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Last Minute Summer Pool Party Ideas for Busy Hosts

We all know the feeling. Back when you agreed to host the “pool party of the summer,” it seemed like a GREAT IDEA! You had dozens of ideas, months to plan, and your invite list was already formulating in your head. But life has this habit of getting in the way, and now you have a hefty guest list coupled with a big event and little time ahead of you. So now what?

To Theme, or Not to Theme

Summer Pool Party Ideas

If you are considering a theme party, take your guests into consideration. Are they “theme party people?” Do they have the time and/or creativity to dress up? More importantly, what kind of time do YOU have?

If it looks like a themed pool party is the way to go, consider one of these ideas for the big day:

Old Hollywood:  Think images of Marilyn Monroe poolside with a cocktail in hand. Long dresses and high heels for the ladies, sport coats and dress pants for the men, and then reveal vintage swim attire.  Project some silver screen faves from the 40’s & 50’s around the pool.  Add a bit of soft lighting and the perfect cosmo, and you have a pool party to remember.

Surfin’ USA: At this retro beach themed party, adorn your space with surfboards and tiki lamps, bring in some sand for a mock beach, and don’t forget the BBQs!   Encourage guests to wear laid back beach wear with a 1960s mod twist. Sit back, relax and enjoy some good vibrations.

Havana Nights: Imagine a bustling 1930s Cuba filled with vintage cars and Cuban cigars. Pump up the sultry, Latin music and let the guests clad in Havana shirts and fedoras pour in. Prepare by having lots of rum on hand!

Poolside Vegas Style – A Vegas Pool Party can be as simple or as complicated as your time and budget allow.  Cocktail attire required at this upscale gambling affaire; sexy swimsuits underneath of course – it is a pool party after all!  Keep things simple and hire one of the fabulous companies that specialize in this kind of event.  Two things will make this party a success – keep the drinks coming and the dice rolling.

If your guests aren’t “theme party people,” all hope is not lost. Who said a good party required a theme? As long as you have good food, good drinks, and good people, your party will be a raging success!

Cocktails and Mocktails

Boozy Strawberry Lemonade Slushies from Kitchen Treaty

 Photo courtesy of Kitchen Treaty.

The most seasoned pool partiers know that lounging poolside or languishing in the water all day is not the same as drinking it. Hydration is key to responsible pool partying, and access to high quality bottled water such as FIJI Water is a must.

As for cocktails and mocktails, you don’t need to consult a mixologist to quench your thirst. Grab some spirits, a few mixers and you are on your way to pool party perfection.

  • Basil Gin Fizz – The Gin Fizz is a classic 1940s cocktail that would go perfectly with your Old Hollywood theme. For this simple recipe, muddle basil, lemon, and honey before topping it off with gin and club soda.
  • Pina Colada – With or without the rum, a Pina Colada by the pool is the perfect drink for a Surfin’ USA pool party. Blend together yogurt, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and pineapple chunks. This can easily be made a mocktail or topped off with coconut rum.
  • Pineapple Mojito – Muddle pineapple, mint, and sugar before pouring in the rum, lime juice, and club soda. Top off with ice and voila, you have your Havana Nights Cocktail!
  • Strawberry Lemonade SlushiesIn Vegas,boozy slushies are the perfect poolside accessory. Give this boozy slushie a try with fresh strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and vodka (sans vodka would be as equally refreshing).

Wait an Hour Before Swimming?

Cucumber Sandwiches from Lovely Little Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Lovely Little Kitchen.

The jury’s still out on whether you really need to wait an hour to swim after eating, but it’s a fact that we all like a tasty treat from time to time. But when you are short on time, you don’t always have time to create a huge spread. In addition to tossing some burgers and brats on the grill, try these easy-to-make summer side dish ideas. Chances are, you already have many of these ingredients already on hand!

Tip: If you’re throwing an afternoon party – avoid serving foods that might spoil in the heat of the sun. Take care to provide covers for the dishes to prevent pests from invading the party!

Add the above tips to some great tunes, and your pool party will go from 0-60 in no time. And when in doubt, remember – Keep Calm and Pool Party On!