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Hot Tub Time Machine Party Planner

Yes, you can travel through time in a hot tub; from 2018 right on into 2019, happy, relaxed and ready to take on whatever the new year offers. Hopefully much better things than 2018: and end to war, global warming, terrorism and most of the shows on TLC would be a good start.

Hot tubs were made to relax, yes; to melt away the cares of the day, to refresh, to renew, to reinvigorate, to resurrect. But they were also made to socialize; to laugh and goof and have a great time in the company of friends and family. What better way to start off the next 365.25 days?

The bigger the hot tub, the bigger the guest list, obviously; but there's no need for everyone to be in the tub at the same time, so invite who you want. Plan activities outside of the tub and then make a dip in the tub part of the reward for winning a game; draw names from a hat; take turns alphabetically; use a timer and tag team out. Make sure to tell guests to bring towels/robes, or, if you are the generous sort, have plenty on hand for them to use.

All great parties need music, food and drinks and fun.

Music: if you are lucky enough to have a spa with an integrated sound system, you're all set. If you are wondering where you can get a spa with an integrated sound system, familyleisure.com. If you don't have an integrated system, make sure the music is loud enough to be heard over the jets. Obviously, no plugged in devices on or near the water. Consider waterproof devices; you can purchase waterproof Bluetooth speakers to play your favorite playlist from your phone. Your music, your taste, but keep the music upbeat, positive and dance-worthy. Here's an eclectic New Year themed playlist:

  • "Let's Start The New Year Right" — Bing Crosby
  • "Funky New Year" — The Eagles
  • "Auld Lang Syne - The New Year's Anthem" — Mariah Carey
  • "Celtic New Year" — Van Morrison
  • "This Will Be Our Year" — The Zombies
  • "Maybe Baby (New Year's Day)" — Sugarland
  • "New Year's Eve 1999" — Alabama
  • “Happy New Year” by Abba
  • "New Year’s Day" — Taylor Swift
  • "Happy New Year" — Judy Garland
  • "Same Old Lang Syne" — Dan Fogelberg
  • "Champagne" — Lindsay Ell
  • "New Year's Resolution" — Otis Redding
  • “Will 2k” by Will Smith
  • "My Dear Acquaintance" — Regina Spektor
  • "Welcome to the Future" — Brad Paisley
  • "New Year's Day" — U2
  • "Bringing In A Brand New Year" — B.B. King
  • “New Year’s Resolution” by Camera Obscura
  • "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" — Diana Krall
  • "New Year's Prayer" — Jeff Buckley
  • "Peace" — Norah Jones
  • "New Year's Day" — Charlie Robison
  • "Auld Lang Syne" — Harry Connick, Jr.
  •  “Bringing In A Brand New Year” by Charles Brown
  • “Funky New Year” by The Eagles
  • “Gonna Make it Through This Year” by Great Lake Swimmers
  • “New Year’s Eve” by Tom Waits
  • “Happy New Year” by The McGuire Sisters
  • “In the New Year” by The Walkmen
  • “11:59 (It’s January)” by Scrawl
  • “New Year’s Eve” (Empty Minds Edit) by MØ
Food: keep it simple and light. No one needs to be in a hot tub after eating a plate piled high with a heavy, starchy, gravy-soaked meal; it will not end well. Start the party late enough that dinner isn't expected; have plenty of appetizers on hand; veggies and dip, bowls of nuts, chips, cheese and crackers, an antipasto platter. Everything easy to handle, easy to eat, easy to share, easy to clean-up. Here's a list of classy and easy appetizers from Country Living. The list includes things like Smoked Salmon Dip and Cajun Sausage Puffs with Bourbon Mustard - yum!

Drinks: BYOB is still the easiest way to go; you can provide the champagne, water and soft drinks. If you are too classy for that, make sure to have a variety of drinks on hand. If your guests are beer drinkers, bring in some interesting craft beer; provide the wine drinkers with local, seasonal vintages; offer up some interesting craft whiskey or bourbon.

Fun: Hanging out with the right people, good music playing in the background, a lovely IPA in hand, a juicy shrimp in the other, a hot tub in the offing - this is already a fun party. But JIC things go south and the conversation isn't so sparkling, or the beer is a little flat, have some activities planned. Here are some games you can play in the tub. If the guest list exceeds the number of people who can comfortably and safely fit in your tub, take turns like good little boys and girls.

The Perfect Storm - Objective: get a floating duck (or animal of your choice) to the opposite side of the tub using only water and air. Create two teams and put the animal in the center of the tub; by blowing or creating waves, maneuver the animal to the opposing team's spa wall. You can also make this into a tournament, opposing and eliminating the players one on one.

Sinkhole - Objective: avoid sending a plastic cup to the bottom of the tub. Place a plastic cup in the center of the tub (jets off). Take a second cup and pass it around; each player will pour some water into the floating cup. Each pour is timed to last 2 seconds. The player that sinks the cup is eliminated.

Pingdemic - Objective: don't let floating ping pong balls come into contact with any part of your body. Toss five ping-pong balls into the center of the tub. Turn on the jets and avoid the balls. If you get touched by a ball, you are eliminated.

Shuffle and Deal - If you and your friends like to play cards, you can get waterproof versions of regular playing cards, as well as some games like Uno. Use an upside down Frisbee as a floating table.

Hot tub smarts: tub with a friend; no solo dips, particularly when there is alcohol involved. Don't stay in the tub more than 30 minutes at a time. Have plenty of drinking water on hand; hydrate before and after using the tub. Keep glass bottles and glassware away from the hot tub area.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot - it might as well be in a hot tub, with a massage jet thumping out your 2018 tensions. Resolution for 2019 - relax!

(If you don't have a spa, but it sounds like a great idea - and it is - check out Family Leisure .com for an impressive array of tubs)

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