Impromptu parties with family or neighbor kids don't have to be fancy if the food is simple and the company is good.
- Pajama Party/Movie Night! This can be just for family or for neighborhood kids. Let them pick the movie--an old movie favorite (Toy Story, TheWizard of Oz) or something just released. Make popcorn and set up a hot chocolate bar where everyone can add marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, and whipped cream to mugs of cocoa.
- Pizza Party! Have the kids make pizza dough (that should keep them occupied for a while), then let them customize their own pizzas.
- Pancake Party! Easy, inexpensive, and crowd-friendly. You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Just set out all the toppings and let the kids get creative.
It's Snowing Somewhere
Not in the frostbelt? Create your own arctic blast with movies and cozy pursuits that let you pretend the world is your snow globe.
- Watch movies that splash snow across the screen: Snow Dogs, The Gold Rush, March of the Penguins, Groundhog Day, or any Warren Miller extreme winter sports DVD including Storm, Cold Fusion and Ride.
- Read snow-themed stories to the kids such as Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Snowy Day, The Snow Queen, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs or The Snow Geese: A Story of Home.
- Buy some fake snow (such as SnoWonder) to pile on the dining table so kids can create wintry scenes with tree branches, play figurines, and miniature houses.
- Turn up the air conditioner and make some hot cider to drink while baking and decorating cookies with a winter theme.