Baby, it’s cold outside! And despite an extra long and balmy Fall, it suddenly seems as though those temperatures are dropping fast. We're not sure about you, but here in Canada, the shorter days compel us to withdraw inside ...by 4 p.m., which makes for a LONG evening. Most years, this self-inflicted hibernation can at times, signal the end of the care-free days of outdoor fun - I mean, have you ever tried dressing six kids in winter gear?? (SOS!). But with COVID-19 thriving in indoor environments, we’re forcing a new mantra into our lives – “embrace winter,” in the hopes it will help us see the joy in winter, regardless of how much blustery snow whips across our face.
Thinking about this new found (theoretical) appreciation of winter, we thought about all of the winter birthdays that get a little bit less enthusiasm and love than their summer counterparts. Summer birthdays are typically easy when you have sunshine and warm weather as the backdrops. How many backyard breezy parties can be thrown when the weather is hot? A LOT! But those poor cold-adjacent birthdays often get ribbon wrapped with an indoor play centre, trampoline park or pottery class, which unfortunately are not possible this year. However, don't fear because us newfound party planning/winter lovers are here! Winter birthdays can be unique, fun AND outdoors! Here at Caring Confetti, our thoughts are ALWAYS about celebrations and birthdays - so layer up in your warmest coats, sweaters, scarves, and mittens and repeat after us “embrace winter birthdays!” Check out some fun ideas below to ensure that your little ones, with birthdays during the months where night begins… AT 4PM, don’t get the short end of the stick!
Hot Chocolate and Sledding
Did someone say chocolate bomb? Our kids' newest decadent obsession can replace cake during an outdoor winter party. Try checking out your local bakery to see if they're attempting to make this latest food craze or if you're the DIY-type, you can try to make your own! Once you've got the "food" / heat source sorted, simply ask everyone to BYOS (bring your own sled) and meet at the local hill. Adding some music and perhaps an on-spot pizza delivery can bring this thrill-seeking party to the next level. And rather than parting gifts, why not take some candid slow motion videos of the downhill spectacle, that will yield looks of sheer excitement and terror and can be shared a few days later in a video montage. Or for the digitally impaired, a simple ‘Let’s Be Adventurers’ enamel pin as your guests leave will truly capture the spirit of the day. Parental Warning: it is strongly encouraged that you wear extra layers, snow pants and hiking boots - we can't stress the last point enough. Trust us, slippery shoes while trying to pull a sled up a hill is going to make for a humorous spectacle...and long wait times between runs.
Have a local neighbour with a backyard rink? Or are you ambitious enough to build your own due to so many recreational activities being shut down because of COVID? Well, whatever your fancy (or neighbour arrangement), backyard skating can be a fantastic birthday activity. Because, what IS more Canadian than skating and hockey? Set up your refreshment and snack table rink-side for easy access as your guests work up a sweat and appetite! And for the lucky ones who had the foresight to purchase some outdoor heaters this year, this is the perfect opportunity to display this act of genius. Other than playing hockey, skating games are a great way to have some fun; but hopefully leaving kids to their own devices will lead to hours of care-free fun and activity. For safety, ensure children pack helmets AND clearly separate the free-skating area from the hockey enthusiasts...because no one wants s puck to the leg while they are doing a pirouette.
North Pole Party
It *just* might be the easiest party decor ever. All you need is a snowy backdrop and a red striped pole. You can DIY a pole with white PVC and red duct tape. Wrap the duck tape around the pole a la candy cane pattern. Print / colour your own "North Pole" onto paper then glue it onto some sturdy cardboard backing. Attach the sign to the top of the pole and stick it in a pile of snow. Once the scene is set, bring your guests on an arctic exploration with polar bear trivia, a quick lesson about ice and climate change, and an exciting story about a famous arctic explorer! Build your own igloo and if possible, an outdoor fire to keep cold stragglers outside. Making your own snow cones with food colouring is easy and a great idea for families without dogs (#stayawayfromyellowsnow!); and if you have the energy you can bring out your Christmas décor and lights for some extra ‘magicalness.’ Disclaimer: although children somehow miraculous don’t appear to ‘feel’ the cold, parents - YOU will! Just remember through chattering teeth, you’re “embracing winter!”
Summer camping is an acquired taste for some (cough, US). Complete with black flies, hot sticky nights and interesting bathroom facilities, it's definitely the character building adventure we should all embrace (wow - look at how much we are embracing...winter...camping...who are we??). Thankfully, there is ONE solution to the obstacles that face camping...indoor camping...oh and yes, hotels. And despite winter camping outdoors being a thing, it's not something we'd encourage anyone to do with someone under the age of 14. So for that camping-lover, winter birthday girl/boy in your life, we'd suggest camping within the comfort of your basement, living room or even kid’s bedroom! Oh yes, we definitely mean setting up that tent and placing some stars up into the "sky" - that can either be twinkle lights or glow in the dark stars. This VERY close physical proximity party will have to be celebrated within your own family or COVID bubble, but I promise, it will be an "adventure" your kids won't soon forget and a nice reminder that camping isn't easy with kids.
What's the winter opposite of a summer beach bash? Well, that would be an ice "i-extravaganza," of course, complete with freeze dance, ice cream, ice cube races, how long can you hold your hand in an ice bucket challenge AND an ice sculpture. Okay, perhaps the ice sculpture would be taking it one step too far with the budget, but it would be pretty cool! Making your own snowflake crafts is a great way to fill your house with beautiful décor, and litter your floor with small white pieces of paper. Leaning into this theme will bring out the inner Elsa in everyone because when we ‘embrace winter’ the cold doesn’t bother us anyway ;).
And of course, for all of you who are not embracing winter, like our past selves, you can embrace the magnetic pull all of us Canadians feel every year to the warm, sandy beaches of the south. Although we won't be getting there this winter (ugh, COVID!!!), we thought having an outdoor party that brought the idea of warmth to you would be just as good (glass half full!). This party requires some dress up, so toss on that Hawaiian shirt, bathing suits and cool sunnies over top of your parkas, turn on some crashing wave sounds and close your eyes. Add some beach party decor, with out Beach Party Box and accessories.
Hot Tub Party
Although we’re well aware that this is a luxury not afforded to most people, we had to include it here and make mention that this type of party will allow kids to stay outdoors for a long, LONG time. Complete with snow angels and races in the snow, the hot tub can save the coldest of toes and make for an unforgettable party (the same goes for adults when COVID is over - #partypostpandemic). Because really, when you have a hot tub, all of the above mentioned parties will end up being a hot tub party!
We get it, winter birthdays can be hard, and winter birthdays during COVID can be harder. Cold weather can really put a damper on things; however, when you think outside of the box, you can offer a unique and unforgettable celebration. But the biggest bonus of all is that outdoor winter parties are SHORT and SWEET!
Care to share how you're embracing winter birthday parties? We'd love to see your ideas. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org