Just Add Water

After a cold, lonely winter of lockdown everyone is anxious to get outside. What better excuse than a pool party? Whether you’re still getting your feet wet with small gatherings or you’re ready to jump right in for a big bash, we have all the information you need for a cool way to beat the heat. With the help of John Tobey, founder of John Tobey Events, we’ve rounded up some of the best resources for planning a poolside get-together, including decorations, games, entertainment, and of course, food and drinks.

PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM; Models: Drake Kuyper, Tammy Kilponen and Gina Gellings, Donna Baldwin Agency; Fashion Sstylist: Jenece Amella, Styles by Jenece 

“Not everyone is ready to travel to a Spanish beach or even Florida,” says Tobey. “For those with pools, now is the perfect time to go all-out for an outdoor party to remember.” Tobey says to start with your guest list. Will it be a family-friendly pool party or adults only? With that in mind, will it be fun and active with games and a kid-friendly menu? Or do you have something more elegant in mind, such as an evening in South Beach with bars, lights and private cabanas?

PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM; Models: Sophia Jundt and Bowen Patterson

Let’s kick this off with family-friendly ideas. An island-themed pool party needs a Polynesian climbing wall. Denver’s Fun Productions has one that looks vaguely like an animated island movie set. Tobey has also used Fun’s inflatable obstacle course with a water slide for events. Or you could fill the pool with giant inflatable soccer orbs for a splashing good time. Plus, climbing and obstacle courses include a supervisory guide for the four-hour rental.

PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM; Models: Drake Kuyper and Tammy Kilponen, Donna Baldwin Agency; Fashion Sstylist: Jenece Amella, Styles by Jenece 

All age groups will love watching a movie from the comfort of a floating lounge chair. Fast Lane Productions has projectors and giant movie screens, including inflatable screens that are waterproof for a “Dive-In Movie Party,” says Tobey. Don’t forget the movie theater goodies — popcorn, snow-cone and cotton-candy machines are all must-haves.

For adults desperate to travel, turn your backyard into a far-away beach destination (at least for the evening). Tobey suggests private tented cabanas so small groups of guests can converse and relax. Event Rents has an amazing selection of everything from cabanas to table wares, linens and even chandeliers to hang from the rafters. As for bars and seating, the custom acrylic bars from Charming Chairs light up the night for over-the-top ambiance. For furnishings as well as décor and lights, the team at Design Works can literally create anything. You name it, they can do it. So let your imagine run wild with thoughts of nautical nightclubs, Hawaiian luaus or Jamaican jams. And don’t forgot to top off the décor with flowers. Newberry Brothers Denver can create custom arrangements to really bring your party to life.

PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM; Models: Drake Kuyper, Tammy Kilponen and Gina Gellings, Donna Baldwin Agency; Fashion Sstylist: Jenece Amella, Styles by Jenece 

While pool parties are typically less formal and light fare is recommended, choosing the right caterer is paramount. Look for someone who is comfortable creating menus for alfresco settings such as Catering by Design and Epicurean Catering. They both have years of experience crafting dishes that can hold up in the heat and satisfy appetites. For light and healthy poolside sweet and savory fare, Heaven Creamery treats taste like summer in a bowl. Don’t miss the Dragon Fruit Beet Salad with layers of roasted beet, sliced strawberries, coconut-milk gelato, dragon fruit, alfalfa sprouts, microgreens, hemp seeds and coconut cream dressing – it is both gorgeous and powerfully healthy. Or serve up a little decadence like strawberry cupcakes from Cake Kouture by Char.

Finally, leave the drinks to the experts.
Hire a mixologist like the team at Peak Beverage to create a menu of signature cocktails and mocktails for poolside refreshers like mai tais, hibiscus sparklers, sangria slushies, and strawberry mules. Plus, having a bartender means more time for you to mingle and enjoy the summertime vibes. 

Don’t forget to post your pool party photos on social media and be sure to tag us @avidlifestylemag. We can’t wait to see your take on summer fun!


John Tobey Events



Fun Productions


Fast Lane Productions



Event Rents


Charming Chairs


Design Works


Newbery Brothers Floral and Design


Food & Beverage

Catering By Design


Epicurean Catering


Cake Kouture by Char

303.513.1053; @cakekouturebychar

Heaven Creamery


Peak Beverages