30 Fun Pool Party Ideas for Summer 2024

This won't be your average pool party.

Lauren Miolene


Sunshine and warm weather is finally here which means that pool party season is officially in full swing. Get the sunscreen, beach balls, and flip flops ready because these pool party ideas, decorations, and activities are sure to make a splash this summer.

Whether you’re planning a birthday party, small get-together, or summer celebration, there is always a reason to host a pool party. While you can never go wrong with a classic poolside BBQ, it’s time to change things up this year with these fun pool party ideas.

Here are some fun pool party ideas to make a splash this summer:

Choose a Theme

pool party ideas - choose a themePhoto: Kindel Media/pexels.com

All of the best parties have themes (that's our motto here on The Bash!) and a pool party is no different. Go for something summer inspired like tropical or  Margaritaville, or go the nostalgic route like an 80s or 90s theme. Check out more of our favorite summer pool party theme ideas:

Pro Tip: Incorporate one of these party themes for adults at a pool party this summer.

Steel Drummer

pool party ideas - steel drummerPhoto: Ihor Koptilin/shutterstock.com

Bring laid-back island vibes to your pool party when you hire a steel drummer. This solo musician (or full band if that's what you're looking for!) will provide mellow background music that will have all pool party guests feeling like they've been transported somewhere tropical.

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Ice Cream Truck

pool party ideas - ice cream truckPhoto: Nino Sanger/pexels.com

The jingle of an ice cream truck is a signature sound of summer. Who doesn’t love getting an ice cream cone or popsicle delivered right to them? If you’re looking for creative pool party food ideas, find a food truck to make a special appearance during your upcoming pool party.

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Bring Your Own Board

pool party ideas - bring your own boardPhoto: hkalkan/shutterstock.com

Based on the TikTok trend, bring your own board is a perfect pool party idea. Think of this as a charcuterie board, but made up of different snacks and foods that go together or align with a theme. This can be like potluck but for a pool party, where guests can bring their favorite type of snacks to share. Maybe it's a traditional charcuterie board, or a board full of fresh sushi. Someone may opt to bring a board full of chips and dips, or maybe the makings for s’mores. 


pool party ideas - bartenderPhoto: Dulin/shutterstock.com

Keep everyone cool and hydrated at this pool party with the help from a professional bartender. These trained mixologists will be able to shake up everything your guests want; including all of the trendiest sips like Aperol spritzes and espresso martinis. You can never go wrong with a bartender; they make one of the best pool party ideas for adults.

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Hula Lessons

pool party ideas - hula lessonsPhoto: J.A.CALA/shutterstock.com

Get everyone out of the pool and moving and grooving with some hula lessons. Hire professional hula dancers to come entertain guests and teach traditional hula. This will be a great pool party idea if you're having a tropical or luau theme.

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Cocktail Making Contest

pool party ideas - cocktail making contestPhoto: Zak Chapman/pexels.com

Have guests create their favorite summer cocktails (and mocktail versions) and craft them on the spot. Everyone will share why their cocktail is their favorite along with ingredients. Have someone be a judge for different topics like presentation, taste and flavor, delivery, and more. Party guests will enjoy sipping different drinks while lounging poolside.

Incorporate Nautical Vibes

pool party ideas - nautical vibesPhoto: Andrey_Vasiliskov/shutterstock.com

If a tropical aesthetic isn’t the vibe for your summer pool party, seas the day with a more sophisticated nautical theme filled with anchors, seashells, and other marine decor. Incorporate pool toys as decoration by using floats and retro life preservers in the outdoor area, and prepare a raw bar to help enhance the ocean feeling.

For this theme, stick with a traditional red, white, and blue color scheme for a classic, New England summer feel.


pool party ideas - balloonsPhoto: Kittyfly/shutterstock.com

Balloons are one of the most affordable and fun decor options available that will definitely amp up a pool party. Select balloons to match your color scheme and tie them together to create floating garland. Balloons not only act as simple decor, but also make a fun and colorful backdrop for photos. You can even add them into the pool for decor that doubles as a pool party activity.

