What to Bring to a Pool Party as a Guest: Essential Items

Have you been invited to a pool party and you aren’t sure what to bring? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over what to bring to a pool party as a guest.

what to bring to a pool party as a guest

From the essentials to fun things to bring to the pool, we’ll have you totally prepared so that you can have a full day of fun in the sun without any hiccups. Let’s get started.

Essential Items to Bring to a Pool Party

Swimsuit and Cover-Up

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First and foremost, you’ll need a comfortable and stylish swimsuit. Consider the pool party’s theme or vibe and choose accordingly.

Additionally, bring a cover-up. Not only do cover-ups provide extra coverage when you’re not swimming, but they can also be fashionable and protect you from the sun.

Beach Towel

A beach towel is another must-have. It’s essential for drying off after swimming and can double as a comfortable surface to sit or lie on.

Bring your own towel to ensure that you have a clean, dry place to relax by the pool.

Change of Clothes

As a guest, it’s smart to bring a change of clothes. After a day of swimming and lounging in the sun, you’ll want something dry and comfortable to wear.

Pack a light, casual outfit that’s easy to slip on post-swim, such as a sundress or a pair of shorts with a t-shirt.

Sunscreen and Lotions

To protect your skin from harmful UV rays, make sure to bring sunscreen and apply it regularly throughout the day. Opt for a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Don’t forget after-sun lotion, which can provide relief and hydration for sun-exposed skin. These products will help prevent sunburn and maintain your skin’s health.

Hat and Sunglasses

people lauging while wearing hat and sunglasses

Shade your face and eyes from the sun with a stylish hat and sunglasses. Not only do these accessories offer protection, but they can also complete your poolside look.

Choose sunglasses with UV protection to safeguard your eyes and a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face and neck from direct sunlight.

Flip Flops

Remember to bring a pair of flip flops or water shoes. Wearing these will make it easy to walk around the pool area and keep your feet clean and protected. Choose a pair that’s easy to slip on and off, so you can quickly join in the fun.

Poolside Fun

There’s only so much lounging around the pool before things get boring. Keep the party amped up with some of the options below.

Pool Toys and Floats

people in pool with pool floats

When attending a pool party, you can add to the fun by bringing along some cool pool toys and floats.

Inflatable pool floats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they’re sure to add some excitement to the party.

For example, you might bring a giant inflatable swan or a fun pizza slice float. Don’t forget about pool noodles!

These versatile foam toys can be used for games, as floats, or just for lounging around in the water. Remember, water guns are also a hit, and they’ll ensure everyone stays cool while having a blast!


Spice up the pool party by introducing some entertaining games that can be played both in and around the pool.

Consider bringing a waterproof deck of cards for card games on the pool deck or a floating ping-pong table for some friendly competition.

You can never go wrong with having a beach ball or mini pool balls on hand.

Another option is to introduce water volleyball by setting up a net across the pool, or a pool basketball hoop for some poolside basketball.

These games are sure to get everyone involved and foster a fantastic, competitive atmosphere at the party.


No pool party is complete without some upbeat tunes. Be the life of the party by bringing a portable Bluetooth speaker that’s water-resistant, ensuring it can withstand any splashes or accidental dunkings.

Before arriving, create a playlist that features a mix of popular summer hits and timeless classics that everyone will enjoy.

Don’t be afraid to take requests from fellow party-goers, as it’s essential to cater to a wide range of musical tastes.

Keep the volume at a reasonable level so that guests can still have conversations while enjoying the music, and so you don’t disturb the neighbors too much.

Food and Snacks

You may want to help the host out with food, or if there are any specific foods that you want to have at the pool party, below are a few ideas.


When attending a pool party, you can never go wrong with bringing a salad. They’re light, refreshing, and easy to eat poolside.

For a colorful and crowd-pleasing option, consider a fruit salad with watermelon, berries, and other seasonal fruits.

If you’re looking for something savory, try a pasta salad with veggies and a light dressing. For a classic choice, bring a potato salad that everyone will love.

