Sweet Ways to Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar for a Seasonal Party

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Setting up a simple hot chocolate bar and adding a few fun details for kids is easy, and is a perfect way to celebrate the winter season. Here are some sweet ideas to help you create a cozy cocoa party of your own.

Kids love hot cocoa!
Kids love hot cocoa! (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Include Cookies

Hot chocolate is already rich and sweet, so you don't need much else to complement it. Cookies go great, especially ones that aren't overly sweet, like a simple shortbread.

Shortbread candy cane cookies complement hot cocoa perfectly.
Shortbread candy cane cookies complement hot cocoa perfectly. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Serve Fun Toppings

Add a few cocoa garnishes to your hot chocolate bar to bring some variety, as well as dress up your table a bit. Clear jars filled with marshmallows and candy canes look wintery and create some tasty options for turning a plain cup of cocoa into something even better. Festive paper straws also add beauty and allow smaller tots to sip cooled cocoa a little easier.

Hot cocoa without marshmallows? Never!
Hot cocoa without marshmallows? Never! (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Dress Up Your Table

How do you decorate for a hot chocolate bar? Think winter! Skip the tablecloth and cover your table in a snow blanket, available in most holiday aisles, craft stores or where Christmas villages are sold. This is a great cost-effective option and can be rolled up and reused if it stays clean. Add a few village evergreens – also inexpensive and usually sold in the same area as snow blankets – to create a winter wonderland feel.

Skip the tablecloth and use faux snow.
Skip the tablecloth and use faux snow. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Cut Paper Snowflakes

If you want to add a little more festivity, cut a few snowflakes from paper and string them across the front of the table. This is also a good rule for maintaining holiday spirit through the winter months. When in doubt, cut paper snowflakes out!

Paper snowflakes are a simple, inexpensive way to make things festive.
Paper snowflakes are a simple, inexpensive way to make things festive. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Prepare Cocoa Ahead of Time

You don't want to be heating up and mixing cocoa during your party – you want to enjoy yourself and watch the kids have fun. Mix up your hot cocoa before guests arrive, store it in a carafe or thermos and party guests can serve themselves. This also helps keep the mess to a minimum.

A carafe will keep your cocoa warm for hours.
A carafe will keep your cocoa warm for hours. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Request Cozy Attire

Whether you host your party in the evening or not, ask little guests to wear their pajamas. After all, cozy times call for cozy measures.

Everything tastes better in your PJs.
Everything tastes better in your PJs. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Make a Cocoa Craft

Keep the hot cocoa theme going with a simple activity kids can enjoy while they are sipping. To create an adorable hot cocoa mug ornament, help little ones glue together: + Stiff felt, pre-cut into the shape of mugs + Soft brown felt, pre-cut into oval shapes for cocoa + White pompoms for marshmallows + Festive embellishments, like scraps cut from old holiday cards or gift tags + Yarn

Make one for a gift and one to keep.
Make one for a gift and one to keep. (Image: Kelle Hampton)

Play a Marshmallow Corn Hole Game

Top off your hot cocoa party with a winter rendition of the old corn hole game. Line up a few empty mugs on a table and designate a standing line for participants. Pass out three large marshmallows and let guests take turns standing on the line, attempting to land a marshmallow in one of the mugs.

Score!
Score! (Image: Kelle Hampton)

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