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QuaranTime Party Time: Birthdays in the Time of Coronavirus

How can you still make your child’s special day special while you’re under lockdown?

Frozen, Avengers, unicorns, pirates… it’s a pretty safe bet that no kid has ever picked pandemic-induced quarantine as their birthday party theme. You had high hopes a month ago—maybe you even reserved a venue, made goodie bags, sent out evites, and everything. But the cancelations are inevitable, and the party place isn’t even open now. You’ve been corona’d, and your kid is understandably disappointed and probably a little out of sorts already, what with being cooped up for weeks.


How can you still make your child’s special day special while you’re under lockdown? We brainstormed, asked our community members, and reached out to some special businesses to help you out. So order a cake and some presents, because birthdays aren’t canceled!

Arrange a Virtual Party!

Your kid’s friends can’t leave their houses either, so they’ve got no excuse to not come to the virtual party! Send out an invite for a big video chat over Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype FaceTime, Facebook… whatever video conferencing software you want. Have them sing “Happy Birthday” over the internet! Have a virtual dance party (with prizes for the silliest dance)! If you have enough lead time you can even arrange for party favors, cupcakes, or some kind of fun craft kit to be sent to each guest’s home so you can have a virtual activity to complete together too! See below for one such option from Lulu’s Casita!


Photograph by Kristen Smith Calderon

Birthday Parade!

Quite a few community members have told us of plans for a birthday parade. It’s simple: send an email to guests and ask them to drive past your house at a particular time and honk and wave! Maybe they want to decorate their cars and blast some festive music? That’s up to them!

Ask the Neighborhood Kids to Chalk a Birthday Message!

If you have a driveway or porch, leave some chalk out and ask neighbors to leave a message or drawing wishing your child a happy birthday!


Photograph by Patti Blachford

Balloon Flood!

Fill their room with balloons while they’re sleeping or eating breakfast! It’s a whimsical little surprise, and you’ve got all the time in the world to blow up a bunch of balloons, so why not?

Gift Scavenger Hunt!

Hide little presents all over the house! Make a treasure map, clues, or take inspiration from Frozen Fever and connect a big string to all the surprises and just follow it around the house!

Virtual Party with a Princess!

Princess Bonnie will sing, tell stories, and does an amazing Queen Elsa (as well as so many other princesses and characters, just check our her page). When my newly six-year-old daughter had her Facebook Live with Elsa, she even turned water into snow right in front of our eyes! I still don’t know how she did that, other than that she must actually be magic. DM her over Facebook and set up a time—we even debriefed her on our daughter’s long storied friendship with Elsa to keep things consistent!

Photograph by Laura Swartz


On-the-Go Fiesta (and even an Easter Bunny) from Lulu’s Casita!

Lulu’s Casita has partnered with local businesses to make party kits you can have delivered to your house (and the homes of all the party guests!) including a DIY pizza kit, balloon, cupcake decorating, and more. They can even deliver a special gift to your home along with the kit. Then schedule the virtual party with your friends! Lulu’s is also arranging visits from the Easter Bunny! He’ll just drive to your house and wave through the window. Is that creepy or adorable? We’ll say adorable!

Music Monkey Jungle Virtual Serenade!

For $25, you can get a 20-minute Virtual Birthday Celebration from Music Monkey Jungle over FaceTime, Zoom or Facebook Live!

Virtual Parties with PopUpPlay

This popular pop-up we love for its crafty upcycling fun has partnered with other local businesses to plan an array of virtual party choices, from a Sculpting Party with The Clay Studio to a Buggy Birthday Bash with the Insectarium and much more. They have lots of ideas for creative play parties listed on their website, so check it out!


Lead photograph by Elizabeth McCormick.

Contributing Writer