Hot Chocolate Bar

What could be sweeter than a hot chocolate party? The drink is a favorite with kids and adults, and if you set up a build-your-own toppings bar, it’s not just a tasty treat but a party activity, too—and all the decor you need!

A hot chocolate bar works as a

Dessert buffet

Tailgate treat

Cocktail party activity (set out rum or an array of liqueurs, from peppermint schnapps to Kahlua, to spike the hot chocolate)

Christmas party activity (see our Naughty and Nice topping bars)

Get creative with your mix-ins! Along with toppings, you could set out some flavoring liquids and simple recipe cards. Consider:

Mexican Hot Chocolate (with cinnamon, vanilla, and chile powder or cayenne pepper—add tequila for a cocktail party)

Nutella Hot Chocolate (add hazelnut syrup for kids, Frangelico for a 21-plus version)

Peppermint Patty (add peppermint syrup or schnapps)

Caramel Hot Chocolate (add caramel syrup and a pretzel stick to stir)

Banana Split Hot Chocolate (add strawberry syrup, banana extract and LOTS of whipped cream!

Or, set out glasses with edible swizzle stick options like:

A chocolate-covered pretzel

A peppermint stick

A cinnamon stick

Rock candy

A stem of mint

Hot chocolate also makes great favors or gifts; choose from one of the many chocolate mixes available (see some of our favorite options in the shopping section below), place it in an oversized mug with some mini marshmallows and a fun spoon, wrap in cellophane and tie with a bow. Or, layer chocolate powder, marshmallows and toppings in a mason jar for a sweet favor.

And if you’re not a fan of hot chocolate, but love the idea of a mix-your-own winter drink, check out our Tea Bar, Cider Bar, and Champagne Bar ideas!

Sippable Snowman

Do you wanna build a snowman? When you’ve got a party of three at the table, set three mugs of whipped cream-topped hot chocolate in a line, and add chocolate chip eyes, smile, and buttons, an orange rind nose, and a hat cut out of a brownie, for a snowman surprise.

Or, set out the mugs of hot chocolates and the fixings and let kids decorate their own “snowmen.”

Hot Chocolate Gift Tags and Garlands

Here’s our (decorative) take on hot chocolate to go: Paper mugs you can attach to presents as gift tags, string together as a garland, or cut out and scatter across a tabletop as confetti.

1. Mug, 2. Snowmen Marshmallows, 3. Gold-Edge Dinner Napkins, 4. Mini Wooden Spoons, 5. Ramekin 6. Measuring Spoons, 7. Twine, 8. Cotton Candy Gift Set