There’s nothing like a pool party on a hot day! Great food mixes with fun with your friends mixes with the refreshing setting of the pool, making it the perfect summer get-together. So now that the warm months are here, it’s the perfect time to throw one. Putting one together at the last minute can seem a little tricky, but with a few key ingredients, you’ll be able to throw the perfect event for you and your friends!

First, make sure to plan a venue. If you have your own pool, then you’re all set, but if you’re wanting to book a public pool for an event, then make sure to call ahead and make the reservation.

Next, plan your guest list. You can’t have a party without people, and if you are organizing a last-minute party, it’s important to first identify who you want at your party and get invitations sent out to them so that everyone can set aside the time to make it. Put together your list of invitees, and then get to work letting them know the important details of where, when and what they should bring. While you can call or text everyone on your list, it may be easier to create an event on social media and invite everyone through that.

Don’t forget to remind everyone of what they should bring. For a pool party you might want to suggest a bathing suit, goggles, towel, sunblock and a hat.

With the guest list in place, it’s now time to plan the menu. Food is a key part of any party, and swimming can really amp up the appetite. Stock up on munchies and finger food style appetizers, as these will allow people to snack intermittently while enjoying the water and visiting with friends. For the main course, consider going with an easy option like hot dogs and hamburgers, corn on the cob and a variety of side salads and dishes. To make things even easier, make your party a potluck and have your guests bring along their specialty dishes. Don’t forget to stock up on drinks and pick up a fun dessert to complete the meal plan!

To make things easier, pick up paper plates, napkins and disposable cups and cutlery. You don’t want to run out of any of these, and you don’t want to be stuck doing a huge amount of dishes once everyone goes home.

Because it’s a pool party, it’s already going to be fun and entertaining, but you can make it even better by planning a few entertainment ideas. Plan to play a few group games in the pool, whether it’s a classic such as “Marco Polo” or water tag or something new and silly. Use the Internet to search for fun new ideas. If you can get a volleyball net, water volleyball can be a great group sport, and you can encourage a little friendly competition.

Don’t forget a little party atmosphere either! Download some new music and put together a party playlist on your phone or MP3 player and bring out a few speakers, or bring a radio out to the pool to get the energy up for a little partying!

You may also want to run out and buy a few cheap pool toys such as noodles or floaties for people to enjoy.

With these few main ingredients, you should be all ready to throw a pool party to remember! Rally a few friends to help with setup and get ready to have a great time!