Great rooms are great (and aptly named) but nothing beats the great outdoors. Especially when sitting around a gas fire feature. With no wood to tend, flying sparks to avoid, or smoke to rub out of your eyes, there's nothing but time to enjoy the night and the company. But should conversation lag, here are some fun ways to pass the time.
Drinks to Sip
Having friends over to enjoy the fire? How about trying a new libation or two to get the party started. After all, cold nights deserve warm drinks! Here are a few of our HPC favorites for adults, first created by mixologist Brian Van Flandern who introduced them on The Early Show in 2010:
Chocolate Milk & Honey
1-½ oz. Benedictine
½ oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Combine the Benedictine and the Godiva chocolate liqueur. Add hot milk to the top. Serve in an Irish coffee mug and garnish with grated dark chocolate.
½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Amaretto
1 tablespoon of honey
2 oz. hot water
Combine all the above ingredients. Serve in a brandy snifter and garnish with a lemon wedge.
… And Everything Nice
1-½ oz. Don Julio Reposado Tequila
1 oz. unfiltered apple cider
½ oz, agave nectar
½ oz. lemon juice
Freshly ground cinnamon
Combine the above. Serve in a white wine glass with a flamed orange peel as garnish – google it to find out about the flaming technique and do it properly.
Copyright 2010 CBS
Games to Play
Once the warm drinks are flowing, it's time for the fun of family games. Aside from the standard ones like Truth or Dare, Telephone or Twenty Questions, here are a few new ones we found at escapeadulthood.com.
The Winking Assassin
A crisp dark evening around the glow of a fire is a perfect setting for this game of death and deception. All of the players close their eyes except one. That person secretly taps one of the other players on the shoulder, who then becomes the "assassin." The assassin kills off other players one at a time by secretly winking at them without others seeing. As soon as someone is winked at, he or she must slump over and play dead. But if anyone sees the assassin winking and says, "he's the winker!" the game is over. Anyone guessing wrong is out of the game.
I Can Tap This Stick Just Right
All you need is a stick to tap on the ground or your hand. The person in the know will subtly clear their throat and say the following while tapping the item: "I can tap this (stick, pencil, etc.) just right." That person then passes the stick to the next person to try to perform correctly. The original person acts as the judge, declaring if the tapping was done correctly. The trick is the clearing of the throat first – it does not actually matter how they tap the stick.
The game continues until almost everyone is in on the secret. When down to just a few people that just aren't getting it, make the "ahem" louder and more obvious.
There Once Was a Skunk
Someone in the group begins a story about a skunk by saying, "There once was a skunk who…" , finishing the sentence however he wishes. That person then points to another who has to keep the story going with a new sentence starting with, "Fortunately…" Then that person points to someone new who continues the story starting with "Unfortunately…" Continue the story as long as you can, rotating between sentences starting with "fortunately" and "unfortunately," For instance, the story might unfold like this:
"There once was a skunk who took ballet lessons."
"Fortunately, he looked very good in a tutu."
"Unfortunately, he got dizzy very easily and often tripped on his tail."
"Fortunately, a drink of root beer always cleared up his dizziness."|
"Unfortunately, root beer sometimes made him flatulate uncontrollably."