Make the most of your pool by hosting themed parties! Most pool party ideas require little preparation but will create lasting memories.

Beach Party
Use colorful beach towels for tablecloths, seashells as centerpieces, and fill buckets with sand and tie helium balloons to the handles to surround the pool area. Float toy boats and beach balls in the pool, play beach music and organize games. Serve classic boardwalk food such as popcorn, snow cones, French fries and hot dogs, or go all out with a clam bake, oyster roast or lobster feast.

Hawaiian Luau
Luau decorations are plentiful and inexpensive in party stores. You’ll find festive tiki torches, tropical flowers, leis and more. Play themed games and serve Hawaiian foods, fresh fruit and colorful tropical drinks.

Movie Night
Instead of going to a drive-in, have a “float-in!” Purchase inflatable lounge chairs at your local pool retailer and move your big-screen TV outside. Pick a favorite classic or a water-themed movie such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Finding Nemo” or even “Jaws.” Set up a “concession stand” and serve popcorn, candy and drinks.


Recipes

Grilled Pineapple

1 fresh pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch rings
¼ teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 dash hot pepper sauce
Salt to taste

Place pineapple in a large resealable plastic bag. Add honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal bag, and shake to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate. Grill pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear. If desired, you can cut the pineapple slices into wedges for easier handling, then just thread onto skewers before grilling.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
Skewers

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Sparkling Green Tea Lemonade

2 cups very hot water
3 (2 g) bags green tea
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups chilled seltzer water
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 lime, sliced (optional)
Pour the hot water into a glass pitcher. Submerge the green tea bags in the hot water and allow to steep for 5 minutes; remove and discard the tea bags. Stir the sugar into the tea until completely dissolved. Chill in refrigerator for 35 minutes. Pour the seltzer water and lime juice into the tea. Float the lime slices atop the mixture. Makes 4 cups.

Watermelon Fruit Salad Bowl

1 large watermelon
1 cantaloupe, halved and seeded
1 honeydew melon, halved and seeded
2 (15-ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained
2 cups halved fresh strawberries
2 cups seedless grapes
½ cup water
¼ cup Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

With a large, sharp knife, remove the top ¼ section of the watermelon. With a melon baller, scoop flesh from inside of watermelon, removing as many seeds as possible. Leave ½ inch of flesh inside the shell of the watermelon. Scoop cantaloupe and honeydew in the same manner, removing as much flesh as possible, and discarding the rinds. Refrigerate fruits separately until ready to assemble.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and Splenda® to a boil. Remove from heat, and continue stirring until Splenda® has completely dissolved. Add lemon zest, and set aside to cool. To serve, place watermelon balls, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes, in a large mixing bowl. Pour syrup over, and toss thoroughly. Transfer mixture to watermelon bowl, and serve. Set aside any fruit mixture that will not fit. There will be enough fruit to refill the bowl.

Salsa Verde Chicken Wraps

1 cup Pace® Salsa Verde
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 large red pepper, diced
1 large avocado, diced
½ cup sour cream
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
2 cups shredded lettuce

Stir ½ cup salsa, chicken, pepper and avocado in a large bowl. Stir the remaining salsa and sour cream in a small bowl. Spread ¼ cup sour cream mixture onto each tortilla to within ½ inch of the edge. Top each with 1 cup chicken mixture and ½ cup lettuce. Fold the sides of the tortillas over the filling and then fold up the ends to enclose the filling. Cut each wrap in half before serving.

Killer Bacon Cheese Dogs

8 slices bacon
8 all-beef hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
8 slices Swiss cheese
½ cup barbeque sauce, or amount to taste
1 small red onion, diced

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grate, and set 4 inches from the heat. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels. Place hot dogs on grill; cook until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until done to suit your taste. Lightly grill hot dog buns.
To assemble sandwiches, place a slice of cheese and bacon on each roll. Add a hot dog, top each with 1 tablespoon barbeque sauce, or desired amount, and red onion.