Spend the Holidays Poolside

Even if your pool is closed for the winter, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time around the pool with those in your household. If you live in the warm sun belt and have a pool heater, you’re all set! If you live in the snow belt, you may have to get a little creative, but it’s still entirely possible. No matter what your situation may be, we have some fun and easy ways to celebrate the holiday season poolside.

WARM CLIMATES

Those in warmer climates have a little more flexibility when it comes to spending the holidays around the pool at home. A pool heater (or heat pump) and a solar cover are all you need to keep the water comfortable year-round. But even if the pool is closed, you can still enjoy the outdoors with a decorative fire pit, some comfortable patio furniture, a few festive decorations, and a couple of outdoor games and activities. Here are some ideas to transform your backyard into a winter wonderland.

holiday pool decorations for Christmas pool party

Deck the Halls...and the Pool Deck

You’ve already decorated the house. Why not decorate the pool and patio to match? Twinkling strands of lights look breathtaking in the nighttime reflections of a still and quiet pool. Drape some lights and holiday garlands around the edge of the pool or along the top of the pool fence for some extra holiday pool pizzazz. Wrap some lights around the tree trunks surrounding the deck for dramatic effect. Or, if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, just set up a lighted Christmas tree on the patio, and drop a couple of floating lights in the water.

Use Your Noodle

red and green pool noodles

Exercise your creativity and make holiday decorations out of pool noodles. Take a red pool noodle and wrap it with wide white ribbon or white masking tape to look like candy cane stripes. To make the cane shape, curl one end over, and secure it with clear fishing line.

To make a colorful garland, cut 1" or 2" slices of different colored pool noodles. Then string them together in alternating patterns along a section of rope.

For a cute elf, fold a pool noodle in half, and stick a festive hat over the fold. Then add some cute stockings and elf shoes (you can make these out of felt or extra sections of pool noodles) to make the ends of the noodles look like legs.

As another idea, you can even tape a noodle (or two) in a circle for the beginnings of a large holiday wreath. The options are endless, and Pinterest has tons of great ideas.

Yule the Pool

Christmas and holiday pool games

A poolside holiday is not complete without some decorations in the water. Set a few pretty wrapped boxes (with or without presents inside) atop a pool float in the middle of the pool. Blow up some red and green balloons to float on the surface, or use white balloons and styrofoam balls to mimic snowballs. Glue the tops of some round ornaments to make them water-tight, and toss them in the water to float around. Be sure you only use plastic ornaments around the pool, as glass ornaments can shatter and become a hazard.

Speaking of ornaments, you can create a holiday diving game with little more than a miniature tree and a few plastic ornaments. Weight the base of the tree so it sinks to the bottom, and fill the ornaments with aquarium rocks and water so they won’t float to the top. To play the game, swim to the bottom of the pool, and decorate the tree one ornament at a time. Fastest time to decorate the tree with all the ornaments wins!

COLD CLIMATES

If it’s cold and blowing snow outside your window, the last thing you probably want to think about is spending the day outdoors, let alone playing in the pool. But there are options!

quiet indoor swimming pool

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

When it’s too cold to swim outside, swim inside! Look online to find a nearby indoor pool that can be rented for private events or small family groups. These are usually found at a fitness club or indoor water park. Some locations may even have conference or event rooms available for private games, activities, and meals. During a long year of staying home, going to an indoor pool can be a fun and easy way to do something out of the ordinary with the kids. This time of year is especially popular for indoor pools, so call ahead to confirm your reservation.

WARNING: Interacting with those outside of your household can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Follow state and local guidelines at all times, and exercise social distancing when possible. Social gatherings are still prohibited in some areas, but you may still be able to plan a holiday outing for your household.

indoor kiddie pool

Kiddie Pool Christmas

If a public indoor swimming pool is out of the question, try something inside your own home. Does your basement or garage have a drain installed in the floor? If so, you may be able to set up a kiddie pool for them to splash around in. Young children especially will get a big kick out of this unique playtime idea. Use some of the decoration ideas above to create a holiday oasis in the comfort of your home.

holiday pool and spa with Santa hat

Ho-Ho-Hot Tub

Spas and hot tubs get more use in the fall and winter than they do any other time of year. Why not use it through the holidays? Enhance your relaxing soak with your favorite aromatherapy fragrance. If you wear a hat to keep your head warm, it might as well be a Santa hat. ‘Tis the season, after all! If your spa has different light settings, turn on the red and green to really get into the holiday spirit. If you’re feeling festive, add a decorative garland around the outside of the spa or drape it over the spa cabinet. A few holiday-scented candles near the spa can also boost your relaxation.

fire pit with roasting marshmallows

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

If you’re lucky enough to have decent weather around the holidays, a fire pit or patio heater can make it more comfortable to sit outside and enjoy eggnog, cider, or hot cocoa with family. Blast the holiday music over your Bluetooth speakers, and let those sleigh bells ring! Don’t forget the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers; no fire pit gathering is complete without some tasty s’mores.


No matter what your plans for the holidays may be, always be safe. Exercise pool safety at all times, and follow state and local guidelines to help fight the spread of COVID-19. From all of us at Leslie’s, we wish you a very happy and safe holiday season!

If you have any questions about maintaining your pool through the winter, we’re happy to help. Feel free to visit with our friendly associates at your local Leslie’s store, use our online live chat, or give us a call at 1-800-LESLIES.