10 Theme Parties to Throw This Summer (Just Because)

Who needs a reason to throw a party?!

With summer in full swing, we've got pool parties on the brain. Everyone loves a luau or patriotic bash for the Fourth of July, but I wanted to round up a few out-of-the-box ideas for some themed pool parties that can really grab the spotlight during these warm-weather months. (And even if you don’t have a pool of your own, feel free to forward this article on to your friends and neighbors that do!)

Vintage Surfing Bash

Photo by: Kara's Party Ideas via Very Pretty Parties

Kara's Party Ideas via Very Pretty Parties

If you love old movies like Beach Blanket Bingo, then you’ll have fun with this retro, beachy, pool party theme. If anyone in your family is a surfer, even better! Use some of their surf gear as decor around the pool. Hit up your local thrift store for some fun Hawaiian shirts or retro swimsuits. (You can even have a rack available at your party with some shirts your guests can grab upon arrival.)

Set up a surf and turf theme on your food table. For more snacks you can try finding some retro candy items. And make sure to blast some music from a local oldies station or Pandora's Surf City station for some surf-friendly tunes.

We're Loving: Vintage Surf Party / Kara's Party Ideas

Moroccan Riad



©She-n-He Photography

She-n-He Photography

If you’re already obsessed with the Moroccan decor trend, this one will be an easy one for you to pull off. Set up your pool area like it’s a traditional Moroccan house or riad. This would be perfect if you're planning an evening or nighttime bash, as it can look moody and elegant. Put some of your favorite Moroccan pillows around your outdoor space on chaise loungers, and hang metal lanterns from the trees. If you have any Moroccan-style ottomans or poufs, bring those out as well. Choose plates and flatware in gold or other metallic tones. (You can even use paper or plastic—there are lots of available choices these days.)

We're Loving: Moroccan-Themed Dinner Party / Pretty Mayhem

Magical Mystery Tour

Photo by: Apartment Therapy

Beatles lovers will really dig this idea: a magical mystery tour pool party. You can really have some fun with this one and let your imagination run wild. However, this adorable unicorn floaty is one of the first things I would order.

For snacks you can do bowls full of colorful jelly beans for a serious rainbow color pop or chocolate-covered strawberries ("Strawberry Fields Forever"). You could make fun decorations with signs that declare messages from other Beatles songs like "All You Need Is Love." And of course, you can make a fab Beatles playlist to keep all of your guests entertained.

We're Loving: Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour / Apartment Therapy

'80s Music Videos

Photo by: Living Locurto

MTV, neon and big hair — if all of these things make you smile, you might be a child of the '80s. In which case, you'll love an '80s music video-themed pool party. Guests can come dressed as an ode to their fave '80s singers or characters. (Think of the women in Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video or Olivia Newton John's "Physical" for inspiration.)

If you have access to TV screens in your outdoor space, make a playlist on YouTube and let these videos play on a loop, or simply make a playlist of your favorite '80s jams and play it through portable speakers. You can also find some fun '80s decorations, like this inflatable boom box.

We're Loving: Awesome '80s Birthday Party / Living Locurto

White Party

Photo by: One K. Renee; Jennifer Ross Photography

One K. Renee; Jennifer Ross Photography

P. Diddy throws a white party, the Real Housewives throw white parties, so why not you, too? This is another fun idea for an evening or nighttime bash.

Ask all of your guests to come dressed in white, and deck out your space with white accessories. Set up tea lights all over your patio, and if you really want to go overboard, fill up your pool with white beach balls for some added drama. Check the wedding aisle of your local craft store for white candy and other white accessories like serving pieces and tableware.

We're Loving: A White Party to Remember / One K. Renee

Country Picnic

Lounge-Worthy Lawn

Lounge-Worthy Lawn

A ring toss and a picnic blanket invite family and friends to lay in the grass on a sunny day and enjoy time together.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

For a more rustic, down home pool party, consider a country picnic theme. You could set up beautiful quilts all over your lawn and make a lunch "basket" for each of your guests. (Thrift stores usually have a big selection of baskets you can get ahead of time for a dollar each.) You could make a simple lunch of sandwiches, chips and a drink such as La Croix seltzers or some bottles of lemonade.

Simple flower arrangements would look pretty in old tea or coffee cans around your space, and you can play your favorite country station or create a folk or bluegrass music playlist.

We're Loving: Pack a Posh Picnic

Summer Camp

HGTV Summer Camp: Glamping Setup

HGTV Summer Camp: Glamping Setup

Join HGTV.com's editorial team as they create nostalgic camping projects with a grownup twist.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

This is a fun theme to tackle for a group of your nearest and dearest friends. Buy some whistles at your local party or discount shop and give one to each guest as they arrive so everyone can pretend to be a camp counselor. Create a fun cocktail reminiscent of the "bug juice" we used to drink in camp, or set up a s'mores bar where people can grab marshmallows to roast for dessert. For some extra fun, divide your guests up into two teams and hold your own "Color War" where everyone can compete against each other in different activities.

Throw a Luxury Camping Party at Home

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Olympic Games

Photo by: A Small Snippet

A summer Olympics-themed pool party is another fun idea for an active group of friends or family. Let the kids participate in some swimming competitions, and purchase some faux medals that you can give out to everyone. Ask everyone to come dressed in their favorite red, white and blue-themed swimsuits and attire.

We're Loving: How to Host an Amazing Olympics Party / Buzzfeed

Beach Club

Beach backyard, beach party

Beach backyard, beach party

©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

For a more elegant shindig, consider throwing a beach club-themed pool party. You can strategically place your outdoor umbrellas around the pool to create mini-cabanas. Another fun idea is to go to your local office supply store and purchase name badge holders. You can then design simple “beach pass” inserts on your computer and give one to each guest as they arrive. You can float a bunch of beach balls or pretty rafts in the pool and do a fun barbecue with chicken, grilled vegetables and burgers.

We're Loving: Beach Party Ideas / DIY Ready

Bond, James Bond

Photo by: Kara's Party Ideas via IDEA! event + style

Kara's Party Ideas via IDEA! event + style

If you really want to go all in on a fun theme, try throwing a James Bond-inspired pool party. You can hit up your local party store and buy a bunch of water guns and sunglasses to give out when your guests arrive. Embrace the Casino Royale theme and use poker chips to decorate your food table. Use plastic martini glasses to serve all of your beverages.

We're Loving: Secret Agent Party / Kara's Party Ideas

Classic Cocktails
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