Is there any better party than a summer party? The answer you’re looking for is a resounding “no!” Summer is the perfect time to throw a unique party and we’ve got the ideas covered.

Light Those Tiki Torches

We don’t know what it is about tiki bars that gets people excited, but we completely understand. It’s one theme that never gets old. And the best part? You can keep the tiki vibe going with an indoor/outdoor tiki bar. While the bar is a major part, it’s not the only thing you need!

The perfect tiki party is all about tropical. Ask guests to wear their Hawaiian shirts or floral dresses and sarongs. Sunblock on the nose, sunglasses and straw hats also fit in. When it comes to food, you’re not doing it right if there’s not smoky-sweet options. Want a cheat sheet? We love this perfect menu from Saveur featuring pineapple, pork, and cocktails galore.

Speaking of cocktails, it’s not just about the drinks themselves but also what you serve them in. Coconut shell cups, hollowed pineapples and tiki mugs are all a great option.

Summer Pool Party Ideas

Anyone with a pool can throw a pool party, but if you want to do it right, you’ve come to the right place.

Pool parties are light, festive and have an almost carnival atmosphere. Make a splash on a hot day with snow cones and frozen drinks. Whenever there’s drinks you’ll want some food, too. You can use the tiki bar list from above or, check out this roundup of 33 pool party snacks.

Besides refreshments, pool parties are all about interacting in and out of the water. Be sure to have games for both in and out of the pool.

Marco Polo is great, but for a unique summer pool party consider adding one thing to your pool. Illuminated balls! These are a delight, with customizable color and flashing patterns. Whether you can get guests organized for a game of volleyball or not, everyone loves bopping a beach ball around.

three in one game table air hockey ping pong pool

Set up an outdoor carpet or mat and start a signup sheet. A multi-game table is perfect– everyone will want to sign up for tournament-style play. It’s also easy to set up quick card and dice games. Don’t worry about cobbling a game together, searching for a deck of cards and enough chips. This set, with high-quality chips, includes everything you need for Texas Hold’em and so much more! Having both of these types of games should make everyone happy. Don’t forget you can also enjoy horseshoes, Yahtzee on a grand scale and other lawn games. 

Colorful Bars Aren’t Just for the ‘Gram

A trend we love, popping up at pool parties around the globe, are snow cone and cotton candy bars. Your snow cone and cotton candy machines want you to use them to their full potential. Here’s how!

Snow-Cone Bar

When entertaining the 21+ crowd, take some time to set up a snow-cone bar that no one can turn down. Replace traditional syrups with flavored spirits, liqueurs, bitters and mixers. Make your snow, put it in a cone, and pour over the flavors you want. Don’t pour in more than 1.5 oz of alcohol–that’s a serving. Garnish and enjoy!

Eating Well has had their eye on 2022’s summer food trends and we agree with them.

On the fruit front, passionfruit is wildly popular right now. Chinola is a great option for your snow-cone bar.

Cucumber is still on trend (is it ever not?) so be sure your bar has a few options that highlight this refreshing summer flavor. Cucumber vodka is a great option and cucumber peel also makes a gorgeous garnish.

Floral flavors are seriously popular right now; especially hibiscus, lavender and rose. The great thing about florals is you can infuse your favorite booze with them. This means you control the flavor intensity. Pop them in a bottle with a hand-written label for the perfect addition to your snow-cone bar. You can also find bitters and syrups in these popular flavors.

snow cone with red yellow and white ice

Don’t forget, there are lots of non-alcoholic alternatives that have great flavors, like those from Ritual.

Your bar will be boring (and your snow cones not so good) if all you have to pour over them is booze. Fruit syrups are an easy-to-make, cheap addition to your bar. People will love playing with the flavors to concoct the perfect treat. And, don’t forget, you can do individual flavors or combine what you have on hand to really have some fun.

Fresh fruit–like citrus and tropical-fruit slices, frozen grapes and cherries–are great garnishes. Dried fruit is also a unique garnish.

Keep it festive (and colorful!) with rock candy on a stick, Twizzlers, lollipops and old-fashioned candy sticks.

Speaking of fruit and candy, the flavor combo we’re enjoying most this summer? It’s a popular treat sold on the streets of L.A. and New York. It's just mango slices with lime juice, chili lime seasoning (Tajin) and chili lime sauce (Chamoy). It’s made into a drink called Mangonada and perfect for snow cones. Just pour over your spirit, fresh mango juice or syrup mixed with a dash of Tajin and one of Chamoy and some lime juice. Garnish with a tamarind stick and you’re good to go!

Cotton Candy Cracker Jack Calliope Sound

We’ve got to let you in on a secret: you can useany hard candy to make cotton candy. Yup! The options are endless. 

colorful hard candies of different sizes in glass jar viewed from top

The great thing about this is it’s so easy and doesn’t take much candy. How easy? Just put Jolly Ranchers or any other hard candy (donot use soft candy) in a bag. Use a hammer to gently break them into smaller pieces. Pour some into your machine and that’s it! Always read your machine's manual before using!

Crush flavors in individual bags and then place them in labeled bowls or jars. How cute would these look in mason jars?! Encourage guests to mix and match. It’s so easy and, honestly, tastes even better than the traditional sugar used.

Feeling Inspired?

These are our favorite ideas for a unique summer party but the options are endless. The key is to have things for everyone to do, snacks to enjoy, and a spread worth taking pictures of.

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