It has been inspiring to see the ways in which parents have pivoted to find ways to celebrate a kid’s birthday during a pandemic. Our celebrations and events during the pandemic were canceled, postponed, put on hold but that hasn’t stopped us from finding new and innovative ways to make people feel special. It’s safe to say that most everyone has experienced a birthday in a pandemic at this point and while some pivoting has been involved, these celebrations haven’t been any less special.
Below is a compilation of pandemic birthday celebrations both Heather and I have implemented this year as well as a list of reader-submitted celebrations.
Ways To Celebrate During A Pandemic
1. Birthday parade
You know those Buzzfeed lists that are like If You Recognize These 25 Things You Grew Up In The 90s or whatever? Drive-by birthdays will definitely be on the list of 25 Things Only Kids Who Grew Up During The 2020 Pandemic Will Recognize for SURE. Heather threw one of these for Nolan’s 4th birthday and it was so fun!
2. Deck out your yard
Balloons and yard signs are such a fun way to add excitement to a special day. For Harrison’s birthday, Jessica from Frosting & Fringe was kind enough to install a balloon garland at our front door. It framed the yard sign “Happy 9th Birthday, Harrison” from Luxe Lawn Cards so perfectly. If you need help finding a balloon designer or yard sign company in your area, let us know!
3. Food or dessert truck
For Isla’s birthday this year she had a snow cone truck park in front of her home. Families could come and go between the designated hours and there was enough room to stay distanced.
4. A DAY AT THE BEACH
My kids love a good beach day. For Sullivan’s summer birthday we invited a few friends who were in our bubble and it was easy to social distance while getting some sunshine. Highly recommend if you’ve got a birthday in the summer months!
5. Water Fight
Another outdoor option that is easy to social distance. Give each attendee their own buckets with their own water balloons/squirt toys and let them have a ball.
6. Zoom party
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Zoom! I’ve been in awe of creative parents who have gone above and beyond to come up with themes that translate virtually and are still a tone of fun for kids. I mention a few of them in the next few bullet points.
7. Zoom: Nailed It! style
Drop baking supplies at friend’s doorsteps then hop and Zoom and bake together. You can even have a “judge” come in and pick a winner.
8. Zoom: Sus style
This one is for all the Among Us fans out there. Hop on Zoom (or don’t) and create a game for up to 10 friends. Keep an eye out for that impostor!
9. Zoom: Minecraft style
There are so many ways you can make a Minecraft game fun. Do a building challenge and judge for a winner or just play creative with your friends!
10. Zoom: Paint party style
Drop supplies on friends’ doorsteps and create your works of art over Zoom.
11. Reverse car parade
In this version, the birthday kid goes to their friends! Get a list of friends’ addresses, get them on board, then create a route!
12. Outdoor adventure
If the weather is cooperative, celebrate in the great outdoors! Check out a new-to-you hiking trail in your area and make a day of it.
13. Old Fashioned Snail Mail
This one takes a bit of pre-planning but reach out to friends and family and have them send a letter to the birthday boy or girl. Have them include their favorite memory of them for an extra special touch.
14. A video montage
This, too, requires pre-planning and some technical skills. Have friends and family record a video message with their birthday wishes. Edit all of the videos together for a fun digital keepsake.
15. Gift Scavenger Hunt
Create clues that lead to presents! Half the fun of gifts is the anticipation so going on a scavenger hunt to find them is some added fun.
16. A “Yes” Day
With this celebration, you agree to say yes to whatever they want to do on their special day. Setting boundaries is encouraged––like staying within a certain radius and only spending X amount of money––but the day is in their hands!
17. “Special Dinner”
My kids love a platter of their favorite foods for dinner and have dubbed this “special dinner.” It’s what they ask for for every single birthday dinner and, bonus, it’s super easy!
18. A Family Trip
Renting an AirBnB and getting away from it all can feel like a magical escape. My kids are happiest at the beach so anywhere with water is a surefire way to celebrate.
There Is No “Right” Way To Celebrate A KIDS BIRTHDAY, PANDEMIC OR NOT
No matter what you choose to do to celebrate, pandemic or not, I’d like to remind you not to be too hard on yourself. It has been a hard year but kids are resilient. Their COVID celebration may look different but it will certainly be memorable, regardless of how you choose to celebrate.
What kinds of celebrations did you throw during the pandemic?