Grilling Options

grilling meat

Pool parties and grilling go hand in hand. Offering to bring something for the grill is always appreciated.

Skewers are an excellent choice as they’re easy to eat and guests can choose their favorite ingredients.

Marinated chicken, vegetable kabobs, or even portobello mushrooms are also great options to share with your fellow guests.

Finger Food

Finger foods are perfect for pool parties as they don’t require utensils and can be easily eaten while mingling. A fan-favorite is homemade salsa and chips.

You could also bring some guacamole or even a baba ganoush with carrot sticks, cucumber rounds and bell pepper sticks. Don’t forget to include a variety of dipping options such as veggies, pita, or tortilla chips.


Nothing tops off a fun pool day like a tasty dessert. When choosing something to bring, keep in mind the heat and how long dessert may be sitting out. Fruit-based desserts like fruit kabobs or watermelon slices are always a hit.

If you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, consider making homemade ice cream sandwiches, or pack a batch of honey oat bars that can be stored in a cooler until it’s time to enjoy them.

Beverages to Keep Refreshed

Remember to stay hydrated at the pool! Quench your thirst with some of the deliciously refreshing options below.

Alcoholic Options

wine bottles by the pool

At a pool party, it’s nice to have a variety of alcoholic beverages to cater to diverse taste preferences.

Consider bringing a cooler filled with ice to keep your drinks chilled throughout the event. Here are some great options:

  • Beer: Pack a few craft beers or crowd-pleasing classics to satisfy beer lovers. Some fruity ale selections will be refreshing choices during hot summer days.
  • Cocktails: Whip up a batch of cucumber margaritas or blackberry beer cocktails for guests to enjoy poolside. Make sure to have a designated area to mix and serve these drinks with enough cups and straws.
  • Wine: Bring a mix of red, white, and rosé wines to accommodate different preferences. Opt for lighter wines and perhaps a few bottles of sparkling wine for those who enjoy bubbles.

Non-Alcoholic Options

Not everyone at the party will be interested in alcoholic beverages, so make sure to provide plenty of non-alcoholic options to keep your friends hydrated and refreshed:

  • Water: It is essential to stay hydrated under the sun. Bring a reusable water bottle or a large dispenser filled with ice water for everyone to refill their cups. If you want to add a special touch, float some slices of fruit or citrus to infuse the water with natural flavors.
  • Soda: A variety of sodas, including both regular and diet options, will please the crowd. Consider bringing well-known favorites like cola, lemon-lime, and root beer.
  • Iced Tea: A refreshing, homemade iced tea can be a big hit at a pool party.
  • Juices and smoothies: Offer a few different fruit juices or whip up a couple of smoothie options for guests seeking a fruity alternative. This can also double as a fun, non-alcoholic mocktail with a more adult twist.

Additional Items and Tips

Themed Parties

If you’re attending a themed pool party, contribute items that match the party’s theme.

For example, if it’s a tropical-themed party, wear a colorful, tropical outfit, bring a fun pool float or an umbrella with a tropical print.

You can also contribute to the party by bringing themed snacks or drinks.

Charging Devices

You’ll want to have your phone or other devices charged and ready to capture memories at the pool party.

Also, consider bringing a portable charger or charging cables in case your devices need a boost, especially if you’re planning to be at the party for an extended time.

Just make sure to keep your electronics away from the pool and in a safe and dry place.

Personal Comfort

To ensure you have a great time at the pool party, think about the items that will make you feel comfortable and cozy throughout the event:

  • Umbrellas or shade: If the sun is too intense or you just want some protection, bring your own personal umbrella or choose a spot under a shared umbrella or shade.
  • Hair tie: If you have long hair, bring a hair tie to keep it up and out of the way while swimming or lounging on the side.
  • Bathroom essentials: Bring a small bag with personal hygiene items to freshen up after swimming.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial during a pool party, especially on hot days. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it as needed.

Lastly, remember to enjoy the pool party and have a blast with your friends!