I was so worried about having a December birthday when Luke was born 5 years ago but I must admit that it makes this time of year all the more special for him and we find plenty of ways to easily distinguish between birthday and Christmas! I have always planned a new adventure for us every year for Luke’s birthday ON his birthday and this year was no different…he has been saying that he wants to ice skate for years and I’ve been holding off until I thought he was old enough. After he went once for a lesson he loved it and we booked the ice rink for a new and fun birthday party. I was a little nervous about having 8 young kids on the ice and hoped parents would be out on the ice with me (and they were!! woot!) and I even had a friend who came to teach the kids a little something about their first time on the ice and they all LOVED it. At first I was wondering if it was really a good idea but then within an hour the kids were all pretty much skating on their own holding onto a traffic cone and we had a hard time pulling them off the ice! I was amazed just how quickly they caught on and everyone enjoyed doing something new and different!
In our private party room the rink gave us all plenty of drinks, lots of pizza and I had the idea of creating a hot cocoa bar for the kids (and parents!) to warm up with in between ice skating. I got these great cups at the dollar store and printed my own template for the cups that read “Thanks for skating with me to celebrate my 5th birthday!” It was a fun and easy take home party favor and I liked these cups because they were the perfect size for little hands and they have a snap top lid!
I took our Keurig to make it easy to heat the water for the hot cocoa and put out bowls of fun mix ins for the kids including these really fun marshmallows dipped in chocolate and crushed candy canes with a mini candy cane in the middle for the kids to hang them on the inside of their cup and let the yummy chocolate, peppermint and marshmallow melt in the warm cocoa. They really hit the spot and were really easy to make.
No Cocoa Bar should be without chocolate stir sticks with little snowman marshmallows!
After ice skating we headed home for a rest and then decided to use our invitation to Great Wolf Lodge for dinner at the new Lodge Resturant and grill and check out the new Shadow Quest game that is taking over the Great Wolf Lodge!
I also made these cute little bags for Luke’s preschool class to give out and to step away from the usual cupcakes that get sent in. Instead we are donating a book to the classroom and I made little bags of “Snowball Soup” for Luke to hand out. Easy and inexpensive! I did put Swiss Miss packs in these which are not great but to be honest, if my kids have one (or two!) of these hot cocoa’s this Winter that will be the least of my problems! I do usually make my own hot cocoa mix at the start of each Winter to always have on hand but didn’t want to make things more complicated so decided I wouldn’t “sweat the small stuff” with handing these out at school. The poem for the Snowball Soup reads:
Make your hot cocoa & put it in a mug,
Then add a kiss and maybe a hug.
The next thing you will do will be the trick,
Stir the soup with your peppermint stick.
But wait a minute… that’s not all.
Cover the top with some snowballs!
Now the soup is finished and you’re done,
Stir occasionally and sip, yum yum!
Remember this recipe when the weather takes its toll,
And enjoy this magic soup from the North Pole!
We had such a perfect day celebrating Luke’s 5th birthday and we are already looking forward to planning next year’s birthday party….snow tubing at Perfect North! So if you have a kiddo with a December or Winter birthday don’t fret – there are SO many fun ways to celebrate a Winter Birthday! Embrace this beautiful Season and have fun!