By: Dena Gershkovich, Lubicom Staff
As we cross the one-year mark of COVID-19 being part of our lives, we also reach a point where each of us has had birthdays impacted by the pandemic. We don’t blame you if you get a bit sad thinking about Zoom-nights-in replacing girls’ nights out or Google hangouts taking over in-person ones. But what if we told you that it’s possible to have almost as much fun virtually as you would in person? Check out the suggestions below for creative ways to celebrate yourself and your loved ones from a distance!
1. Slam Poetry Party
This is a great birthday party idea for hipsters, artists, bookworms, writers, or any combination of the above. Ahead of the event, drop off wine at guests’ homes, along with instructions to create a slam poem before the party. The poems can be about the birthday girl or guy, or about memories the group has together. During the party, guests read their poems out loud while drinking wine. You are in for some good laughs!
These customizable wine glasses would make a cute addition to this event.
2. Paint Night
You don’t have to be an artist to have fun at a painting party. Hire an instructor to lead a class, or ask a talented friend to step in for the night. Give participants a list of supplies to purchase before the party or deliver (or ship) the materials a few days ahead. The instructor prepares a painting in advance, shows it to the group at the start of the session, and then recreates the painting on a fresh canvas, step by step, while participants follow along in real time. At the end of the party, participants share their paintings with the group.
This paint kit may come in handy!
3. Crafting Party
This is a great idea if you’re in the mood for a party that allows you to be creative and crafty. The plan of action for this idea is similar to the paint night above, but the instructor demonstrates how to create a specific craft, per the preference of the birthday person. You can have your guests decorate picture frames, create collage photo boards, decorate flower pots, or work on a project that involves engraving, building, or assembling. Go wild!
We love this candle-making kit.
This dream-catcher kit also looks like a lot of fun!
4. Cocktails and Mocktails
Drinks are definitely in order this year. For a virtual cocktail-making party, create a drink recipe in honor of the individual celebrating a birthday. Include ingredients that remind you of that person, like orange juice to indicate zest and a sugar-lined rim to represent sweetness. Email the recipe to all participants a few days before the party. You can drop off a bag of ingredients and a martini glass at guests’ homes if they live close by. Assemble the cocktail together over video chat. Once your drinks are ready, enjoy them together while sharing fun stories of the person you’re celebrating. Cheers to a great birthday and year ahead!
Here are some martini glasses to get your night started!
5. Jeopardy/Trivia Night
Who knows the birthday girl or guy best? Put your knowledge to the test with a Jeopardy/trivia night. Create different categories – such as Family, Friends, Camp, Hobbies, and Travel – and come up with questions of varying levels of difficulty for each category.
We suggest writing out the different categories and point values on a white board (such as this one) to help keep track of participants’ scores!
6. Cooking Class
If you’re like us, your cooking capabilities have greatly expanded in the past year. Use your #quarantinekitchen skills to celebrate your loved one! Hire a professional chef to come up with a menu for the party, or DIY it by asking the individual you’re celebrating which dish they would like to cook with the group. (Is the party a surprise? Choose something you know the birthday person loves to eat.) A few days before the party, email guests the recipe so they can purchase ingredients and follow along easily in real time. Alternatively, you can deliver ingredients to guests’ homes or ship the items directly through Instacart or Amazon Prime. At the end of the class, everyone can chat while enjoying the food they prepared!
These cutting boards are super practical and a great price.
7. Cupcake Decorating
If you’re looking for a food-themed party that involves no heat, cupcake decorating is for you. This is a great party idea for younger kids. You can hire a professional cake decorator to lead the class, or allow guests to decorate their cupcakes freestyle. Send guests a list of supplies to purchase before the party or treat them to cupcake-decorating kits shipped to the door in advance. Don’t forget to include different colored frostings and sprinkles of various flavors and shapes! At the end of the party, have guests show off their cupcakes to the group before eating.
Try this kit for lots of decorating options.
8. Karaoke Night
Singing at the top of your lungs with your friends in a bar is likely a memory that you associate with pre-COVID times, but you can also have a blast doing this virtually. Compile a list of song requests from participants at the start of the evening. When you are ready to start singing, use Spotify or YouTube as resources – there are plenty of instrumental versions of songs on those platforms. You can Google the lyrics as needed and share your screen so singers can easily follow along. Instruct guests who are not singing to mute their microphones to minimize any background noise.
These blow up microphones will add some fun to your evening!
9. Virtual Workout Class
Your guests will thank you for a movement-focused party after spending long days sitting and working remotely. Ask a fitness instructor from your local gym (or any area) to lead a birthday-themed class. Before the event, ship your guests customized sweatbands, water bottles, and post-workout snacks. You can also include other customizable giveaways – like yoga mats, half-zip sweatshirts, or dry-fit shirts – that guests can use during your group workout session and long afterward, too.
We are big fans of these sweatbands.
You can customize your own T-shirts on this site.
Celebrating birthdays in COVID times involves a bit more creativity than in the past. However, with some thought, you have the potential to create especially meaningful birthdays for those who are close to you, as well as for yourself. We encourage you to embrace this challenge, as putting in some extra effort during these trying times will show your loved ones just how much they mean to you. We hope our suggestions help you and yours have many happy birthdays!