For kids with birthdays during social distancing, it can be especially disappointing to have to cancel, skip or postpone birthday parties with friends. We always do a theme park or visit somewhere special on big birthdays, which is also not an option right now. With a little creativity, you can still make it a birthday to remember!

With traditional options off the table, we’ve got a list of ideas to create a special day for the birthday girl or boy. Themed party ideas at home, virtual party options, and more. While we wrote this with kids in mind, all of the ideas below also work for celebrating an adult’s birthday at home.

1. Host your own Themed Party

  • Movie Theater – Close all curtains to make the room dark, make popcorn for everyone, provide everyone a box of candy. Pick a favorite movie OR find something new to watch.
  • Slumber Party – Make a fort in the family room, camp in a tent in the backyard, or just a traditional slumber party on the floor, with parents and siblings as the guests.
  • Craft-o-rama – Get out ALL of the crafting and coloring supplies and have everyone make their own creation.
  • Day Spa – Treat the birthday child to a wash and blow dry, pedicure, manicure, massage, or facial.
  • Arcade – If you have a WiiU or other gaming system set up for multi-player, get everyone involved in a video game competition.
  • Dance Party – Bust out the Christmas lights, turn off the overhead lights, find or create an upbeat playlist, put on a costume or crazy outfit (hello 80’s!) and bust a move. Use YouTube to come up with new moves.
  • Board Games – Let the birthday child pick the games OR have everyone in the family pick out their favorite game and set aside a few hours for family fun.
  • Outdoor Fun – Play a family game of basketball / soccer / baseball / kickball, have a family water balloon fight, or pull out those random yard toys you might not use on a regular basis (hello bocce ball set). Many local inflatable companies are still renting out and delivering bounce houses and slides. Fun the whole family can enjoy! Use our Birthday Party Directory to find a local rental company. {Be sure to ask about cleaning/sanitizing procedures}

2. Decorate like crazy!

  • Once the birthday child is asleep the night before their birthday, start the decorating!
  • Decorate their Bedroom Door – Streamers, pictures, posterboard, post it notes, use whatever you can find at home or pick up at the store.
  • Use paper or posterboard to make signs to spread around the house
  • Cover their bedroom floor with balloons – One of our birthday traditions for many years was to cover the birthday boy’s bedroom floor with balloons. {This did require my husband and I to spend a bit of time blowing them up… } They always have fun playing balloon volleyball and other games with them.
  • Sign Gypsies Lakeland can also help with the birthday decorations – order a huge personalized Happy Birthday sign to be displayed in your yard! See photos, get details and pricing on their website.

3. Do all of their favorite things

  • Favorite breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Favorite indoor activity
  • Favorite outdoor activity
  • Favorite movie
  • Favorite family game

4. Have a YES day

  • Ice cream for breakfast? Yes!
  • Pajamas all day? Yes!
  • Spend the day building LEGOs? Yes!
  • Say yes to everything you can today (within reason)

5. Zoom / Facetime / Videos

  • Plan a virtual party! Set up a Zoom call with family and friends so they can sing Happy Birthday all at once.
  • Schedule video calls throughout the day with friends, family, classmates, neighbors, etc.
  • Ask friends and family to record a short birthday message or singing Happy Birthday and send it to you.
  • Dreams Come True Entertainment is offering personalized video messages, video calls, and home drive by parades from your favorite princesses, superheroes, and other characters. Visit their Facebook page for pricing and additional details.

6. Schedule a Drive-By Car Parade

  • Set a specific time for friends and family to drive by your house honking and waving. Birthday signs, streamers, pom poms, noisemakers welcome. (Be sure to let the neighbors know first!)
  • Ask drivers to park along the street and lead everyone in the Happy Birthday song

7. Chalk & Yard Messages

  • Ask friends, family and/or neighbors to come leave a message in front of your house for the birthday kid.
  • Create chalk artwork or messages along the sidewalk or in the driveway. Have them bring their own chalk to avoid spreading germs.
  • Have them put a sign in your yard that can be seen from the windows (this obviously only works if they have a yard sign laying around or supplies to create one)

8. Neighborhood Birthday Wishes

  • If you live in a neighborhood that would participate, ask your neighbors to leave chalk messages on the sidewalk or driveway, or create a sign for their front window. Then you can take a walk and see all of the birthday wishes!

9. Make a Present Scavenger Hunt

  • Create a scavenger hunt to find presents hidden around the house.
  • Need gift ideas that are also boredom busters? Check our list of 100+ things to do at home for plenty of ideas and links to gift ideas on Amazon

10. Plan a Special Birthday Dinner

  • Do you usually go out to eat for a birthday dinner? (We do!) Find out if your child’s favorite restaurant is offering to-go orders.

Local Businesses in the Lakeland area that can help you celebrate:

  • Sign Gypsies – Have a large Birthday sign displayed in your yard for 24 hours!
  • Dreams Come True Entertainment – DCTE is offering personalized video messages, video calls, and home drive by parades from your favorite princesses, superheroes, and other characters. Visit their Facebook page for pricing and additional details.
  • Many local inflatable companies are still renting out and delivering bounce houses and slides. Fun the whole family can enjoy! Use our Birthday Party Directory to find a local rental company. {Be sure to ask about cleaning/sanitizing procedures}

Have other ideas for celebrating a birthday at home? Know of a local business with a birthday deal? Leave us a comment below!

Additional Articles: 

April Mucci Lakeland Mom
April Mucci Lakeland Mom

About the Author: April Mucci

April is the owner of LakelandMom.com. She has lived in Lakeland since age 2 and is passionate about our community and connecting families with local resources. She is a mom to 2 boys and a mini goldendoodle, wife to Matt. You can often find April at the baseball field where she cheers on her baseball loving 11 year old, or home building Legos with her 9 year old. She loves reading, saltwater fishing, and working on Lakeland Mom!