10 Cool Parties to Beat the Winter Blues Slideshow
'Mad Men' Viewing Party
While the premiere of season five is seemingly far off (if they don’t postpone it again…), the perfect way to get your fix of stiff drinks, beef Wellington, and Don Draper is to make a Mad Men night of your own. Break out your favorite pencil skirts and serve a menu of retro classics like deviled eggs and noodle casserole, and you’ll be right at home with Betty, Peggy, and Joan. Screening your favorite episodes from seasons one through four is optional.
If you’re not quite as into dressing up as we are (what, not into donning cowboy boots?), you can simply carry out a theme party via your menu, and, in the case of this fiesta, with a sombrero or two. Set up a spread of make-your-own pulled pork tacos and let your friends wash it all down with some margaritas. After a few drinks, people will be in no shape to hit a piñata — hand out candy instead.
Winter Olympics Potluck
There might not be an actual Winter Olympics taking place until 2014, but that just means the playing field is wide open for you to hold your own events. Tell your guests to dress up as the country of their choice, and to bring a dish from their land. Supplement the potluck with an ice luge, plenty of wintry liquors, and perhaps some Wii downhill skiing.
Parties like this make us yearn for our college years, when going to vintage stores and buying the most puffy, glittery '70s disco dress we could find was a standard practice. But you’re really never too old to break out your sequins, face glitter, and platform booties. Make sure to clear a dance floor, because that's what this party is all about.
Murder Mystery Game Night
If you are a rather theatrical person, or had a mild obsession with the game of Clue growing up, you just might be ready for a full-on murder mystery night. Read our tips, then order a set here to show you how it's all done. Assign characters to your friends, have them dress in costume and act the part, and serve them Southwestern chili for fortification as they chase down the killer.
For this party you really only need two things: vodka and fake fur. No fancy cocktails are necessary. Simply provide shot glasses, ice-cold bottles of vodka, and perhaps some Russian finger food specialties like smoked salmon-topped potatoes, or even caviar and blinis (if you've got a bonus to burn) to help soak it up.
Ladies' Night Rom-Com Marathon
There is nothing better when it’s cold outside than holing up with some of your girlfriends and watching your favorite cheesy romantic comedies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you'll eat plenty of chocolate. Invite a group of girls over and serve them a beautiful and healthy main course salad, followed by rich brownies, and a side of Ryan Gosling or Matthew McConaughey, of course.
These balls aren't just for Upper East Siders. Take a cue from your friends in the Gossip Girl cast and throw a chic, at-home masquerade party. All you’ll need is good food, good drink and, um, masks. Since many people think of Mardi Gras when they think of masquerades, why not choose a menu that is laced with New Orleans flavor — crab cakes, jambalaya, and plenty of Hurricanes.
Sunday Funday Brunch
Sunday doesn’t have to feel like the end of the weekend. Make it count! Gather your friends for a buffet spread of coffee cake, green eggs and ham, and plenty of board games to make you feel young again. Some Big Kid Hot Chocolate might be just the thing you need to forget that you have to go back to the office come Monday morning.