Celebrating a birthday while stuck at home? Try one of these 30 ideas to make your birthday party ideas at home more special! From virtual birthday parties to special birthday traditions to try this year – there are ideas for anyone having a birthday at home!
When I told my son school was cancelled for the rest of the year, his first reaction was but mom, I won’t get to celebrate my birthday at school. I’ll have to celebrate in second grade.
My heart broke.
Not only does he not get to celebrate his birthday at school and get all the special fun that comes with it, but he also doesn’t get to have the big birthday party that we’d literally just planned out a week ago. Luckily I’d procrastinated and invites weren’t sent yet but still, it’s sad.
He’s not the only one.
There are going to be a lot of birthdays celebrated at home over the next few months and while it’s not ideal, it doesn’t mean those birthdays can’t still be just as special as any other year.
Birthday Party Ideas at Home
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate a birthday during this stay at home period of our lives, I’ve got you covered. Here are 30 ways you can make celebrating a birthday at home this year special.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas
There are so many different ways you can celebrate virtually with people right now. From Zoom to FaceTime to Skyping, getting on a group video chat with friends an family has never been easier.
Get on a group chat with friends and family and try one of these ideas together, apart.
1 – Play a game!
Send everyone a copy of a printable game before the party then play together on the group video call. If it’s in the next few months, something like this spring bingo would work great!
Or you could even do a scavenger hunt like this alphabet scavenger hunt where people have to run around and bring back the item and show it on screen for credit.
Here are some great tips for hosting a virtual scavenger hunt (and two printable lists of items to search for!)
2 – Do a birthday interview.
Send everyone a “how well do you know the birthday” person and have them fill it out before the party. During the party, ask the guest of honor the questions and see who guessed correctly!
3 – Sing happy birthday with cake.
Have everyone sing happy birthday on the call while you bring out the cake and blow out candles. Even better if you drop off cupcakes (with this printable cake gift tag) to anyone nearby to enjoy with you on the call since they won’t be able to taste the cake! Just make sure to wash your hands before and after the drop-off!
4 – Bring the party to your friends.
Drop off a bag of party goodies to people who will be participating in the call so that it feels like they’re right there with you! Party hats, favors, printable games, and more can help everyone feel like they’re in the same place even if they’re not.
5 – Make it a movie night.
Netflix currently has an option to watch movies together and chat about them on the screen. After the party is winding down, pick out a movie and enjoy together from your own individual couches. Think of it as a virtual slumber party.
6 – Get your virtual game on.
Play video games with friends through Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus, and XBox Live.
Get Others Involved
If you live in a close neighborhood, one of the most fun ways to surprise someone for their birthday is to get the neighborhood involved. Do it without telling the birthday person and these could lead to one of the most meaningful birthdays ever!
Don’t live in a close neighborhood? Get friends and family across the world in other fun ways!
7 – Drive the party bus.
Before the birthday, send a note to friends and neighbors letting them know that a birthday is coming up. Ask anyone who wants to participate to put signs, balloons, or anything else in their yard/window on the day of the birthday.
Decorate your car with birthday decorations and go for a drive around the neighborhood looking for all sorts of birthday surprises! If you have a set time, you could even have people stand out in their yards and wave and yell happy birthday as you drive around!
8 – Chalk the walk.
Similar to the idea above, send a note asking people to write notes, draw pictures, etc. on their sidewalks in sidewalk chalk on the birthday. Then ride bikes or go for a walk and see what fun surprises you see throughout the neighborhood!
Just make sure there’s no rain in the forecast!
9 – Schedule a sing-a-long.
Text or message neighbors on your street to see if people would be willing to come outside at a specific time during the day to sing happy birthday all together from their own porch.
10 – Happy birthday jar
Have friends and family members from around the world send you emails with things they love about the birthday person. Print or write those out and put them in a jar or box for the birthday person to read all day long!
They’ll never feel more loved!
11 – Mail it in
Give out your address to friends, family members, and neighbors and ask them to send letters or postcards to the birthday person. Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail and even better if it’s lots of things!
12 – Play videos all day.
Ask friends and family to send you a video of them singing happy birthday then play those videos for the birthday person all day long!
13 – Pretend to be together.
Email a “flat Stanley” version of the birthday person to friends and family. Have them print it out and take at least one picture of them celebrating with it – then send it to you to share with the birthday person! If you can get them in advance, you could even make a collage like one of my favorite 50th birthday party ideas!
As an added bonus you could keep those photos and once you’re able to go out, try to recreate the photos with friends and family in person!
