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It happens every year. Winter. And with it comes two of my children’s birthdays. One in December, one in February — and I dread them every year. Why? Because it’s too cold to have a party at the park or in the pool and you can only have so many birthdays at Chick-fil-A before you get burned out or they get too old to think it’s fun. And we sure don’t want parties at home where we’ll have to clean up before and after.

So what’s a parent to do? I’ve been dealing with winter birthdays for a total of 20 celebrations now, and here’s my advice.

Take them for an experience instead. This is what we did for my daughter’s 11th birthday last month. She adores the YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning and begged me to take her to see the guys who do it when their tour came through Atlanta. After a chat between my husband, daughter and myself, we agreed that this would be her entire birthday — gifts and party. She was thrilled and we have memories to last a lifetime.

It doesn’t have to be that big though. If you have an animal lover, passes to the zoo would work as well, and save it for a warmer day in the spring. Or find an indoor concert or show you could take them to without having to pull together a party.

Rent a community space that provides warmth and ease of use. It’s not terribly expensive to rent a room at your local community center, library, or other type of building. My friend’s winter baby was obsessed with school buses, so last year she rented out a daycare that had its own bus. They had the party inside then everyone loaded up on the school bus for a ride around town. It was a huge hit. We’ve also rented a room at a community center and turned it into Willy Wonka’s chocolate room. It is a great way to stay warm inside and not have to rearrange all your furniture as well. You can do parties like Minute to Win It games, arts and crafts, or a dance party.

Pick a party place. You know the ones. Art studios, roller rinks, laser tag courses, etc all offer birthday party packages perfect for your winter birthday baby. There are a number of them throughout the Upstate and they are perfect for days when it’s too cold to be outside or — gasp — snowing. Even most movie theaters have a party room and packages available for birthdays.

Suck it up. Yep. Last year my son begged for an outside Nerf gun party. We agreed, though a little reluctantly. We told all the kids to bundle up, served hot cocoa on our back porch, and them them shoot each other (with Nerf darts) to their hearts content.

Sometimes it’s worth it to just go ahead and plan an outdoor party for winter. It was definitely one I will remember for years to come.

Regardless, we all know trying to find winter birthday activities can be a chore, but as long as your birthday child has a great time, that’s all that matters.

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