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  • Writer's picturePolly

EPIC Pool Party Ideas for 2023!

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

A summer pool party is such an iconic way to celebrate a summer birthday! But there are plenty of ways to mix it up and add new ideas into the mix, to make your birthday pool party extra fun this year! We've gathered some amazingly fun activities, games, summer snacks, and party items to help you easily plan a party to remember! Whether you're looking for ideas for a kids pool party, teen pool party or adult pool party...We're sure you'll find some creative party ideas that you haven't thought of before!

1 START WITH AN EPIC VIDEO INVITE


Get excited about your party plans and let your friends know all about it, so they can plan to join you in the fun! This pool party video invite is a quick, easy way to let everyone know to gear up for some fun in the sun, and join you poolside, for the birthday celebration of the summer!

  • You can even match your pool floats to the ones shown in the invite! Pineapple Floats, Popsicle Floats and Letter Floats are all great ideas to add to the pool for your guests!

  • A Pool Party Backdrop Banner that has the same look and feel as your invite is also a great choice for photos and fun instagram pics! You can even match that to a full set of pool party tableware!

  • Expand your party beyond the pool with a summery snack table! Add a refreshing summer punch and some festive table toppers to keep the party vibe going!

  • In our opinion, watermelon is a must at any pool party. Here is a cool way to serve it! And if you don't want an actual watermelon, these watermelon kiwi popsicles are sure to impress and will taste amazing! You'll just need a popsicle mold to freeze these into shape or try these DIY ideas instead!

  • Make your memories last at your pool party with a waterproof camera that won't break the bank! It might even be a fun pre-gift for the birthday kid, so they can take PICS and VIDEO underwater with their friends! You'll love laughing at all the moments they've captured on their special day!

Happy Birthday Letter Pool Floats

2 POOL FLOAT LETTERS!!!

Three words....POOL. FLOAT. LETTERS! These Pool Floats are the perfect way to add extra fun to your pool party! Spell out a name like in the video invite above, get the Happy Birthday set, or both! This is a great way to add decoration to your pool party in a way that's unique and fun! It even comes with velcro to keep your letters chained together, so your message stays clear....until everyone jumps in and wants a floaty of their own!

  • Red Letters with glitter inside or Blue Letters with Gold glitter will give any pool party a little extra pop and sparkle!

  • Go for the Gold with these Gold Letter Floaties! These awesome letters are 20" tall and can be purchased as sets or as individual letters. They even have a hashtag floaty for some great insta-worthy party pics!

  • Want to have a cool photo backdrop? The inflatable letters will do the trick, in or out of the pool!

  • If you want to go BIG...Get these bad boys that are a full 60" tall! Gold and Glitter-filled letter floaties that are truly EPIC!


Neon Glow Party Sign

3 GET GLOWING with a NIGHT PARTY!

Have fun in the sun, have a barbecue and let the party GLOW into the night! Or stay out of the sun completely and get your party started after dark. Here are some great ideas to get your party glowing!

  • Solar Powered Inflatable Balls are such a cool way to add light and color to your pool at night. Let them float out in the sun to charge during the day, for automatic glowing orbs at night! Or for a more elegant or subtle glow, try these LED floating flowers!

  • Have a Neon Volleyball game with these Glowing Beach Balls & a Floating Volleyball Net! The net floaty glows too!

  • Get a bonfire started in the evening or fire up the grill to serve up some kabobs! Fruit Kabobs during the day and grilled steak kabobs or veggie kabobs at night!

  • Serve your kabobs and poolside snacks in reusable plastic plates with glowing edges! These come with glow sticks that insert into the edges, and you can even get standard glow sticks to reuse these plates again and again! If you want to go all out, get some glowing cups to match!

  • Play a game of Kan Jam Disc Toss outside of the pool area, for guests that want a break from the water! This is a fun frisbee type of game with glowing discs and goals! Fun for all ages!

  • Glowing Dolphins are fun day or night! These dolphins are fun to knock around or ride through the water. These are seriously fun, so get a bunch so nobody's fighting over this one!

  • Tiny glowing whales...enough said.

  • Glow FOOTBALL! A good game with family or friends can only be made better with a football that glows...a perfect way to round out the evening!

  • And....drum roll please...What is a party without a Giant Glowing Duck, right? Okay, maybe this one isn't for everyone, but it's just too fun not to add to this list!



Water Slide Bounce House Pool Party

4 The NO POOL, POOL PARTY!

How can you have a pool party, without a pool? The kids are going to love this! It might even be better than a traditional pool! Get a water slide bounce house and have a fun pool party without even having a pool (and the year-round pool maintenance!) This is a great idea because they are quick and easy to inflate and attach easily to your garden hose! They also come down pretty quick...just be sure to let it dry before storing! There are many choices, but most average around $300 which is a great deal for an epic party and the amount of fun you'll get from this...not just once, but throughout the summer or in years to come!

