5 great alternative birthday party ideas for these covid times

5 great alternative birthday party ideas for these covid times

Sick and tired of not being able to celebrate birthdays properly? You’re not alone. At our gift store in downtown Collingwood, we love helping our customer prepare for a birthday celebration: finding a great present, and the perfect birthday card, and then gift wrapping it all with care. Sadly, none of this is easy right now nor is party planning. Birthdays simply aren’t the same without friends and family on hand. 

Take heart -- there are other ways to honour your favourite people. Here is a list of some creative, alternative party ideas to celebrate birthdays during quarantine from a kid’s party to a more grown up affair. Hopefully, one of these will inspire you.

1. Kids of all ages will love this birthday idea: hire an ice cream truck to visit all your local friend’s homes. 

You’ll have to organize the rental and get confirmations well in advance, but this one is worth the effort. Tinkly music with the promise of delightful cool treats lift everyone’s spirits. Best of all, the guest of honour can ride along to do the scooping. Here is a link to a company in Toronto that is offering this sweet and totally cool service: www.416softee.ca

Or you can try a thrifty approach – you become the ice cream truck, tinkly music included or use music that supports your theme – Mission Impossible, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. Load a cooler with ice and top quality frozen yummies, and then make the rounds with the birthday person (in costume) doing the porch drops. Text your guests that you are nearing their place and have them record the delivery. Post all to a shareable album. 

2. "39*Bottles of Wine on the Porch" - *whatever birthday person's age 

Gosh, how we love this idea! To the tune of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", celebrate by having guests leave bottles of wine with a signed tag or card on the guest of honour’s front porch. Hopefully, a friend organizes it (don’t forget to put this person in your will), otherwise it just looks greedy. Again, introducing an outlandish attire element and recording drop offs add greatly to the fun. 

3. Host a karaoke party on any video conferencing service. 

Wired.com spells out the how-to’s of such an event and includes vital links for a smooth evening of wild fun. Let’s say you pick a disco theme. (Pish tosh what others may say). Let the beats of the Bee Gees take you away.  Guests should be encouraged to wear some of their best seventies garb and prizes should be awarded in all sorts of categories.

And don’t forget that you need an on-theme backdrop for the guest of honour. Forge a makeshift dance-floor, grab some glitter decorations, coloured lights (and even a disco ball), turn off the main lights, and let the glam fun begin. 

4. For an evening of intrigue, try an An Adult Murder Mystery

“J’accuse!” You can purchase a murder mystery kit online  or don your writer’s cap and come up with your own killer tale of lighthearted lethal consorting. Each guest is emailed their script and they read it well before the event. 

Now you simply set up a videoconference and let the scandalous revelations and wild accusations fly. Chatting on camera and commenting madly are the keys to making this night work. Appropriate character costumes are encouraged. 

5. Setting up a Scavenger Hunt 

This does require a local guest list because you will be using public structures  and points of interest around town. Hunt times are recorded to establish a winner, who will have taken the requisite photo at each location on the list and submitted them to a shared album as soon as all target spots have been visited. (Do not publish until after the hunt time has expired.)

Zany outfits are a must. All hunters must complete the course by a set time and return to their homes to join in the closing ceremonies on a video conference call when the winner is announced and the day’s wacky goings on can be unpacked at leisure. 

Whatever party you want to plan, consider using a free app such as evite.com for your invitations.  Not only can you design something fun from their templates, but the digital service will also organize the RSVPs and let guests share comments, to get everyone excited for the event.

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