There is only one time of year synonymous with celebration; one epic night of excused, even tolerated debauchery, an explosion of a year’s worth of tension released in one stunning, glittering shower of sheer enthusiasm and hope for the future.
It’s New Year’s Eve.
Unfortunately, far too many people don’t connect the time of year most dedicated to partying with the one place most dedicated to it: the hot tub. While some people, unforgivably, completely close their hot tubs come winter, others simply fear the logistics of inviting a party’s worth of revelers into the tub safely and effectively.
Well, fear not, because a few basic precautions and a little clever hosting will take your New Year’s party to the next level: Hot Tub Level. Otherwise, what’s the point of having one?
When you throw a New Year’s 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 New Year’s 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: don’t expect to keep your clothes on this New Year’s. Simply having a hot tub open won’t be enough. Even telling folks to bring their swimsuits won’t do it.
The tub has to be part and parcel of the whole event, much like a swimming pool is at any summer barbecue. 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.
First and foremost, 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.
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.
Seriously, you’re gonna want a lot of towels.
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 the start of the new year from under the bubbles, and your friends will thank you for it.
(photo by Jo Marshall)