How to throw the best winter pool party ever

If you're looking for an antidote to the winter blahs this year, why not host a winter pool party? Winter swimming is ideal for swim spas and plunge pools, which are better insulated than the average small inground pool. Follow these tips and your party will be sure to make a splash—even with the most Scrooge-y of guests. 


    When the weather outside is frightful, you'll want your swimming temperature to be delightful. Make sure you leave enough time for your heater to get the water to the right temp for your party. When the outdoor temperature is at the freezing mark it'll take about 12 hours for a 14-foot swim spa to get from 85 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Outdoor music, lighting and decorations are all key to creating a pool party vibe, and will encourage people to spend time outside. Establish a theme, then use it to guide your choices for tunes, decor and lighting. Strategic indoor decorations, for example at doorways leading to the the pool area, will help encourage people to move outside. Tiki torches will make the area around your pool feel warm and inviting.


    People need more encouragement to get wet in the winter, and games are a great incentive. Make them fun, appropriate for the ages of your guests and offer splashy prizes. You can also encourage the non-swimmers to spend time outside by setting up poolside games—the more active the better to help people stay warm.


    Use outdoor heaters, fire bowls or a fire pit (if permitted by your municipality) to keep guests warm before and after their swim, and to encourage spectators to linger outside to enjoy the action. An outdoor towel warmer will also be a big hit with those taking a dip.


    Find a hardy volunteer (or two) willing to play grill master and keep the BBQ going throughout most of the party, if possible. The smell of food will keep people outside (and make your neighbours jealous), while the heat cast by the grill will make it a popular place to gather. Choose belly-warming menu items—comfort food like lasagna and chili—to go along with the traditional burgers and sausages. If you like the idea of outdoor food but don't want to make it yourself, consider hiring a food truck for your event!


    You don't want people hiding indoors because they wore heels and a party dress to your winter pool party. Set the winter-friendly dress code ahead of time and make sure people know it well: warm outerwear, cozy robes, toques, boots and, under it all, a bathing suit.


    Hot drinks will be a big hit at any outdoor winter event, and a pool party is no exception. Hot cocoa is a classic—a recipe made with chilis is great for some extra heat—as is hot apple cider and mulled wine.

So there you have it: quick tips to make your winter backyard pool party one to remember—for all the right reasons! If you don't yet have a swim spa or plunge pool and don't quite believe you can use it year round, here's proof.