When it's freezing outside, the last thing you want to do is leave the comfort of your own home. Instead of putting off all social engagements until spring, have your friends and family over. Make them leave their houses and come to you! And make it up to them by throwing one of these laid-back and cozy parties that are sure to beat the winter blues. Bonus: None of these will break the bank.
1. Movie Night
The classic. Have a marathon. Watch a trilogy. Binge anything on Netflix. Just hit play and sit there for hours. If you're feeling ambitious, you can theme the evening and build a menu to match. Watch all of the Godfather movies and create a sandwich station full of pickled veggies, Italian meats and cheese, and oil and vinegar. Or show a selection of Nancy Meyers movies paired with baked goods. You get the idea.
2. Game Night
Geek-chic vintage board games, traditional Milton-Bradley games, or newer games like Cards Against Humanity that get people talking — no matter what you pick for the night, you'll have fun seeing which one of your friends is secretly super competitive. Order a few pizzas so you don't have to worry about cooking and can keep your head in the game(s).
- A Friday Board Game Night with Friends, Dinner, Snacks & Sangria
- Hosting Game Night? A Roundup of Snack Recipes
- How to Host a Winning Game Night at Apartment Therapy
3. Cereal Party
Sugary cereals are basically dessert, so treat them as such! Have a bunch of people over and make everyone bring their favorite cereal to share with the group. Set out your biggest and prettiest cereal bowls, your largest spoons, and a pitcher of ice-cold milk. People can mix up whatever crazy concoction they want and no one will be judged for drinking the milk at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Indoor Picnic
No bugs and the comfort of cushions just might make the indoor version better than the real thing. Spread out a picnic blanket and make a bunch of finger foods (easy-to-eat sandwiches, crostini, and other nibbles). Stream pictures of gorgeous landscapes from across the country on your TV and you'll feel like you're outside — and be reminded that winter won't last forever.
5. Fondue Party
What's old is new again! There's something fun about this '70s-style food. It's easy to make and can go in a variety of directions. Choose savory or sweet, or do both and offer multiple courses. It's tons of fun and low-key enough that you won't get stressed out with prep.
6. Pajama Party
One of the worst things about winter is just getting dressed. Wouldn't you rather wear soft, comfy flannel pajama bottoms instead of tight jeans that are not as stretchy as they should be? Tell everyone to come over to hang out — wearing whatever they'd usually go to sleep in. You can even give a prize to whoever looks the comfiest!
See? There's plenty you can do without leaving the house or going into full-on hermit mode. What are some of your favorite low-key ways to have friends over when the temps are below zero?