Inevitably, you or someone you know will have a birthday that falls during the quarantine. Just because it can’t be as big as you hoped, doesn’t mean it can’t be just as special. Continuing to celebrate events like birthdays can help us find moments of joy and normalcy during the COVID-19 crisis. Having to miss out on celebrating these milestones with your loved ones can be difficult, but there are several ways to make this birthday special from afar.
Organize a Parade
One of the most popular ways people have been celebrating is by having a drive-by parade. For those of us in Louisiana, we are no stranger to parades, and now is the time to grab your krewe and put on a show for the person celebrating their birthday. Have the birthday girl or boy sit in the front yard as each car rolls by and waves and cheers. Signs and other throws are encouraged to amplify the excitement!
Decorate the House
Your environment can make all the difference. When you decorate the house for a special occasion, it can change the mood to be more uplifted and excited. Even though this day might not feel like a typical birthday, going above and beyond with the decorations can make this birthday feel extra special. Break out the streamers and balloons and place signs in the front yard to create the perfect atmosphere for a quarantine birthday party.
Host a Virtual Party
By now you have probably connected with friends and family via FaceTime or Zoom, and a birthday should be no different. Invite everyone to a video chat to share their birthday wishes and reunite with everyone. It can be hard to feel close to others during quarantine, but video chat is an easy way to connect and make the birthday person feel celebrated.
Let Them Become Royalty for the Day
Everyone celebrating a birthday should feel extra special on their day. Normally you would go out to their favorite restaurant or attend an event that they love, but this year looks a little different. Let the birthday person be royalty for a day at home. Have other family members or roommates in the house do tasks to make the birthday person’s day easier, such as chores, making dinner or taking care of something on their to-do list.
Deliver a Birthday Kit
If you can’t be with someone in person, have some birthday goodies delivered so that you can be there in spirit. A cake, puzzle, movie, old pictures and a gift card to use for their favorite take-out meal is a great start for a thoughtful gift that will make their birthday feel celebrated. During quarantine, even the smallest acts of kindness can feel like a big deal to someone who needs it.
Have Friends and Family Members Send Their Best Memories
Birthday parties are usually filled with family and friends chatting and reliving fun memories with the birthday boy or girl. Whether through email, text or mail, capture these same moments even though you can’t be with people in person. Have your friends and family send their favorite memory and enjoy laughing, crying and reminiscing on all of the submissions.
Have a Game Night
Trade in a birthday night out for a fun night in playing board games with those who are quarantined with you. If you’ve already been through all the games in your cabinet, check out these ideas for games you can play with a small amount of people. You can also go virtual by playing online games with your family or friends, or challenging everyone to make the coolest Lego tower or the most decorated cake and comparing via video chat.
For the Kids
Kids’ birthdays can be some of the hardest events to celebrate during quarantine, because they may not understand why this year is different. Along with the ideas above, here are a few kid-specific ideas to make your little one’s day magical.
- Chat with a character – Just like you would video chat with friends and family, some companies let you hire a character for a birthday party. Reach out to those companies to see if your child’s favorite character can interact with them virtually to wish them a happy birthday.
- Scavenger hunt for presents – Instead of simply giving the presents to your child, take it up a notch (and keep them active) by organizing a scavenger hunt for their presents hidden around the house. After they have found them all, open them together and watch their face light up!
- Have a day of “yes” – Does your child want a dance party? Yes! Do they want ice cream for dinner? Yes! Do they want to fill their entire bedroom with balloons? Yes! Let their imagination run wild and fulfill all of their wishes for the day (within reason). This will make them feel like the day is all about them, even though it can’t be celebrated in a normal way.
- Reunite with classmates – Collaborate with your kid’s teacher to arrange a video chat with their classmates to all sing happy birthday together.
- Get crafty – Use chalk to decorate your sidewalk with happy birthday messages. This will keep your child occupied and get their creativity juices flowing while celebrating their special day. If you want to splurge, some companies will even deliver custom birthday signs to display in your yard for a day as an added decoration!
- Unplug from work – If you’re working remotely, take the day off to really focus your attention on your little one. They’ll appreciate the extra time you spend with them and remember this unique birthday forever.
The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.