Here’s an idea: Let’s all throw a winter beach party!

Guess what, ya’ll: it’s really stinkin’ cold outside.

Out where I live (the wild, wild Midwest), the prairie wind, mixed with the flatness of the land, can be a real pain. I often find myself dreaming of sun-streaked skies and silky sand beaches, but am instead met with dead grass and precipitation that’s not quite snow, not quite rain, not quite anything but annoying. Where’s the tiki party when you need it?!

To remedy this, channel your inner surf rider and throw a winter beach soiree! Whether you really are relaxing in sunny temps, or your beach party is more bonfire than Banana Boat, these ideas will make your Winter beach party one for the books.

When to throw it: Choose a balmy evening where you can enjoy some time outside, or take advantage of an oddly warm weekend, should one pop up and surprise you. And we’re not saying play hooky or anything, but if you just happen to wake up with a cold when it’s 75 and sunny. . . well, we won’t tell.

Who to invite: People who like Pina coladas. And who can suspend reality long enough to get into the spirit of a beach party in February. No haters here!

How to do it: Grab a few tarps, some sand, tiki torches, and a kiddie pool to create your own beach scene. Or, fill up a truck bed with pillows and blankets and go starwatching. Gather rocks for a fire pit (be sure to check the fire safety levels in your county before starting it) wheel out a grill, and pull up some beach chairs.

Get the look: Do that thing with your flatiron that makes your hair beachy (I know, I know. . . easier said than done). Add a salt-water spray to make it look super windblown. Or go with a nice braid for something a bit simpler.

The Playlist: Sunny, luau-esque music that’s fun to dance to and easy to talk over. I like Nada Surf, Best Coast, Fialta, and Local Natives.

And. . .chill, unless you’re trying to create, like, a spring break vibe. Then, by all means, bring on the 2 Chainz.

What to serve: Drinks with tiny umbrellas, pineapple anything, S’MORES, and definitely these.

And these.

Maybe even this sandy ice cream.

Or this sand castle cake:

Or just chips and guac. That works, too.

The Party Favors: Coconut cups with crazy straws, filled with beach essentials: sunscreen, lip balm, party shades, etc. Or make these fabulous mini messages in a bottle.

Why: Because SUMMER IS THE GREATEST! But also still six months away. Sigh.

WE SALUTE YOU, SUMMER. Just 24 more weeks until we’re reunited!

(Image via)