Pool parties feel like a right of passage in some ways, but rarely, if ever, did one get me excited and make me feel I MUST be there, that is mostly. One of my favorite films is 2013’s revisioning of The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and more. Gatsby’s parties were loud, boisterous, and elaborate – indoor pools were utilized in such a spectacular, over-the-top way that made that type of party, those pool moments appeal to me.
Now, few of us have Gatsby’s money or a mansion to throw nightly parties, so we need to get creative, and here are my five picks for a pool party to get even the most reclusive partier a bit curious.
The Polar Plunge
The concept of the polar plunge is simple, as long as you live in a climate that sees a full-blown winter. Invite everyone over the weekend after heavy snow with the intent of cannonballing into the pool. My first polar plunge party wasn’t in a pool, but on New Year’s Day some years ago into Lake Michigan. It was incredibly snowy, and to add to the excellence, there was a squad of stormtroopers and Darth Vader to give the beach a Hoth ambiance.
The key to doing this type of party is creating conditions in which guests MUST jump in the freezing pool. Board games, and drinking games, create fun scenarios where people need to hop into the pool, even for a moment. It creates electric moments and adds stakes to everything you’ve planned to do that day.
Simply remember to dry off, warm up, and be safe before going at it again.
Drive-in Style Movie Night
While part of cinema and American historical culture, the drive-in movie experience has long been extinct. However, a similar vibe can be created with a dozen or so friends, floaties, and a decent projector.
Enjoying a late-night double-feature of classics or B-movie bombs is a great way to get people out of the house and into the pool. Pick the right movies, and you’ll undoubtedly get some of the more enthusiastic members of your group trying to recreate scenes of the movie in the pool.
It doesn’t recreate that drive-in magic, but there’s something about everyone being in a shared space yet individually located that makes the drive-in-style pool movie night special to me.
The premise is simple. Lots and lots of glow-in-the-dark lined decorations and glowsticks lining the pool of the floor. Where you go from there is entirely up to you, but the premise works great for kids, teens, and early adults.
Kids and teens will have a great time with the glow/dance/rave theme that you throw. Anyone remembering the 80s can add style to the neon-lined night and double the night as a costume/throwback night. While not elaborate by any means, you’ll need a healthy supply of glowsticks for people to pick up and utilize as needed.
The Fashionista Mini-Party
This is more of an activity than a full-blown party, but it serves as a great warmer to a fun-filled night and is more than capable of being the night’s ending setting. Getting a makeshift catwalk and having a full-blown bar ready would be great.
The point of this party is to get friends together before a night on the town, with everyone bringing several outfits they could wear. One by one, friends walk out, get critiqued, roasted, and ultimately have their fate for that night decided by their friends. Once everyone’s gone through the gauntlet, it’s time to hit the city, or if the mood is inviting, relax poolside and invite more people to make the party your own backyard.
There are dozens of themes, and these four are only some we’ve held ourself at Aiper parties. What crazy pool party style party would you love to see come to life?