This idea is tons more fun if it’s a harsh winter, with heavy snowfall and below-zero wind chills . . . because you’re inviting your guests to an indoor beach party they won’t soon forget.


Tell everyone to wear their swimsuits or other beach attire, sunglasses, flipflops, sunblock, towels, beach balls, and whatever else they normally bring to the beach.


Several hours before the party, turn your thermostat ‘way up so that it’s downright hot in the house. Don’t worry about your energy bill too much; as soon as your guests arrive, you can turn it ‘way back down again. This is just for effect!


Push all the furniture to the walls. Put picnic-type blankets on the floor. Buy or borrow a couple of beach posters from a souvenir shop. Borrow pool toys such as a short volleyball net or basketball hoop. If you have a patio umbrella, set it up, with or without a table and chairs. It’s fun to take lampshades off floor lamps so that the bare lightbulbs’ extra brightness and warmth simulate the sun at the beach. If you’re really adventurous, fill a plastic wading pool with sand and put plastic shovels and other toys in it.


Of course you’ll want to have Beach Boys music playing.


Set the table with beach towels, seashells, and little paper umbrellas in the drinks. Menu: fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, potato chips . . . all the stuff nobody’s had for months.


Top it off with a special dessert: Winter Watermelon. Soften a container of raspberry sherbet. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into a watermelon-shaped log. Freeze. Now soften a container of lime sherbet. Spread it over the frozen raspberry log. Refreeze. Cut “slices” and serve with a spoon.

By Susan Darst Williams | | FUNdamentals | © 2017