Whether you’re hosting a pre-summer shindig to kick off swimming season, or you’re planning an end-of-season Labor Day celebration, keeping a stash of fun pool party ideas up your sleeve can help you turn an average pool party into a AMAZING one.

Before we get started, here are a few quick tips to make sure your pool party runs smoothly and safely:

  • Offer adequate seating and shade for your guests.
  • Provide areas for guests to change into their swimming suits.
  • Have a few extra towels and some sunscreen on hand in case anyone forgets theirs.
  • Use plastic cups or tumblers to avoid the hazards of broken glass.
  • Make sure all guests are aware of your pool safety rules (no running near pool, no diving in shallow water, etc.).
  • The pool depth should be clearly marked. If needed, waterproof tape can be used.
  • Keep plenty of finger foods and refreshments handy to make sure guests stay energized and hydrated.
  • Party favors are always appreciated, and they can be simple. Some ideas include small bottles of sunscreen, SPF lip balm, custom cups and water bottles, squirt guns or other small pool toys.
  • Perhaps most importantly, keep the pool clean. Make sure the pool water is properly balanced, and shock the pool a couple of days before guests arrive. The morning of the party, skim or vacuum debris from the pool floor and the water’s surface. Before and after the party, check chlorine levels in the pool, and add more as needed.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, check out these fun party ideas for throwing the ultimate swimming pool bash!


Transform your pool into an underwater oasis with this sea-themed pool party. There are so many ocean-related party themes, and you can let your imagination run wild! Pirates, sunken ships, mermaids, sea creatures, or even beachy themes can all be transformed into a fun and colorful party setup.

DRINK: Mix up a pitcher (or a few!) of this delicious Blue Lemonade Party Punch from GoodCook.com, and serve up a nice cold glass of blue ocean water! Create the illusion of shark-infested waters by freezing gummy sharks into ice cubes and dropping them into the drink canister.
SNACK: These sweet and tasty Cinnamon Sugar Cookies by Melissa (aka Mama Miss) look just like sand dollars. Place them in a woven basket or a plastic sand pail and show off what you found at the beach…er, I mean the food table! Get the full recipe at MamaMiss.com.
DECOR: Gather up a few colorful pool noodles to create a few coral reef decorations for the pool area. All you need is a box cutter and some wire hangers to transform simple pool noodles into something magical. For inspiration and instructions, visit CraftyMorning.com.
FUN: Go deep sea fishing with a fun pool party game you can make yourself. Cut pool noodle slices in half (will make a C-shape), then stick a paperclip on one side and a pipe cleaner tail on the other side. Finish off the fish with a googly eyeball, and create a fishing pole with a simple rod attached to a string and magnetic clasp. Put a little bit of water in a plastic tub or small wading pool, drop in the fish, and let the fun times begin! More pictures of this homemade fishing game and other fun craft ideas can be found from Happy Tot Shelf.


Plan a staycation with a Hawaiian luau, and bring the spirit of aloha to your own backyard. Grass hula skirts, leis, pineapples and palm trees will help set the mood for this party. As an added bonus, tiki torches can double as both decoration and an effective bug repellent!

DRINK: A colorful fruity drink is just what every luau party needs. If you’re looking for a beverage that looks just as good as it tastes, try this Mai Tai Mocktail Party Punch by Liz Call. Orange, pineapple, lime and other flavors blend perfectly together for a beverage all ages can enjoy.
SNACK: Create a sweet and spicy salsa, and serve it in a hollowed out pineapple with a small bamboo serving spoon. This Pineapple Salsa recipe goes great with almost anything, from tortilla chips and tacos to servings of meat and rice. Get the recipe and step-by-step photo instructions at TheGunnySack.com.
DECOR: In addition to the previously mentioned decoration ideas, it’s easy enough to create your own festive props. Use sheets of cardboard or colorful poster board to make vibrant surfboards. Or, better yet, use coffee cans or cardboard boxes covered in paint and/or construction paper to create your own stackable tiki totems.
FUN: Throw a couple pool floats, like a pineapple or a sun, into the water so guests can cool off and relax in the pool. Outside the water, kids and adults alike can test their skills with a hula hoop contest or a contagiously fun game of limbo. If you want to add a bit of a challenge, large swim-through hoops can be used to set up an exciting race or relay course.


Any time is a good time to celebrate your patriotism. Hosting a red, white and blue pool party is a surefire way to get your guests in the party spirit. Encourage everyone to wear swimming suits that match the theme. It will make for a great photo-op!

DRINK: Layered drinks add a unique touch to any party. There are recipes for versions without alcohol (InKatrinasKitchen.com) to keep everyone hydrated, but there are also adult versions of the recipe, such as this Red, White and Blue Vodka Lemonade Slush recipe from Homemade Hooplah.
SNACK: Make sure to offer healthy food choices at your party. These adorable Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Strawberries not only look and taste good – they’re also simple to make! Instructions can be found at SpicySouthernKitchen.com.
DECOR: You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to patriotic pool party decorations. Blow up some red, white and blue balloons to float in the pool. Put up some American flags, and have fun with theme accents. At the food table, try out this idea for patriotic silverware holders, featured on Just Imagine.
FUN: Grab some red and blue plastic cups, some string and a few water guns, and you’re ready to set up a fun relay game. As demonstrated in a blog from This Grandma is Fun, this game can be set up as a relay race within the pool, or it can be made into an obstacle course that utilizes the whole yard area.


Planning a party with a classy, stylish vibe? Focus on white or bright summer colors, and keep the decorations simple but elegant. Accents of sweet-smelling flowers and strands of warm-toned lights around the pool area will keep the modern swank going, day or night.

DRINK: Colorful Wild Berry Mojitos are the perfect beverage for summertime pool parties. This vibrant cocktail is quick and easy to make, and it’s sure to be a hit at your next pool gathering. This light, sweet mixed drink is as tasty as it is refreshing. Get the recipe online from Cooking Channel.
SNACK: Easy-to-make Pesto Tortellini Skewers make a great appetizer or mid-party snack. They take less than 20 minutes to put together, and are the perfect choice to accompany any cookout or get together. Find the full recipe and instructions on the Foody Schmoody Blog.
DECOR: Your pool party will be worthy of an Instagram post with some floating accent lights in your pool. Floating candle votives can be found at many craft and hobby stores, or you can put glowsticks into inflated balloons and toss them on the pool. However, if you’re looking for a safer, longer-lasting alternative, check out this floating LED light on IntheSwim.com. This light even comes with a remote so you can pick from 24 color options, 2 brightness settings and 4 light pattern settings.
FUN: Invite your guests to participate in some watersports. Set up a volleyball net across the pool for team play, or put a floating golf green in the pool for group entertainment. In The Swim carries these and many other fun swimming pool games.

There are so many other party themes, recipes, decoration ideas and activities to choose from. From simple to extravagant, there’s a party theme for everyone. When it comes to keeping your pool in top shape for the party, In The Swim has you covered. Browse our extensive stock of sale priced pool chemicals, pool equipment, repair parts and fun accessories, or check out our massive assortment of informational blog articles for year-round maintenance of your swimming pool.