30+ Ideas to Help You Throw an Epic Pool Party

Sergey Novikov/ Shutterstock
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This summer, get ready to make a splash. We’ve got the scoop on how to throw the coolest pool party on the block, from the best swimming pool games (move over, Marco Polo) to fun food ideas and unforgettable favors. Read on for all the details.


Set the mood and let your party-goers know how big of a splash they’re in for with bright colors and festive accents. From beach balls to pool noodles, here’s how to make your party look picture perfect.

Frog Prince Paperie

1. Tissue Paper Pineapple Poufs

Add a pop of color to your decor with this fabulous idea from Frog Prince Paperie. Bright yellow poufs are transformed into cute pineapples—just the thing to give your party a tropical, island-inspired vibe. Click here to learn how to make your own.

Me and My Insanity

2. Jellyfish Lanterns

Give your pool party that under-the-sea vibe with these whimsical sea creatures from Me and My Insanity’s Mermaid Birthday Party. All you need are some colorful paper lanterns and some crepe party streamers and ribbon to match. Create the look with these simple steps.

Studio DIY

3. Beach Ball Garland

You can buy mini beach balls or make them on your own for this simple, but stellar garland. All you need is a little paint, styrofoam balls and string! Get the tutorial over at Studio DIY.

Bashery & Co.

4. Mermaid Table Setting

If your guests seem to love spending more time in the water than on dry land, bring the sea tableside with mermaid decor like this spread from Bashery & Co. They won’t mind coming out of the water to eat with seashells and glitter to gaze at.

Dukes and Duchesses

5. Balloons in a Pool

Make your pool extra colorful and fun by throwing balloons into the mix! It’s a fun and affordable idea that’ll get kids rushing for more water play. Attendees of the Dukes and Duchesses’ party certainly had a blast.

Spaceships and Laser Beams

6. Popping Colors

Summer is all about bright candy colors. You can easily (and affordably) add lots of color with nothing more than plastic dollar store tablecloths like this pool party from Spaceships and Laser Beams. Cover your food table with one and then drape the second tablecloth on the wall for a fun backdrop like the one pictured. 

Judi Knight via Flickr

7. Inflatables

From flamingoes to donuts, pool inflatables come in all kinds of fun shapes and sizes. They can add a splash of color to the main attraction—your pool—and smaller ones can serve as DIY ice chests or just whimsical table decor. 


You’ll want to offer plenty of snacks and treats to keep your guests energized. Check out all the cute and clever ways to keep them fueled up below.

8. On-the-Go Desserts

Let's face it, a party with store-bought goodies is still a great party. If you're short on time, consider buying something from your local grocer and calling it a day. From dairy-free offerings to chocolate waffles, you can run the gamut from totally unique to classic with a healthy twist—depending on your party theme. 

Mama Cheaps

9. Fish Food Snack Mix

Kids can fuel up as they play the afternoon away with this genius snack mix from Mama Cheaps. With some “fishy” ingredients mixed in, it’s perfectly on theme. Click here to get the recipe.

Inspirational Mama

10. Watermelon Shark

How cute is this edible idea from Inspirational Mama?! It’ll look amazing as the centerpiece of your party, and kids are sure to gobble up all the fruit. And it’s easier to pull off than you might expect—click here for a step-by-step guide, plus some tips on picking the perfect watermelon.

Hostess with the Mostess

11. Pool Noodles

Those colorful pool noodles aren’t just great for water play, they’re also delicious. Well, they are when they’re made of licorice. Give your party guppies a sweet treat with this adorable idea for Pool Noodle Licorice from Hostess with the Mostess.

Mimi's Dollhouse

12. Snow Cone Cupcakes

Can’t decide between serving cake or ice cream? These adorable Snow Cone Cupcakes from Mimi’s Dollhouse are the perfect compromise. They look refreshingly delicious, but you won’t have to worry about them melting in the heat.

Poet in the Pantry

13. Sand Dollar Cookies

How cute are these sand dollar cookies from Poet in the Pantry? Your little sous chef can get involved rolling the cookies in cinnamon sugar and putting the sliced almonds on top. Find out how to make these snickerdoodles gone beachy by clicking here.

I Sing In The Kitchen

14. Bear on the Beach JELL-O

Yum! For those with a sweet tooth, these JELL-O pools topped with fancy umbrellas and cute gummy bears will be a hit. Kids won’t be able to get enough sweet delight. Guarantee a line of happy smiles with this recipe from I Sing in the Kitchen.

