20 Summer Pool Party Ideas

Summertime means sipping mimosas, hanging out with the homies, and taking in the sunset after a lazy day of doing… well, nothing. And if you’re lucky enough to have access to a pool, you can have a summertime gathering to party poolside with your closest friends. A good party is all about details. From fun decorations to creative snacks to the perfect drink menu, it’s the little things that keep guests happy under the sun. Your summer pool party is bound to be a success when you make your checklist for the perfect pool party ideas.

Grab a flamingo pool floaty and dive into a summer pool party.
AllGo / Toni Cuenca

Pool Floaties

The most important part of any pool party is the floaties! Who doesn’t love floating across the water on a unicorn? You can find quality floaties at affordable prices which means you’ll need to stock up! Not only do they help people enjoy the water, but they look great in photos and double as a cool photo prop. Make sure you get a variety of shapes and sizes–everyone will have a favorite style that’s most comfortable for them. You can also get a few drink floaties so that people will have a place to put their drink as they float along!

Drink Pitcher

If your party is for those over 21, you’ll probably be investing in a ton of beer and alcohol to keep the party buzzing along. You can also add a special touch by making a batched cocktail to serve in a pitcher. This could be a margarita, rum punch, mojito, or anything in between! Find your favorite recipe and serve your guests a drink with fresh ingredients for an added touch.

This retro style cooler from Igloo gives your pool party a pop of color, with pool party decoration tooth picks for fruit.
Maya Irons

Cooler

One of the most underrated pool party ideas that can make or break your day is the cooler. Nobody wants to drink warm alcohol (or water for that matter)! If you don’t already have one, see if a friend or family member can let you borrow theirs. Or if you’ve got the budget, buy a colorful style like this Igloo Retro Picnic Basket 25 Qt Cooler that can be a statement piece on its own. And most importantly–don’t forget the ice!

Plastic Party Cups & Plates

Glass by the pool is a huge no-no for safety reasons, so plastic is the way to go for your summer pool party. Consider getting a set of plastic outdoor serving ware to give that extra flair to your party. If you’re looking for a more disposable route, try colorful cups–and not just the red kind!

Projector Screen

Turn your pool party into a poolside movie night with a projector screen. If there’s a blank, white wall in the vicinity of where you’ll be partying, you can project onto it after the sun goes down. Who needs theater chairs when you’ve got floaties, a drink and all your closest friends?

Bubble Machine

Add a bubble machine to your list of top pool party ideas for summer.
Christian Bowen

Aim to give your guests a unique experience to elevate your party to the next level. A simple, cheap bubble machine adds an extra touch of fun as they float off into the sky above the pool. Not to mention, they make for great Insta pics!

A table of pool party food like fruit, vegetables and snacks is all you need for you guests to dig in.
Maya Irons

Bluetooth Speaker

There’s no possible way to have a party without music. Make sure you bring out the Bluetooth speaker to have a flawless sound system for vibing. Most importantly, charge it the night before! There’s no bigger bummer than the music dying halfway through your revelry.

Toothpicks

If you’re planning to put out a fruit or veggie tray, buy a few packs of custom toothpicks to make the presentation extra fun. These will also minimize hands in the serving plates, which after a pandemic, is kind of a big priority.

Beach Balls

Just like the floaties, beach balls are also an inflatable necessity when you’re searching for summer pool party ideas. Whether they’re for playing water volleyball or just floating along as decoration, you won’t regret having a few around to be festive.

Piñata

You might think piñatas are for children’s birthday parties, but who says you can’t enjoy them as an adult? Find a summer-themed piñata and fill it with things adults need–gum, hand sanitizer, condoms… you know, summer necessities. It’s the perfect addition to your pool party decorations!

Serving Tray

Find a festive tray to serve chips and salsa, veggies, cookies or appetizers for your guests. It’ll be super easy to take a lap around the pool and offer bites to people who aren’t near the food table.

Water Guns

Give out water guns to your party guests as a fun summer water game.
Kindel Media

Again, it’s all about giving your guests the best experience possible. And when they’re feeling tipsy and fun, a water gun fight is a go-to activity. Buy packs of them from the 99 Cent Store or invest in some solid, plastic Super Soaker machinery for a true battle.

Boozy Popsicles

You may have grown up with otter pops, but not like these. Go to the freezer aisle to find adults only alcohol popsicles that range anywhere from 5-7% depending on the brand! Track down the ones by Cutwater for a variety of alcohol flavors, or if you’ve got a Costco membership you can buy the Kirkland brand in bulk.

Lounge by the pool with a summer beach towel and refreshing drink.
Taylor Friehl

Sunscreen Station

Sunscreen is the one thing everyone always forgets when they go for a swim. Let your guests know you’ve got their back (literally) by having a spot dedicated for them to apply sunscreen. Try to have both liquid and spray versions depending on their preference. This is also a great place to keep some mosquito repellent!

Towels

There will be a few of your guests (if not most) who forget to bring a towel with them to your shindig. It’ll be no problem if you’ve got extra towels on deck to hand out when they need them. Keep them near the pool because it’s the first thing people reach for when they get out!

Custom Pool Party Playlist

If you’ve got the time and the knack for making a solid soundtrack, put together a custom Spotify or Apple Music playlist to add to your list of summer pool party ideas. Since you probably know what kind of music your friends like, you can add some of their favorites to make sure everyone is vibing and feeling #seen.

Unique Booze

Clink glasses with unique booze choices at your poolside celebration.
Elevate

Make the extra effort to invest in finding a unique type of alcohol people haven’t tried before. Track down some hard kombucha, moon shine, orange wine, hard root beer, absinthe–the list goes on! Everyone loves the opportunity to try something new, making your adult pool party party even more memorable.

Citronella Candle

These candles can be a lifesaver if you live in a mosquito-filled area. Citronella is known to repel bugs, and a large citronella candle is a worthy investment. You can also try other types of mosquito lamps and tiki torches that can help keep these blood-thirsty insects at bay.

Pool Games

Stock up on fun pool games to keep your guests entertained while they’re hanging out. Paddle boards, rings, ping pong, water basketball, the list goes on! You’d be surprised how many people love a little competition as a break from the relaxation.

Hang out with friends and play games as you float along during your pool party.
Kindel Media

Waterproof Phone Case

Your phone might already be waterproof up to a point, but get an extra layer of safety by buying a phone case made specifically for underwater photography. You’ll get tons of unique pics that will make your summer pool party an unforgettable experience your friends will look back on forever.

What are some of your favorite pool party tips? Leave a comment below with your plans to have the perfect summer celebration. And don’t forget to pin us on Pinterest to share with your followers!

Ideas for a pool party with friends this summer

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