Staying in tune with my New Year’s Resolutions (click here to view them all), I want to be sure to get started on making some play dates happen. One problem about this time of year is the weather. In the summer, we can go to parks, splash pads, and fountains for free. This time of year though, there’s nowhere to go play for free. So this is where I get creative with our play dates.
Something I loved to do before kids, and I still love to do, is happy hour. I love the discounts on food paired with good drinks. However, we don’t have to leave the house to do fun drinks and food. I love to find drink and appetizer recipes on Pinterest. I even have a board dedicated to happy hour at home. And right down the street there is a store we can fill up our growlers with beer that our beer snob palates appreciate. The benefits of happy hour at home are not needing to get a babysitter, the hours are at my convenience (after naptime), and it’s cheaper. Further, I love to be a hostess. But, you don’t have to get fancy to be able to pull this off.
The first step is figuring out what to make based on who you are inviting. The next at home playdate I’m planning is with people who are not beer drinkers, so I’m going to search Pinterest for a fun cocktail. If you pick the right recipe, you can also make mocktails for the kids and non-drinkers. The last time I tried a happy hour at home recipe I made a caramel apple pie cocktail (recipe here.) It was delicious, and one was enough for me. Wasn’t much of a mocktail though, however the kids got to drink straight apple juice.
The next step is figuring out the food. If this is going to involve kiddos, you have to add some kid-friendly foods. Some super easy ideas are: fruit and veggies that are sliced up with dips or hummus, cheese and crackers plate, mini corn dogs, taquitos, pb&j sandwiches cut into quarters, grilled cheese cut into quarters, chicken nuggets, pizza, etc. I like to do a couple things for the kids and then I search pinterest for some adult appetizers too. I got a fondue pot for Christmas, so I promise fondue will make appearances at all of my happy hour at home events this year. Speaking of Christmas, I made a great queso dip as an appetizer, and it was super easy (I used my microwave). I didn’t add the pimentos and could not find a white cheese so used regular velveeta, and everyone loved it. Recipe here.
And that’s it. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s cheap. We will be enjoying Happy-Hour-at-home-play-dates all year long.