  • Pair your new water slide bounce house, with quick fill water balloons for extra fun! We fill them up and let them float all around the pool area of the inflatable! You might also want to try these reusable water balls which are super fun, better for the environment and will save you from cleaning up balloon pieces after the party!

  • Water guns and super soakers will also add to the fun of this No Pool, Pool Party. And if you're like us and hate to refill often, check out these high capacity water guns! For the little ones, these floating pool noodle soakers are always a favorite!

  • Tiny Animal Squirts are so cute and fun to add to the water, for a quick grab and squirt of your fellow party goers! Especially fun for the little ones!

  • Keep in mind that the adults coming to the party, will also want to stay cool! (Although we think they should hop in and join the fun too!) But for those who want to sit on the sidelines, keep them refreshed with a cool lemon slushy that the kids will love too!

  • For cake time, set up a shaded area with colorful beach towels and give everyone a sweet, summery watermelon cupcake! Or go all natural with an actual watermelon as the cake...check this out!


Glitter Pool for Kids Pool Party

5 GLITTER IN THE POOL?

What is a celebration without glitter? Well, we all know that actual glitter in a pool would be an epic mess, but with these ultimate sparkling pool party items, you can still get your sparkle on!



Summer Beach Party with Beach Ball Lanterns

6 BEACH PARTY at the POOL!

Okay, this idea is probably not new to you, but here are a few new ideas you may not have thought to add to your beach pool party.



Reusable Water Balls for Outdoor Summer Party

7 GAMES, GAMES & MORE GAMES!

Everyone loves to play games, whether in the pool, or poolside. It's a good idea to include some of each to have something for everyone!

  • Skip Ball is so fun for all ages and it's great fun for everyone to see it fly across the water. This one requires a pretty big area of water, so keep that in mind if your pool is on the smaller side. Works great for larger pools, lakes and beaches!

  • Catch the Shark! or Catch the Whale! The kids will love this! Have one kid outside of the water with the controller and have the rest chase after it! This is a great way to include a kid that can't get in the water and still let them join in the fun!

  • Dolphin Ring Toss! Toss the rings and see who gets the most! This is a classic game you can play with adults and children alike! It's always a crowd pleaser and also comes in sharks or flamingos!

  • A GIANT HAMSTER WHEEL! Who wouldn't love this? At 65", you'll need a decent size pool for this one, but what fun will be had!

  • Glow FOOTBALL! If your party goes into the night...this one is great fun for a friendly yard game!

  • Ducky Races! Give everyone a ducky and you'll be off to the races! Start at one end of the pool and have everyone push their ducky to the finish line...but no touching the ducky!

  • Water Balls are like water balloons but you don't have to fill them up! Just throw them in the pool or a bucket of water and they'll soak the water right up...ready for throwing at unsuspecting party guests! Soft, yet powerful!



Rose Gold Flamingo Pool Float

8 LET'S FLAMINGLE! POOL PARTY!

GO PINK and theme your Pool Party with Flamingos galore! The tropical feel of a flamingo party is perfect for celebrating around the pool and the decor will make for a vibrant and colorful celebration!

  • Get started with a couple of Flamingo pool floats! And make the rest of the pool sparkle with pink glitter confetti beach balls! Keep in mind that Flamingo pool floats can be pretty big, so for smaller pool areas, consider these Flamingo pool noodles. They take up less space, but they're still super cute and festive!

  • Don't forget the inside, patio and other dry spaces...go pink with various shades of pink streamers and festive pink lanterns and flamingo decor!

  • Flamingo Balloons will also add some flair! But if you're feeling ambitious and want to go all out for this party...get a flamingo balloon arch kit! You don't need to hire an expensive party planner to get this look! With a little time to get it set up, you can have an amazing backdrop for your party and get some fabulous party photos!

  • Keep everyone cool, with a bright pink party snack to stay on theme. These Lemon Raspberry Popsicles will look amazing and you're guests will love them!

  • For the cutest little flamingo snacks you'll ever see...check out these Flamingo Pool Float mini donuts! These would look so cute, displayed on a clean water print table cloth...it will look like their floating in a pool!

  • Stay on theme by serving food and snacks with delightful flamingo plates and napkins. If you're going flamingo, you might as well go all the way!

  • Stay in the pink with your refreshments....Serve a naturally hot pink lemonade in these adorable flamingo cup floats! And to beat the summer heat, be sure to have plenty of water bottles on hand so everyone stays hydrated. Keep them poolside for easy access, along with any other bottled drinks, in a cool flamingo ice cooler!

