Hosting Tips

8 Creative Ways to Celebrate a Friend’s Birthday While Social Distancing

It could be her best birthday ever.

By Chanel Dror
flower crown bridal shower birthday girl

Having your birthday fall during the Coronavirus pandemic is kind of like every trip you ever took before Instagram — does it even count? When planning your own festivities, it’s easy to throw in the towel and take the “woe is me” route. That’s why it’s more meaningful than ever when a friend or family member takes it upon themselves to plan something special and unexpected for the birthday boy or girl.

But in the age of social distancing, what does a “birthday party” realistically look like?

Nothing like a pandemic to get humans to come up with creative ways to gather, and make their loves ones feel extra special. From the “birthday parade” to the “hug glove,” viral photos and videos have left our hearts warmed time and time again during the outbreak, giving us plenty of ideas for how to make our own friends feel the love on their big day. Keep reading for 8 ideas that’ll ensure this year’s birthday doesn’t go to waste.

zoom call quarantine birthday ideaphoto credit Kristen Kilpatrick

Surprise Zoom Call

Are we over the Zoom calls yet? I thought I might be, but every time I get on one, I’m glad I did it. Make your birthday boy or girl feel extra special by surprising them with all their favorite faces dialed in on the night of their birthday, and you can make the call extra special by giving it a theme. I’ve heard of a surprise Zoom toga party where the birthday girl unexpectedly had a toga dropped off on her front porch just before the call! Don’t forget the cake and candles.

drive by birthday quarantine birthday ideaphoto credit Wynn Myers

Drive By Birthday Party

In April we surprised a close friend with a drive by parade, and she was seriously SO HAPPY. She was all but ready to assume this year’s birthday was going to be a wash, when she went into her front yard to see all her nearest and dearest driving by with signs, balloons, costumes, and music blaring. Happy birthday!

hug glove quarantine sanitary hug idea DIY

Make a Hug Glove

This might be one of the more creative things I’ve seen during quarantine — a hug glove! This DIY was created with little more than a plastic tarp and some heavy duty tape, and functions as a barrier between the two huggers. Set one of these up in the front yard of the birthday boy or girl so they can enjoy squeezes from their loved ones!

food truck birthday idea during quarantinephoto credit Hannah Haston

Book a Food Truck or Cocktail Truck

What’s a birthday party without friends, food, and drinks? One way to have them all is by renting a food truck or mobile bar to park in front of your home. Guests can get their fixes, and enjoy them while social distancing.

social distance picnic blanket idea quarantine birthday stripedphoto credit Kate LeSueur

Social Distance Picnic Party

We also love the idea of a social distance picnic. Guests pack up their picnics and meet at a park to spread out their blankets and celebrate the guest of honor from a safe distance.

camping campfire summer quarantine birthday ideaphoto credit La Ventana

Go Camping

For the outdoorsy crew, plan for a weekend getaway in the wilderness. Friends can sleep in the safety of their respective tents, cook food in foil pouches over a fire, and take a hike or a dip all while social distancing.

flower bouquet pretty colorful birthday idea quarantinephoto credit Kristen Kilpatrick

Flower Bomb Them

When in doubt, flowers always bring a smile to our faces. A few years ago we came up with the idea of “flower bombing” your friend on her birthday, and during quarantine, it holds up more than ever as an amazing surprise. Drop off as many flowers as you can afford at her front door so that when she opens it, she’s shocked by the bight and colorful blooms.