With my own birthday falling in January, and having grown up in the cold and snowy northeast, I can empathize with the children who will be celebrating birthdays over the next couple of months. Having a birthday party in the dead of winter gets a bum rap sometimes. Pool parties are out, unless they’re being held at an indoor community pool, and for the most part, the kids can’t run off as much energy as they can outside. Parents may also tend to limit the number of guests more in the winter; while your backyard might be able to hold a classroom’s worth of kids during warmer weather, chances are good that your house cannot. So for those who have kids with birthdays in January and February (and who do not live in a warm climate), here are some birthday party ideas for making winter birthdays every bit as special as those that fall in the spring or summer:
- Come up with a variety of indoor party games. If you are opting to have the party at home, save your own sanity by making sure you have a lot of activities planned. A houseful of kids who have been cooped up due to inclement weather for the past few weeks could drive you crazy if they’re allowed to rely on their own devices. Plan enough for the party’s allotted time, plus a bunch extra. Some possibilities for “extra” activities include face-painting (by you or another adult or teen!), craft projects (order from Oriental Trading Company or make some of your own to use as examples in advance of the party), hula hooping (this is an active game, but forces kids to stay in one spot), a dancing contest, or an obstacle course. Keep them busy!
- Take the party to a different venue. This can be an expensive option, but a bowling alley, roller skating rink, pizza arcade or children’s museum might be the perfect place for your child’s party. The good thing about this type of party is that it has clear starting and ending times, and there is no mess for you to clean up! That alone could be worth its price in gold. To save some money, ask the manager if you could have it after school on a weekday, or on a Sunday evening; off-peak times might get you a discount.
- Work with what you’ve got. If you live near beautiful hills and you have a foot of snow on the ground, have a sledding party! After the kids tire themselves running up and sledding down the hills for a while, head to your house for hot chocolate and cake. The party guests will probably be too pooped out to cause too much mayhem in your home, but the activities above will help ensure minimum mayhem.
- Consider a half-birthday celebration instead. Your child might be happy to defer her party until the summer, when she can enjoy water balloon fights, swimming and running around in the backyard.
- Find something extra-special to do with one or two children, rather than have a big party. One year, for example, my son invited his best friend to a hockey game. We had dinner at a restaurant before the game, then his friend got to sleep over. This was more meaningful and memorable to him than a party would have been that year.
There are lots of good options for your winter birthday-child, and ones that will suit any budget. What are some birthday party ideas to make your child’s day ultra fun, despite the frightful weather?