Winter Sledding Party

This party comes from Country Living and features some chilly fun with warm spirited tones and some more budget friendly doable tips from yours truly! Ready folks? This one is just plain pretty to look at…

Kate Martin, an event planner, views even the most laid-back gatherings as a chance to experiment. In the case of this sledding party with her family and friends, that means mitten-shaped invites, a tablecloth transformed by snowflake stencils, a hot-chocolate bar, and a snack station groaning with treats: cookies, s’mores, popcorn, and more. At every turn, thoughtful details show care without trying to over impress.

* Make a sledding sign with slate and a chalkboard pen (my sister-in-law introduced me to these recently…easy perfection in chalk writing! Tip? They never go on sale so save up a craft store coupon to purchase one! Although these rustic antique sleds look awesome (and if you have some…by all means!) pile up some ride-able ones from your own collection, and  add contributions form guests to mix and try for ultimate sledding fun! 

To create a pair of invites, stack two sheets of cardstock (Kate chose icy blue). Freehand a simple mitten shape on the top sheet, then cut out both. Use a hole punch and twine to connect the mittens before jotting down party details.

The secret to this salty-sweet snack? Ready-made caramel syrup, melted and drizzled over popcorn. Serve it in Kraft-paper cones.
*You can get Kraft-paper almost anywhere, it’s under $5 and lasts me quite awhile (despite the fact that I use it for everything.) Caramel popcorn is one of my favorite party treats to serve…you can make it a few days ahead to avoid last minute party stress, it’s tasty, and it adds an old fashioned feel. I’m pretty picky about the stuff and will only eat my own version: a toffee caramel corn recipe I picked up from a friend a year or two ago. Super crunchy, super yummy.
Need a paper cone template? Try this one from Bridgey Widgey

Kate whipped up two kinds of cocoa—one dark, one pale, both irresistible. Here, marshmallows, a peppermint stick, and vanilla.
I would just buy the premixed stuff to make it easy but if you’re feeling fancy and would like to make it up from scratch, here are a few recipes to reference: Alton Brown, Paula Deen, and my favorite go-to gal, Mel.

Let guests customize their own drinks with ginger candies, crushed Butterfingers, coconut flakes, mini marshmallows, sliced Kit Kats, and caramel syrup. Chocolate-dipped biscuit sticks and peppermint sticks function as stirrers.
*Need theme matching and appropriate serve ware? My favorite place to find the stuff is at thrift stores…I frequent the dining section with a target goal of whatever sticker is half priced that day. I usually spend under $10 to get what I need.

Armed with stencils and white fabric paint, Kate imprinted a flurry of flakes onto a linen tablecloth (stencils, $15 for three designs; 5″ diam.; paint, $2.25 for 2 ounces;
*White Fabric paint is cheap in small doses and is available at any craft store. If you don’t want to spend the money or time ordering a stencil, make you’re own but printing one and then cutting it out with a craft knife. Other alternatives? Use the Kraft Paper (already purchased for popcorn cones!) to cover the tables and use some white ink and snowflake stamp.

Perfect to dip in hot-chocolate, these triple-ginger cookies get a real kick from fresh, ground, and candied gingers.

Recipe Here.

I have no idea why all of these boys just happen to match in their adorable winter clothes but aint it pretty?
Katie suggests keeping the table low and reachable for little chubby chilly hands.

While the kiddos are sledding (or during breaks if they need assistance) parents can sit around a bonfire, enjoying cocoa, grown up talk and roasted marshmallows. Yum.

A roaring bonfire ends the party on a lively note.

You might be wondering, All this, for family? “Sure! They’re my favorite party guests,” explains Kate, who admits to being a bit of a mother hen. “Our entire lives, my brothers, sister, and I have sat around the dinner table long after the meal ends, telling jokes and enjoying each other’s company. I want us to embrace the smallest moments of life together.” And that’s just what they’re doing, one cup of cocoa at a time.
Completely agreed Kate. Fantastic name by the way.

Katie Signature

**For a complete commentary on this party and more pictures, visit Country Living. Thanks CL!

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