While a return to normalcy is now on the horizon, social distancing will still be our reality for months to come. And that means tweaking the way we celebrate major milestones so we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy. Although big get-togethers aren’t recommended right now, you can still throw a fun birthday party while social distancing.
Whether you’re planning a celebration for yourself, a friend, or a family member, there’s no shortage of ways you can make the day feel just as special as it would any other year. Covid 19 birthday ideas include virtual parties, drive-by celebrations, outdoor activities, and drop-in bashes all make for great memories—even if they don’t involve typical birthday activities like blowing out the candles.
To make your party feel just as special, you can still go all out with themes, birthday invitations, and activities. With a little creativity, you can host a celebration that everyone will enjoy. Ahead are fresh Covid 19 birthday ideas and things to keep in mind when planning.
How do you celebrate a quarantine birthday?
The first thing you’ll want to decide on for your quarantine birthday party is whether a virtual party or a socially distant outdoor celebration is preferable. This will depend on a number of factors: Who you want to invite, what the weather is like where you live, and how comfortable you are socializing with people at a safe distance. There are also different ways you can take extra precautions when celebrating in-person, by opting for masked drop-ins or drive-by “parades.”
If you choose to host a virtual party through Zoom or Google Hangouts, you can also elevate the digital get-together so it feels more exciting than a simple conference call. You can tell guests that they’re welcome to “attend” the virtual gathering with a friend or family member in their pod, so they’re not celebrating at home alone, and you can set a dress code or theme to create an instant sense of community.
Your party plans will also vary depending on whether you’re planning a quarantine-friendly birthday celebration for a kid or an adult. For a children’s party, you’ll likely invite a mix of children (their friends and cousins, etc.) and some adults (family members and parents of their friends).
For a virtual celebration, if you’re inviting adults without kids, give them a time frame to swing by the video chat to sing Happy Birthday so they can skip the just-for-kids portion. You can word this by saying something along the lines of: “For any adults who only want to swing by for cake and candles, please feel free to log in 10 min before 5 p.m.” In general, setting expectations for timing is a great way to ensure that your Zoom get-together runs smoothly, and no one misses any major moments because they signed on too early or too late.
What can you do for a social distancing birthday?
Kids birthday parties can feel way more challenging to plan than adults’ celebrations. Little ones have shorter attention spans, so it’s best to plan a party around a specific activity where everyone can feel equally involved, whether you’re doing a virtual or in-person social distancing birthday party. Luckily, there are many creative ways you can take a Zoom celebration to the next level for kids, by setting a fun theme or inviting an entertainer. Here are a few ideas to spark some inspiration.
“Put it on Ice” by Paperless Post.
Go ice skating
It may be winter, but there are still plenty of outdoor activities that adults and kids alike can enjoy. If there’s an outdoor ice rink near you, look into renting a time slot so you and your guests can safely skate.
Have snacks and hot chocolate outside
Park celebrations were a hit over the summer—and while temperatures may have dropped, you can stay warm if you bring a big thermos of hot cocoa for everyone to enjoy. If you have access to a firepit or a grill, s’mores are a fun, cold weather-friendly snack that kids can make themselves. You can also pass out single-serve distancing-friendly snacks, like cupcakes instead of cake. The special birthday star can blow out a candle on their cupcake at a safe distance.
“Suitably Magic” by Paperless Post.
Hire on a Zoom magician
Many children’s entertainers who you’d normally hire for in-person parties are game to log in for a Zoom bash. Hire a magician for a magic show and your virtual party guests will stay captivated, even though they’re celebrating from a screen.
“Pit Crew” by Paper Source for Paperless Post.
Have a drive-by parade
Ask parents to drive by your home at a certain amount of time—decorating their car with balloons, streamers, signs, or wash-off paint is highly encouraged. They can drop off a note, a photo, a gift, or a DIY for the birthday boy or girl, while they watch from the front steps. Place a basket with favors out on your front lawn so guests can grab one before they head off.
Have a Frozen parade
A Frozen-themed birthday party is a serious crowd-pleaser for kids, especially during the winter months. You can encourage guests to dress up like their favorite characters for a Frozen Zoom celebration, and they can show off their costumes on-camera. You can also apply this theme to the drive-by parade idea, for extra fun. Play the soundtrack on a speaker, and little ones are sure to love it.
Host a meet and greet
Hire a character actor, playing your kid’s favorite character (like Moana) to join the Zoom party as a surprise. You can tell guests to dress up as their favorite, too, for an added layer of fun. For invitation wording, consider the following: “Join us for a Zoom meet and greet of Gabi’s favorite character, Moana! We’ll play games and of course sing Happy Birthday! For any adults who only want to swing by for the Happy Birthday portion, please feel free to log in 10 min before 5 p.m. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Dec 2nd and let us know if your child(ren) will be participating.”
Have a chalk party
Buy chalk and put it in a basket. Clear your driveway and invite guests over in shifts so they can write a birthday message and drop off a card or gift. Once everyone has had their turn, be sure to take lots of pictures and share them with your guests over email or social media, so they can see the final result. (And everyone can have fun memories to enjoy.) You can also give out extra chalk as a favor to give young guests a fun activity to do at their own home.
“At the End of the Rainbow” by Mr. Boddington’s Studio for Paperless Post.
