Hot tub party ideas: 10 guaranteed ways to have a good time

We've rounded up the best hot tub party ideas to make sure everyone has so much fun they won't stop talking about it

hot tub party ideas
Hot tub installed by 1 Stop Spas (1stopspas.com)
(Image credit: 1 Stop Spas/BISHTA)

These hot tub party ideas will give you the perfect opportunity to show off your luxury hot tub to friends and family. Taking your party outdoors is a big trend, so whether you're planning a casual backyard BBQ, a more elegant evening soirée or a big birthday blowout, why not make your hot tub the centre of the action.

Hosting the perfect hot tub party does not have to be difficult or expensive but it helps to get organized ahead of the event with a little planning if you want to make it an occasion to remember. 

First, decide whether or not you're going to theme the party. You could choose a tropical beach vibe, set up an impromptu cocktail bar or host a film screening with a pop-up cinema. Once that's decided create the right mood with bright or colorful decorations, as well as food and drinks that match your theme to make your party look and feel picture perfect.

Ensuring your hot tub ideas are the main attraction at your party is a fantastic way to bring people together and get guests having fun in no time. Whatever your hot tub style, one thing's for sure - it's the perfect setting for a get-together!

Have fun outdoors with our hot tub party ideas

Suddenly it seems that everyone's talking about hot tubs, either how much they love them or how much they want to get one of the best hot tubs for their own backyard. No surprises there as we seem to be spending more and more time socializing outdoors. 

'The increased popularity of hot tubs means many gardens across the country now have an inflatable spa or hot tub installed to offer an #everydaycation lifestyle,' say hot tub experts BISHTA (the British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association). 'They also provide a great way to enjoy time with family and friends, especially to celebrate a special occasion or a get-together.'

Wondering how to get the most out of your hot tub party ideas? Check out our expert tips on how to throw a party to remember.

1. Pick a fun theme to set the scene

hot tub decorated with tropical theme

(Image credit: Marianne Majerus/Future)

Think outside the box when it comes to deciding what sort of hot tub party you want to host. 'When deciding the theme, you can get creative. Base your hot tub party ideas around a celebration, the season, or a bright, fun idea,' suggest hot tub experts BISHTA. 

Make a special anniversary or other significant date an occasion to remember, with an evening BBQ, a fire pit, fairy lights and LED props, then relax with your guests in a beautifully bubbling hot tub under a starry sky.

A tropical theme will always go down well if you recreate a holiday vibe. Bring lush tropical plants up close to the side of the spa, and choose bright pink and turquoise accessories to match. 

Adding a fence or screen for hot tub privacy is the perfect way to make your spa party feel more exclusive too. 

2. Stage your hot tub to make it feel special

raised hot tub on stepped platform

(Image credit: Experience Interiors/Getty Images)

Think of ways to draw attention to your hot tub and make sure it's the focal point of your garden party. Lush and leafy plants in moveable containers are great for adding drama to the space surrounding the hot tub and also help to create a sense of seclusion. 

Before you start styling up the space, make sure your hot tub is fully prepped for guests by following our hot tub maintenance check list.

3. Light up the space and add some music

hot tub and deck lit up at night

Hot tub installed by Hot Tub Suppliers

(Image credit: Hot Tub Suppliers/BISHTA)

'Some hot tubs have built-in music systems and LED lights to get the party started and create the perfect atmosphere,' say hot tub experts BISHTA, 'but if yours doesn't, you can arrange your music set-up around your hot tub and purchase waterproof floating or submersible LED lights to set the scene.'  

If the hot tub is being used at night, always use the underwater lights so that guests can see their safe entry point into and out of the water. You should also ensure that any access route(s) between the house and the hot tub are clearly lit as well with the appropriate outdoor lighting

4. Get the drinks ideas sorted

hot tub with drinks and candles

(Image credit: Zlikovec/Getty Images)

Choose drinks according to the theme of your party. Be careful if you're using glassware to serve your guests as slippery hot tub decks and your finest Champagne flutes are never going to be a good combination. You can always opt for plastic glasses, which now come in a surprisingly good range of options.

The convenience of home comforts will be greatly appreciated during a hot tub party as it means you don’t have to keep getting in and out to refill glasses. Keep the drinks close by or use drinks holders that fit on the edge of hot tubs. 

'Hot tub surrounds are brilliant for keeping everything at arms reach and storing all your party essentials,' says the experts at hot tub specialists Lay-Z-Spa

5. Decorate the surround of your hot tub

hot tub with tropical party theme

(Image credit: Marianne Majerus Future)

There are many ways to dress up your hot tub for a party but tealights and candles never fail to please, creating exactly the right sort of ambience for evening get-togethers whatever the occasion. Opt for easy battery-operated ones that are timed to come on automatically as dusk falls.

Alternatively, fully integrated LED deck lighting ideas mean you can enjoy your hot tub well into the night. So, it's well worth considering these when planning your hot tub surround.

6. Include plenty of nibbles

canapes and drinks by hot tub

(Image credit: PeopleImages/GettyImages)

Your guests are bound to get a little peckish, so make sure you provide plenty of light and simple snacks. Finger food is always a good choice as it's easy to prepare, easy to serve and easy to eat. Set up a table nearby to keep food away from hot tub.