Barbie Pool Party

pool party ideas - Barbie pool party ideasPhoto: Artie Medvedev/shutterstock.com

The Barbie trend is not going away anytime soon, so bring out the pink pool floats and towels for the ultimate Barbie pool party. Serve all pink food and cocktails, encourage guests to dress in their favorite Barbie inspired bathing suits, and make sure to have plenty of pink beach balls. Get the party started with our top Barbie pool party ideas for the summer.

Photo Booth

pool party ideas - photo boothPhoto: Danielle MacInnes/shutterstock.com

Summer is the perfect opportunity to take a break from your phone, plus it’s difficult to see the screen in the sun anyway! Rather than keeping track of cell phones around the pool, snap photos and make plenty of fun memories with a photo booth. Get summer inspired props and themed backdrops to add to the pool party ideas.

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pool party ideas - brunchPhoto: Molishka/shutterstock.com

What can beat a poolside brunch? Keep things simple by hosting your next pool party in the late morning and serve mimosas, a DIY bagel spread, and an assortment of pastries. Consider booking a florist to fill the pool area with floral arrangements and centerpieces for a classy pool party. Bonus points if you create a champagne tower.

Glow in the Dark Party

pool party ideas - glow in the darkPhoto: bluesnote/shutterstock.com

If you’re searching for kiddies pool party ideas, look no further. Swim under the stars and enjoy a beautiful summer evening by adding glow sticks to your swimming pool area. Most likely available at your local dollar store, stock up on glow sticks with different bright colors to light up the night—literally. Kids and adults of all ages will have fun diving to pick up the glow sticks or just enjoy a summery night.

Pro tip: To add to the glow theme, decorate the pool area with paper lanterns and twinkling lights too.

Pool Noodle Garland Decor

pool party ideas - pool noodle garlandPhoto: Pretty Life Girls

A fun pool party decoration idea for the summertime is this pool noodle garland that uses supplies you probably already have. All you need to do is find colored pool noodles to match your theme, cut carefully using a knife, and string them together like giant beads. This DIY decoration is quick and adorable to display this summer. 

Classic Lawn Games

pool party ideas - classic lawn games

Whether it’s a get-together for the kids or adults, everyone will have fun with different pool party games and activities. Keep everyone entertained by filling up water balloons, loading water guns, and setting up favorites like Cornhole or Kan Jam.

Party Inflatables

pool party ideas - party inflatablesPhoto: Brocreative/shutterstock.com

The sign of a fun outdoor party is a water slide, bounce house, or obstacle course. To take your event to the next level, consider booking fun party inflatables, especially if you're on the hunt for kiddies pool party ideas. Start your search for local vendors on The Bash.

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Outdoor Movie Night

pool party ideas - outdoor movie nightPhoto: Impact Photography/shutterstock.com

An outdoor movie night is an oldie but a goodie. Find an outdoor movie screen rental available in your area or use a projector on a white sheet to view your favorite summer film. You can either set up seating in your pool area or blow up plenty of floats for guests to watch from the pool.

To add to the pool party theme, we recommend watching summery or beachy movies including Mamma Mia, Moana, or Jaws to help set the tone.

Pro tip: If you have the space, set up a bonfire or fire pit, a s’mores station, and popcorn for the ultimate movie viewing experience.

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Make Ocean Slime

pool party ideas - ocean slimePhoto: A Pumpkin & A Princess

Any kid’s pool party needs at least one activity to keep the little ones occupied, and DIY slime is always a crowd pleaser. All you need to create this under the sea activity is glitter glue, contact lens solution, baking soda, jars, and little plastic sea creatures. 

For the full instructions on how to create ocean slime pictured above, check out A Pumpkin & A Princess.

Hire a DJ

pool party ideas - DJPhoto: Ivanko80/shutterstock.com

Sometimes pre-made playlists just don’t cut it for a party. Depending on the energy and ambience you want to create for your backyard pool party, consider booking a DJ to spin all your favorite tracks. For inspiration on song requests, check out our ultimate summer playlist.

