It’s summer. It’s hot. And what can be better than taking a dip in the pool to cool off? No matter the summer party occasion — bridal showers, bachelorette parties, family reunions, or casual get-togethers — you can stay cool by the pool this summer with a perfectly planned pool party!

Planning a pool party can seem relatively daunting if you’ve never done it before. But we’ve got some great tips and resources to help you keep your guests (and yourself) nice and cool by the pool. 

Choose your location

If you have a pool at home, that’s great! But for those of us who aren’t as lucky, there are tons of options to find a spot to host. 

  • Rent a spot (by the hour) through Swimply! Depending on your location, you can search for a spot to host your event that’s private and appropriate for your guest list. Often referred to as the “AirBnB of pools,” 
  • Check out hotels and resorts. Though many hotels only offer their pool decks to guests, you may find plenty in your city that offer day passes for a small fee. Of course you’ll want to determine if there are any restrictions for larger parties, decorations, and outside food and beverages. However, a hotel pool can provide an elevated, worry-free experience for you and your guests. Websites like Resort Pass can help you find locations and purchase passes. 
  • Rent an AirBnB with a pool. One of the latest features on AirBnB’s search platform is selecting properties by amenity. If you’re planning a weekend or a few days away, choosing a property with a pool can help ensure you’ve got the place to yourself and reduce any restrictions on party fare. 
Brightly-colored pool floaties.
Photo by Toni Cuenca

Make sure your decor is waterproof 

Nobody likes a soggy streamer, so find decor that can create your pool paradise and stay in tact. 

  • Floating lanterns. Set the evening mood with some whimsical, elegant lanterns. They’re easy to use and can be found at most party stores and online. We recommend using battery-powered votives, but if you’re so inclined (and you’re safe), go for the candle votives. 
  • Pool floats. From watermelon and pizza slices, to flamingos and unicorns, the variety of novelty pools floats is endless. You can also opt for some more practical floats, like floating hammocks and loungers. 
  • Pool toys. Though less decoration, pool toys can add pops of color, function, and of course, fun to the party. Water balloons, water guns, beach balls, even a volleyball net are fun and engaging items to add some flare to the pool.
Pile of rolled pool towels.
Photo by engin akyurt

Tailor your party favors to the moment 

Everyone loves a good party favor…especially when they’re usable at the party. Treat your guests to some fun (and practical) items to thank them for coming. 

  • Beach towels. Though they can be a bit pricey, these are favors that your guests can use again and again. If you’re feeling like a splurge, consider personalizing them. 
  • Insulated cups. As practical as they come, an insulated cup will keep the drinks cool and contained. Another great item to consider personalizing, too. 
  • Sunglasses. Inevitably, someone will forget their sunglasses. Avoid a day of squinting by providing some cute, vibrant sunglasses. 

Stay safe!

Safety should always be the number one priority. Sunshine, heat, and party activities can be a dangerous combination, so make sure you’ve got the basics in place. 

  • Stock your supplies. Make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen, cold water, and a first aid kit are important items to keep on hand.
  • Enforce pool rules. “No running!” – Every lifeguard in the world. But seriously, enforcing pool rules with your guests is the easiest way to make sure you avoid injuries and accidents. 
  • Watch out for inclement weather. No matter how well you prepare, the weather can always put the ultimate damper on your pool party. Make sure you’re ready to move things indoors should a surprise shower or storm pop up. 


Pool parties are the ultimate way to stay cool while still celebrating this summer. Creating an atmosphere that is fun, safe, and creative can elevate your party to the next level and keep your guests talking about it all summer long. 

Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and a proud Cleveland sports fan, and says hello to every animal she comes across.