Having a winter birthday can be pretty bittersweet. On one hand, there’s literally magic in the air around your big day. (Think sparkling lights, whimsical decorations everywhere and the fact that it’s socially acceptable to drink as much eggnog as you want.) On the other hand though, all the holiday buzz can feel like it’s overshadowing your well-deserved birthday shine.
But don’t get your snow pants in a bunch—we’ve come up with tons of winter birthday party ideas to solve for every major dilemma during the season. Whether you’re low on funds from holiday shopping, the weather outside is frightful or you need ways to celebrate when all your fave people are out of town, we promise you’ll find some party inspiration here for both adults and kids.
Now bundle up and jump on in!
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Out with the cold, in with these bad-weatherproof winter birthday party ideas!
Cozy, indoor winter birthday party ideas for adults
Have a hotel slumber party. If you miss all those “stay up late and eat junk food” sleepovers from your childhood, consider renting a hotel room and recreating one! Order takeout (or room service if you really wanna be fancy), tell everyone to wear their comfiest PJs and settle in for a night of nostalgia.
Settle in for a solo hotel stay. If you prefer a more relaxing vibe, a solo staycation is another birthday gift you can treat yourself to. Have a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant, get a manicure at a nearby salon—basically treat yourself like you’d treat a best friend on their birthday!
Set up a boozy eggnog bar. I’m a sucker for a good drink bar, especially when eggnog is the star of the show. Have guests create their own spiked eggnog concoctions, kind of like this one or this yummy butterscotch bev. And if you’re thirsty for even more drink bar ideas, you know we’ve got ’em!
Have an indoor snowball fight. Get a bunch of fake snowballs and have an indoor snow-brawl! In addition to just pelting each other (which, let’s face it, is fun all on its own), you could come up with some carnival-style competition games to keep things interesting.
Host an ugly sweater or ugly sock party. Invite guests to show off their wackiest holiday sweaters and socks, or encourage folks to customize them without the holiday theme. Consider having everyone use silly photos of themselves, pets or TV/movie characters.
Have an indoor snowman contest. Get everyone to bring a bunch of craft items and supply a pile of them yourself. Then make like a kindergartner and see who can make the best, most creative snowman.
Make hot cocktails. Think mulled wine, Irish coffee, hot buttered rum, etc. We might just have a few recipes right here!
Go to a pop-up holiday bar. Lots of cities have fun, themed pop-up bars or restaurants during the holidays. Do a little research and see if you can find one!
Host a cozy Hallmark movie marathon. If you’re planning for someone who’s a superfan—or just wanna treat yourself—check out these Hallmark Channel gift ideas, too. And if they’re a sucker for romance movies with happy endings, stay tuned for new Hallmark Channel premieres all winter long!
Craft the night away. Knitting, quilting, painting, scrapbooking, jewelry-making, coloring—there are so many options to get everyone’s artistic side goin’! See all of our arts, crafts and DIYs if you need extra inspo.
Relax in a hot tub. If it’s open, head to the nearest community center pool and hang out in the hot tub.
Rock out with a concert party. If you sing, play an instrument or have guests with a knack for music, have a living-room concert. For loved ones who can’t make it in person, stream it online and have them join for a jam sesh, too!
Try indoor camping/glamping. Gather camping supplies and pretend you’re prepping for a night in the wild. Instead, ready your living room floor with pillow forts, blankets and finger foods. Tell “campfire” stories (scary ones at your own risk!) and use a projector to recreate the night sky on the ceiling.
Have a video game tournament. Have a few people bring over their gaming consoles and it’ll feel like you’re kids on summer vacation again!
Host a trivia night. Think of some interesting topics that’ll resonate with your crowd. Some idea starters include:
- Movie trivia from a specific decade, like 80s, 90s or early 2000s
- Guess the celebrity
- Trivia questions about the birthday person! (Ex: their most beloved childhood book, their least favorite food, the name of that stuffed animal they’ve slept beside since pre-K)
- TV show theme songs
- Questions related to a fandom the birthday person is part of or a hobby they have. (Ex: baking show trivia questions)
Skip to warm weather. If you’re already missing summer or spring vibes, skip the winter themes all together with some of these party themes:
Cozy, indoor winter birthday party ideas for kids
Do karaoke. Nothing brings people closer together than a night of downright terrible singing (I say that lovingly, I promise). If no one has a karaoke machine, you can totally search for lyric videos of songs online and ditch the microphone.
Play summer games in winter. Think baseball, volleyball, badminton, croquet, etc. Get creative!
Head to a trampoline park. Have fun bouncing around and beating the cold! Or if there’s one in your town/city, find an indoor trampoline park, ditch the shoes and have a competition to see who can jump the highest.
