Occasions 365

Valentines Day Party

Valentines parties for home, school and office

Throwing a Valentine's Day party can be a great time for the party planner as well as the guests. Lots of hearts, red and white balloons and a few fun valentine crafts make a successful Valentine's Day party at home or school.

The basic elements of any Valentine's Day party are pink, red and white in all kinds of places: table covers, streamers, paper goods and goodie bags. Sprinkle a heavy dose of hearts all around the room, add the Valentine's Day balloons, and you have the beginnings of a great Valentine's Day party.

Treats are as simple as the decorations, since all you need to do is find creative ways to follow through on that heart theme. It's simple to make a cake that's perfect for a Valentine's Day party, for example. Bake a 9-inch square cake and a 9-inch round cake. Once the cakes are cool, cut the round one in half and place the halves, cut sides touching the square cake, on two adjoining sides of the square. Frost, and you have the perfect Valentine's Day party cake. Or simply carry out the heart theme with heart-shaped brownies, heart candies on the cookies or cupcakes, and heart-shaped crispy rice treats. Berry smoothies or red punch in any variety fits the theme, as do any fancy chocolate desserts.

Keep the crowd entertained with some valentine party games. Many games can be adapted to a Valentine's Day party, by adopting a valentine theme to bean bag toss, bingo or matching games. For an adult party, try a version of the Newlywed Game, or play any of the numerous board games such as Cranium, Scattergories or Outburst that allow couples or groups to play together on teams.

Party Themes

Since Valentine's Day itself is the underlying theme for any Valentine's Day party, you may not think you need any other particular theme. But choosing the right theme will make your party successful.

One favorite party theme is the cookie decorating party. Before the party, bake or buy heart-shaped cookies for each person attending the party. Provide pink and white frosting, and have small bowls with a variety of small candies and sprinkles. If you're having a neighborhood party, each family could bring a small bag of candies such as candy hearts, red hots, Hot Tamales or Smarties. Each guest could decorate a cookie or two for themselves, and then create a plate of cookies to give away to a family in the neighborhood.

For an older group, a fondue makes a perfect Valentine's Day party. A cheese fondue dip with bread cubes, apples and vegetables is a great start, and then finish off with a chocolate fondue with marshmallows, cheesecake, angel food cake and bananas.

A pre-Valentine's Day party can be a great time for kids or adults or a combination of both. Have a variety of colors of cardstock, construction paper, stickers, markers, glitter glue and clever valentine poems on hand and let the gang create their own Valentines Day cards. Valentine's Day parties for kids lend themselves perfectly to crafts. Decorate wooden hearts, or make woven paper baskets to hold valentine candy. Heart-themed collages, mobiles and crowns also make simple, fun crafts.

Whether you're hosting an all-out bash or simply decorating the office with hearts and cupids, throw off those February blahs and celebrate Valentine's Day.

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