Walk your guests through a winter wonderland theme party this season. There's no doubt they'll appreciate the festive, cheerful and cozy vibe it offers, as well as the hard work you put into it.
Planning the Perfect Winter Wonderland Theme Party
Just the sight of the words "winter" and "wonderland" is enough to send that classic holiday carol running through anyone's head. It's worth a closer listen if you are considering throwing a theme party focusing on a winter wonderland. The song focuses on cozy elements that call to mind visions of fireplaces, snowmen, chilly nights and closeness with loved ones. Fortunately, it's not too difficult to give your party a wintry, wondrous theme with just a few special touches.
Set the theme right from the start. Choose an invitation that incorporates your color scheme and images of snowflakes, ice or other graphics reflecting the party's theme. Jot down all of the details in silver gel ink for a wintry sparkle. Remember that the invitation is often the first glimpse that guests will have of your upcoming celebration, so set the tone for your party with a festive invite.
Cool Winter Accessories
If kids are on the party guest list, a plastic, glowing snowman is a great draw, and a gift exchange might also add some excitement. Snowflake ornaments, fake snow, ice sculptures and other seasonal accessories are also great options. Remember that the fancy details, such as glitzy sculptures and entertainment, aren't necessary to make the party a success.
Festive Winter Wonderland Decorations
Great decorations and a cool color scheme are sure ways to set the tone for a winter wonderland.
Silver, white and icy blue are the perfect color choices for this cool theme but there are others to consider as well. Other wintry color mixes include:
- All white
- Red and gold
- Rich shades of purple and silver
- Metallics such as gold and silver
Everything from your invitations and decorations to your drinks (and even your food, if you're feeling extra creative) should follow this color scheme in order to best create a true wonderland theme.
Now it's time to have some fun. Decorating a basic party is as simple as hopping over to the local party store, picking up a few accessories and putting them up around the house. A winter wonderland theme party, though, calls for something much more elaborate and well-planned. Items like the following will help create the right atmosphere:
- Faux snow, placed on a fireplace mantel or on end tables
- Faux evergreen branches, holly, and berries, set on tables and near doorways
- Snowmen, penguins, polar bears and other winter figurines placed throughout the party area
- Skis, snowboards and ice skates, leaned up against walls
Don't skimp where the accessories are concerned; in the end, your party will positively radiate with winter charm!
Tables and Centerpieces
Dress the tables up with elegant white tablecloths. These can be purchased for reasonable prices at discount stores like T.J.Maxx or HomeGoods. Accent each table with silver accessories, like placemats, napkins and cutlery. Purchase these festive hues at any local party store during the holiday season, or buy them in bulk at a warehouse store.
A beautiful centerpiece on each table can make a strong statement. Candles are an excellent way to give the room a soft, elegant and intimate ambiance without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas for adding a gentle glow to your party:
- White candles placed in glass jars and surrounded by garlands of silver tinsel are eye-catching, but not ostentatious.
- A cluster of small candles on each table looks mesmerizing, especially when placed inside frosted blue glass candle holders.
- Snowball candles, placed on a decorative candle plate, are a perfect touch. Some are available with gentle scents to further set the mood.
You've got the candles set up, but the party isn't complete without twinkling lights. Place strings of lighting over window frames or on trees. If it fits in your budget, add light branches to corners of the room for an elegant, dreamlike effect. Finally, dress up your punch bowl with light cubes, which are FDA-approved plastic cubes resembling illuminated ice cubes. They'll add a resplendent glow to your buffet table.
Winter Wonderland Food and Drink Ideas
When it comes to holiday party food, the options are endless. That's because the season offers so many sweet indulgences that just about everything seems appropriate. If your party focuses on a winter wonderland, though, you'll want to build the majority of your menu with that in mind.
Forgo the typical punch bowl in favor of sparkling cider, hot apple cider sprinkled with cinnamon and hot cocoa with whipped cream and marshmallows. Offer tea, coffee and some soft drinks for individuals who prefer a more basic option.
If you want to provide a selection of cocktails for the adults, try one of these mouthwatering drinks:
- Hot Buttered Rum (rum, apple cider, raisins, cinnamon and butter)
- Peppermint Patty (hot chocolate, peppermint Schnapps and whipped cream)
- Almond Bliss (amaretto, hot chocolate and whipped cream)
- Eggnog (with and without alcohol)
- Cranberry juice and vodka with seltzer and lime
Opt for dishes that connect with the holiday in some way, but ensure that there are enough selections to suit everyone's preferences and dietary needs. Some possibilities include:
- Cranberry stuffed turkey or chicken
- Roasted and stuffed mushrooms or green peppers
- Meatballs or spinach balls
- Smoked salmon drizzled with lemon sauce
- Garlic or cheesy mashed potatoes
Don't forget a tempting array of appetizers. Appetizers can often be used in place of a full meal. Offer a wide assortment of options to satisfy your guests. A fruit platter and vegetable tray with dip always go over well, as do items like:
- Stuffed mushroom caps
- Crostini topped with your choice of cheese, dressing or vegetable
- Cheese and crackers
- Shrimp cocktail
Who can forget dessert? Delectable treats are a great way to end a perfect night. Try one of these tasty treats:
- Apple, walnut and cinnamon pie
- Cheesecake drizzled with chocolate or cherry sauce
- Plum pudding
- Gingerbread cake
Another option for dessert is to set up a table filled with festive cookies and cupcakes. Be sure the treats are decorated according to your winter color scheme.
Fun Games and Activities
Mingling with friends and family are often all you need to do at a winter wonderland party but why not add an additional element of fun with some games and activities to liven up the bash.
Kids will enjoy games such as:
- Pin the Nose on the Snowman: Just like the classic "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey," this game gives kids the chance to pin the nose on the snowman. Have a large snowman hung on the wall. Cut out carrot shapes to use for the nose and give each child a nose. Blindfold each child and spin them around then let them try to stick on the nose. The one closest is the winner.
- Snowball Relay: All you need for this game is a bag of cotton balls, buckets and spoons. Set buckets filled with cotton balls at a starting line and some that are empty several feet away. Kids can be divided into teams and will take turns scooping out the cotton balls with spoons then carrying them to the empty buckets. The team who gets the most cotton balls into the buckets is the winner.
For the adults, offer games such as:
- Winter Charades: Let your guests choose an idea of their own to act out or make up words and place them in a hat before guests arrive. The word must be related to winter. Use words such as Santa, snowman, sleigh ride and ice skating.
- Name That Song: This game begins with guests picking a random word from a Christmas song. The others will try to guess what the song is based on the one word. If no one guess the song, there can be a challenge where the person who first picked the word must sing the song to confirm that the word is actually part of the song.