One of the worst things about being in a major and all-encompassing lockdown is when your birthday comes around. It’s a day that just blends into all the others, with maybe a little more cake.
I don’t know about anyone else, but this is all starting to feel a little Groundhog Day-esque to me, and I’m getting really tired of it. If we can’t even muster the energy to kick up a good fuss for our own birthday or our friends, then we’re just letting Covid win. It’s important to mark these milestones with a little fun and pomp. Just because you can’t see someone or can’t go out to your favourite places, doesn’t you can’t celebrate in style. Come on, people, where’s creativity!
I personally, am a big birthday person. I like to make a fuss – both on my own and on others birthdays. One of the biggest joys in my life is making a meaningful, funny or entertaining birthday experience for someone, and I have compiled a list of some of my best ideas for restricted or distanced event throwing that are all guaranteed fun and guaranteed Covid-friendly.
Check some of them out below and pick what will work for you and your friends!
This is one that is always popular with a gals groups. This one even works distantly, as you can all set up a Zoom call in your kitchens and have assembled the ingredients in the days before. Pick a cocktail that’s inspired by the birthday boy or girl – it could be a classic, like the Margarita or a Sex on the Beach, but give it a fun birthday themed name.
Or else, try something like the Spirit of Harrogate cocktail experiences! Their virtual gin experience includes 4x5cl Minis, 4xMixers & Glass and a 1.5 hour Zoom experience. The interactive virtual gin experience can happen from the comfort of your home and combines elements of the in-house Spirit of Gin Experience along with new content. Guests will discover the fascinating history of gin and the story of Slingsby while enjoying some G&Ts. They require a minimum of 5 working days to post experience packs and ship only to the UK.
Creating a theme for the night makes it all a lot easier form there. The theme can decide the decorations, the activity, the food, the music – for a birthday over summer, we decided on an Mamma Mia theme. I made a cake with a cut out of Donna and the Dynamos, the cocktails were called ‘Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out’ and ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme a drink’, and the music took care of itself. It’s about creating an atmosphere, rather than doing anything overly fancy. And ABBA is always a good shout to get people in a party mood.
Breakfast in bed
If you’re living with the person whose birthday it is, a little pampering never goes astray. Just because you can’t go do all the big things you want to, doesn’t mean you should let the small things slide too. Little meaningful gestures, like getting up early to grab croissants and fresh orange juice from the nearby shop can add a little bit of excitement to any day.
It might seem pointless if you can’t be with the birthday girl or boy, but a colourful background, a few balloons and streamers can make all the difference, even in a Zoom call. Again, it’s all about atmosphere, you have to make the party vibes, if the party can’t actually happen in person.
Another good tip is to have a few birthday accessories on hand, even if you deliver them to the ‘guests’ doorsteps before the Zoom call, ensuring that no contact is made. Things like party hats, birthday badges, silly glasses can make all the difference when the birthday celebrant opens to Zoom call to see all the silliness and fuss on their behalf.
Murder mystery game
This is another one that I have actually personally tried out and I have to warn you, it’s a lot of work. Plus, I organised it in a setting within my bubble, so we could actually all play it in person. Over Zoom, it would be an entirely different, but still super fun experience.
There’s a company called Maple Mystery Games that will run a virtual murder mystery party for you, taking out the hassle on your end of coming up with a story and laying out clues. The experience involves a short introduction and instructions and six fun rounds. With lots of character interaction, backstabbing and accusations, this is definitely one for a more theatrical crowd. With prizes for best actor, costume, solution, decorations and/or food, let your competitive side out and just really commit to this fun event to make even the most locked down birthday special.
A pretty standard go-to for most birthday pre-drinks, this can be done virtually with Cards Against Humanity! Set up a Zoom call and have the tab for Cards Against Humanity open in the background, ready to go. Sure to be raucous and out there, it’s a great shout for a virtual birthday drinks that needs a little livening up.
Quiz about the birthday girl/boy
If you’re not sick of Zoom quizzes yet, this can be a great opportunity for good fun and the chance to make a fuss of the birthday boy or girl! Tailor questions to revolve around them and your memories as a friend’s group to create a personal and laugh-a-minute quiz. Check out some more of our fun Zoom quiz ideas here!
Online art session
This ones a little more expensive, if you’re going to be supplying art supplies to everyone o the Zoom call, but the laughs are worth it. Get up a photo of the birthday girl or boy – as flattering or unflattering as you please – and have everyone try to paint their recreation of it. Get as creative as you like – will it be an abstract look or something a little more dramatic? Add in some prosecco to the painting process and see how quickly it gets ridiculous!
Have a celebrity make a cameo
This app is one of the more insane lockdown finds. Through the app Cameo, you can search through their registered list of celebrities and stars to deliver a personalised birthday message for your birthday boy or girl. With an all star list full of athletes, comedians, musicians and reality TV stars including cast members from the Real Housewives, RuPaul’s Drag Race, NBA and NFL players, there will be someone there for everyone.
Requests take seven days to complete, so make sure you book one with enough time and the cost per Cameo varies depending on who you have chosen to deliver your message, and range from as a little as £8 to more than £200.
Create a cinema or theatre experience
Have a fan of Broadway or the movies celebrating a birthday? This one probably works best with someone in your bubble. Create the whole cinema experience, popcorn, drinks even cut out little tickets if you’re going whole hog. Get dressed up as if you’re really going to a theatre, and set yourself up on Broadwayhd.com to watch professionally recorded shows – whatever you like! From Cats, to Fame to Kinky Boots, get your musical on and enjoy the show!