Develop a Theme
Celebrate special occasions or entertain friends with a pool party. A favorite theme is the Hawaiian pool party. Set the theme with your invitations. When your guests arrive, greet them with leis or seashell necklaces, inexpensive flip-flops, and music from Don Ho playing in the background. Burn a CD ahead of time so the music plays throughout the party, or arrange your tunes on a MP3 player.
Provide beach/shade umbrellas (and sunscreen) for afternoon parties. Fill the pool with colorful beach balls that serve as party favors. Have centerpieces of tropical blooms and fruits, and maybe even a sandcastle. Hang lanterns in trees and set up wind chimes to tinkle in the breeze. At dusk, light a candle path using white bags weighted with sand, and votives. Also, light tiki torches filled with citronella oil to ward off bugs.
Decorate the bar area with a fish net, cardboard surfboards, a grass skirt, and suspended beach balls and swim rings. Fill toy sand buckets with candy. Dinnerware/glasses should be colorful, sturdy, and disposable; make cups out of hollowed coconut halves. Use beach towels as tablecloths.
Have plenty of outdoor tables and pool chairs. Illuminate tables with hurricane candle holders; place a card game on each table. Have a limbo stick at one end of the yard, and scatter some hula hoops. Space permitting, put up a badminton net, or set up pool basketball hoops and pool volleyball sets. Place a washtub filled with water balloons by the pool.
Serve refreshing drinks: iced tea, bottled water, and blended and frozen drinks. Have plenty of ice handy. You can please everyone with a barbeque featuring burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and chicken. Complement with corn, asparagus, potatoes, and pineapple cooked on the grill, and fruit and vegetable salads. Serve desserts, appetizers, and snacks that do not require refrigeration so guests can graze through the evening hours.