No matter how old you are turning, one of the best parts of a birthday is being able to celebrate with the ones you love. Unfortunately, that’s not easy right now due to social distancing measures—and your usual b-day celebrations will probably look a little different this year.
But if you’re over the awkward, unorganized Zoom happy hours and group phone calls that always seem to last just a little too long, we hear you. As we move past the six-month point since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began impacting our day-to-day lives, we’re here to bring some fresh ideas your way to safely celebrate your birthday.
From private online classes you take with friends to small-scale outdoor gatherings (with proper distancing and face masks, per CDC guidelines, of course!) these quarantine birthday ideas are sure to make this birthday your most memorable one yet—even if you're simply celebrating from home.
Quarantine birthday ideas:
1. Send out virtual invitations to get people excited.
No matter how you choose to celebrate your birthday this year, go beyond just sending a group text with the time and date. Check out sites like Evite and Greetings Island for free invitation templates that you can download and share with friends and family.
If you're opting for a virtual event, make sure to specify your preferred platform (Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) and specific details for when and how your guests can log on and access the party. It's simple, but just the act of getting an invite in their digital mailbox will give your guests something to look forward to, and you'll have fun creating them, too.
2. Try a private game of online trivia.
There are plenty of websites and third-party organizations that will host a kickass virtual trivia night for you and your friends. They essentially allow you to get all the fun of trivia night at a bar without ever having to leave your couch.
Try out services like Game Show To Go or Trivia Hub to book (for a fee) a private night of testing out your knowledge. Sites like these also allow you to customize the trivia with themes, topics, or pop culture references you and your friends love so everyone has a fair shot at winning. Just team up and square off!
3. Book an online class with friends.
Learn how to paint, make doughnuts, do calligraphy, or become a novice mixologist by booking a virtual team-building class online. Online outlets like Coursera or Airbnb's Online Experiences have hundreds to choose from, and they'll let you know if you need any supplies beforehand so you and your guests can log on to the session prepared. You can opt in to an existing class,or request a private one just for your friends and family.
4. Stream a movie.
Apps like Netflix Party allow friends from all over the world to connect and watch TV and movies together while facilitating a chat at the same time. For your birthday, organize a viewing of your favorite old-school flick (or one you've never seen), and have your guests hop on a Zoom call after to answer discussion questions.
5. Have an at-home camp-out.
If you're lucky enough to have a backyard or outdoor space, make the most of it with a fun camp-out. You can do this with just your family or invite a small group of friends over, so long as each household sleeps in their own tent and maintains proper distancing while outside. You can roast marshmallows, make s'mores, and tell stories under the stars.
6. Challenge friends to a digital game night.
There are tons of online games designed specifically to be played with others from afar. If you’re looking for easy party games you can play with a bunch of people, check out the options that are available to stream on Jackbox Games. From trivia games to drawing games, Jackbox’s options are humorous and easy to pick up. You can also try a round of Codenames online or Cards Against Humanity online for free. It's an easy, fun way to spice up your average Zoom call.
7. Show your neighbors it's your birthday with a fun yard sign.
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Since it's likely that you'll miss out on decorating the inside of your house for a birthday bash, try ordering a custom yard sign and decorating the outside. It's a cute way to let everyone know it's your special day. If you're unable to see people, pick a sign that encourages friends and neighbors to honk as they pass when they visit you for your birthday in a drive-by caravan. It will make you feel celebrated on your special day. You can also decorate your lawn with festive streamers and signs to punch things up.
8. Host a virtual talent show.
Change up the regular Zoom call format (and switch up the conversation between you and your friends) by organizing a virtual talent show. Ask your guests to come prepared with their own three-minute mini Ted talk, a new TikTok dance they learned, or any other talent they'd like to share. Then, have them take to the virtual "stage" with the rest of the callers as the lucky attendees. Pick one person to be the emcee and keep things flowing. There's no way you won't be laughing by the end.
9. Throw a socially distanced picnic party.
Large gatherings are still not advised by the CDC, but the organization's gathering guidelines report that smaller outdoor in-person gatherings—where individuals are six feet apart, wear masks, and do not share objects—may pose a lower risk of contracting COVID-19. If you feel comfortable and are able to abide by state and local guidelines, an outdoor picnic in your backyard or at a local park could be one way to see a few people in person at one time.
To ensure each household remains six feet apart, provide matching towels or blankets for them to sit on. Encourage your guests to bring their own food and drink (to limit sharing) and enjoy catching up while spending a relaxing birthday outdoors.