Warm weather is the perfect time to plan a pool party, and in some ways it's even better to be invited to one. Even if you don't have to do all the planning and execution that goes into a pool party, however, you don't want to show up empty-handed. Make a big splash at the next event you go to by preparing ahead of time and showing up with the perfect party provisions.
Should You Bring Something To a Pool Party if You're Not Asked?
It's not necessarily rude to not bring something to a party, but you'll look great to the host if you've got something with you. Whether you've got some delicious treats, refreshing drinks or pool-time toys in tow, you can definitely liven up a party and it can be a welcome surprise to a harried and stressed party organizer.
Foods to Bring to a Pool Party
Pool parties tend to have snacks and grilled foods like burgers, brats and hot dogs. Bringing something to augment these types of food is always welcome. Some suggestions of snacks might be:
- Potato chips
- Tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole or queso
- Cold salad - potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, quinoa salad
- If you are bringing potato salad or a mayo based salad make sure you have a tray of ice or a way to keep it cold. No one wants food poisoning as a parting gift!
- Fresh Fruit Salad or fruit skewers
- You can do mixed fruit or simple watermelon slices.
- Try freezing grapes and then rolling them in the powder from a packet of Jell-o. They look sparkly and are refreshing to eat.
- Desserts, preferably ones that don't require a fork or plate, like brownies or cookies
It's also worth checking with the host if there's anything they may have forgotten and still need but can't leave to get. Often these are things like condiments, ice or plates and utensils. Asking shows you care and it can really save a host's sanity if they're stressing over something.
Pool Parties Always Need Extra Beverages
Summer days might be great for pool fun, but the heat builds a powerful thirst. Your host is almost certainly stocked with beverages but a few more can't hurt, and if they've underestimated the amount they need, bring more with you can be a lifesaver. Finally, adding a little diversity to what they're already serving is never a bad thing; with so many other variables demanding attention and money, your host cannot be expected to have the perfect drinks for everyone.
Some perfect summer drinks that are easy to transport are:
- Beer, especially brands and styles different from what the host might be providing
- Soda, and the same concept applies here as with the beer; find out what the host has and bring something different
- Iced tea
- Fruit punch
Bringing a variety of beverages will ensure that your own tastes are met and your fellow party goers are happy as well.
Pool Party Accessories
If you've got a favorite party game like pool volleyball or pool basketball, or a favorite float, bring it with you! Parties thrive when everyone is having fun, and few things engage your fellow guests like a fun, diverting game.
Pool noodles and water guns are another safe bet, and if your host is okay with it, a water balloon filling station can be hilarious, good-spirited fun.
Pool Party: Other things to consider
Not everyone will have the foresight to bring sunscreen, towels or hair ties, so packing some extra can make you the hero of the party. Another thing to consider is bringing a cooler with you (bonus points for filling it with ice!). Many times a party host will run woefully short on their capacity for ice and cold drinks. An extra cooler can make everything run more smoothly and really take some stress off your host's plate. Finally, some party cups are always welcome, especially if you're going to a kid's pool party, as people tend to lose track of their drinks and grab another cup each time. It's worth considering bringing a black marker with you as well, to mark your cup so you don't lose your drink.
Being a gracious guest is a lost art
You shouldn't feel obligated to bring something with you when you're invited to parties, unless the host asks, but it's a good way to show your gratitude to the person throwing the party. Additionally, it's always worth asking if your host needs anything, especially if you're just about to leave and the start of the party is approaching; you never know what they may have forgotten. Plan ahead, bring extras and enjoy the summer party season!