Social gatherings that revolve around a swimming pool aren’t just for children and teenagers — adults can get in on the fun as well! However, when you start thinking about how to throw a pool party for adults, you’ll quickly realize that the approach you take should be totally different than if it was for kids.
Everyone loves an excuse to get together and hang out, and dipping your toes into a pool is a great way to forget all your responsibilities for a little while. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you’ll of course want to use it as much as possible during the summer months — but the presence of a pool is only the first step to a successful party.
Decorations and Theme Ideas
As you grow older, you don’t need to rely on flashy things to keep yourself or others entertained. Often, everyone coming together in the same place with new stories to share is enough. This applies to pool party decorations for adults.
If you want to go with a themed pool party, you can make your food, favors or activities fit in with the theme, and scatter a few festive touches around the pool. Here are some great pool party themes for adults:
- Hawaiian Luau: This is one of the most popular pool party themes — it’s a hit with kids and adults alike! Decorate the area with bright colors and tropical flowers, and include a carved fruit bowl with your refreshments. Distribute leis to your guests, and if you want to be a little silly, ask that people wear Hawaiian print shirts and turn it into a contest for the most outrageous one.
- Beach Party: To pull off this theme, you don’t need to dump sand everywhere! Simply scatter seashells on tables, cover chairs with beach towels and add beachside favorites like hot dogs and ice cream to your menu.
- 1950s Night: Splash the colors black, white, pink and turquoise around the pool. Serve cheeseburgers, French fries and milkshakes, and crank up the rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Bonus points for themed costumes or vintage swimsuits!
- Movie Night: Haul your big-screen television outside, or rent a projector and show the movie on the side of your house. Buy inflatable lounge chairs so your guests won’t have to get out of the pool for the viewing, and don’t forget the popcorn!
- Carnival: Recreate the atmosphere of a carnival by hanging up red, white, blue and yellow decorations. Offer cotton candy and snow cones, and hire a fortune teller or invite your friend who’s an amateur tarot card reader.
- Las Vegas: Change up your menu with unexpected items like sushi or Ruben sandwiches. Put out tables beside the pool for blackjack or poker games. If you want, you can invest in a handful of prizes and let people play for them!
- Neon Party: This one is subtle, but also a little more out-of-the-box. Put up freestanding black lights, then suggest that your guests wear white clothing for the full effect. You’ll have a blast playing with white beach balls once the sun goes down! For an easier version of this, just cover your decorations with glow-in-the-dark paint and stock up on glow sticks.
- Formal Evening: There are two ways you could interpret this one. One is to put on a nice dress or suit and sip wine or champagne beside the pool while the setting sun glimmers across the water. The other is to dress up in these fancy outfits only to jump into the pool fully clothed. It may sound crazy, but this unique party idea has gained steam in recent years. Be sure to take loads of pictures over the course of the night!
- Girls Only: Hire a beautician or masseuse for the afternoon to give your friends manicures, pedicures, massages or facials. If that’s a bit outside your budget, set up your own spa day! Provide nail files, toe separators, nail polish and other pampering essentials for your guests. As for food: chips and dip or mini sandwiches make for a great light lunch, right before you indulge in cupcakes for dessert.
Above all, make sure you have plenty of seating available, from lounge chairs to benches. Organize your furniture well so your outdoor living space isn’t crowded, but your guests will still have places to put down their food and drinks when they’re chatting or in between swim sessions. An umbrella or two will help those who want to relax in the shade.
Food and Drink
No matter what type of event you’re hosting, whether it’s a birthday party or a movie night, food typically plays a central role. You could consider hiring caterers or a bartender for the evening, but that’s an expense many people would rather avoid. Instead, throw together a simple menu that everyone will enjoy, or announce that you’ll provide the main course if others bring side dishes.
As far as pool party food ideas for adults go, if a lot of fun is to be had swimming and participating in activities, then it might be better to cook lighter proteins like chicken or fish in place of burgers or hot dogs. Your barbecue can be utilized for all kinds of creative entrées like flatbread pizza, kebabs or grilled shrimp. You could even toss some fruits and vegetables on the grill, from pineapple and peppers to zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms.
Side dishes shouldn’t be too complex. Guacamole and chips, or a well-constructed dip, will do the trick. You could offer a cold salad bar and make stuffed tomatoes, put together fruit skewers or arrange fresh produce in other attractive ways. For dessert, nothing beats homemade popsicles or frozen fruit slushies.
Staying hydrated is of utmost importance, and you’re sure to have at least a few designated drivers, so be sure you serve more than just alcoholic beverages. Fill up coolers or a metal tub with ice for beer, soda and water bottles. If you have the time, make fresh lemonade or iced tea before your guests arrive. To keep things simple, select one or two fun cocktails to make, and double check that you have enough ingredients so everyone can have a couple mixed drinks. Margaritas or sangria are always good choices. Pick a flavor that’s cool, refreshing and summery, like mango or watermelon.
