Creative Ideas for Planning a Socially Distant Birthday

photo of parents with small girl wearing birthday hats and smiling looking at a computer

The times are a-changing and that includes birthday celebrations. But don't worry! There are plenty of creative ways to celebrate a birthday for that special someone while complying with current COVID-19 standards. Here are some fun ways to plan a socially distant birthday party. (Keep in mind that it will depend on the ordinances in place in your area.)

Birthday Gift Drop-offs

Celebrate a birthday for the entire day. Schedule gift drop-offs throughout the day. Gifts and cards can appear on the porch throughout the day and allow the birthday boy or girl to feel extra special. You can even decorate the porch where gifts are dropped to make the entire area feel festive. Create an online sign up with time slots and invite friends and family to register for a time they plan to drop off the gift. This way drop-offs are spaced evenly throughout the day.

Get creative! If you have a video camera on the porch, you can even allow people to sing or hold up a sign to the camera. Got a regular doorbell? Just ring and run so that the gift is a secret surprise waiting to be found. Use custom reminders to provide these additional instructions in the automatically generated reminder email.

screenshot of sign up showing birthday gift drop off slots

Six-Feet-Apart Celebrations

Six-feet-apart celebrations allow you to physically meet with friends and family while remaining six feet apart. Since keeping everyone in a large group at least six feet apart can be challenging, it's best to break the visits down to smaller groups. For a six-feet-apart birthday celebration, create a sign up with multiple time slots on the individual's birthday. Limit each slot to a small group. Then, invite people to sign up and explain that there will be mini-celebrations throughout the day.

An event like this allows the celebrations to go on throughout the day and can really make the day feel extra special. It is also nice to have a celebration that allows for in-person interaction while maintaining safe social distancing practices.

Genius Tip: Need to get the conversation started during visits? Try some of these icebreaker questions to help.

screenshot of sign up scheduling isabella's birthday visits

Video Conference Birthday

Sometimes for safety or distance reasons, video conferencing is simply the best option. With a sign up, you can create a digital birthday celebration. The sign up can collect RSVPs and serve as an invitation to the event. Additionally, you can list birthday gifts as slots on the sign up. People can sign up for various gifts and arrange to have them shipped so that they arrive in time for the birthday. You can even include the video conferencing link on the sign up.

Genius Tip: Create individual slots for gifts, list images of the gifts and collect money to purchase the gifts on a sign up. Participants can pay on the sign up and allow you to choose and ensure the correct gifts are purchased.

Once the big day arrives, everyone can join via video. Sing happy birthday, watch the gifts being opened or play a fun trivia game. There are many ways to make the digital party a hit and ensure the birthday boy or girl feels special on the big day.

screenshot of sign up showing a virtual birthday bash invitation

Drive-by Birthday

Drive-by birthdays are another idea if you want to limit contact. This is a great option if you want to show appreciation for a teacher or other group leader on their birthday. Create an RSVP sign up that serves as a birthday invitation for the event. Instruct participants to make signs, banners or other materials to hold up during the parade of cars that drive by. Don't underestimate the power of this simple idea. A little drive-by with signs, costumes and other silly ideas can really make this a special event.

Genius Tip: Create custom themes to provide multiple images of the individual or examples from classic drive-by birthday celebrations to inspire guests.

screenshot of drive-by birthday rsvp sign up

Group Video Birthday Greeting

This is helpful for large groups such as a church or class of students who want to wish a pastor or teacher a happy birthday. Each participant records themselves speaking an assigned word or two. Then, the videos are collected and combined into a singular video message that wishes someone a happy birthday.

To do this, create a sign up and name each slot the assigned text that you want participants to read in their video. For example, "Happy Birthday Ms. Lawson" could be broken down into smaller roles. There would be a slot for "happy birthday," another slot for "Ms. Lawson" and so forth. Participants can sign up and fill all the slots for a fun birthday greeting.

screenshot of birthday greeting sign up

There are lots of creative ways to plan a special birthday during this time. You can even try some of our favorite birthday themes to make it more fun. Even though our favorite events look different, online sign ups make it easy to coordinate groups and celebrate the guest of honor. With a little planning, you can organize a birthday celebration that everyone will remember and cherish.

Create a Sign Up