Take your next party to the next level: Hot Tub Level. Otherwise, what’s the point of having one?


The Invitations

When you throw a hot tub party, the invitations aren’t just a way of telling people where and when the party is. They’re meant to set expectations. They’re meant to convey a tone. That’s why putting a whimsical question mark in place of an end time isn’t enough. To successfully carry off a hot tub party, the encouragement has to start with the invites. Whether you use traditional paper or e-vites, the message has to be clear: Both the party and the invitations must be hot tub-centric, lest your guests find themselves standing around waiting to be led into its warm, bubbly embrace. The invitation should make them arrive raring to get their hot tub on, not just prepared to. Make that clear from the beginning.

The Setup

Create an atmosphere conducive to hot-tubbing. Your hot tub area should be made extra inviting, inviting enough to overcome all possible inhibitions, be they social or weather-related. Have music and decorations around the hot tub. Stage the bar near the tub rather than inside, forcing your guests to consider the possibility at every refill. If it’s chilly, ideally, an outdoor heater could be set up in the general area of the tub, far enough from it for safety’s sake but close enough to create an oasis of warmth around the tub. Have an excessive amount of fresh, fluffy, folded towels set up near the tub (there will be no such thing as too many), assuring your guests that they’ll be able to enjoy the tub, immediately towel off in a comfortable way, and retreat to the indoors. Keep guest rooms and bedrooms open for changing, with more towels available in every room.

Lead by Example

On top of the usual hosting duties, you’ll need to play the pied piper of the hot tub. If you live in the kind of neighborhood where you can leave your door open, do so, because you’ll need to be in the tub when people arrive. As host, it’s your responsibility to encourage others to set aside their reservations and relax. That means doing so yourself and setting a carefree tone. Hire a bartender/caterer if you can (they’re less expensive than you think, and entirely worth it), so that you’re free to be the grand marshal of the good times parade. You can hardly set an example of unbothered festivity if you’re running around refilling drinks.

The point is that if you build it, they will come — “it” being a sense of unfettered celebration that makes a soak in the hot tub a good proposition. With the area staged, the food and drinks flowing, and the good cheer emanating unbridled from the host, you’ll be toasting under the bubbles, and your friends will thank you for it.

After the party’s all over, learn how to spice up your relationship with your hot tub.

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