Have a rainbow get-together
To make a small outdoor get-together feel even more exciting, ask guests to wear a specific color (or a rainbow of colors). It’s an easy theme that will make the party feel even more exciting, especially for the little ones.
“Arty Party” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post.
Crafting and cupcakes
If you have a creative streak, you can lead a crafting session over Zoom. To make things easy for guests (and their parents), deliver craft kits, along with a cupcake or snack, ahead of the party.
Have a birthday scavenger hunt
If you have a big backyard, set up a scavenger hunt and invite guests over to search for a list of items. Just make sure to notate where you put things, so nothing gets forgotten at the end of the celebration. Up the ante with prizes for the winner.
Get the dogs involved
Pets always make things more fun. And when you’re celebrating outdoors, they’re more than welcome. For a celebration parents and little ones will enjoy, invite guests to meet you at a picnic table at your local park for refreshments. Ask them to bring their dogs along too. Bonus if you serve a pup-friendly cake, or have a puppy parade.
What can you do for a social distancing birthday for adults?
While virtual happy hours are nothing out of the norm during COVID, there are plenty of virtual party ideas for adults that can make an online party feel a little more special. Whether you opt for an activity everyone can do together over Zoom, or a socially distant outdoor celebration, it’s sure to be a great time. Here are a few ideas to consider for virtual party ideas for adults:
“Margarita Mixer” by Jonathan Adler for Paperless Post.
Cheers with a specialty cocktail
Send everyone the ingredients they need ahead of time (or send a shopping list in advance), and make a specialty cocktail together on Zoom—ending with a toast to the birthday guest of honor. You can also set a more specific food and drink theme. Think margaritas and tacos, or sake and sushi.
Make a birthday video
For a surprise, ask everyone to send a birthday wish to compile into one video you can play during the Zoom party. Or, ask for people to fill out a slide in a Powerpoint you can present during the celebration instead.
Have an art share
Bring the museum home by asking guests to come prepared to share a favorite piece of art. They should show it off, explain some background about it, and what makes it meaningful to them.
Take drop-by photos
If you want to see your friends in a safe way, ask them to drop by to take a quick photo with masks. You can phrase your invitations like this: “Please stop by and bring your smiles and love as I celebrate my birthday. All I want is pictures and memories. Please wear a mask and RSVP so I know who to expect.”
Learn new recipes together
In lieu of birthday gifts, ask guests to order themselves a meal from a meal kit service, like Pampered Chef. Then, everyone can cook together on Zoom and enjoy a delicious meal.
Give a toast
If your friend or partner is celebrating a milestone birthday, ask guests to come prepared with a short and sweet toast that they can give over video chat. Encourage everyone to log on with their favorite bubbly of choice.
“Time Well Bent” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post.
Take a virtual exercise class
One of our favorite virtual party ideas for adults is to invite friends to take a virtual yoga or bootcamp class. You can either hire a trainer for a virtual session, or all sign up for a class of your choosing. Pick a workout that requires minimal equipment (like a yoga mat or just body weight) to make more people feel able to participate.
“Watercolor Dye” by Paperless Post.
Host a tie dye party
The tie-dye trend is still going strong, and if the weather is nice enough in your area, you can easily have a DIY tie-dye party. Host in a big backyard where people can properly distance and ask guests to BYO whites to dye.
Throw a Zoom Pajama party
For a low-key virtual party theme, encourage your guests to show up in their pajamas. They’re sure to enjoy an excuse to get comfortable while celebrating. Plan to play some games at your Zoom pajama party via an app like Jackbox for maximum slumber party appeal.
Have a sip and paint party
While you can’t go to the painting studio as a group, send guests a set of watercolors ahead of time and plan to paint the same picture over a Zoom sip and paint party. If your budget allows, you can also sign up for a virtual sip and paint through a company that can handle shipping all the supplies you might need.
Social distancing birthday wording
If your party plans depend on how many guests will RSVP, you can send a Paperless Post Card invitation ahead of time, so you can conveniently track who’s attending. If it’s more of a casual, drop-by party (either over Zoom or outside), text a Paperless Post Flyer. Your exact wording will depend on what you have planned for the celebration, but here are some examples.
For a car parade: Join us for a joyful jamboree car parade for Taylor’s 4th birthday! Honk. Wave. Play music. Sing a song. Decorate your car. Drop a note or picture. Shout out. Spread joy. Whatever moves you to celebrate Tay! We will meet in our cars in the school parking lot directly across from our house at 10am. *No gifts please
For a virtual workout class: Please join me on my birthday for an at-home Barry’s Bootcamp workout with my favorite Barry’s instructor! The workout will be 45 minutes of HIIT bodyweight exercises. No equipment needed. Zoom Meeting ID to follow.
For an ice cream truck parade: To celebrate Anna’s fifth birthday, we combined two of her favorite things: 1. Ice cream Trucks 2. Drive Throughs. Swing by and get yours!
For an outdoor celebration: It’s Steven & Brian’s 30th birthday! Come wish the guys a great 30th trip around the sun. There will be individually packaged food and social distancing games on the lawn. Or just drive by and wave! BYOB. For social distancing, colored wristbands will be provided to signal to others your comfort level.
Read more virtual kids birthday party ideas on our blog, and browse all virtual party invitations. Want to use a GIF or share on Facebook? Create your own Flyer adult birthday invitation and send with a sharable link.