It’s easy to find ways to celebrate during the holiday season – but the cold winter months following don’t need to be dull, either! If you’re looking for ways to liven up the first months of the year, consider throwing a winter-themed get-together for family and friends. If you live somewhere covered in snow, then inspiration is all around you – and if you don’t, then these wintery ideas may be even more fun!

CocoaBarOverview2Source: Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

Hot Cocoa Bar can be easily incorporated into any wintertime event (think birthday parties, school functions, a casual brunch with friends) or it can be the event itself (set up a Front Porch Cocoa Party like this one over at Celebrating Everyday Life, and invite friends and neighbors to stop by as they please!) The basics are obvious and easy to throw together (cocoa, mugs or disposable cups, spoons) and the options for personalized add-ones are endless. Marshmallows, peppermint stir sticks, flavored syrups, cute labels – these will all add something special.

winter-bonfire-party-600x399Source: The Sweetest Occasion

Now, how gorgeous and fun does this Winter Ice Skating Party look? If you’re lucky enough to live near a natural rink, then we hope you’re taking advantage of it this winter! This party featured by The Sweetest Occasion is the perfect blend of rustic ease and surprising attention to detail (note the snowflakes stamped on the brown paper bags filled with popcorn.) The above-mentioned Hot Cocoa Bar would blend in quite nicely; set it up near the bonfire, and you’re all set!

let-it-snow-sledding-0213-lgnSource: Country Living

Alternatively, you could throw a Sledding Party. This article by Country Living offers a full how-to, complete with unique touches like mitten-shaped invitations and a mess- and stress-free take on s’mores. Whether for the  young or the young at heart, this themed celebration is a great way to gather friends and family outdoors at a time of year when we tend to stay inside. You don’t need many decorations, with nature as your setting!

Winter-Olympics-Party-400x400Source: Today’s Mama

Another great idea? A Winter Olympics Party! Erica of Today’s Mama has rounded up a number of inspirational ideas right here. We’re loving the ring-adorned food and drink ideas, as well as the tips for decorating with flags. While this is an obvious choice for an Olympics viewing party, the theme works just as well during a year when the Games aren’t happening. You could also consider taking the party outdoors and incorporating your own “Olympics” of relay races and competitions.

melted snowmanSource: Come Together Kids

For refreshments, offer up these adorable Melted Snowman Waters (free printable labels are available at Come Together Kids) – and when it comes to food, stick to your theme or opt for seasonal fare: Apples, squash, cranberries – these all lend themselves beautifully to wintery hors d’oeuvre. Hot soup shots would also be fun!

Do you do anything fun to celebrate this time of year? Perhaps you’ve got a birthday party coming up, or a winter wedding to attend… If so, we’d love to hear your ideas in the “comments” section below!

By Liana Orenstein