The Perfect Pool Party Guide

By Shannon Hanrahan  •  June 05, 2015

The who’s who of the neighborhood growing up were the houses with a pool. As a kid, I waited all month long at the end of the school year for an invite to a big pool party and then subsequently wanted to spend every waking minute at that house the rest of the break. My family did not have a pool…although we did have a killer backyard patio, but what kid cares about that? Given what I would have defined as the time as an unfortunate situation, I spent a lot of time perfecting the idea of the perfect pool party. Years later, I have changed my opinion on the importance of having a dream patio (now my favorite part about going home), but I still stand by the idea that a pool makes for the ultimate summertime party, day or night. So here are my ways to pull it off.

Lure Them In

You are going to need a pool in order to pull of a successful pool party. Unless you are just planning on having a baby pool party, then you can just set up one of those inflatable kiddie pools and relax with your friends while the kids splash around. Get your pool ready for hours of fun with toys everyone can enjoy. Start with some basics for the little ones if they are going to be around: floaties, rafts, and maybe even dive rings if they are of the age. Then add some fun for the adults: volleyball net, basketball hoop, and you can’t forget the inflatable pong table. With pool accessories like these, you will never be able to get the kids, and the kids at heart, out of the pool.

Pool Party patio Set

Aside from the pool, the next most important part about having the pool party of the century is appropriate seating arrangements. As I mentioned in Build Your Dream Patio on A Budget, having a table and chair set that fits the party’s needs is crucial. Also having extra chairs and lounges that the extra people can spill onto will help the party run smoothly. There is nothing worse than having to drag wet, chlorine smelling people back into your house after hours in the pool because you don’t have your patio set up. Don’t do that to yourself. Before having anyone over, get yourself prepared. Then you can get fun mixy matchy plates, place mats, napkins, cups and more to bring life to your table. You don’t have to spend a lot on any of your pool or table accessories. I am sure you are no stranger to Target, so check out the promo codes we have for them and make your backyard look like a million bucks without over-spending.

Whether you are sipping on Rum Punches (see below) sharing stories or just relaxing with good friends and family and enjoying good food, you want to make sure you have good lighting. Bellacor has all of your outdoor lighting needs in one place. Keep your guests awed from start to finish to ensure that your pool party will be talked about all season long and anticipated year after year. You can also find amazing things for your garden and yard to really take your backyard escape to the next level like plant stands and statues. Check out our Bellacor promo codes to keep you saving.

Then Keep Them Around

Summer is the perfect time to try out new recipes, embracing the flavors of the season. I know I always say to check Pinterest, but I at least am fully aware and honest of my obsession. It has things you could never dream of ever making and can inspire a whole themed evening for your pool party. From summer salads to sweet desserts to sinful cocktails, it literally has everything you are looking for.

Here are some ideas:

Fruit and Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

apple strawberry pear salad


  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Strawberries
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Poppy Seeds

It is incredibly easy to make! Use a food processor to blend the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the strawberries, and the honey smooth. Then add the poppy seeds and store in your fridge for up to a week. Chop the pear, apple, and strawberries and then mix with your spinach (or greens of choice). Top with pumpkin seeds, add the dressing, and you are ready to serve! Simple as that.

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

sweet and sour chicken kabobs


  • Brown Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Chicken Breast
  • Pineapple

Summer and grills go hand in hand. This is something you can prep before the party starts, so that you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and once mixed well, add cornstarch until the sauce starts to steam. Don’t let it boil. Cut the chicken and pineapple into cubes and alternate them on skewers. Then add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and grill over medium heat. You can apply the sauce to all sides after it has started cooking and continue from there. Quick and delicious.

Rum Punch

rum punch


  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Dark Rum
  • Coconut Rum
  • Grenadine
  • Lime

I think you get the drill on how to make this delicious summer concoction. It is light and combines the best flavors of the season. It will pair perfectly with your fruity salad and pineapple chicken and keep the laughter coming all night long.

For the full recipes on these pool party dishes, check out our Summertime Essentials Pinterest Board. The ideas will be flowing for months to come.

Having a pool with something fun for all of your guests, a proper place to entertain, good lighting, and great food and drinks will make for an epic pool party. If you shop smartly and prep before the big day, you will impress without any money stress. What pool party must-haves are on your list?


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Shannon Hanrahan Shannon Hanrahan Shannon is a LA transplant from Philadelphia and a social media junkie. When she is not Pinteresting or Instagraming away, she enjoys eating dessert first, traveling to new places, and being a self-proclaimed DIY expert (aka HGTV addict).

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