  • Get everyone laughing and playing together with a fun game of Flamingo Ring Toss! The kids will love it, but it's a surprisingly fun game for adults too! And we think the flamingos look so proud, don't you?

  • If you want to party into the night, some solar powered flamingo lights would be amazing! Pair that with a glowing palm tree or two, to complete the scene!

  • Get ready to start Flamingling with a personalized poolside sign...it will add a touch of extra flair to your party!

  • If this one's for the kids and you're looking for party favors...there are flamingo duckies! Play with them in the pool and then let them take one home! Or send them off with a beautiful flamingo bracelet!



little girl riding a white unicorn float in the pool

9 MAGICAL UNICORN POOL PARTY!

I think we've all seen the unicorn pool floats by now...so the Unicorn Pool Party has to be on this list! There is even a super cute Unicorn Pool Party video invite you can get to invite everyone to what is undoubtedly going to be the most magical pool party ever!


  • Start by picking a unicorn float that best fits your style (and your pool)! Some of these can get pretty big, so be sure to check for a size that will be fun, but still leave room for swimming! Pair that with a floating rainbow drink holder to be sure everyone stays hydrated and happy! Plus it will look amazing in the pool and lights up at night! If you prefer one that is not inflatable, this soft unicorn is super cute!

  • To be sure there are enough floats to go around, get a pack of rainbow colored pool noodles, or add some donut inflatables to the mix...I know they're not unicorns, but somehow they still fit the theme, am I right?

  • For fun outside the pool, get an inflatable unicorn sprinkler! It's always a good idea to have options...Having some water play for kids that can't swim, or when kids get tired of being in the pool, will keep everyone playing and having fun! For the little ones who want to sit and play in the water, a unicorn sprinkler pad might also be a fun thing to add!

  • For fun and games in the pool or out, unicorn squishy squirters let everyone splash each other without having water guns in the mix! Or get a set of 6 unicorn beach balls for everyone to play with! They are seriously cute, with a unicorn inside the ball! These would both make great party favors, if you want to send them home with your guests!

  • If you prefer to get a full set of take-home goodies, try checking out a set like this! It covers up to 8 kids with sunglasses, beach balls and other cute unicorn items that won't get ruined in the water!

  • Decorate with an array of unicorn balloons! Or go all out with a full unicorn balloon arch! If you want to keep the theme going inside...make a rainbow with white balloons at the top (as clouds) and a rainbow of colored streamers! This kit has everything you need and it would be super fun for kids to run through! But you'll want to be sure they are good and dry before that happens! LOL! You've been warned!!!

  • Photo booths are always fun and make for great memories! A unicorn backdrop is an inexpensive way to decorate a large wall space and makes for great photos! Clamp onto stands or just staple to the wall! Perfect as a photo booth or behind the birthday kid as they blow out candles or open their gifts!

  • If you want to let the kiddos take their own photos, give them a kid-safe unicorn camera for only $20-30! Paired with some cute photo props, they will have a ball taking selfies and silly photos of each other...memories to last a lifetime!

  • For the cake and table...you can save money by getting everything you need in one kit! The value here might just let you splurge somewhere else!

  • At a pool party, easy snacks are the way to go! Pink sprinkle donuts or rainbow sherbet would make for quick and easy snacks! Or for something truly magical, make Unicorn cupcakes with a cute ice cream cone horn!

  • For a pool party, you'll want to accessorize with unicorn headbands that can get wet and are not covered in glitter. They also make great party favors and won't get ruined in the water!

  • Games are a must for any pool party! So let the kids get creative with this rainbow ball that can be filled with water for underwater play! Or play a game of unicorn ring toss in the pool! With the unicorn horns on players heads, this one will be a fun challenge! For a yard game outside the pool, a cute bean bag toss will also double as an adorable yard decoration!


Mermaid party decorations with ballon arch garland

10 MERMAID POOL PARTY!

What goes better with a pool party theme than mermaids! There are so many fun ways to make a mermaid pool party extra fun! You can even get the party started by inviting your guests the quick and easy way...by texting them this cute Mermaid Party video invite. With this adorable invite, you get to choose from 12 mermaid options with different hair and skin colors!


  • Since this is a pool party, get some nice waterproof decorations. If you're up for putting it together, get a kit to create your own magical mermaid balloon garland! If you're not that ambitious and want something a little easier, a mermaid backdrop with some plastic bubble garland will look great and won't get ruined if it gets wet! Both options will fill a large area with your theme and make for great photos!

