Pool Party in Tampa for Kids

Sabah Drabu

5 mins read

Jul 11, 2024


Tips to Throw a Great Pool Party in Tampa for Kids

What’s a summer without a pool party, right? Especially in a city like Tampa, where the sun blesses us almost year-round, and the pools practically beg us to jump in the fun. Now, we know planning the perfect splash bash can seem like navigating a pool full of floaties—exciting but overwhelming.

But you have nothing to worry about. This blog post is your pool noodles at the deep end of party planning. We’ll guide you through throwing a phenomenal pool party in Tampa for kids that’ll make a splash and leave everyone with smiles as sunny as our Tampa weather. Let’s get started.

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Guest List

The size of your guest list can make or break a pool party, especially when kids are involved. Too few and you miss out on the party vibe; too many, and you might find yourself in over your head, which is why it is essential to find a balance.

Think about your space and how many adults you’ll have on hand to help supervise the little swimmers. A good rule of thumb is one adult for every five kids to keep the chaos under control and ensure everyone stays safe.

Picking a Theme

Kids love themes, and let’s be honest, they make party planning much more manageable. Pick a theme around the current kid craze—superheroes, mermaids, or the ever-popular Tampa pool party classic: pirates. A theme excites the guests and is easy to tie into decorations, games, and invitations.

Craft Creative, Themed Invitations

Invitations are the elements that can set the tone for your party. Go beyond the basic details (though don’t forget those) and infuse your invites with the party’s theme. For example, if you’re hosting a mermaid-themed bash, make your invitations look like treasure maps leading to an underwater kingdom.

Or, if you’re going with superheroes, send out a comic strip where the hero’s mission is to attend the coolest pool party in Tampa this summer.

Cleaning the Pool

When throwing the ultimate pool party for kids in Tampa, rule number one is that no one wants to swim in a swamp. That’s why getting your pool clean and party-ready is essential. Sure, you can skim and scrub until the sun sets, but why not save that energy for the party?

Hiring a professional pool maintenance service can be a game changer. They’ll handle everything from balancing the chemicals to brushing the nooks and crannies you didn’t even know existed.

Crafting a Kid-Friendly Menu

You weren’t going to throw a party without plating the best food in Tampa, were you? Whether your little swimmers are splashing about or taking a break under the sun, keeping their tummies happy is key to a successful bash.

Healthy & Enjoyable Finger Foods

No kid can resist the allure of a good snack table, especially at a Tampa pool party! Keep it fun, easy to eat, and nutritious with these slam-dunk snack ideas.

  • Fruit Kabobs: Skewer up rainbow magic with chunks of melons, grapes, strawberries, and pineapples.
  • Veggie Cups: Individual cups filled with a dip at the bottom and an assortment of colourful veggies sticking out.
  • Mini Sandwiches: Whip up some turkey and cheese or cucumber cream cheese sandwiches. Cut them into fun shapes for that extra “wow” factor.
  • Cheese and Crackers: Arrange a selection of kid-friendly cheeses with whole-grain crackers. Simple, yet always a hit.
  • Popcorn Buckets: Serve plain or lightly seasoned popcorn in cute little buckets.

Hydration Options

All that running around and swimming can parch those little partiers. Keep everyone cool and hydrated with these simple, refreshing ideas:

  • Water, Always: Plain old H2O is the MVP for hydration. Keep lots of water bottles in ice-filled coolers within easy reach.
  • Flavored Water Stations: Jazz up the hydration station with pitchers of water infused with slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries.
  • Lemonade and Juice Punch: Always a kiddie favourite, serve classic lemonade and maybe a tropical punch. Just watch those little faces light up with every sip.
  • Iced Tea: Brew some decaffeinated tea, sweeten it lightly, and serve it over ice—a sure hit for those who want something different.
  • Adult Refreshments: For the grown-ups, keep it cool with beer cans and a few cocktail options. A sangria or a batch of mojitos will give that tropical vibe.

After reading the expert-suggested menu, you must be thinking, ‘Wow, that sounds yummy, but who is going to prepare and cook all this?’ The party-planning and managing kids will have your plate full, and in such a scene, who will fill the plates with actual food?

You will be delighted to know that CookinGenie (an online chef marketplace) lets you hire a private chef in Tampa for special occasions. These chefs are experts in creating and cooking a menu that suits your requirements and taste preferences. With a private chef serving your pool party, you’ll be able to enjoy your party without having to worry about cooking.

Engaging Water Activities

With kids being the VIPs on the guest list of the pool party in Tampa, you’ll need more activities than swimming. Amp the excitement with these creative and interactive water games beyond paddling and splashing.

Set Up a Water Balloon Piñata

Transform the classic piñata fun into a refreshing water balloon bash perfect for a hot Tampa day.

  • Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need water balloons, a sturdy rope, and a plastic bat or paper tube.
  • Fill T Up: Fill the balloons with water—make sure they’re bulging but not too tight, as they need to burst easily on impact.
  • Tie Them Up: Securely tie the filled water balloons to the rope. Make sure it’s long enough to hang from a tree branch or a play structure at a height kids can reach.
  • Hang the Rope: String the rope between two points, ensuring it’s tight and the balloons dangle temptingly.
  • Blindfold and Swing: Give each child a chance to be blindfolded, spin them around gently, and let them take a swing at the water balloons.

Organize Squirt Gun Cup Races and More!

Prepare for some wet and wild competition with these things to do in Tampa for a pool party that everyone can enjoy.

Squirt Gun Cup Races 

  • Set-Up: String cups on a rope across the pool using small holes in the bottom of each cup. 
  • The Challenge: Participants spray water into the cups using squirt guns, making them race along the rope. The first cup to the other side wins!

Floating Target Practice

  • What You Need: Several small floating items (like rubber ducks or boats) and water guns. 
  • Game On: Place the floating targets at various distances across the pool and have kids take turns trying to hit them with water streams.

Pool Noodle Joust

  • Equipment: Two pool noodles and two large floaties or inflatable rafts.
  • Jousting Time: Kids stand on the floaties and try to push each other off using the pool noodles. The last one floating is the joust champion.

Read more: What are some of the best indoor activities in Tampa?

Safety and Supervision

While the water activities are the life of the party, safety is the unsung hero that keeps the fun going. Continuous supervision isn’t just necessary—it’s essential. Never let the pool area become a no-adult zone, even for a minute.

  • Always Have a Designated Watcher: Whether it’s a rotation of parents or hiring a professional lifeguard, ensure someone’s always got eyes on the pool. This isn’t the time for ‘I thought you were watching them!’
  • Fence It In A physical barrier around the pool can prevent accidental falls into the water, especially for very young guests.
  • Slip-Proofing: Wet areas can be slippery. To reduce the risk of falls, place non-slip mats around the pool’s perimeter.
  • Floatation Devices: For non-swimmers, ensure enough life vests or arm floaties. Remember, they are aids, not replacements for supervision!
  • Emergency Plan: Have a clear, visible set of steps in an emergency. Know where the nearest phone is (preferably waterproof) and keep emergency numbers handy.
  • Sun Protection: Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after the kids have been in the water, and set up shaded areas to prevent sunburn.


You’re all set to throw a kid-friendly bash that’ll be the talk of the town (or at least the neighborhood). Remember, the only thing better than a great Tampa pool party is the next one! So, let the games begin, keep those towels handy, and may your pool party be as cool as your pool outfit.

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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