How to prepare a successful pool party – Part I

Nov 17, 2017

Probably the best way to start the new swimming season is to put together a pool party with family, friends and even social acquaintances. Whether it is a small party with your closest buddies, a social gathering or a birthday celebration in the family, the most essential planning takes place prior to sending your invitations.

As with any event, preparation is the key to success. To make your party a memorable one, combine water activities with a distinctive theme, colorful decorations as well as interactive entertainment alternatives.

Before we dive into the specifics, here are some general guidelines to make your pool party a success:

  • When sending invitations, provide all necessary details about the party: where, what time, what guests should bring.
  • Do not over-decorate. Use simple set-up and decorations to avoid overworking yourself and also to minimize the risk of accidents.
  • To take care of every detail, make to-do lists by zone: pool area, garden/backyard, food & drinks, music, party supplies, external help and volunteers.
  • Inform your neighbors well in advance and invite them over.
  • Moderate the volume of music if you have a DJ or play music in the garden. Guests will appreciate not being deafened by the music and your neighbors will too.
  • Allow the party to flow. Let the guests enjoy themselves and make them feel at home.

Preparing your invitations

Your invitations must include who (your name as host of the party), what the event is for, when (date and time) the party will be held, where it is to be held (provide clear instructions to access your home or the venue).

Let your guests know if they can bring a guest, provide them with a contact number which can be used to reach you in the event there are some changes or they need to ask for directions, and to let you know whether they can come or not.

Clearly communicate if the party has a particular theme which the guests are expected to play with (Pirates of the Caribbean anyone?). Tease your guests with ideas to get them more excited and looking forward to attending your party.

A few decoration ideas

  • Set up a customized banner as the centerpiece of your staging. Be creative, think of something that’s truly inviting or welcoming.
  • Consider using large foil letter balloons to underscore the theme such as CELEBRATE!, BIRTHDAY, POOL, DIVE, SLIDE, SPLASH or … spell out the name of your special guest.
  • Hire a balloon specialist to make a balloon arch over the pool. This makes it look more exciting and fun.
  • Simple-looking white paper lanterns can be transformed into adorable beach balls that come in bright colors and designs with craft paint. String up the balloons and let the kids paint each section.
  • For a more Hawaiian look, use bamboo and some dried grass to design a buffet table. This is quite affordable and there is no problem finding the materials. Design the table fringe with grass tutus carefully and creatively attached together. To add more pizzazz to the set, bring out some colorful flowers.
  • Big-sized and colorful balloons will add to your décor for a bigger splash.
  • Sink balloons into the pool (use helium-filled balloons) at differing heights. Simply tie a weight at the end of the string.
  •  To make a big statement, toss big floats into the pool. Search for exciting and cute novelty shapes like swans, sharks, candy, a slice of pizza, anything goes!
  • Use bold colors (for example blue and orange) to design a very festive and fun-filled dessert table.
  • Buy some colorful candies and place them in clear glass jars. Ornate the jars with cute and fun stuff such as paper umbrellas, tiki cups and other cool items which both adults and kids love.

Food and beverages

Beside the pool itself, the second most sought-after area in your backyard is the table on which you placed delicious foods and treats. Partying and swimming will make your guests feel hungry, and serving food is a happy event.

A smart menu plan filled with appropriate treats such as fresh fruits, salad, bite snacks, hotdogs for kids, candies and chocolates, fresh juices, sandwiches and other foods to grill will make the party even more fun. Set up the food table with colorful designs and don’t forget the plates and the silverware.

If you have a BBQ area, make sure kids cannot easily access it (cordon it off). If you use a movable BBQ, place it fat from the pool area.


A party isn’t a party without good music. Set up the karaoke, the DJ or just your stereo near the food table. Be sure to create a playlist that can make everyone sing and dance. For the comfort of your guests and neighbors, don’t push up the volume too much.


Your planning includes buying party supplies and items. This is time-consuming and sometimes even stressful, especially when you do not know where to buy affordable and useful props.  Here is a list of some small online stores where you can purchase the items you need:



In the second part of this article, we will cover more of the preparation work, including safety measures, clean-up issues and pool chemicals.


About Cimarron Circle: We have been building pools in Tucson and neighboring cities since 1978. We specialize in high-end custom pools but we also build family pools as traditional as kidney-shaped pools. Call us at (520) 881-2777 to discuss your project. We’ll be glad to help you define it, engineer it, and build it.