18 Ideas for Throwing a Pool Party That Makes a Big Splash

Throw the best pool party this summer with this fun inspiration.

It's time to make a splash this summer! Host your very own pool party to beat the heat. It doesn't matter if your pool is above ground or below ground, we've gathered tons of fun ideas to make your party pop. Whether you're entertaining adults or children, these pool party ideas will be a hit. Try whipping up a platter of fresh veggie skewers or set up a build-your-own mimosa cart. Your guests will want to dive into these festive summer party ideas.

two women near pool with mixed drinks
Rebekah Photography

Read on for our best summer pool party ideas from poolside treats to DIY decor. Finish your pool party with a homemade cocktail and ice cream sundae bar.

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Themed Party

food table with grass skirt white cart
Adam Albright

Have a theme! Whether it's a color scheme or one of our favorites like a luau-themed party—let your imagination run wild. Use bright summer colors to help tie everything together.

Related: 25 Easy Summer Party Ideas

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Outdoor Picnic


Take your picnic beyond the basket! Lay down a cute rug or outdoor blanket. Add throw pillows, candles, flowers, and other cute decor items to help create the pool party atmosphere.

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DIY Snack Boats

snack boats stuffed with almonds
Jason Donnelly

Break out your origami skill and get crafty. These DIY snack boats will add the perfect touch to your pool party. Fill with fun snacks like nuts, candy, dried fruit, or popcorn.

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Drink Cart

mimosas banner on serving cart at poolside
Adam Albright

Stay hydrated pool side with a drink cart. Dress up a simple utility cart with a purchased banner and fresh flowers to make your beverages mobile. Mix up a range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink pitchers on top. Keep utensils, cups, and ice on the second level for easy access.

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Yard Games

kids playing disc tic-tac-toe outdoors
Kinzie Riehm

Need a break from the water or the lounger? Get your guests off their feet for some oversized yard games. Get creative and play tic tac toe with frisbees by taping out a grid on a large sheet.

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pink sunglasses with script on rattan table
Rebekah Photography

Surprise your guests with sunglasses! Use them as a fun party favor that guests can slip on to help block the bright sun.

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Fun Floaties

pool with bright inner tubes and balloons
Rebekah Photography

What pool party would be complete without oversized, dazzling pool floats. If your party has a theme, pick floaties to match like swans, flamingoes, unicorns, or food shaped ones.

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Inner Tube Cooler

watermelon inner tube with fruit-infused bottles
Rebekah Photography

Your drinks will be pool proof if you turn an inner tube into a cooler. Set a bucket in the center. The bucket has to be bigger than the inner hole of floatie so it doesn't fall through.

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Veggie Tray

various vegetable kabob skewers
Rebekah Photography

Fresh in season veggies will shine on the snack table. Add them on a skewer in a color gradient to make them look like a rainbow. Place them on a fun party platter so guests have easy access to nibble.

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Drink Pitchers

Cucumber Limeade

Honey, cucumbers, and limes work together to create a rejuvenating drink. Whip up enough to fill a pitcher to refresh all your guests.

Recipe: Cucumber Limeade

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String Lights

string lights hanging on patio at dusk
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Make your party twinkle! Add some special string lights around your house or backyard for a sweet glow. Once the sun starts to set, your pool party will look magical.

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Water Balloons

blindfolded girl swinging bat at hung water balloons
Gretchen Easton

Break out the water balloons. It doesn't matter how old your guests are—they'll love throwing them at one another. For a fun twist, tie them to a clothes line and use them like mini piñatas.

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S'more Cups

smores treat boxes
David Tsay

A staple of summertime, s'mores are a must have. Skip the mess and put together little s'more cups out of recycled berry containers. Place a napkin at the bottom of each to help with sticky fingers and melted chocolate.

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Grill Out

grilling veggies on a gas grill
Kalim / Adobe Stock

Avoid making a mess in the kitchen by grilling up something tasty. Grill up some hotdog, hamburgers, and kabobs for an easy variety. For a more complex meal, try ribs or barbequed chicken.

Recipe: Tamarind BBQ Chicken

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Sundae Bar

outdoor ice cream bar
Buff Strickland

Cool off from the summer heat with a sundae bar. These sweet treats will be huge crowd pleasers. Stock up on your favorite toppings and flavors for tons of yummy combinations.

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Pops of Color

white poolside table with snacks hat sunglasses
Adam Albright

For the ultimate pool party, add bright summer accent colors and decorations. From outdoor pillows to balloons—make your outdoor space pop with pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.

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Themed Cupcakes

Beach Party Cupcakes

Make your pool bash extra special with themed cupcakes. For these beach inspired treats, crush up graham crackers to use as sand. Create super easy waves on part of the cupcakes with store bought gel icing.

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Thank You Tags

pool party favors
Carson Downing

Gratitude is priceless. Thank your guests with adorable DIY tags you can attach to goggles, pool toys, or snack baggies.

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