Crissy Crafts

15. Snack Table

Prepare a snack bar full of healthy choices to keep your kid’s energy up for the day. Let them load up on their dose of fibrous celery, fruit and wafer snacks. Crissy Crafts cleverly decorated her fruit platter to look like a beach ball. Amazing!

Maryland Pink and Green

16. Pool Water Punch

Just one sign can change everything. Bethany from Maryland Pink and Green labeled her punch pool water, resulting in many snickers and giggles from the kids.

frozen popsicle

17. Tasty Popsicles

Cool the kids down without any added sugar with these refreshing Honey Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles. For more delicious flavors check out our astounding list of 26 drool-worthy popsicles that are healthy, fresh and downright perfect for beating the summer heat.

Ever After in the Woods

18. Mermaid Tails

Pretzels plus colorful chocolate equals adorable mermaid tails! Perfect for an after school snack or a mer-themed party, these easy to make tails use melting chocolates, sprinkles and simple pretzel rods, but look like a million bucks. Get the easy recipe from Ever After in the Woods.


There’s more to water play than splashing and swimming laps. Whether your kids can swim in the deep end or like to use pool floats in the shallow end of the (wading) pool, here are some fun games that’ll have them hopping with excitement.

Shelley Massey

19. Water Balloon Piñata

Skip the candy and let the party piñata sprinkle your guests with water instead. Hang overfilled water balloons in a tree or play structure and stand back while they take turns swinging a plastic bat or paper tube to see how many they can burst. Check out more fun water games here.

Mike Spasoff

20. Classic Pool Party Games

You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on planning some awesome activities for your guests. Keep them entertained and splashing with something as simple as a cannonball competition or a good old-fashioned game of Marco Polo. Check out more classic water games here.

Crazy Adventures in Parenting

21. Sponge Ball Toss

Move aside water balloons, there’s a new wet and wild game that’ll last much longer! Follow Crazy Adventures in Parenting to learn how to make these squishy, fun-soaked sponge bombs.

Toddler Approved

22. Ocean Animal Race

Ready, steady, go! Race your ocean animals in a wading pool by squirting them with a hose or a water gun. Kids will have a blast cheering on their friends or favorite animal. Use string to make lanes for a real Olympic race. See what other kinds of ocean animal diving games you can play over at Toddler Approved!

Mommy's Block Party

23. Noodle Sprinkler

You don’t need a pool to have a splashing good time. Turn your garden hose into splash pad sprinkler with nothing more than an inexpensive pool noodle. Get the full directions here from Mommy’s Block Party.

Rain0975 via flickr

24. Kid-Approved Pool Games

There are so many great pool games out there, but one of our favorites involves numbered ping pong balls. Intrigued? Click here to find out more from Life of a Homebody, plus a bunch more awesome games.


Your guests will be having so much fun they might not want to leave, but you can keep the party going with a fun memento from the day. Check out these awesome party favors that your guests will love and appreciate both during the party and long after it’s over.


25. Beachy Jars

Keep things simple (but still super cute) with this idea from Fawn via Everyday Party. Use the free printables to jazz up clear jars with lids, then fill them with candies and small goodies. To get all the details, click here.

Gwynn Wasson Designs

26. Spray Bottles

For some reason, all kids seem to be obsessed with spray bottles, which is why we love this simple idea from Gwynn Wasson Designs. It’ll help your guests keep cool all summer long! Click here to get the details, and don't forget to order those colorful spray bottles

oh goodie designs

27. Towel and Water Bottle

Tell your friends to skip the towels and water bottles because you’ve got them ready—as party favors! oh goodie designs packaged theirs with a ribbon and a colorful label. Need a set of towels? We've found a six-pack that's perfect! 

© KJane Designs

28. Cool Shades

Protect those big eyes from the bright summer glare. Kids from Miss Prim and Me’s pool party got to choose from a chromatic display of super cool shades.


29. Starfish Headbands

Pool hair? No one will care when you outfit your water-loving guests with these starfish headbands from sandsurfcreations.

The Bubbly Hostess

30. Beach Ball Party Invite

Forget the usual paper party invites and give your guests something that will really get them excited about your bash with these Beach Ball Invites from The Bubbly Hostess. It’s like an invite and pre-party favor all in one! Grab a set of 6 beach balls here.

Sandra Winters

31. Sunscreen Station

It might not be super exciting for your young pool partiers, but parents will definitely appreciate this favor. Put out all kinds of toddler-friendly sunscreen that your guests can use at the party and even take home. SPF 50 for the face and a spray-on one that’s waterproof? Check, check! And look at the extra flair Entertain with Jordan gave to her station!

—Shahrzad Warkentin with Christal Yuen


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