20 Ways to Make Your Summer Pool Party the Stuff of Instagram Legend

If anyone dares to throw you in the water, #4 might soften the blow.

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Sugar & Cloth

Where's the pool party at? Oh, that'd be your place. With fruity cocktails, festive floats, and creative pool party ideas for bright, colorful decor, you'll have the kind of get-together people rave about (and #TBT) for years afterward. Trust.

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Eye Swoon
Boho Tablescape

Set a long, low table and bring rugs outside for a super-relaxed, family-style meal. The more mud cloth and floor pillows, the better.

See more at Eye Swoon.

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Courtesy of Sugar and Charm
Set Up An Ice Cream Bar

Frozen desserts are a must. This DIY ice cream bar is the easy way to serve a crowd — plus, it's just fun.

See more at Sugar and Charm.

BUY NOW Ice Cream Scoop, $12, amazon.com

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Nicole Franzen
Come Up With a Theme

Give your pool party a dress code and then decorate for the theme accordingly. Some ideas include tropical or all-white for a classic, dressier pool party. Or you could get weird and choose a TV show as a jumping off point or something oxymoronic, like summer goth and let your guests get creative.

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Put Out Some Punch

Fruit punch screams summer pool party. Serve it up in a bronze bowl and ladle, and it'll look even more refreshing.

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The House That Lars Built
Pool Balloons

Need a cheap and easy decor idea? These pool balloons might just be cuter than flamingo floats.

See more at The House That Lars Built.

BUY NOW Assorted Color Party Ballons, $11, amazon.com

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Courtesy of Sugar & Coth
Dress Up Your Bar Cart

Keep the drinks flowing by setting up your bar cart outdoors. To make it extra summery, top it with a variety of palm leaves and tropical flowers.

Get the tutorial at Sugar & Cloth.

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Courtesy of Sugar & Cloth
Get Your Pets Involved

These DIY pool-float dog costumes will get all the likes. And you can reuse them for Halloween!

Get the tutorial at Sugar & Cloth.

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Nicole Franzen
Lay Out Some Games

Put out a deck of cards for any guests who'd rather stay on land. You could also put out some less conventional card games, like tarot cards and bring in a fortune teller to entertain guests.

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STUDIO EMP
Sunscreen Station

A sunscreen station is an ingenious way to entice a large group of guests to re-apply — especially when you've got kids running around. Add some hydrating mists, and everyone will love you forever.

See more at Inspired By This.

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Courtesy of Sugar and Charm
Add Plush Seating

The more colorful your party is, the better. Set up bright and patterned pillows and blankets on the deck for a poolside-picnic effect and for extra lounging space.

See more at Sugar and Charm.

BUY NOW Indoor/Outdoor Pillow, $31, anthropologie.com

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Nicole Franzen
Set Up Wine Tasting Station

Bring in a sommelier for a mini wine tasting lesson. It'll be a fun activity to keep people busy if they don't want to mingle or splash around in the pool.

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Courtesy of Sugar and Charm
Buy Cute Straws

Match your drink to your pool float!

See more at Sugar and Charm.

BUY NOW Flamingo Straws, $, amazon.com

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Nicole Franzen
Rent a Space

Don't have a pool in your own backyard? Go all out by renting a hotel or local pool for the day. Or research which hotels in your areas have pools and see if any of them every host parties—then round up a group of friends to purchase tickets and attend together.

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ZAN PASSANTE
Make It Kid Friendly

Make it kid-friendly with an arts and crafts station. If there are going to be a lot of little kids running around, you may want to consider bringing in a lifeguard for the day, too.

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Kathryn Wirsing
Cute Floats

Blow up donuts, flamingos, unicorns, and pineapples for your guests. The crazier the float, the cuter the Instagram photo.

BUY NOW Pool Float Donut, $20, amazon.com

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Mary Britton Senseney
Fire Up the Grill

Is it even summer if you aren't grilling? Cover grilled steak kabobs with an orange-jalapeño relish for a jolt of heat.

Get the recipe from Country Living.

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PETER MURDOCK
Plan Ahead to Avoid Messes

Open up your pool house instead of inviting guests to trample through the main house. If that's not an option, put up signs and make towels available for your guests to dry off before coming into the house to the use the restroom.

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Nicole Franzen
Set Up a Fire Pit

If you want to keep the party going after the sun goes down and the air starts to get crisper, just move over to a fire pit. This warm conversation pit will keep the party going into the wee hours. Don't worry if you don't have one already—there are tons of affordable portable options out there.

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Danielle Occhiogrosso
Keep Food Light

Keep food light — like this salad rich in heart-healthy ingredients like avocados, beets, and spinach — so you don't feel too bogged down to swim later (after the requisite 30-minute wait period, of course). Plus, it's super easy to throw together in a snap. Win-win!

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping.

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Bakerella
Bake On-Theme Desserts

These cute little cake pops are as fun to make as they are to eat. Serve them up at a dessert table, or give them as party favors.

Get the recipe from Bakerella.

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