June 20th may be the official start to summer, but, at Hawaiian Pool Builders, we believe that Memorial Day is the real start to a summer full of in-ground pool fun.
Like other holidays that we celebrate in the United States, Memorial Day has a theme, and at least one thing we associate with it. Thanksgiving is associated with turkeys, family, and giving thanks. Christmas; gifts, family, a Christmas tree, and stockings that are hung with care. Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to buy a piñata, eat tacos, and hang out with your family and friends. Memorial Day brings to mind picnics, barbeque, and summer, and as with the others; family.
If you haven’t already begun planning your party, we have seven Memorial Day Party tips to get your started on the right foot.
Pick a party theme: Whether it’s a luau, mermaids, or patriotism, a theme will help you pick the right props and decorations to tie it all together. The best part about picking your theme is that you can usually find all your supplies at your local dollar or discount store. You can get all your paper supplies and table decorations all in one place. With another stop at a party store, you can find interesting shaped hors d’oeuvre trays, hats to fit your theme, ice cube trays in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can purchase almost everything in pool side friendly plastics. Even your margarita and wine glasses.
Mail invitations: Now that you know your theme, you can find invitations to match. In the fast-paced world of the internet, you can even design them online and email some. Though, everyone likes to get personalized mail, especially when it’s an invitation to a party. Be sure to note if your party is adults only, kids welcome, etc.
Get creative: Once you have your guest list in hand, buy a stack of beach towels in vibrant, bright colors. You can easily create towels that match your theme, or ones with fun beachy type sayings on them. Use bleach and cardboard stencils to design a stack that your guests are sure to love. This is such a fun idea, we included the ‘how-to’ for you:
- Bleach & Water mixed 1:1
- Spray Bottle
- Cardstock (one sheet for each letter) or buy large stencils
- Protective Cover for Surface and Beach Towel (leftover cardboard works)
- Choose two or three phrases that you love. Type them out on your computer, using a large, bold block style font, and print your words onto the card stock.
- Don’t discard your ‘holes’ from letters you cut out, as you can use them to create beach balls on the towels also.
- Cut out your letters
- Lay your towels in a well-ventilated area on top of your protective surface.
- Being careful to not get outside of your stencil, spray the exposed area of your words, and let the bleach do its thing for about 10 minutes, or until the color is ‘bleached’ out enough. Rinse your towels in the bathtub to remove the rest of the bleach, and then put them through a wash cycle.
Plan your menu: Food is the great equalizer of all gatherings of family and friends. Perhaps you are hosting a large crowd. If that’s the case, ask folks to bring a dish to pass. By providing the hot dogs and hamburgers, your guests will be able to enjoy foods they may not have tried before. You could opt for lighter fare, also. Fruit ‘kabobs’, chicken salad, pasta salad, grilled vegetables all make excellent choices. Make sure you have plenty to drink for all your guests. Kids love fruit punches and lemonade. Depending on your theme, you can soak assorted fruits in wine or other spirits and add to your guest’s glasses. Make a pitcher (or two) of sangria ahead of time, so you can cut down on how many times you have to run into the house. Set a couple of coolers around the area with ice, stocked with plenty of water bottles. No matter how much fun you and your guests are having, it’s important to stay hydrated.
Set up your pool side space: Consider the number of people you invited, and set up accordingly. You’ll want to have plenty of options for your guests to gather when they aren’t in the pool. If you don’t think you have enough seating, include ‘bring your own chair’ on the invitation. Make sure that you have some area where your guests can get out of the sun. Keep in mind the best location for your food, and always keep it out of the sun.
Toys and games: Who doesn’t love to play games? Kids of all ages love squirt guns, beach balls, and floating pool games. Pool volleyball is a fun way to enjoy a game while staying cool. For the games that may not include water, Euchre is a good card came, or corn-hole is a safer way to play horse shoes.
Your summer song set: No pool party is complete without a summer song set. Keep your list energetic and active for the day, and then switch to more mellow music when the evening comes and it’s time to turn on your pool lights.
Our Pinterest Page is chock full of other ideas for your Memorial Day Party. We have ideas on games, goods, invitations, DIY projects for the kids, you name it, it’s there.
With all the fun, family and food, we’d like to suggest that you take the time to pause and reflect. As the name suggests, it is Memorial Day a day to remember. A little-known fact is that at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day a National Moment of Remembrance will take place across the country to honor the soldiers who died in “pursuit of freedom and peace.” In addition, ‘Taps’ will be played on many radio stations and television programs at that time. Memorial Day has its roots in the days when our country was divided by war.
We know you want as much summer fun as you can, and Memorial Day is the best time to kick it into high gear.