Tips for Hosting the Best Summer Pool Party

Kids in a swimming pool with floats

Temperatures are heating up and it’s time to make sure you have a safe swimming pool to host the best summer pool party on the block. A favorite with both adults and kids, pool parties give friends and family a chance to beat the summer heat, let loose, and unwind in a backyard oasis with their favorite people around them. While the recipe for success seems simple–take friends, food, and fun, then add water–if you want to host the BEST pool party, you need to put in the work beforehand so you can enjoy the event right along with them.

Decide What Your Pool Party Should Look Like

Before you can start planning your summer pool party, you need to decide what that means to you. Every pool party is different, and this is your chance to create the right event for you and your loved ones. Do you want a relaxing atmosphere for adults to let their stresses float away? Is it time for an 18+ party that will be talked about for years? Will your kid’s pool party be a chance for parents to get together for some camaraderie while the children combat the isolation that comes with being out of school for months? Only you can decide what kind of summer pool party you want to throw, and that’s when the real preparation begins.

Tip #1 – Create A Safe Party Atmosphere

You want your guests to feel safe when they arrive–in the water, out of the water, before the fun starts, and after the pool is closed and people are starting to head home. Almost 4000 people a year lose their lives to accidental drownings, and many more seek treatment for injuries related to drowning and accidents in and around swimming pools. That’s the wrong reason for your party to be remembered. Here’s how to make sure your summer pool party safety is up to the challenge:

Black mesh removable pool fence installed around large swimming pool
  • Build A Safer Pool Area – A lack of barriers is cited as a contributing factor in the majority of accidental drownings. You may not think safety barriers fit in with the full-throttle fun of a party, but every summer pool party has a start time, an end time, and frequent periods where most people are out of the pool. Especially at a kids pool party where adults may be distracted by cake, presents, bathroom trips, or the sheer number of kids EVERYWHERE, having a safety barrier in place to secure the pool when it will be unsupervised is vital.
  • Get Pool Safety Training – Before it’s time to party down, level up your skills in the water. Invest in swimming lessons that make you a stronger swimmer, water safety courses that help you prevent accidents in and around the pool, and infant, child, and adult CPR so you can save a life. These classes teach you valuable skills that will be handy at your summer pool party and far beyond.
  • Prepare Your Equipment and AccessoriesPool safety equipment goes beyond barriers. Every pool should have rescue hooks or flotation devices readily accessible in the pool area should a swimmer become distressed. There should also be a first aid kit that is well-stocked and clearly marked. For the duration of your summer pool party, consider keeping an emergency phone on hand near the pool but out of harm’s way because seconds count when emergency rescue services are needed.

Tip #2 – Plan Your Guest List

Adult in swimming pool with child in a floatie

You and your pool are ready, so now it’s time to think about who to invite. One of the top benefits of a removable mesh pool fence is the freedom it gives you to go big when it comes to a get-together. Invite as many guests as you want to your kids pool party, and the fence can be easily taken down to accommodate a crowd, then reinstalled in minutes to protect the pool. While you may have plenty of space, there are a few considerations to keep in mind as you start to send out invitations:

  • Make Sure There Are Enough Adults For The Kids Attending – There’s no set rule when it comes to a kids-to-adults ratio, but don’t be afraid to ask parents to stay with their children. This is especially true as the number of attendees grows or if there are likely to be some “difficult” children present. Remember, hosting a summer pool party is not a commitment from you to provide free neighborhood daycare.
  • Invite Water Watchers – Water safety should be front and center at any pool event. Whether your attendees are young, old, or in between, make sure you have dedicated water watchers who are giving a portion of their time to watch for any signs of swimmers in distress or other dangerous situations. This can be done in set shifts or with the same water watcher all the way through the event. The important part is that someone who is a strong swimmer is able to focus their attention on protecting the swimmers, floaters, and splashers at all times.
  • Assign or Ask For Help – Don’t be afraid to make your summer pool party a community effort. While you may be hosting it at your pool, asking others to bring snacks isn’t out of bounds. Plenty of parents would be happy to help with set up or clean up for a kids pool party. If all else fails, your local swimming complex, gym, or the American Red Cross may have lists of lifeguards willing to hire their services for parties to help keep their neighbors safe.

Tip #3 – Plan Your Activities

You have the guest list ready to go, it’s time to set your itinerary. Don’t worry about filling every moment, as all summer pool parties need some flexibility. There are, however, some general guidelines you will want to decide on.

Kids having a water gun fight in a swimming pool
  • Decide On Any Organized Activities…Or None – If you have any goals or must-dos, make sure to get an idea about when you want to organize those during the event. If you plan on keeping it an easy-breezy relaxation opportunity, leave it wide open. Either way, make sure these summer pool party goals are communicated to guests.
  • Figure Out Your Refreshments – Food and beverage are an important aspect of throwing a great party. While a kids pool party will often feature cake or ice cream, that doesn’t always fit well with your pool party. In general, you want to provide light fare–fruit and veggie platters, light sandwiches, lemonade, and water, for example–to avoid digestive mishaps in the water, however, a few heavier items, like BBQ grilled meat and sodas, frequently make appearances in moderation.
  • Breaks And Rest Periods – Especially with longer pool parties, you should ensure time out of the pool is built into the day. Young swimmers get excited about the water and may not feel fatigue setting in. Even more experienced swimmers can lose themselves in the fun, and opportunities to have fun and mingle out of the water can help keep everyone better rested and provide plenty of bathroom breaks.
  • Hours of The Party – All good things must come to an end. Schedule the start of your party and the end, but allow for a dry-off and wind-down time out of the water for guests to get changed, say their goodbyes, and clean up after themselves.

Tip #4 – Follow Through

As the party arrives, it’s time for your summer pool party planning to blossom into an event that will keep people coming back time after time. You’ve set your plan, sent out invitations, and now, all that’s left is to execute.

  • Be Ready Early – In the days leading up to the party, check up on any scheduled plans or orders. Verify entertainment, pick up your catering, and reach out to those who promised to help to make sure their responsibilities are being managed appropriately.
  • Keep Things On Track – The day of the party, take time to make sure guests know your pool’s safety rules, where to find rescue and emergency equipment, and what you are offering as a host as well as what you expect of them as guests. As the day progresses, move through your planned itinerary, making adjustments as needed to suit the flow of your summer pool party and your guests’ comfort.
  • Show Gratitude – As your summer pool party is wrapping up, be sure to thank each guest as they leave for their part in creating a successful event. If you contracted any staff or professional help, be sure to tip well if you were impressed with their service, as you may need them at future events. For friends, family, and acquaintances who provided outsized support, a thank you note or gift is a great idea to show your appreciation.

Get Ready For Your Summer Pool Party

Your local Lifeguard on Duty installer is passionate about water safety and protecting the neighbors in their community. Professional installation of ASTM-compliant removable mesh pool fences, pool safety covers, and pool nets gives your pool the barriers it needs to help prevent accidental drownings. The first step to preventing unsupervised access to your pool comes with no cost or obligation.

When you schedule a visit with your local installer, they’ll take measurements, look at your pool area, and tailor a safety plan to fit your pool’s unique dimensions and your swimming needs. The written estimate is often far more reasonably priced than many pool owners imagine and shows you just how affordable peace of mind can be. Make your pool a safer place for friends, family, and pets to have the summer pool party they deserve. Request your free quote from Lifeguard on Duty today.

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