How to Throw an Epic Lake Party

We're talking rose gold flamingo floats and big-batch cocktails.

Related To:

While you may be gearing up for the start of the school year, that doesn’t mean it’s time to say goodbye to summer fun. We still have plenty of warm weather to embrace, friends. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big proponent of celebrating every last second of the season. So, how do I suggest celebrating these glorious (read: hot) last weeks of summer? By throwing the most epic lake party ever. Sure, a pool party is trendy and fun — chic, even. BUT, a lake party is the pool party’s cooler older sibling — laid-back, no-stress. The best part? Well, you don’t need access to a pool to throw one.

I’m laying out everything you’ll need for an unforgettable day. Grab a notepad; it’s time to plan a party.

Big-Batch Cocktails

Make a Watermelon Party Keg 00:36

For the best keg party ever, make this easy watermelon keg and cocktail.

First things first, greet your guests with a generous batch of premade cocktails. This ensures you’re not stuck mixing drinks all day, which is a major win in my book.

Our Favorite Big-Batch Summer Cocktails

See All Photos

Shop This Look

DIY Beverage Boat

Make this super-simple beverage boat to keep all the other drinks (beer, sparkling water, soda, etc.) chilled as you float.

Trendy Floats

Pink Flamingo Pool Float

Rose Gold Flamingo Float

Make a trendy statement at the pool with this rose gold flamingo float from Gilk's.

Photo by: Glik's


Speaking of floating, you’re going to need some inflatables for the water. We’re all about trendy varieties, like this adorable rose gold flamingo from Glik’s.

Must-Have Party Accessories

Coastal Decor

Beach House-Perfect Towels

Every beach house needs lots of towels. Stack these in baskets near the door so beachgoers can grab and go.

Photo by: 082415


While you’re at it, stock up on other must-have accessories for the day, like stylish towels, a fun beach ball and party straws.

Outdoor Speaker + Party Tunes

Big Turtle Shell Bluetooth Speaker

Big Turtle Shell Bluetooth Speaker

This waterproof and shockproof Bluetooth speaker can communicate with your devices from more than 30 feet away, filling your yard with music wirelessly. Take it anywhere you want to start a party: It plays for up to 16 hours on a single charge, so the music won’t stop before your guests do.

Photo by: OutdoorTech


Music is a must. Don’t own an outdoor speaker? Consider investing in the wireless, water-resistant Big Turtle Shell. Looking for a playlist? We’ve got you covered.

Self-Serve Eats

Hot Dog Bar with Condiments

How to Set Up a Self-Serve Hot Dog Bar

A mix of condiment containers, vessels filled with toppings and an assembly line arrangement of hot dogs, this station is certain to keep guests fed and interactive for hours on end.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

As dinnertime rolls around, set up a simple, self-serve hot dog bar. Prep your toppings ahead of time, and keep sides simple — like chips and premade dips.

How to Set Up a Hot Dog Bar

See All Photos

Shop This Look

All-Natural Bug Repellent

As dusk approaches, make sure you have bug repellent. Try one of our all-natural solutions.

Backyard Games

Set up games in the yard for partygoers who don’t like to swim and for post-dinner entertainment. Check out two of our DIY options:

1: DIY Tic-Tac-Toe

DIY Super-Sized Tic Tac Toe

DIY Super-Sized Tic Tac Toe

Add BIG time fun to your next outdoor get together with this over-sized Tic Tac Toe game you can build with your kids!

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

2: DIY Cornhole

Yellow, Purple and Turquoise Chevron Cornhole Board

Designer Cornhole Boards

These boards aren't quite up to official regulations but will still provide lots of good play while complementing your style. Bonus — they are a snap to make!

Photo by: Emilee Stanley Photography

Emilee Stanley Photography

Outdoor Movie

End your lake party with an outdoor movie (epic, right?). Grab a couple sheets and a projector, and you’ll be pleased with the simplicity of the setup.

Next Up

All the Essentials for a Southern-Style Seafood Boil

Who doesn't love a party that revolves around melted butter?

How to Make a Giant Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe With Hula Hoops

Add big-time fun to your next outdoor get-together with this oversized tic-tac-toe game you can craft with your kids.

12 Epic Cheese Board Ideas to Copy From Instagram

Turn your cheese board into a work of art.

How to Host the Perfect Big Game Potluck

What's a football party without food?

Monster Up a Pop-Up Canopy for Outdoor Halloween Fun

Be the coolest house on the block this Halloween by using dollar store scores to turn a pop-up canopy into a friendly monster that's stocked with grab-and-go snacks and beverages for both adults and the littlest trick-or-treaters.

Pro Tips: A Guide to Tricky Grilling

It all started as a love for classic Southern food and grew into a catering business, then the Soul House and now the Downtown Dive. Sweet P's Barbeque in Knoxville, Tennessee is a cornerstone of the southern soul food scene. The restaurant's owner, Chris Ford, agreed to share some of the tricks of the trade.

How to Make a Perfect Party-Ready Pinata

Customizing your next event is as simple as ABC with this DIY initial pinata tutorial.

The Zodiac Report: Libra

September 23 — October 22

10 Breakfast Recipes to Make for Your Tailgate Party

Transform your breakfast favorites into easy-to-eat, portable bites.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages