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Celebrate the Winter Olympics with friends and family

The winter Olympics are right around the corner! These fun and festive games only happen once every four years, so make sure to celebrate the exciting event by throwing a winter Olympics kickoff party.

Ask friends and family members to come to your place during the opening ceremonies, and wow them with your patriotic spirit.

Throw up plenty of Olympics decorations, like banners and colored lights, and stock up on Olympics party supplies like athletic-themed paper plates and napkins.

Create your own Olympic games

Just in case the opening ceremonies inspire you and yours to participate in some competitive events of your own, we recommend preparing a few games to keep your guests busy.

Why not set up an elaborate obstacle course? Use kid's toys, like collapsible tunnels, scooters, skateboards, hula hoops and jump ropes and set up challenges for your guests. Create different stations and issue challenges, like having guests try to make it across the room without letting their feet touch the floor, or while jumping rope the whole time.

You can choose to create different categories for contestants, like one for kids, one for women and one for men, or break the group down into countries. Use a stopwatch and hand out homemade medals to the winners.

Keep the energy of the party up with patriotic snacks

Provide partygoers with treats like an American flag cake. You can even keep little ones occupied by baking a batch of plain sugar cookies and setting up a frosting station with red, white and blue frosting and plenty of colored sprinkles.

For Olympic-themed cocktail, offer guests their choice of red or blue beverages. Top off a bubbling glass of champagne with either a splash of blue curacao or grenadine.

Cold-weather fun

This year (as we're sure you all know) the Winter Olympics will be taking place in Vancouver, Canada. If you live in a cold climate, take everyone outside after the ceremony and stage a snowman building contest! Award medals based on creativity, and consider giving awards and trophies to the team that comes up with the best dressed snow man.

Little kids will especially love this activity, and it's a great way to burn off a little of their energy. For the especially tiny tots, have a special snow-angel making contest.

Have some hot chocolate ready for when everyone comes inside.

Hold an athletic costume contest

Last but not least, you could make the event especially entertaining by asking guests to come in costumes as their favorite athletes. Think figure skaters, tobogganists, skiers and, last but not least, curlers.

Award extra points to anyone who arrives with props, like their own medals. Make sure to take pictures of everyone who's decked out in their athletic finest, and save them for years to come.

For party favors, hand out t-shirts with your last name and Winter Olympics 2010 printed on them. Guests will remember this high-energy party for years to come!

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