Winter Party Planning: How to Make the Most of Your Winter Event

Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn't mean you have to give up on entertaining. Parties in January and February can be just what you need to get out of the winter doldrums. Of course, the weather doesn't always cooperate. Here are six tips to help you throw a safe and satisfying winter party.

Winter Party Planning: How to Make the Most of Your Winter Event

Plan for Coats and Boots: If there's snow on the ground, your guests will have lots of clothing to shed between the front door and the living room. Have a designated place for coats, hats, scarves, and mittens to land. It's equally important to have a spot for wet, drippy boots. Worst case scenario: lay down newspaper in front of a bench or pair of chairs to give guests a spot to switch their shoes.

Consider Outdoor Entertaining: It's tough to get outside during the winter, but a party is a great excuse for some fresh air. Cross your fingers for a clear day and clear the snow off the back deck. If you're able, light a bonfire or rent a patio heater to provide a place for your guests to warm their hands. Set out hot cocoa, marshmallows and sticks, and unbreakable cups for a cozy and safe outdoor event.

Think About the Temperature: Chances are you've been thinking about the temperature outside already… but what about inside? It's easy for winter parties to quickly overheat, especially if you have lots of guests in a small space. This goes double if you have a fireplace: a roaring fire is cozy, but it's hard to control its heat output. Keep an eye on the thermostat and don't hesitate to crack a window if things get a little too cozy.

Get Your Soup On: Nothing warms you up on a cold day like a hot bowl of soup. Stews, chowders, and chilis make great party foods. Set out toppings, bowls, and bread and let your guests assemble their own lunchtime masterpiece.

Keep the Driveway Clear: Nothing ruins the mood of a party like a guest taking a tumble on their way in. Have a shoveling or plowing plan in mind in case it snows on the day of your event. Ensure that there's plenty of clear space for parking. Shovel any walkways your guests may use, and put down salt if it's appropriate. Clear the railings on steps and porches to ensure your guests have something to hold on to if they start to slip.

Consider Rescheduling: No one likes to think about cancelling a party they've spent weeks planning. Unfortunately, rescheduling is often a better alternative than traveling in unsafe conditions. If you live in an area where snow storms are common, set a snow date for your event before you start planning. Make sure you're able to contact all of your guests so you can let them know if you need to reschedule.

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