Summer Fun: 10 Uses for an Inflatable Pool

The kiddie pool makes a comeback

Remember the sweet days of childhood when all it took to have fun during the summer was some friends and a cheap inflatable pool?

Now your summers are full of more grown-up things, some of them fun, and some of them practical, but most of them expensive. What if we told you that you could bring that inflatable pool back into your life and make it relevant again? We can’t actually provide the pool, but can provide you with these 10 inflatable pool hacks that will have you set for summer. (We can’t provide the pals, either, but after this list, you and your blow-up pool will be having so much fun together, you might not even need them.)

1. BED

Have you ever been watching a movie at an outdoor Cinema East screening and realized that the earth, as wonderful as it is, just isn’t as comfortable as it ought to be? It’s so much fun to watch a movie outside or camp in the wilderness, but it’s positively miserable lying down on the ground for several hours. An inflatable pool of any size or shape plus some pillows and blankets makes for the perfect outdoor bed.


Coolers are cool but you know what’s cooler? An inflatable pool. Plastic coolers only come in a few sizes and the big ones can be quite costly. Next time you have a barbecue or throw a party, blow up your pool, fill it with ice, and pack it full of Texas beer and cokes. It’s more accessible, affordable, and appealing to the eye.


Do you live in an apartment but dream of having a garden? All you need is (yep, you guessed it) an inflatable pool, some soil, and your choice of plants. You now have a moveable garden that can exist on a deck, patio, or simply just move around your yard if you can’t decide on that perfect spot. If your house gets good sunlight, well heck, put it in there, even.


It’s not that you’re a type-A personality – you’d love to get dirty with your friends and slather on the mud; it’s just that mud can be so messy, and besides, where the hell are you supposed to find a mud pit? Then again, you’re not entirely a type-B personality either because, again, mud pits can be so messy! Well, thanks to the inflatable pool, you can mud wrestle all of your friends and neighbors in the comfort and containment of your own blow-up pool, no pit needed! If mud isn’t your substance of choice maybe you could use shaving cream, or JELL-O. No one is stopping you.


This idea isn’t rocket science, but it still ought to be mentioned. Have you ever been so pumped for a water balloon fight only to find that sharp blades of grass have popped half of your balloons, thus cutting your precious fight-time in half? Well, you should put those water balloons in an inflatable pool, because they will be safe in there. Also, it might be fun to jump in a pool of water balloons.


Raise your hand if you want to go tubing or floating down a river, but you don’t have a raft or any other tubular tubing materials. (Don’t know about you, but we're raising our hands!) Fortunately, instead of spending tons of money on a fancy raft with cup holders, you can just use an inflatable pool and hold your own damn beer! What a steal.


Lying in the bed of a truck, gazing at the stars while your buddy drives around in the warm summer night, is one of the most under-appreciated summer activities. If you haven’t done it in a while, we suggest you do, but enhance your experience by using the inflatable pool bed from idea number one, in the back of the truck. The bed of your truck has never been such a literal bed until now.

These last three ideas are fun for kids (or the young at heart):


Not sure if kids these days enjoy playing in sand as much as we did, but if so, all you need is a kiddie pool and some sand. Insert a child (or you – no judgment), and they'll be on their way to having some fun in this homemade sand box.


Now, this we know for sure: Ball pits are, and always will be, fun. Grab your inflatable pool and fill it with some of those inexpensive plastic balls and make a ball pit! Indoor or outdoor, with or without water, this ball pit is your oyster.


If your child isn’t a fan of sand or balls, just fill up an inflatable pool with their toys and whatever else, and you have yourself a little fenced in area called a “playpen.” They’re just like cages. only more fun and socially acceptable.

The Austin Chronicle’s 2015 Summer Fun Issue hit the stands May 14. Read more Summer Fun stories at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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Summer Fun 2015, Summer Fun, inflatable pool, bed, cooler, garden, mud pit, water balloons, raft, truck, sandpit, ball pit, playpen

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