Obviously, as we mentioned before, your theme will probably influence your menu at least a little bit. It’s also smart to set up several food stations instead of one buffet, so it’s easier to walk around your swimming pool and no single area will get too crowded.
Changing, Accessories, Safety and Lighting
Unlike other social events, pool parties require more than just getting your home to a presentable state and having people show up. For instance, it’s a little awkward and uncomfortable to wear a swimsuit under your clothes — or your guests may be joining you straight from work or other obligations. You should provide a room or designate a bathroom specifically for changing in or out of swim attire.
Stock up on pool essentials, such as towels, sunscreen, swimming goggles and flip flops, so you can share with your visitors who forgot to pack their own. One way to help guests keep cool is to put spray bottles of water in ice buckets around the pool. After all, not everyone has their own misting fan! Make it easy for everyone to wash off and get dry after they’re finished swimming, and fill the bathroom with lotions and other toiletries for use throughout the festivities.
Finally, you need to figure out how you’re going to light up your outdoor living space after the sun goes down. Of course, if you already have string lights, a lamp post or other electric lighting, that’s a great start! Paper lanterns are a pretty option, and citronella candles not only look lovely, but also protect you from bugs. Tiki torches would fit right in with a luau theme, or you could even have a bonfire if there’s enough interest. It all depends on the season, the amount of shade your yard gets and whether mosquitoes think of your pool as a prime hangout spot.
Games and Activities
Adult get-togethers — even those based on splashing around a swimming pool — are frequently unstructured social gatherings, so it’s okay if any activities you do or games you play are loosely organized. When organizing pool party activities for adults, you could strike up a good-natured, casual competition, like a Hawaiian shirt contest. There are plenty of games that can be played in a pool as well.
A couple of favorite pool party games for adults are water volleyball or basketball. Use balloons or beach balls instead of the real thing so they’re easier to throw around. Then, hang up a net or station hula hoops or inflatable rings at either end of the pool to act as hoops. Nowadays, some places sell volleyball or basketball sets for pools, so be on the lookout!
For a twist on this idea that’d be perfect for a neon party, string glow necklaces together to create a volleyball net, or attach a few glow sticks together to form a basketball hoop.
A more recent fun game is a wet t-shirt relay, where teams swim back and forth from one of end the pool to the other, trading off a t-shirt to see who can finish the fastest.
Don’t Forget the Music!
Pull together a playlist of summer songs, compile some high-energy tunes or switch on everyone’s favorite radio station. If guests take the liberty of bringing their own music, give them a chance to queue it up. Just make sure at least you and one other person are responsible for keeping it playing!
You don’t want noise complaints from the neighbors, nor do you want to drown out conversations, so don’t have it blaring too loud. However, if your neighbors don’t care or are in attendance themselves, or the general consensus is that a dance break is needed, feel free to crank it up.
Poolside Party Favors
Passing out favors at the end of the night may sound a bit goofy, but if you’re only hosting a couple of big bashes a year, it’s a nice gesture to send everyone home with something to commemorate the evening. Skip the knick knacks in favor of practical presents that’ll get some use, rather than land in the trash. Try small bottles of sunscreen, or sunglasses.
If you want to splurge, hand out wine openers or miniature bottles of champagne. You could also find theme-oriented items that won’t collect dust in a corner. For instance, you could give out flip flops at a beach party.
Host Pool Parties and Entertain Year-Round With a Pool Enclosure
Most of these adult pool party ideas have to do with the summertime, but what about the fall or spring? Some of the best events beg for the colors of autumn. Rain or winter weather won’t faze you when you’re inside, but they’ll dampen spirits instantly around the swimming pool. Seasonal flexibility is just one reason why a pool enclosure could come in handy.
Aside from giving you the ability to hold poolside gatherings all year round, they instantly upgrade your outdoor living area. A simple piece of canvas will only offer shade, but pool enclosures provide insulation from the weather, including rain or snow. You and your guests will also receive greater protection from the direct heat of the sun. Pool enclosures from CCSI actually offer SPF protection!
A pool enclosure can blend in with your home’s aesthetics and actually enhance the beauty of your swimming pool area. On top of all that, pool enclosures enable you to exercise and improve your health every month — not just in mild weather. So if you want to maximize the use of your pool and extend your outdoor entertainment options throughout the whole year, you should invest in a high-quality pool enclosure from CCSI.
At CCSI, our competitive pricing means you can update your home without hurting your wallet. Our custom designs can be tailored to your house and swimming pool, and all of our residential and commercial pool enclosures are made in the USA. When you call or shoot us an email, we’ll be happy to advise you on what would suit your home best based on your wants and needs. Our attentive, informative customer service can’t be beat.
Contact us to learn more about how a pool enclosure could benefit you, or request your free quote today!
Enjoy your party, and don’t forget to include us on the invitation!