Dirty Martini Inspired Food

pool party ideas - dirty martini foodPhoto: Grilled Cheese Social

If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve definitely seen the latest food trend: dirty martini. This isn’t just a classy cocktail anymore, people are incorporating the salty and savory flavors to all kinds of dishes. Keep your pool party food ideas on-trend by whipping up dirty martini pasta salad or dirty martini dip to pair with your cocktail.


pool party ideas - floatchellaPhoto: DisobeyArt/shutterstock.com

For a totally Instagrammable pool party, the more pool floats, the better. Search online for bright and colorful floats that guests will want to use as a prop in their next post. A few of our favorites include this watermelon inner tube, unicorn, and balloon animal float.

Pirates and Mermaids

pool party ideas - pirates and mermaidsPhoto: Verena Geis/shutterstock.com

A summertime costume party is highly encouraged, especially when it’s a pirates and mermaids theme. Channel your inner Jack Sparrow or Ariel for a one of a kind pool party that will make the whole neighborhood jealous. Take things to the next level by hiring professional costumed characters to interact with guests and set the tone.

If there are pirates, there must be buried treasure! Host a treasure hunt leading to a chest filled with a prize, drinks, or other pool party favors to guarantee a swashbuckling good time. For treasure hunt inspiration, tips, and ideas, visit Playdates to Parties.

DIY Giant Cooler

pool party ideas - DIY giant coolerPhoto: HGTV Home

Sometimes filling and using coolers for a pool party is more of a hassle than it seems. Prevent the awkward cooler search by allowing guests to view their drink options with ease. All you need is a mini inflatable pool, ice, and your drinks of choice to create a giant cooler. One of the best parts is that it also doubles as decor!

We also recommend using something fun like a wheel barrow to act as a bar cart filled with ice and your favorite beverages.


pool party ideas - caricaturistPhoto: Jeffrey Soh/pexels.com

Keeping everyone entertained at a party is a full time job, that’s why it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Whether you’re searching for pool birthday party ideas or just brainstorming for your annual summer get-together, a caricaturist is one of the most popular entertainers that will make your event extra memorable. Plus, it doubles as a party favor for guests to take home.

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Poolside Dinner Party

pool party ideas - poolside dinner partyPhoto: Irina Lev/shutterstock.com

Dinner with a waterfront view is always a good idea for the summer. Whether you order pizza from your favorite restaurant, host a clambake, or create a DIY taco bar, guests are sure to enjoy eating their meal poolside.

Don’t know what to serve? We’ve got you covered! Rather than brainstorming pool party food ideas, treat your guests to a classy meal prepared by a professional catering team.

Beach Party

pool party ideas - beach partyPhoto: Ivanko80/shutterstock.com

Bring the excitement of the beach right to your pool without the sticky sand, seagulls, or seaweed. Set up umbrellas in the surrounding area, lay beach towels underneath them, and make these adorable drinks served in pails with straws to match the theme. For the full recipe and instructions, visit Lake Life State of Mind.

Poolside Karaoke

pool party ideas - poolside karaokePhoto: LightField Studios/shutterstock.com

You can never go wrong with karaoke, it’s a party classic for a reason. Book a karaoke DJ to bring all of the equipment, choose your song from our epic karaoke playlist, and start practicing your performance. Karaoke makes the perfect pool party activity for once the sun goes down and it starts to get chilly outside.

DIY Taco Bar

pool party ideas - DIY taco barPhoto: Los Muertos Crew/pexels.com

Tacos make for one of the best pool party food ideas because they’re extremely easy to customize. Offer a variety of fillings like chicken, shrimp, cauliflower, and of course classic toppings like pico de gallo, sour cream, and fresh cilantro. Serve these with options like corn and flour tortillas, or even over lettuce and rice for guests to build their own tacos.

Water Sports Tournament

pool party ideas - water sports tournamentPhoto: Sergey Novikov/shutterstock.com

For a fun pool party activity, set up different water sports stations around the pool area, like  water volleyball, water polo, or even a mini water basketball hoop. Divide guests into teams for a tournament style and let the games begin!

Graduation Pool Party

pool party ideas - graduation pool partyPhoto: emilyyya/shutterstock.com

If you have someone graduating this year, plan a special graduation pool party for them to celebrate big. Set up an achievements table, decorate with school colors, and order plenty of sweet treats like smart cookies and a special cake. Fron more graduation pool party ideas on The Bash.

Find more summer party ideas and inspiration here on The Bash.

Published on 5/9/2024