14 – Celebrate with imaginary friends.
Pull out those stuffed animals, action figures, and dolls and have a pretend birthday party. Name each of them (or label them with names of best friends/family) and go back to your childhood with an imaginary friend party!
Make it Special At Home
If you’re going to be stuck at home, you might as well make the most of that time! Here are some ways you can make things at home even more special!
15 – Have a birthday countdown.
Count down the days to their birthday by crossing them off on a calendar or even doing a simple advent calendar like this one filled with small treats or things you love about them! Since they can’t have the birthday they want, make it even better by celebrating all week or month long!
16 – Set up a birthday scavenger hunt.
Give them the first clue for this printable birthday scavenger hunt as soon as they wake up leading them to special surprises throughout the house! While most of these scavenger hunt ideas are better for kids, the birthday one is a hit with adults too!
17 – Go out all on decor.
You know those streamers hidden in the closet? Get them out. Fill up their room with balloons while they’re sleeping. Add party decorations throughout the house. Make it seem like you’re having a big shindig even if you’re not!
18 – Make a surprise sign
Add a big surprise sign like this one to their door while they’re sleeping! Have the entire family write things they love about the person on it, draw pictures, or do other things that will make them smile when they wake up.
19 – Make it a yes day.
Say yes to everything you possibly can. They’re already stuck at home and can’t do many of the things they want to so say yes on their special day. Yes to taking a nap in the middle of the day. Yes to eating rainbow donuts for breakfast. Yes to staying up late to watch a movie.
20 – Let them choose.
As much as possible, let the birthday person choose everything for the day. All the meals, all the activities, family movie to watch, what kind of cake, when to go to bed, and more.
21 – Make a birthday in a box.
Give them a birthday in a box at the beginning of the day that’s full of everything you need for a party – wrapped presents, treats, decorations, party favors, games, and more.
22 – Break out the balloons
Just like in this New Year’s Eve countdown box idea, put a fun birthday activity in a balloon and blow it up for every hour of the day. Or if you don’t want to do every hour, do one balloon for every year old they are (within reason). Let them pop the activities randomly and do that activity then!
Some fun ideas you could include in the balloons include:
23 – Keep up the traditions
If you have any typical birthday traditions like ordering pizza or eating off a birthday plate, this is the year those traditions will be the most important.
Try your best to stick with all of your traditions to make it feel like this birthday is more normal than it actually is.
24 – Let them eat cake.
Order or make their favorite cake, cupcakes, or other dessert as long as its still available to do so. This will be especially meaningful if it’s something you pick up from a local restaurant after you’ve been eating at home for who knows how long!
25 – Give them the day off.
Whether they’re doing school at home or working from home – give just them the day off to do whatever they want. And don’t just leave it there – give them a day off from all the rules. Unlimited screen time, stay up late, don’t have to eat their veggies.
26 – Go on a virtual trip.
Pick one of the many virtual tours that are available and go on a virtual trip to somewhere you’d rather be. Ride a virtual ride at Disney World, tour the famous San Diego Zoo, check out the Louvre in Paris.
You may not be able to actually go to any of those places this year but it doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to! And bonus points if you do the virtual tour then work together to create a bucket list of all of the places you want to go once you’re able!
27 – Make it your own.
Ask the birthday person what they’d like to do for their birthday if they weren’t at home beforehand. Then use that information to make your own version at home.
Someone wants a Chuck E Cheese birthday party? Make pizza, create your own Skeeball game, and setup a little mini store where they can turn in tickets for prizes.
Think to the Future
There’s going to be some point where we’re not all hanging out at home looking for at home birthday party ideas. Cherish that idea and give them a few choices for future celebrations as well!
28 – Let them choose any birthday.
Let them choose any day in the future to be their birthday for the year. Celebrate just like their real birthday on that day!
Or if you want to make it easier, celebrate on their half birthday instead!
29 – Give IOU birthday coupons.
Give them coupons to use in the future for things like dinner at their favorite restaurant, a movie at the local theater, or a day at the trampoline park. Even better if you buy gift cards to go with them (kind of like I did with this monthly adventure box) to support local businesses while they’re down.
These printable coupons are blank and would work great for adding whatever you want!
30 – Go all out when you get out.
Once you’re able to really celebrate their birthday like they’d want, go all out. It might be on next year’s birthday or later that year but make it up to them.
If you don’t normally do a party, let them have a small party with friends. If you normally do one present, make it a big one.
What would you add to this list? How are you making birthdays special at home?
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