How to make a splash with a winter birthday pool party! | Modern Mummy

Sunday, 5 November 2017

How to make a splash with a winter birthday pool party!

Who says that pool parties are only fun in the summer?

If your child was born in the autumn or winter (like both of mine are) and you fancy hosting a birthday party with a difference, how about a winter pool party?! What better way to beat the winter blues and being cooped up indoors during the chilly season?

I spoke to the experts at Compass Pools, award winning indoor and outdoor swimming pool builders, to get their top tips for throwing great pool parties.

Find a pool 
First things first – where’s the nearest suitable pool? Unless you’re lucky enough to have your own indoor pool at home, or have a friend whose pool you can borrow,  you'll need to take a look around and investigate

Public swimming pools

Check out the local pools in your area to see if they offer private hire alongside main opening hours. Many leisure centres will have dedicated children’s party packages and may well have a pool option, in which case all you need to do is book the date.

Private health & fitness centres

Commercial leisure centres with a pool will usually be only too happy to hire out the pool for children’s birthday parties. Often, pool toys and inflatables are included as is the birthday tea afterwards. Check for age restrictions and swimming ability requirements before you book. 

Swimming schools

Many private swim schools have their own indoor pools and may have availability when there are no classes scheduled. What’s more, swimming teaches may be on hand to provide extra help and assistance in the pool – particularly important for little ones and non-swimmers.

Outdoor pools

If you're feeling brave, a heated outdoor pool could be used. In fact, the novel experience of cold winter air vs steaming pool water may actually prove to be an exhilarating experience for older children. 

Set the party theme 
Every birthday party starts with an invitation, so why not design yours to make them extra fun? How about a snowman in swimming trunks and sunglasses? A photo of your child in a swimsuit photoshopped onto a snowy background? A summer party invitation adorned with snowflake stickers?

Once you have grabbed everyone’s attention, make sure that you include precise instructions on what to bring to the party: swimwear, goggles, armbands, swimming cap, towels… whatever isn’t supplied by the venue. For toddler parties or non-swimmers, it’s important to specify if parents are expected to attend, or must get in the water along with the children for safety reasons.

Go with a themed event – Frozen, Ice Age, The Snowman, Narnia – and reinforce this in the pool decorations. Here’s a cute Penguins and Polar Bears theme. Why not use inflatable winter animals such as penguins, polar bears etc as pool toys? If you can, use fake snow spray on the windows and contrast the summer/winter theme with winter patterned beach towels, snow covered inflatable palm trees and the like.

Play pool games 
Children’s parties need a little structure – the younger the guests, the more direction is needed – so have some pool games up your sleeve that the kids can play if things get too boring or exciting in the water. Continue with the ‘summer fun in wintertime’ theme with party ideas with a winter twist, such as:

Snowball Fight (using white water balloons) 
Water Polar or Volley Snowball 
‘Get to the North Pole’ obstacle course 
Dive like Penguins 
Shark Tag

The Party Tea 
Once all the kids are worn out from playing in the pool, it’s Birthday Tea time. Make sure there is plenty to eat and drink for all your guests (including any staying parents). Unlike regular birthday parties where children often don’t have much of an appetite unless there’s chocolate involved, swimming makes you hungry!

As every savvy parent knows, it’s a good idea to serve savoury foods first. While it’s best to serve healthy, nutritious fare at home, popular party foods include hotdogs, sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets and sausage rolls.

When tummies are full, it’s time to bring out the sweet stuff. The piece de resistance for every children’s birthday party must surely be the cake which takes centre stage. This is where the party theme comes into its own, with the cake themed to tie in with, say, a Winter Wonderland theme, or a favourite children’s film such as Frozen.


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