Poolside Entertaining Essentials

How to Be Ready For L.I.P.P. Service All Season!

Tracy Kunzler portrait

By Tracy Kunzler – Relaxation Expert

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It's finally here! The most wonderful time of the year! Pool entertaining season! Time to prepare for L.I.P.P., aka Last-minute, Impromptu Pool Party service. But never fear! SwimWays is here to help! We're thoughtful like that, and not to toot our own horn or anything, it's kind of our "thing." Following is a handy checklist of what to have on hand for poolside entertaining this summer. I have dedicated an entire kitchen cabinet to these items, so I'm always ready for L.I.P.P. service!

1. A "Party's On" Flag

Some friends came up with what I think is a really fun, practical idea. They have a flag holder on the fence surrounding their pool, and all their neighbors know when they see a designated flag placed in the holder, it means the pool is open and they are receiving guests. No need to make a bunch of calls or send a bunch of texts! (Hmmm…I think I might have to designate a flag signifying the need for neighbors to bring brownies – STAT!)

2. Sip-n-Float Seats

SwimWays Swim-Up Seat

The type of L.I.P.P.s I most often host are "sip-n-float" happy hours on Friday nights. It's a great way to unwind after a long workweek. I tell folks to come right after work and stay until it's dark. I throw out an array of easy munchies and welcome any nibbles others might want to bring. Because it's a "happy hour" event, I don't have to worry about serving a meal, and I don't have to worry much about the house being clean, as the pool is the center of the party.

The perfect float for these "sip-n-float" happy hours is SwimWays Swim-Up Seats. I love 'em, because they easily stack for storage, and my guests can use them as floating chairs or float on their chests for easy conversation without taking up too much room when there are a lot of people in the pool. They can also be used on the side of the pool so folks can comfortably sit on the edge and dangle their tootsies without snagging their suits. They're priced right so you can purchase a stack for years of L.I.P.P. service! You can find Swim-Up Seats in a variety of stores or purchase online here.

3. Large, Lightweight Trays

I have a couple of large wicker trays I use to carry party goods to and from house to poolside and highly recommend having one or two to make L.I.P.P. service easier. I like this one from Target: It's lightweight, has handles, and is a little deeper to hold a variety of items.

4. Drinks


Lots of folks have a second, old fridge in the garage. Use this fridge to keep a supply of favorite beverages for all ages chilled and ready to toss with your ice in a cooler in the event of a L.I.P.P.

I also keep powdered lemonade and tea mixes on hand to quickly and inexpensively make up batches of drinks to carry out to the pool in plastic pitchers. If I'm having a large crowd, I make up batches of lemonade to put in my large drink dispenser with nozzle. I freeze some lemonade in a round food storage container with some fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries) to float in the drink dispenser. It's a pretty way to keep the lemonade cold without diluting it. Adding fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices to a pitcher of ice water is a nice, refreshing touch, too.

5. Ice

You want to keep a good supply of ice on hand for L.I.P.P.s, so periodically empty your ice trays or ice dispenser into large Ziploc baggies to keep in the freezer and have ready to toss in the cooler, lemonade, Mojitos, or whatever you and your crew like to sip poolside! Then, when the whim strikes to host a L.I.P.P., you won't have to run out to the store, and can spend that time on more important things like a nap.

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