How to host the ultimate pool party

Make sure your party is a big hit if you’re entertaining around the pool this festive season.

The season for pool parties is upon us. Make sure yours is one to remember with these handy tips.

The first thing to do is write a guest list. Given it’s the holiday season, you may have to check who is available and not away on their annual holiday. Your invitation can really set the mood, so decide whether to print and mail, or send one by email. Printed invitations will always have more impact and you can customise them before printing.

If you’re asking guests to bring a plate, it’s best to suggest something for each one to bring. No sense getting a dozen green salads or cheese platters. This means you can plan what you are going to provide in terms of catering.

Consider the theme of your party. It’s summer so you can have some fun with casual clothing themes, such as ‘island life’ or ‘Aussie beach’ themes. You can then set your decor to suit the theme. As it’s a pool party, you’ll need lots of inflatable pool toys and maybe even have races on them. If the weather is going to be warm you can hire a couple of large fans and use them to spray a water mist for people to cool down when they’re not in the pool.

Consider your lighting, flowers, citronella candles to repel insects and even a recycle bin(s) for bottles and cans, so that empties don’t clutter the yard or entertaining area. Alternatively, if you can afford waiters, they can keep the yard clean by picking up as they go. Keep plenty of sunscreen and spare hats available to protect your guests. Make sure there is plenty of shade for guests to mingle under, which might mean you hire a shade tent or two.

Serve healthy snacks, so your guests don’t get bloated on chips and dips. Sliced fruit, fresh nuts, carrot and celery sticks, guacamole, berries, grapes, watermelon and cherries, as well as some savoury items should do the trick. Set up a water stand and keep it well stocked with fresh water and ice, so guests can stay hydrated. You can infuse the water with fresh lemon, lime or orange juice or add mint or cucumber for flavour.

It’s safer to serve drinks in plastic cups than glass, but try to wash and reuse them after the party, rather than disposing of them in the rubbish. If you’re not providing a drinks waiter, make the drink stand easy to access for a few people at a time. Nothing worse than your guests having to line up to get a drink.

Get your playlist sorted so you don’t have to stop during the party to add new music. Portable Bluetooth speakers make it easy to move the speakers around the party, so guests who want to talk can hear themselves without shouting.

You can also mix it up with some cocktails if you have someone who knows how to make and serve them. Here’s how to stock your cocktail bar.