'It's advisable to keep food out of the hot tub, as this increases the chance of crumbs and leftovers falling in, which will reduce the water quality,' say the hot tub experts at BISHTA. If the worst happens, our guide on how to clean a hot tub filter will help you to remove any trapped particles.

Talking of essential cleaning and care, it's also important to find out how to shock a hot tub as this forms part of the sanitization routine you should follow to keep the water clean and clear for party guests. 

7. Add a gazebo to set the scene

hot tub gazebo

(Image credit: Richter Foto/Getty Images)

The weather could be against you on the day of your hot tub party so consider adding a hot tub gazebo for keeping off rain or searing heat, allowing you and your guests to make the most of the occasion whatever the weather. These can be pop-up versions or more lasting structures integrated into your garden landscaping.

Erecting some hot tub shelter ideas also offers more possibilities for lighting it up, whether that's integral to the feature or you add additional festoon lights. After all, you can never have too many lighting effects at a party.

8. Add some sparkle to the occasion

hot tub with festoon lights at night

(Image credit: Linda Raymond/Getty Images)

While we're on the theme of lighting, consider adding string lights and fairy lights around the immediate area too, winding them through the branches of trees or over garden structures. This will add a magical feeling to your party set-up.

'We think that lighting is essential for a hot tub party,' say the experts at Lay-Z-Spa. 'Choose hot tubs with integrated lighting, which will immediately create an atmosphere. Alternatively, you can decorate the garden with festoon lights, lanterns and tea lights.'

When planning your backyard party lighting, be sure to include plenty of ambient lighting to add atmosphere, introducing pools of soft, warm light to encourage guests to linger over a drink or two. 

9. Opt for an inflatable party pop-up

hot tub spa with people toasting the occasion

 The Santorini HydroJet Pro™ from Lay‑Z‑Spa

(Image credit: Lazy-Z-Spa)

If you've already been asking the question 'are inflatable hot tubs any good' then the answer is yes, especially when it comes to instant solutions for your hot tub party ideas. With no tools required and easy-to-follow instructions, you can put up an inflatable hot tub in 5 minutes.

These beauties come in a variety of designs and sizes, including LED lighting systems that are perfect for parties, and what's more, they're durable and sturdy enough for you to be able to enjoy them all year round.  

'We know how important outdoor spaces are to our customers for socialising,' says Samuel Platt, creative design manager at Homebase. 'But spas aren’t just reserved for days when the sun shines, as our customers went wild for them throughout winter too. Some of our latest designs are so clever that they link to an app and have in-built lighting.'

10. Plan some games...

group of people having fun in a hot tub

(Image credit: Ryan McVay/Getty Images)

Whether you invest in one of the best outdoor projectors so you can watch movies from the warmth and comfort of your hot tub, or you keep it simple with waterproof card games or a traditional charades contest, you'll max up the enjoyment if you suggest some fun hot tub party ideas. 

If you're feeling more energetic volleyball, frisbee and Giant Jenga always go down well too!

How do you prepare a hot tub for a party?

The experts at BISHTA have the following advice for hot tub dos and don'ts when preparing your outdoor spa for a party:

  • A couple of days before your party, make sure that your hot tub is clean and the water is balanced by testing it then adding the appropriate chemicals as necessary. This shouldn't be left to the last minute before your guests arrive.
  • You should also check over your hot tub to make sure it's in good working order and that your filter cover, headrests, any other hot tub equipment are secure and in good working condition. Never block or cover suction fittings in the hot tub.
  • It's a good idea to request your guests have showered before entering the hot tub. It might seem awkward to ask, but there's a good reason for this – if any of your guests are wearing fake tan or body lotion, this will contaminate the water. If they're not hot tub owners themselves, it's likely they will be unaware of this.
  • To ensure your guests have an enjoyable time, BISHTA recommends a maximum bathing period of 15-minutes before taking a break and ensuring your guests keep hydrated in the hot tub. 
  • Too many people in a hot tub can be dangerous and can cause a problem with managing the quality of the water. It is, therefore, ideal to keep the gathering small for a hot tub party, but if you have lots of guests try using it in shifts. You should manage the water quality after each shift by checking the water quality is within safe limits.
  • Make your guests feel comfortable by having designated fluffy robes, sliders and towels. Using a robe means your guests don't need to rush to get changed. You can sit outside comfortably to enjoy food and drinks.

inflatable hot tub with people

Hollywood inflatable hot tub by Lazy-Z-Spa

(Image credit: Lazy-Z-Spa)

How do you style a hot tub for winter parties?

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't still entertain and put your hot tub to good use for a party. Learn to see it as a year-round party destination and you'll max up the fun potential. 

'A hot tub provides an ideal base to host and entertain your guests when the nights draw in,' say the experts at BISHTA. 'During winter, a hot tub is the perfect place to enjoy warm spa bubbles while you and your guests relax and enjoy each others company with stargazing or even watching the snow flake fall.'

Just be sure to add plenty of snuggly throws and blankets for afterwards, and don't forget about your hot tub winter care too!

winter hot tub

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)
Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson

Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own space where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.