Party time! Gather some family and friends and let's have a pool party. The most fun you could ever have around your pool, is when you have guests and are entertaining. It is the perfect time to show off your pool and yard. The key here is preparation. Invitations, menus, helpers, pool, and yard will all need to be taken care of in advance. The more you do ahead of time, the more time you will have to enjoy the party. Start about a month before the party. Make a list of who you want to come. We can't give any advice here. But too many people would not only be unsafe, but we want enough room for eating, swimming, and just laying around.
So, here are a few tips for the pool party, and believe me, we've been to hundreds.
Invites. Get something fun. Hand made invitations are cool, and personal. Another option is pre-printed Pool Party Invitations And, now many people use Evite. A free and easy way to way to send an email invitation to anyone on your email list, with many themes available. Remind everyone to bring a towel and swimming suite.
Recruit. Get some help. The best parties were planned with several people. Get Some helpers. Johnny does the food, Karyn gets the liquor, Steve gets the ice. And be sure to get a name or two for clean up. The end of the night is always the hardest to recruit help, so ask for clean up help before the party. You don't need to clean the whole yard, but you will need to secure the trash, leftover food and such.
Food. Decisions, decisions. You could go all out, roast a pig, Boston Butt, smoked chicken. Or, keep it simple. Finger sandwiches, fruit bowl or just burgers and dogs. The more "self serve food" you offer, the more time you have for fun. But, remember, the first thing people usually remember about a party, is the food. Give your guests something to talk about and remember. It's not too hard to do!
Drinks. You can't have a good pool party without good beverages. But, an open bar can mean a disaster. If everyone is allowed to mix their own beverages, there is always someone who can ruin it for the rest of the guests. If alcohol is served, serve responsible. Make our favorite St. Croix Rum Punch, or serve beer and wine in moderation. Remember, Alcohol use is involved in about 35% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. And please don't let guests who drink, drive. Call your local cab company in advance and set up an account for the evening.
Safety. This one is easy. Call your local swimming pool management company, and hire a lifeguard or two for the event. It's not expensive, and well worth it. Now, see above. If someone has had too much to drink, keep them away from the pool. Things we all take for granted like diving boards, slides and just jumping off the side of the pool, can pose a threat to those impaired, and everyone else trying to have a good time. Keep safety equipment handy, and ALWAYS keep a working phone dry, and near the pool.
The Pool. A week or so before the party, test everything pool related. The lights, the heater, the fountains. Make sure any electrical outlets that will be used are grounded. Trip hazards, excess patio and lawn furniture should be stored, or moved away from the pool deck, to allow easy access to the pool. Add a clarifier to the pool several days before the party. Small unfiltered particles are very easy to see at night with the pool light on, so take that extra step to get your pool as clear as possible. And make sure the pH and chlorine are adjusted. A chlorine residual of 3.0 is perfect. The morning of the party, brush the pool, then vacuum an hour later. Remove your automatic pool cleaner and store it away for the party. Polaris parts are not cheap! Except here.
The Party! The moment we've all been waiting for...Party time! Got enough Tiki torch fuel? Ice? Soda? Make that last minute run to the store and you should be set. With proper preparation, all of the chores are done, and it's time to party. So, fire up the grill, and ice down the punch. It's your turn to relax.