Our list of creative decor, festive snacks, and other pool party ideas will do the planning for you

What’s better than swimming with friends in the summer? Throwing an epic pool party for your friends! This summer, get ready to make a splash. We’ve got the scoop on the most incredible pool party ideas on the block, from the best swimming pool games (move over, Marco Polo) to fun food ideas and unforgettable favors. So grab the sunscreen, stock up on chic cover-ups, and don’t forget the summer charcuterie board

Looking for other party ideas? Check out the best ways to throw a picnic party, how to host an outdoor painting party, and check out these fun outdoor birthday party ideas.

Pool Party Decor Ideas

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 pool party look picture-perfect.

Tissue Paper Pineapple Poufs

pool party ideas
Frog Prince Paperie

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.

Colors That Pop

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


pool party ideas
Toni Cuenca on Unsplash

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. 

Food Ideas for a Pool Party

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.

Mermaid Jello

Your kids will love this beachy jello recipe! You can customize it with whatever toppings you’d like.

Watermelon Pizza

If the kids are asking for pizza, but it’s not time for dinner, this is the perfect snack! You can use cream cheese icing or yogurt as the topping.

On-the-Go Desserts

picture of kids eating ice cream, one of the best pool party ideas for 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. 

Fish Food Snack Mix

pool party ideas
Mama Cheaps

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.

Watermelon Shark

Inspirational Mama

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. 

Snow Cone Cupcakes

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

Tasty Popsicles

pool party ideas

Cool the kids down without any added sugar with a homemade popsicle. Check out our astounding list of 22 drool-worthy popsicles that are healthy, fresh, and downright perfect for beating the summer heat.

Mermaid Tails

pool party ideas
Ever After in the Woods

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.

Pool Party Activities

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.

Water Balloon Piñata

pool party ideas
Shelley Massey

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.

Classic Pool Party Games

kids playing in the pool

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 swimming pool

games here.

Sponge Ball Toss

pool party ideas
Crazy Adventures in Parenting

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.

Party Favors Perfect for a Pool Party

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.

Cool Shades

© KJane Designs

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.

Starfish Headbands

a cute pool party idea is to give away starfish headbands as party favors

Pool hair? No one will care when you outfit your water-loving guests with cute starfish headbands

Beach Ball Party Invite

pool party ideas
The Bubbly Hostess

Forget the usual paper party invites and give your guests something that will 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.

Sunscreen Station

pool party ideas
Sandra Winters

It might not be super exciting for your young pool partygoers, 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!

Related: 17 Summer Birthday Party Ideas That Never Go Out of Style

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