Winter is a tough time to host a birthday party. It's cold and generally unpleasant outside, forcing you to be creative with your indoor party theme. This year, embrace the chilly weather by hosting a Winter Wonderland party. It offers the best part of Mother Nature's frosty venue, but in a much warmer space.

Decorations - The colors for this theme are white, light blue and silver. Check the holiday clearance racks or your own decorations for snowflakes, icicles and white or blue lights. Inexpensive décor includes DIY centerpieces made from glitter-sprayed tree branches. You can create your own paper icicles to hang from the ceiling or doorways and balloons are a great way to decorate in the theme colors.

Food and Drinks - Start with easy white snacks like popcorn, yogurt pretzels or mozzarella sticks. Serve up white cheddar mac and cheese, pizza made with white garlic sauce or cheesy potato pancakes. Your guests will love blue Gatorade, blue raspberry lemonade or blueberry smoothies to wash them down. Desserts are easy with the use of blue food coloring, coconut shavings or blue gelatin mix.

Games -

  • Snow Pile - Fill two large pots with Styrofoam packing peanuts (a great way to recycle from the holidays). Purchase several mini toys from the dollar store or party store, making sure to have at least two of every toy. Place matching toys in opposite pots and mix well with packing peanuts. Two players compete to find the toy you called out - yo-yo, pencil and so on. The first one to find it gets to keep theirs. Refill the pot for the next round.

  • Shovel the Snow - Purchase three large bags of cotton balls and spread them out on the floor. Players are blindfolded and given a large serving spoon and a bowl. Players need to scoop up as many cotton balls as they can in a minute. Another way to play is to purchase colored cotton balls - white, blue and yellow. The game is played the same way, but this time players lose points for picking up the dreaded yellow "snow."

  • Walk Through the Blizzard - This is a great game to work out some of the wiggles. Decorate a hallway with streamers of paper attached at different heights and stretching from wall to wall. The kids have to make their way through the maze and back by climbing over, sliding under and going around the paper. Players break into teams and go through one at a time to gather the winter items on the other side - a hat, gloves, scarf, jacket. The fastest team through the blizzard is the winner.

Crafts -

  • Snow Slime - A fun winter craft is snow slime. You will need a 6 ounce bottle of Elmer's glue, ½ tablespoon of baking soda and ¼ tablespoon of eye contact solution. Mix well. Add glitter or food coloring as desired. Store in a plastic storage container or mason jar with lid.

  • Hand Warmers - Use up scrap fabric or buy flannel material to create 3 x 3-inch squares. Depending on the age and skill of your guests, you can pre-sew three sides together. Let the guests fill them with uncooked white rice, and then hand sew the bag to seal it shut. Bags can be heated in the microwave for 30 seconds and held in hands to warm up.

  • Snow Flake T-shirts - Purchase white or light blue T-shirts, blue and silver glitter, Elmer's glue and plastic snowflake stencils. Have the kids outline the stencils with a pencil and then retrace with glue. Shake glitter over glue to create cool snowflake designs. This messy project is a real crowd pleaser - at least for the kids.

  • Goody Bags - Fill a mason jar with packages of hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and white chocolate chips. Attach a note with directions to make snowman soup: "Add a cup of hot water, one package of cocoa mix and marshmallows and chocolate chips to taste. Stir well and drink slowly."


Pam Molnar is a freelance journalist and mother of three. Pam and her family love hosting themed parties for any occasion. Follow her on Etsy at Pam's Party Printables.