Tips to Plan the Best Winter Pool Party

festive holiday cheese board

Cold temperatures are on the way, but before you close your pool for the season, there’s time for a winter pool party that brings your friends and family together for one last hurrah. Whether you are hosting a Christmas pool party, Kwanzaa Karamu around the water, or a wet ‘n wild Festivus throwdown for the rest of us, you can plan a party that will bring everyone together before the freezing temperatures fully set in. Whether your pool is indoor or outdoors, Olympic-sized or a cozy spa, the private oasis you’ve created on your property is ready to help you entertain your guests with safe, wet fun.

One Season, Many Reasons

The winter holiday season is enjoyed both secularly and spiritually in cultures across the globe. That makes it the perfect time to celebrate with friends, whatever your personal traditions may be. Just make sure that you let your guests know if there’s an event that’s significant for you and the extent to which the reflections of their own celebrations are welcome. Many people are just happy to get together with their loved ones and are more than happy to experience the joys of the holiday season in new and exciting ways.

Planning For Success

Proper planning is one of the key ingredients to putting together a pool party that everyone will love, no matter the season. When temperatures drop, however, it’s even more important because weather, holiday delivery schedules, travel plans, and even your guests’ and helps’ availability due to other get-togethers can be so unpredictable. Having your party laid out in advance, along with flexible options to account for unforeseen circumstances, can help ensure that the day of the party will go smoothly, come what may.


While a cultural or religious event may be the overall reason for your winter pool party, be sure to consider if you are including a theme for your guests. Ugly sweaters, Santa’s workshop, or winter wonderland themes are always popular choices that give partygoers a chance to dress up and have a little fun before or after they enjoy the pool. Your theme can go even further in making your planning easier, however, as it can lay the groundwork for your food choices, beverages, entertainment, games, and more. 


Multicolored wrapped gifts under a christmas tree

Gift giving is a popular part of many winter pool parties because gifting features so heavily in the religious and secular holidays marking the ending of the year and another trip of the Earth around the sun. Many expect some kind of gift exchange, whether it be a dirty Santa, a white elephant exchange, or some other way to exchange presents with loved ones. That being said, there’s nothing quite like the awkward feeling of showing up without a gift at a party where presents are part of the planned festivities. Make sure you specify if gifts are going to be part of the festivities, the rules for the exchange, any minimum or maximum price limit, and any theme to the exchange if you’re planning to have one.

Verify Dates and Time

Seasonal calendars fill up fast, so you want to make sure you get your winter pool party scheduled before caterers, performers, or guests end up booked elsewhere. Consider your known schedule and that for key attendees as well as usual holiday events that might conflict. Church, fraternal lodge, and office parties often occur on predetermined days, i.e., the second Friday in December, the 16th, or the Wednesday following the first payday of the month. Likewise, consider usual weather patterns. While Mother Nature may not listen to our predictions, meteorologists have gotten pretty good at understanding and predicting larger weather trends that might help you avoid the first freeze of the season when clad in a bathing suit while giving you plenty of warning to winterize your pool before it becomes dangerous to leave it open..

Set the Menu, Decide on the Games, and Book Entertainment

It’s time to finish out the planning with all the small winter pool party details that make it an event to remember. Decide what food you will offer to guests, whether heavier fare with the pool as a backdrop or lighter food if you are expecting the weather to cooperate with swimming. Entertainment can include a DJ, live music, or even just some favorite winter movies. For party games, most of your indoor favorites will work great outdoors in or around the pool. Finally, decide on if alcohol will be allowed at your party, to what extent, and make sure to communicate this with guests, so they have the appropriate expectations.

Get Ready for the Party

Once the planning is done, it’s time to set things in motion. It may seem like you have plenty of time, or you could feel like it’s right around the corner. Either way, use your plan as a roadmap and keep working toward the goal, and your winter pool party is going to be great.

Send Out Invitations

Get your invitations out early so people can RSVP, buy gifts, and get ready for fun around the pool. Be sure to keep things concise but specific and include contact information so they can reach out with any questions.

Ask for Help

Friends and family are often ready to assist in winter pool party preparations, both because they care about your well-being and because it gives them even more pool time. Identify what needs to be done in preparation and who has the best resources to help out. Don’t forget that in addition to assistance with cooking, baking, or decorating, you could always use another set of hands to coordinate party activities and clean up after the party. If the pool will be open, make sure you have adults who are capable swimmers ready to volunteer as water watchers to help keep swimmers safe.

Make Sure Your Swimming Pool is Safe and Ready

Toddler sitting in front of a white installed mesh pool fence

If pool usage is part of the festivities, make sure your chemistry is well-balanced, and all pool equipment is functional. Accidental drowning prevention doesn’t take a winter break. Whether you intend to use the pool area for swimming or as a backdrop for the fun, make sure your swimming pool safety barriers are in good repair and functional. That means your removable mesh pool fence should be installed, sturdy, and have a gate that swings shut and latches on its own. Swimming pool safety covers and nets should be anchored and tensioned to prevent unsupervised pool access, and care should be taken to remove any debris or detritus to keep your pool area looking good for when the guests arrive.

Have Everything in Place 24 Hours Before the Party

You may still have a day to go before the guests show up, but being ready early gives you time to manage emergencies, finish out final details, and even do a dry run “rehearsal” for planned events to make sure you don’t need to adjust timing. Having everything ready to go also reduces your stress levels the night before so you can get a good night’s rest.

Be Flexible

All that is certain is uncertainty, and this is especially true with winter pool parties. Be ready for bad weather that may drive you inside or unseasonably good weather that may see guests longing for some swim time. Keep your favorite takeout place’s number handy just in case there’s a problem with the food. Finally, have alternate entertainment on standby on the off-chance your cousin’s college roommate who plays guitar falls through. 

Party Time!

You’ve done the prep, and now it’s time to enjoy your Christmas pool party. Before you pop a cork and cut loose, however, there’s still some work to be done.

Direct Traffic

Coat rooms, bathrooms, and dressing areas should be clearly marked, but guests will likely still need to know where and how to get to them. You’ll also want to help them avoid areas of the house that are off-limits, especially areas that aren’t safe for children. If food and drink will be available the entire event, it’s also a good idea to make sure guests know if there are any refreshments that are being saved for a specific time to avoid them disappearing early.

Watch the Water

Whether the pool is in use or not, it should be regularly checked to ensure no one is using it without supervision. This can be as simple as glancing out the window at the snow-covered winter pool cover behind your removable mesh pool fence or enlisting the help of a friend to keep an eye on the area in and around the water for swimmers in distress or generally dangerous situations. 

Have Fun!

Finally, remember to have fun with your friends and family. Yes, a winter pool party can be a lot of work, but it’s also a great chance to share some special time with everyone before their lives are swept up into seasonal breaks, family trips, and mall-shopping chaos. You’re making experiences and memories together that you’ll treasure for years to come while giving everyone a reminder of what’s in store when the pool reopens in spring.

Get Your Pool Ready for a Safe Winter Party

Your local Lifeguard on Duty installer is your community’s safety expert when it comes to effective pool barriers that help prevent accidental drownings. Every pool is different, and your pool safety equipment will be tailored to your pool’s measurements, providing a refined safety upgrade that lets you enjoy the beautiful pool area you’ve worked so hard for without compromising on your loved ones’ safety. Get your free quote from Lifeguard on Duty today.

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