Hosting a party for your friends and family is a time-honored tradition. Plus, having a hot tub puts you in the unique position of being able to host the best party ever!
Ok, I’ll be honest, the first parties I hosted were unspeakable disasters, but that’s just because I didn’t do the planning to make them a success. Learn from my failures and be the host you were destined to be.
The devil is in the details, or so it’s been said. There are a few things you’ll want to think about when your hot tub is the center of the party. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but definitely the most important:
- Groceries. Have a food and beverage plan for you guests, especially small ones if they’re invited.
- Supplies. Think plates, bowls, napkins, flatware, cups, and tablecloths. I highly recommend disposable.
- Extra Swimsuits, just in case. Even your most immodest guest should be wearing a swimsuit for Pete’s sake.
- Tremendously fluffy towels. Here’s where you can splurge and buy new towels. Want to get extra points? Buy robes for your guests.
- Clean and maintain the spa before the party. Nothing will spoil this party faster than a yucky hot tub.
- Decorate. You don’t want a blah party. Think of a theme and decorate accordingly.
- Aromatherapy. Treat your tubbing guests to some delightful smells, or at least mask some not so delightful smells.
Look, I know you’re throwing this party and thinking that lively conversation will be entertainment enough. Here’s the thing though, it’s not. You need more than that to have a good party.
Consider whether any of your invitees will be bringing their kiddos along. If so, you need to have a plan for them too. Parents aren’t going to have a good time if their kids aren’t having a good time – that’s a guarantee.
Here are a couple of cheap and easy things to occupy the kiddos and keep them out of mom and dad’s hair:
- Create a kids zone. Think picnic table where the younger guests can go and have fun.
- Set up a slip and slide. They’re cheap as chips and kids love them. Who knows, adults may even feel compelled to give the slip and slide a whirl (make sure you get it on video)!
- Get a small kiddie pool. This will keep the kids entertained and cooled off. The best part is when the party is over, you can dump the water out and either donate it or reuse it later.
- Water Balloons. Ok, this one may backfire if you don’t set strict ground rules, but this will be fun.
- Set up a movie station. All you need is a small TV or even an iPad. They’ll figure out the rest.
Not everyone can use the hot tub simultaneously, so people will be rotating through. Now is the time to consider what non-tubbers are going to do. Here are a few ideas that won’t break the bank:
- Set up adult games. Giant Jenga and Cornhole are easy games that everyone can play.
- Set up a fire pit. If you don’t already have one, portable propane fire pits are pretty cheap and super easy to use. A 5 LB propane tank will last the whole evening and doesn’t produce smoke like a wood fire.
- Music. No party is complete without a super awesome playlist bumping in the background. Take a little time and curate the perfect playlist. Better still, create a playlist that’s a little more amped up at the beginning of the party, and a chiller one for later on.
- Outdoor movie. Set up a white sheet and project your favorite movie (be a considerate neighbor when it comes to volume and content).
Food and Beverage
A happy guest is a guest who’s well-fed and hydrated. Don’t believe me? Ask any of the guests at my first party. Suffice it to say, chips and salsa were not enough.
Don’t be like me. Be a food and beverage superstar to keep your guests happy.
Summertime is perfect for fresh, healthy options loaded with fruit and vegetables. I also recommend light protein options like fish or chicken, which will contribute to a healthy vibe. If you’re including children on the guest list, double down on the fruit platters. Kids love those…
Burgers and dogs are a summertime classic, and if that’s more your speed, you do you. Maybe consider this scenario though: that one guy (you know who) that makes himself a double bacon cheeseburger and a couple of hot dogs. After polishing that off with a few beers, he’s going to get in your hot tub.
I’m just saying, maybe the lighter option is a better way to go…
The keys here are quantity and variety. Don’t just load up on beer and wine. I mean, load up on those, for sure, but also include kid-friendly stuff. Oh, and don’t forget mixers for fantastic cocktails.
Another thing to consider is how you are going to make these drinks accessible. Why not set up an impromptu little outdoor bar? We all have that friend that’s perfectly happy being the bartender all night long.
Pro tip: Have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for people tubbin’. Encourage hot tub users to drink water before and during their rotation in the spa, saving the alcoholic stuff for after. Not only is this safer, but will help avoid hangovers.
Just one more thing: Party On!