Rent a video game truck. Honestly, the adults might love this one even more than the kids.
Take an art class at a local museum or gallery. If the birthday person is into the arts, see what cool classes, workshops and new exhibits are available nearby.
Try a group pottery class. Gather their closest buds for this fun, messy excursion. Everyone gets to make and keep their own party favor with this one, too!
Have fun at a roller-skating rink. Just remember: It’s okay if you don’t know how to skate. It is not okay, however, to frantically grab on to the nearest innocent person if you start to fall and scar them for life. 😊
Play laser tag. Every kid knows that if you have laser tag at your birthday party, you’re pretty much the coolest person ever. Just prepare for a new level of competitiveness to be unlocked in the people closest to you. Grandmas, co-workers, best friends you’ve known forever—NO ONE CAN BE TRUSTED.
Visit an aquarium. Have a birthday field trip with a day at the aquarium. Make any of these bento box lunches to lean all the way into that skipping school vibe.
Plan a scavenger hunt. Send the birthday person on an adventure to find their gifts, preferably inside and away from the cold! Or host a scavenger hunt for guests to participate in with clues inspired by the birthday person’s favorite things. Ex: Find a clue in their favorite pair of shoes to wear or underneath their favorite box of cereal in the pantry.
Book a private movie theater screening. My cousin did this for her 14th birthday party and honestly, I’m still not over it. There’s a flurry of buttery popcorn and slushies, you get to feel like mini celebrities in an exclusive showing and you *probably* won’t be judged as harshly for talking during the movie.
Throw a costume party. You can choose a specific theme for guests to follow or just encourage everyone to pull out their wackiest past Halloween looks. If the birthday person feels comfortable with it, they can even have guests dress up as different eras they’ve lived through or signature things they wear. Ex: If the birthday person is obsessed with graphic tees, everyone has to wear one! Or if they’re always wearing Converse, everyone should rock their favorite pair.
Play indoor mini golf. Use household items to create a fun mini golf course inside. Use buckets, cardboard boxes, small cups and bowls, and whatever else you can think of as “holes” to land in. Try brooms and baseball bats as golf clubs!
Have a paint party. If you’re celebrating a little artist, round up some paints, different-size brushes, cups for rinsing and canvases. Don’t forget a few smocks/aprons/old T-shirts—it might get messy! If they prefer a marker/crayon vibe, check out all our fun coloring pages.
Go bowling. You can head to a local bowling alley or use household items like water bottles and empty cartons for fun at home. Just keep anything valuable and/or easily breakable far, far away.
Have a “construction zone in the snow” party. Embrace all that glorious snow (if you have any) by pulling out every toy dump truck you can find and playing in it.
Play board games. Encourage guests to bring their favorite board games and take turns playing together as a group. Throw in some of these fun at-home activities if you run out of new games to play.
Are you a true winter baby who loves the cold? These ideas just might be your cup of cocoa!
Snow relay races/outdoor game day. Encourage your guests to sport their warmest attire and have a good ol’ fashioned field day. Pull out the sleds, build snowmen, see who can make the coolest snow angels and play all your favorite sports in the snow.
Find a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and decorate it birthday-style. A decked-out tree personalized just for me sounds like a pretty sweet birthday gift. Find the perfect Keepsake Ornaments to celebrate all their favorite things and make them feel special.
Dog party. If they love pets, have everyone bring their furry friends for a playdate and surround the birthday person with pup love.
Gather round a real campfire or firepit. Use it as an opportunity to share sweet stories about the birthday person. Throw in some s’mores, background music (we’ve got plenty of Spotify playlists if you need ’em) and tissues for all the tears ready to flow.
Go caroling. Disclaimer: You don’t have to have the voice of a Christmas angel to go caroling. If you’ve got a speaker, enthusiasm and friends willing to share in your not great singing, you’re good to go! Just don’t forget to pack extra hats and gloves for anyone who forgets, plus hot cocoa to keep you warm.
Donate/hand out hats, scarves and coats. If the birthday person isn’t big on getting gifts, help out the local community in their honor. Contact local shelters to learn which items are in high demand or round up a group to collect and hand out goods together.
Visit a botanical garden. These can be beautiful during the holiday season and possibly have outdoor activities like ice-skating available. Bundle up and head to your nearest one!
A party without great food is like cookies without milk. Or Santa without his reindeer. Or a tree without ornaments. It just doesn’t. feel. right. Check out some of our favorite cozy recipes, plus party themes for major foodies.
