Photo by Kera at hautehouselove
Nothing delivers the cozy winter vibes like a steaming mug of delicious hot cocoa with all of the fixings. It's no wonder that home hot cocoa bars have been popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram for the past few years. These seasonal stations are a festive way to add some cheer to your holiday décor — and foster independence skills for littles by making it simple to serve themselves. If you've been wanting to try this fun trend out at home, keep reading for tips and inspo on how to put together your own sweet setup, bound to become your fam's winter gathering spot!
Set up base camp
The first thing to do is to find a spot to create your bar. The kitchen or dining room are obvious choices, but keep your family's habits in mind — you may want yours in the family room to go with movie-night popcorn; people have even set them up in bedrooms! Pretty much any surface will do. Try a buffet or sideboard, small table, shelf, or even an upcycled antique hutch. Short on space? Go with the kitchen counter or dining table. Sheila at sheila.joy.com uses a tiered tray to keep of all her hot cocoa bar essentials organized — a great idea if you are tight on space. Make sure to keep proximity to outlets in mind if you need them, as well as access to the fridge for milk or whipped cream.
Get the goods
Time for the essential part of your bar — the cocoa making! Depending on whether your kids are old enough to safely handle hot liquids on their own, you may want to have your appliance of choice accessible, or keep it to cocoa and toppings only. Keurigs are a popular option, as are electric milk frothers, or even a specialty hot chocolate maker. As for the cocoa itself, the choices are limitless. Go with your favorite mix or pod; or fancy it up with syrups, drops or hot chocolate spoons; hot cocoa bombs are a fun addition, too. And, of course, don't forget the toppings! Marshmallows, crushed peppermints and candy canes are classics, or go wild with sprinkles, chocolate chips, fun stirrers, cookies and whatever else you can dream up. Get some sweet recipe ideas from Kera at hautehouselove.
Dress it up
Finally, this is the part where you can get creative and have fun. When it comes to decorating your bar, there really aren't rules! If you want to keep things aesthetic, stick with one color theme — whether classic red, black and white, colorful brights or any combo you love. Check out this simple but elegant black and white theme from Amy at bookgirlcreations.
From there, keep it simple or go all out with fabulous décor finds. Experiment with what you already have — trays and jars to organize, fun holiday mugs, twinkle lights or Christmas ornaments are a great start; add a fun sign or two, and get the kiddos involved with ideas or DIY decorations. Paper snowflakes or hot cocoa-themed art make for a great seasonal project. Get inspiration from Cindy at sweetcottagecharm and her divine cottage-style cocoa bar.
Feeling inspired and ready to drink up? Here are some of our favorite festive finds to get you started: