5 min readIn Australia, December marks the official start of summer. It’s the time to enjoy the warm weather, relax and put that swimming pool to use!
It’s also the perfect season to hang by the pool with friends and loved-ones. Whether you’re having a BBQ, pool party or just soaking up the sun, don’t forget these 20 poolside entertaining essentials to help you kick off summer with a bang.
Keep your skin protected from the harmful effects of sun exposure by keeping the sunscreen handy. Apply 15 minutes before going under the sun and don’t forget to reapply.
2. Fire pit
Special memories are often made around a bonfire. Set this up outdoors so you and your friends can gather around to share some stories and even roast marshmallows on a cooler summer night.
What’s an Australian summer without a barbecue? A party by the pool sounds fun, but the excitement is kicked up a notch with the glorious smell of steaks and sausages sizzling away on the grill.
4. Citronella candles
While summer means fun, you should not forget about the bugs and mozzies around you. Bug bites hurt, but you can avoid getting bitten by surrounding the pool area with citronella candles–and oh, they make for great romantic pool decorations too!
Find a nice place to relax without using too much outdoor space with a comfortable hammock–just perfect for a quick rest after a dip in the pool. Just remember to install it securely to avoid falls and tip overs.
6. Awesome lighting
Planning to party poolside long into the night? There are a lot of great lighting options out there like bamboo torches, LEDs, lanterns and fairy lights to enhance the party atmosphere.
7. Beverage dispenser
People can get very thirsty during a sunny day. With a large beverage dispenser and an esky, serving refreshments to guests is a piece of cake.
8. Bluetooth speaker
Make party time ace by pumping some feel-good tunes. A high-quality bluetooth speaker comes in handy especially when power points outdoors are in short supply. Bluetooth systems allow you to skip hazardous wires and kick your heels up with your guests trip free.
9. Large patio umbrella
It’s fun under the sun–but of course, not too much! As much as you love the outdoors, you’ve got to seek shade and refuge from the harmful UV rays from time to time. You can get the ‘sun-relief’ that you need with a large patio umbrella or two dotted around your deck or patio.
If citronella candles just don’t suit you, plug in fans and turn on ceiling fans to keep mozzies away. Enough airflow will make it difficult for mosquitoes to fly so make sure to set up fans in areas where you expect more people to settle in.
11. Cocktail cart
Serving up tasty food and beverages poolside isn’t that easy, especially with drinks that may spill and food that can easily get knocked over. Good thing there is a cocktail cart to help you wheel out and serve up treats and beverages in a snap. TIP: Leave it in one corner and let guests help themselves like a mini buffet.
12. Inflatable flamingo
Love the pool, but not yet ready to get soaked? Get a cute flamingo inflatable pool toy. It looks pretty and is large enough for you to lay out on.
13. Adjustable folding tables
An adjustable folding table is a ripper when hosting poolside gatherings, as it allows transfer from one space to another without any fuss. Much more, it’s easy to set up, clean and store away in cooler months for maximum convenience.
14. Cool pool games & toys
Take fun and excitement to another level by coming up with swimming pool games that everyone’s sure to enjoy. Make arvos more exciting by being more creative in planning games and prizes for the kids and big kids at heart. Think underwater treasure hunts, noodle races, Marco Polo, whirlpool and cannon ball contests for hours of summer fun.
15. All-weather furnishings
A well-furnished poolside is key to an awesome outdoor gathering. Give all-weather furnishings a burl as they’re the most practical choice and will last you for summers to come.
16. Mason jars
While mason jars are already popular as drinking glasses, they also have many versatile uses that are just perfect for laid back poolside parties. Make outdoor spaces more charming when you use them to hold beverages, as DIY lanterns, or as personalised table centrepieces with fresh flowers.
17. Party drinks & appetisers
Poolside parties wouldn’t be complete without party drinks and appetisers. Make sure that you and your guests are not sun baked and stay hydrated. Cold drinks and chilled fruits are great thirst quenching choices, since summer is also the season for an abundance of sweet in season fresh fruits and veggies. Try putting frozen grapes into white wine to keep it chilled without watering it down.
18. Turkish towels
Turkish towels make use of a moisture-wicking material, which makes it a convenient option for poolside gatherings. But aside from that, these towels can also wrap you up in comfort during a backyard bonfire. You can also lay it out on the poolside, to sit on when taking a break. When having guests over for a dip roll up your luxury beach towels and place them on your sun lounges for a cool resort style flourish.
19. Underwater camera
Save your non-water resistant smartphone from unruly splashes and accidents by investing in a waterproof or underwater camera to capture all the happy underwater and poolside memories with your friends and loved ones over the silly season.
20. Outdoor pillows
There are practical pieces that are just too important to be missed for poolside gatherings. Simple things like outdoor pillows and throw blankets make it more convenient and comfortable to relax and take a rest poolside.
Do you have anything to add to this list of poolside entertaining essentials? Share with us by commenting below.
If you’re considering installing or renovating a pool check out our 7 tips for successful pool design.