It’s the middle of August and the heat is unavoidable no matter where you go. But that doesn't mean you should let the warmth be a bummer for your child’s summer birthday party plans. Why not beat the heat and make a splash with a cool pool party? 

If you don’t have a pool at your home (don’t worry, I’m not one of the lucky ones either) renting an inflatable water slide could make the pool party theme work in your own backyard. Sprinklers and a slip and slide are a less expensive option but they can still create a home-based water wonderland. Hosting the party at a local community pool or swim-center is also an option; just make sure that the venue is able and willing to accommodate party groups.

Don’t forget to have invitations indicate that kids must bring swimsuits and towels; you don’t want anyone showing up and not being able to join in the fun. You might want to include a rain date on your invitations if you are worried that bad weather may be an unwanted party crasher. During pool time classic games like Marco Polo, volleyball or basketball always make for great activities. Whether at home or in a public pool, remember you will need to make sure you have enough adults supervising the kids for safety while they are in the water.

Poolside grub can be simple and fun. Goldfish and popcorn are perfect for snacking, and if you are looking for a more healthy option try fresh fruit or watermelon pops. If you want to provide more than just snacks you can serve a variety of sandwiches cut into fish shapes with a cookie cutter or fire up the grill to offer standard burgers and hot dogs. Add a little flavor to refreshments by concocting tasty candy infused drinks like this strawberry Twizzler lemonade from Incorporating other outdoor fun into your pool party is a surefire way to keep guests entertained.

While everyone has their swimsuits handy, why not rent a dunk tank and ask for some parent volunteers to join in the fun. This would involve a bit more pre-party planning (aka convincing parents that they would want to come and get soaked), but the kids would love a chance to dunk their parents and it would definitely make for some great laughs and pictures. Sunglasses, visors and water guns are fun party props that can also double as party favors. If you are looking to send the kids off with something a little more personal you can purchase plain beach bags and give the kids fabric markers so they can create their own unique tote. Their masterpiece will make for a great keepsake souvenir.

What other pool party fun do you suggest? Let us know in the comments.