any missing guests but it is a lovely gesture if you do check on them. After all that, whether home or renting a pool, take a breath, relax, and enjoy the party yourself. Everyone is there to have fun and that includes you. You can always break the ice with a cannonball off the edge!