For a really unique and special winter birthday you may want to consider throwing a carnival birthday party. It is important to keep in mind that this party can be held indoors or outdoors. Be sure to tell your guests in advance if it will be a back yard winter party to make sure they dress appropriately. If the party will be indoors, you may want to keep the heat down (or turn up the air conditioning if you live in a warm climate) to add to the atmosphere.
Invitations: Start by cutting out paper snowflakes. Purchase some light blue blank greeting cards and glue a snowflake on the outside of the invitation. Inside the card write the day, time, place, and note if the party will be outdoors or indoors, and if the guests should dress warm. For a fun touch add some small snow confetti in the envelope before sealing it.
Decorations: If you are holding your winter carnival outdoors and it has snowed, then you can be glad that nature has done the majority of your decorating for you. If it has not snowed, or the party will be held indoors, get yourself a bolt of white felt or rolls of sparkly cotton batting used in winter holiday decorations and spread it out over the ground. Some paper snowflakes that have been sprayed with glue and sprinkled with glitter also make a lovely addition, especially if indoors. You can hang them from the ceiling with a bit of thread and tape at varying lengths to make the entire room look enchanted. You may also want to hang white holiday light strings around the room or yard. You can use cans of spray snow to decorate windows, sliding glass doors, or even the side of the house. What winter celebration is complete without snowmen? You can make your own if winter has not been obliging by tying and decorating a large white sheet. A nice addition to the decorations if you have a fire pit or fireplace is to fire it up for a place for your guests to gather and warm up. If your guests are very young, and you feel an open flame may be too much of a hazard, you can get one of the fake fireplace heaters that resemble glowing logs.
Refreshments: Hot apple cider spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, or hot cocoa with marshmallows always make great drinks to fit the theme. For the rest of the menu think carnival food: corn dogs and French fries, kettle corn, cotton candy and ice cream will keep your guests happy. For the centerpiece (and who has a birthday party without birthday cake) make or purchase a snowman cake. If you want to make your own it’s very easy using two or three round cakes that are covered white frosting. Candies, licorice and other treats can be used for eyes, top hat and scarf.
Activities: One of the biggest benefits to this is that you can make your own carnival-type games for this party; such as a snowball toss game. Get a large piece of heavy cardboard or light plywood and saw round holes in it. You can then take Styrofoam balls that have been sprayed with glue and sprinkled with glitter to look like snowballs. You can then let the kids take turns throwing the snowballs through the holes in the wood from a distance, assigning points for each hole (larger holes are fewer points, smaller holes are more points). You can also get a piece of corkwood and stand it up against a tree or wall. Take several small bags of small candies or trinkets and stuff them into balloons and then blow up the balloons halfway and tie them off. Staple the balloons by the tied end to the board, being careful not to pop them. Give the kids darts to throw at the balloons and they get to keep the prizes that fall out of the balloons they pop. Ring toss is another carnival favorite that is easy to replicate at home. All you need to find are a few rings, (which can be any round item), and something to toss it over, such as wooden stakes or small boxes and toys. If you are having the party outdoors and in real snow, take advantage and have sled rides and snow sculpting contests. You can also build a snow fort and let the kids sit inside and have some refreshments.