This guest article as written by Lindsey Paholski. All opinions are of the author.
Summer's almost here, and you know what that means: It's time to throw an epic outdoor party! If you?re lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your backyard, so much the better; you can incorporate even more fun activities and ideas into your get-together. Here are a few suggestions to make yours the soir?e of the season.
Prepare your pool
The focal point of a pool party is, of course, the pool, and you can be sure that all eyes will be on yours. In the days leading up to the event, make sure to maintain the appropriate pH balance and clarity in your pool water. On the day of the party, get out there with the skimmer and give your pool a good once-over to get it looking its best. The crystal-clear water in your pool will impress your guests, and you can rest easy knowing everyone will have a great swim.
Decide on a theme
Every great party needs a theme. Whether it's a Hawaiian luau, a tiki party or just your standard cookout, choosing a theme will help guide all your other planning decisions. And of course, if you?re celebrating a child's birthday, there are lots of themed options that work well for pool parties, like ?The Little Mermaid? or ?Finding Nemo.?
Plan the menu
Now that you?ve got your themed squared away, you can start thinking about what types of food you?d like to serve. At a luau, serve up kalua pork and grilled pineapple; quench guests? thirsts with mai tais and pina coladas. For a cookout, the standard fare of burgers and hot dogs is always a hit; throw in a refreshing summer dessert like strawberry cream pie or mint chip ice cream pie to really wow the crowd. Just make sure to prepare enough for everyone, and count on a few extra guests; few dilemmas bring a party to a grinding halt faster than running out of snacks.
Jazz up your party with printables
Further drive home the theme of your party with printable labels. Use these to jazz up water bottles, circle tags and even coloring sheets to keep little ones occupied. Set out colored markers or pens and encourage guests to personalize their labels. Enlist an artistic family member to design your printables before the party; after all, nothing says festive like a personalized ?Johnson Family Barbecue 2015? logo.
Draw up a shindig schematic
Once you?ve sorted out all the small details of your party, give some thought to the layout of your outdoor space. Set up extra chairs around the pool for guests to relax in, and make sure to have a dedicated table or buffet space for food. It's also nice to designate a ?dry only? area in a corner far from the water, where non-swimming guests can chat or kids can play games or work on craft projects. Hang a sign?preferably with the same logo as your printable labels?to let guests know they?re entering the water-free zone, and set a stack of towels near the edge of the area, just in case.
With just a little prep work, you can throw a memorable pool party that you and your guests are sure to enjoy. And on the day of the event, remember to try to have a little fun yourself; after all, you set the tone for the party. A happy, relaxed host makes for happy, relaxed guests. Have fun!