  • Mermaid beach balls are perfect for any mermaid themed pool party! The glittery sparkle stays safely inside the ball and will be fun for everyone to play with!

  • Be sure there are plenty of pool floats...some Mermaid Tail Inflatables will look really cute in the pool and the kids will love them!

  • If the kids are comfortable under water, diving gems make for a great game! They sink down to the bottom, so you can dive down and see who can collect the most gems!

  • Have a scavenger hunt! Hide these adorable ocean animal squirters...around the pool, in the yard, even in the house if you want! Make a list of the items to be found and let everyone loose, to seek out the items on the list. Then afterward, they can be played with in the water!

  • For some water fun outside of the pool, set up a mermaid sprinkler or a sprinkler splash pad with a ring toss built into it!

  • Get a full set of party favors that won't get ruined in the water! Or do something a little different and get a set of sequined mermaid tail purses or colorful mermaid pens for everyone to take home!

  • A cool table runner and few table toppers for the snack table will make things look extra magical!

  • If you're making your own cake, try making mermaid scales with frosting! See how with this recipe. And for some cute edible cake toppers, try some silicone mermaid candy molds! There are a lot of toppers out there that are cute, but not edible, and could be potential choking hazards, so it's best to keep everything on the cake edible...especially for a kids party! Round out your design with Mermaid rock candy! It will give it a splash of color, looks a bit like coral and it's fun to eat!

  • When it's time for cake, a quick snack or a break from the pool, have a large mermaid beach blanket set out in the yard for kids to sit on! It repels water and sand and can be thrown in the wash after the party!



Silly Straws Make Great Party Favors for a Pool Party

11 POOL PARTY FAVOR IDEAS!


Everyone loves a good party favor, and we've covered some great possibilities in the ideas above. But check out the list below for few more ideas, that won't drive you nuts and will make your guests pleased as punch (and will not include small children blowing whistles in your ears!)

  • Pool Towels! If you only have a few guests, or a big budget, give them towels! Everyone needs a towel at a pool party and it's a great party favor if you let them take their towel home with them! Plus, you won't have to wash them afterwards! In case you have a lot of guests and want your towels to stay on theme...check this out!

  • Silly Straws are a great way to be sure everyone knows which drink is theirs! These summery straws can be used at the party and then go home with your guests...because we all know you're not going to want to clean 24 of these things! They are not dishwasher safe, but the squishy fruit comes off and will last longer than the straw for take home fun :)

  • Silicone Straws are great for the environmentally minded! These come in fun colors, are easy to clean with the included straw cleaner and won't get ruined in the pool like paper straws.

  • Sunglasses...28 at a time! These make great party favors and is something that kids forget to bring with them! It also makes a great party photo with everyone wearing matching sunglasses! These are some high-rated smaller glasses for kids age 3-8. And for more outrageous fun and photo ops...these summer themed glasses are amazing!

  • Water Balls are also great because you get a lot of them and everyone can take one home after the party!

  • Tiny Beach Balls are fun to put in a party pack or use as decoration and let guests pick one out to take home!

  • A Bucket of Fun! No paper party bags to mess with while everyone is wet from the party! Give them a beach pail filled with fun toys and anything else you want them to take home from the party!

  • Animal Squirts are fun for everyone, but the little ones will loves these in the pool or to take home for bathtime fun!



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As a busy mom, I need as many time-savers as I can get. And I can't tell you how many times I've found an epic idea online, only to realize that I have no idea where to get this awesome 'must-have' product that my eyeballs have just seen and my heart has fallen in love with.

 

So as you read, you'll see lots of links, that I hope you'll find super useful, to get a good visual, a quick price point and a way to buy, if it's a good fit for you!

 

And, yes, many are Amazon affiliate links that may earn us a little something...so if you put an item in your cart, this busy mom says thank you!

 

But, truly...our reason for spending countless hours pulling these ideas together, is so we can save you time with some great ideas, and get you started in creating your own amazingly Epic Party! So have fun!

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OUR STORY

 

Animation Invitations started as a fun project to do with my daughter. We spend months each year, planning a creative, epic party for her birthday. It's something we have a lot of fun with and have gotten pretty good at! So with my background as a graphic designer, we started sharing our ideas and creating video invitations for all kinds of themed parties! 

We like to think outside the box most of the time, and come up with ideas that are a little different than the norm. And since we work together, you'll get the adult perspective as well as a kid's perspective on what's fun and cool. This carries through in our Party Idea blog as well as our themed video invites!

So, whether you're a busy mom putting together an awesome party for your kids, a teen looking for some cool ideas to party with friends, or an adult looking for fresh, fun party ideas. We hope that you'll find something here that will spark new ideas and help you plan the best party you've ever had! 

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