Pool Party Fun on a Budget

kids pool partyPool parties are fun for all ages. They can get expensive, but they don’t have to be. You just have to be a little bit creative! Here are some tips on how to host a fun pool party on a budget.

1. Re-Think “Pool”

Renting a public pool for a private party can get pricey. But if you re-think what you mean by a “pool,” it might open up some possibilities…for example, an above-ground, inflatable pool can be a blast, and can often be purchased for much less than a full-sized pool rental.

Sprinklers are another addition for a backyard pool party without an actual pool. And of course, you can combine sprinklers with the inflatable pool. The theme will be more “water fun” than “pool,” but that can often be more enjoyable, especially if there are young kids or kids who can’t swim.

2. Use a Friend’s Pool

If you have a friend with a pool, see if you can trade favors and use their pool for a party. Perhaps you can offer to house-sit while your friend is on vacation, or offer to clean their pool for the next week or two. Maybe you could do yard work for them, or just buy them a restaurant gift certificate. It’s still likely to be less than renting a pool!

3. Make Your Own Invitations

Print out your own invitations to save time, or do electronic invitations. If your party has a theme, get creative and make a 3-D invitation to match your theme. Depending on what you create,  you may need to hand deliver these invitations.

4. Keep It Small

Keep your guest list small to keep costs down. Pare it down to include only those people who you know will come and who are closest to you.

5. Make Your Own Food

If you’re hosting a birthday pool party, then you can bake the cake yourself. Sheet cakes are not difficult, and are easy to transport. Ready-made decorations can be bought for very little if you aren’t into decorating it yourself. And finger foods that hold up outdoors are not too difficult, either. Try making food ahead of time and freeze it so you can do it a little at a time.

6. Favors

For favors and giveaways, check your local dollar or discount store. Sample-sized sunscreen, bathing caps, big hats, sunglasses, travel cups, and even water wings and inflatable toys can often be purchased for very little. Just look for inexpensive, seasonal items.

7. Decorations

You don’t have to spend a lot of decorations, either. A few strings of white Christmas lights from your attic or basement can look great if it’s an evening party. Centerpieces can be homemade, like jar candles. You can also make white string “bubbles.” (Make bubbles by dipping white thread or string in watered-down glue and laying them over an inflated balloon; when dry, pop the balloon.) Blue, yellow, and white balloons are inexpensive and give a festive atmosphere in pool colors.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Let the creative juices flow and you can put together a really fun pool party without breaking the bank!

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