Baking party. If the birthday person loves to whip up some goods in the kitchen, dedicate a day to their favorite activity. Keep their favorite baking shows playing in the background and find some treats folks can make together. To make it extra special, gift them a few new things to honor the occasion like an oven mitt, recipe organizer and apron.
Popcorn tasting. This easy, versatile snack is always worthy of its own spotlight. You can keep it classy with options that are cheesy, buttery or sugary. Or mix it up with some of these creative and tasty recipes:
- Christmas-cookie flavored holiday popcorn
- Naughty and spice holiday popcorn
- Christmas thyme
- Reindeer crunch
- “Cookies and scream” popcorn
Hot chocolate bar. Prepare for ALL the mini marshmallows. And don’t forget the fun stir sticks!
Fondue party. Hot cheese + little foods on a stick = best day EVER.
Nacho bar. I may or may not be biased because this is my favorite food, but I’ve never seen someone look disappointed when they see a loaded nacho bar.
Sundae party. A timeless classic! Deck the toppings bar with all the sweet (and even some savory) things you can think of. Gummy bears, sprinkles and whipped cream are a given. But cheesecake pieces, cereal, brownie bites, pretzels and pie crust are welcome faves, too! We also love this easy apple pie sundae for a fun switch-up.
Cookie-decorating party. Make your cookies look like your party guests with this sweet guide.
DIY pizzas. Pineapple and onions. Green olives and sardines. Chocolate syrup and gummy bears (don’t make that face; this is a judgment-free zone!). For a menu that makes everyone’s hearts and tummies happy, set up a “make your own pizza” station.
Bring your own food boards. The typical meat/cheese filled charcuterie boards are great, but feel free to get creative with these, too. Wings and ranch, sushi, spaghetti and meatball cups, puddings, etc.
French fries with different toppings/dips. Crinkle cut fries, curly fries, waffle fries, shoestring fries—all the fries are welcome! If you’re making them a side dish, set up tons of dips to choose from, like ranch, BBQ sauce and ketchup. If you want them to be the entrée, use your fries as the vessel for a heartier topping like chili or go Canadian and do poutine!
Still not sure what you have a taste for? Do some exploring and browse all of our recipes here. Warning: you WILL be hungry after looking at all of these, so we suggest grabbing a snack before you start!
While you’re in the process of making their winter birthday party dreams come true, why not get them exactly what they want in the form of a Hallmark + Venmo card? It’s a whole new way to add a gift to a thoughtful birthday wish.
If your birthday falls right on a major holiday like Christmas, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, these tips can help separate the occasions and spotlight the big day.
Set a party theme based on something they like that’s entirely unrelated to the holidays. If they’re part of a popular fandom (think Star Wars, Disney, Harry Potter or others), that’s a great place to start!
If you’re celebrating at home, wait to put up or temporarily take down most of the holiday decor to signal that everyone is officially in “IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR BIRTHDAY” mode. If you already have a tree, decorate it with the birthday person in mind! Add personalized ornaments with their name and picture, or choose Keepsake Ornaments related to their hobbies and interests.
With the birthday person’s permission, choose a different day for their big party. Then they can have two special days—one filled with fun things on their actual birthday, then a second date where more of their favorite people can attend.
Differentiate the occasions by wrapping holiday presents in holiday gift wrap and birthday gifts in birthday-themed gift wrap. Make it VERY clear that you aren’t giving them a 2-in-1 gift. Birthdays are separate events that deserve to be treated as such!
Plan them a surprise birthday party. If the birthday person is used to feeling overshadowed on their big day, they definitely won’t see this one coming. It takes planning, but the sheer joy on their face will make it all worth it! (Disclaimer: make sure they’re a surprise party kind of person, first and foremost. Not everyone is a fan, and that’s okay!).
Don’t fret if most of your would-be party guests are traveling for the holidays! Try some of these ideas for celebrating winter birthdays from afar.
- Host a virtual watch party.
- Send the birthday person a personalized care package.
- Organize a card shower just for them. Try some of these birthday message ideas to get started.
- For people who can’t be there in person, pass around a birthday scrapbook months before their big day. Have everyone add special things about the birthday person, like favorite memories shared together or what they love about them.
- Give them the gift of whatever they really want with a Hallmark + Venmo card!
Pro-tip: Make sure to ask guests about any allergies/dietary restrictions early on, as well as disclosing if you have any!
Even though it’s cold out, I hope all these winter birthday party ideas made you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Need even more great birthday ideas? Check these out:
- Birthday wishes for friends: What to write in a friend’s birthday card
- Kids birthday wishes: What to write in a kids birthday card
- How to celebrate birthdays when you can’t be together
- Summer birthday party ideas for everyone
- Easy birthday cake ideas
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