Just because you can’t get together IRL this year, doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate life’s milestones—big and small. Whether you’re planning to surprise a coworker for their birthday or catch up with old friends, virtual happy hours are a great way to stay in touch, foster social connection, and keep the celebrations going. There are tons of different virtual happy hour themes to choose from, and ahead we’ve laid out our best ideas to get you inspired. Once you settle on the perfect party idea, we have a virtual party invitation for any vibe, too.
Birthday virtual cocktail hour
As an alternative to casual drinks at the bar, have your group chat drop by the Zoom room. Keep things interesting with a link to your favorite drink recipe in your invite and encourage everyone to mix up something special beforehand. Toast to health, happiness, and making it through this year together. Add a cheeky note for guests to “BYO cake,” but make sure to order one or have one sent to the birthday honoree.
Milestone birthday virtual happy hours
You only turn 30 once, and you can still host a memorable 30th birthday party virtually.
Go with virtual birthday themes like decades, places, or favorite movie. Ask guests to get creative with their attire based on what they already have in their closet. Try a ‘90s party with a Clueless-inspired dress code and a playlist full of Pearl Jam and Spice Girls.
Family virtual happy hours
So, your sister is in Dallas, your parents are in Denver, and you’re in Brooklyn. While nothing can replace the time we spend together with loved ones in the same room, a virtual happy hour is the next best thing. Get your martinis or spritzes ready and jump on a call to catch-up on everyone’s lives. Missing your extended family too? Ask aunts, cousins, or grandparents to join in on the virtual hangout. Invite grandma to share a few stories about her life while you’re a captive audience, or learn what your little nephews or nieces have been up to.
Team virtual happy hours with coworkers
In lieu of an IRL office party, celebrate with team members while doing remote work with virtual drinks. Set a theme to keep things interesting with zen Zoom backgrounds like a tropical jungle or a snowy cabin in the woods.
Or for an all-hands virtual meeting with drinks, why not make it a fireside chat with a virtual fire burning in the background. Just make sure to specify a start and end time, so employees don’t feel obligated to stay for too long. Keep the non-work conversation flowing with a fun game, or a round of trivia.
Virtual brunch ideas
Shake up your weekend schedule (without leaving the house) with a leisurely boozy brunch—why not make it a “hot cakes & hot takes” get-together?
Give everyone three minutes to go off on whatever nerdy, historical, or pop-culture topic they want while you sip your BYO coffee and mimosas.
Virtual game night
If you’re inviting your entire guestbook, stay organized with a run of show (aka virtual happy hour activities) to keep things moving. Play virtual happy hour drinking games (we’re seeing a lot of Jackbox Games) or make up your own trivia—it can be as easy as “who is that girl?” where you screen share photos of each person (from B-list celebrities to memes to TikTok influencers) to test your friends’ overly specific knowledge. Sporcle is another great resource for a DIY trivia contest.
Since you’re not providing food and beer to your guests, consider awarding trivia prizes that guests can donate to a charity or GoFundMe. If you usually meet up at a local bar, winery, or brewery, see if there is a fund for out-of-work employees.
Virtual supper club
One of our favorite virtual happy hour ideas is an old fashioned supper club, with wine, of course! Gather your favorite like-minded foodies for a group dinner over your video call service of choice like Zoom or FaceTime. Have everyone order from their favorite local restaurant and eat together, separately at home.
Virtual book club happy hour
Looking for virtual video chat party ideas that don’t revolve around snacks? Put a new spin on the classic book club with an audiobook or podcast club for your new WFH life. Most libraries have an extensive digital audiobook collection. (You’ll also want to bring some snacks.)
Virtual Netflix Party happy hour
One of our favorite ideas for Zoom happy hours is a watch party. Whether you’re streaming a documentary for your coworkers or hosting a movie night for friends, the Netflix Party app makes it easy for all attendees to watch together. Drop a poll in social media to find out what your friends want to watch, or pick a trending flick from Netflix’s homepage. Invite everyone to your virtual event with a fun Flyer invite, and start popping the popcorn.
Virtual bridal shower with bubbly
Don’t let virtual birthday parties have all the fun—throw a virtual shower! Put a new twist on a traditional bridal shower by sending the bride your favorite cookbook. Pair it with an item from their registry so the couple can cook meals at home, even if they’re under quarantine. During the shower, share your go-to recipe and any tips for getting along with your future spouse during 24/7 togetherness.
For a more activity-based shower, adapt tips from our bridal shower guide to work virtually like a calligraphy workshop or essential oil blending workshop. For a game that is even more fun to play virtually—have one person show photos of the couple at different ages and have guests guess what year each image was taken.
Virtual baby shower with mocktails
A happy hour…for a baby shower? Yep, that’s right. Mocktails for mom, cocktails for the guests!
Ask guests to send registry gifts directly to the parents-to-be, and have the new mom or dad open them live so everyone can join in on the fun. If everyone is local, have guests set gifts out on their porch. A host can pick up and deliver them. You can even include a celebratory cake or freezer meal for them to stash away.
If grandparents aren’t able to travel, move your baby naming ceremony or gender reveal to video conferencing over Skype or Google Hangouts. Plus, if you record the virtual gathering you can rewatch grandma’s reaction over and over. Read more of our baby shower hosting tips here.
Virtual ladies’ night in
Take everyone’s minds off the pandemic for a little while and check in on each other. Curb your cabin fever with a personal, chill group hang over Skype.
With emphasis on “chill”. Take time to swap virtual yoga class recommendations, self care tips, or share your favorite meditation app. Hard kombucha optional, but encouraged.
Ready to kick off your next virtual happy hour or birthday party? Browse our selection of virtual party invitations for any kind of get-together. Wondering how to make a virtual happy hour invitation that’s all your own? Customize Flyer invites with your own virtual happy hour GIF, stickers, or text effects—and send in minutes. For guidance on where to start, check our or guide to how to host an online party.