The weather’s heating up, which means summer is right around the corner. Although the ideal summer cooldown consists of a day at the beach, not everyone is lucky enough to live near the ocean. You might say that the next best option is to host a pool party, but with parts of our country’s current water crisis, this is also not an option. So what are we to do?


Fear not because there are alternative ways of recreating those beach days and pool parties without driving to the coast or wasting water. If you’re a little creative about it, you can have a summer blowout second to none while being environmentally and socially responsible. If those words sound like the opposite of fun, think again! What could be more fun than a big social gathering that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty?


The “pool”

At this point we’re all aware of the water crisis in parts of the country, so we all need to do our part to use less water. A pool party without water may sound quite bleak, but hold onto your party hats because there are fun things you can try out on those hot summer days. You can harness the basic function of a pool – cooling people off – without having or getting one.

Free your creativity and come up with ways to cool your party guests off without using much water. For example, borrow all the fans you can get your hands on and place them around the house with (bought) ice bags in front of them. This’ll blow some cool air on your guests whenever they pass one. And the more you can get, the more they will pass.

Once the ice has melted, hang these bags of cold water outside for a spin on the classic piñata. Guests can take turns standing under the ice bag piñata and trying to break the bag. When it breaks, all that cool water will no doubt cool them off better than a pool could ever hope to.



With the usual pool party, entertainment would generally be, well, the pool. You could just sit back and enjoy as your guests entertain themselves for hours with swimming, water activities and sunbathing. But for your newly responsible pool party, you need to think out of the big water-filled box in the ground.

Fill a few glasses with water and make a game out of getting wet. Whoever can cover the biggest part of their body using only one glass of water, wins a chilly treat. Tell guests to scavenge for raw materials in and around the house. Once they’ve collected them, they have to make a fan with the items they have. The one with the strongest fan gets to appoint someone at the party to fan them for ten minutes. You can test the strength of their fans by placing a plastic cup on a table and having them try to knock it over with the air from their fan from a few feet away.



For snacks and beverages, stick to the theme of heat relief. Buy a bunch of fruit and pop them on skewers and straight into the freezer for a freezing, fruity snack. Juice some of the fruits and pop that in the freezer for a refreshing sorbet. Freeze some grapes and use them in drinks as a substitute for ice or simply as a cold snack.

For food with more substance than just fruit snacks, serve a variety of cold proteins and hearty salads. Think along the lines of potato salads and zesty lemon and mint canapés. And, finally, make a refreshing punch filled with fresh fruit and mint. Your guests are bound to leave feeling invigorated and quenched.


Guest transport

We’ve all been to those pool parties with punch and cocktails on tap. While they’re super fun, it usually ends up in calling for a taxi to get home in one piece. Avoid putting your guests through this by planning for guest transport.  

Round up your used Ford and fetch your guests all in one go. You can style up the canopy to match your party theme and ensure your guests travel comfortably by loading a bunch of pillows in the back. After the party, drive your guests back home and leave a little surprise party favour in the canopy for them to see on the way.

And there you have it: the perfect summer pool party without a pool. Try it out and show your friends how to have fun while saving water. Who knows, maybe you’re so good at it that you can make a parttime party planning career out of it.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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