How to make birthdays special during quarantine

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

It’s fair to say that celebrating your birthday during the coronavirus pandemic can seem a bit strange while practising social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine. It may even feel inappropriate to celebrate at all during the turbulent and uncertain times we’re all facing. But even though we’re experiencing tough times, you shouldn’t feel guilty or put off if you’re planning to celebrate responsibly. Here are some sweet ways to make it special, despite the current circumstances.

Decorate the Home

If you’re celebrating a birthday in quarantine or self-isolation, make the day feel different from the rest and get creative and decorate the home.

Buy pretty and colourful balloons and hang them around the house, drape a birthday banner in the lounge, and write a meaningful message to the birthday boy or girl on a chalkboard for them to wake up to.

With enough time to order accessories online, there are tons of creative ways to make the house birthday-ready.

Have a Virtual Party

Thank goodness for technology. Today it’s possible to host a virtual party using apps and video conference tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty. These programs are useful tools to connect with family and friends who are all in isolation around the world.

To make it feel more like a birthday party, sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday boy or girl, and if anyone sent gifts in the post, have them open them up in front of the sender. That way you can all see the birthday girl or boy’s reaction, just like you would at a traditional birthday party.

If you’re planning the party for someone else, you could also make it a surprise party, which is sure to go down a treat.

While it’s easy to use the gathering of close friends and family as a chance to vent about coronavirus and the anxieties it brings, try not to make it all about the pandemic. This is your chance to celebrate someone special and to connect with loved ones, taking a break from the negativity of the virus.

Coordinate a Video Message

If you’re planning a birthday for someone in quarantine or self-isolation, a thoughtful way to brighten up their day is by coordinating a video message containing birthday shoutouts for that person’s close family and friends. Hearing the outflow of love and well wishes in one video is sure to touch their heart.

There are tons of easy-to-use video editing apps out there like WeVideo and iMovie that make combining the videos a super-easy task for anyone.

Celebrate With Cake

It’s not a birthday without cake, right? With all the free time that quarantine and self-isolation brings, now’s a great opportunity to get creative and bake a mouth-watering birthday cake from scratch.

If you have kids, this is an enjoyable way to spend a birthday. Whether the final product is a masterpiece or a hot mess, you’re sure to have fun together baking and decorating.

If cooking isn’t your strong point, then consider ordering a cake from a local bakery or cake shop. Most food and produce stores are offering deliveries during these trying times, and local businesses need the community’s help more now than ever.

Host a Movie Night

Sure, maybe we’re all already watching a lot of movies during quarantine and self-isolation. But a birthday offers the chance to make it special.

As mentioned earlier, you can decorate the lounge with plenty of balloons and bunting to set the mood. If the birthday movie night is held for a young child, then watching a film in a cosy blanket fort or den is an extra fun touch.

Let the birthday girl or boy have free reign of the film choice and order pizza, along with plenty of yummy snacks. While an evening of junk food and movies may not be everyone’s favourite way to celebrate a birthday, it certainly isn’t a bad option.

Netflix even offers a new feature called Netflix party that allows users to enjoy a movie with friends and chat along as they watch. 

Organise a Scavenger Hunt

While the idea may seem silly at first, a scavenger hunt is an exciting birthday idea for anyone, no matter what their age. Who doesn’t want to embark on a fun-filled hunt for their birthday presents, after all?

If you’re planning a birthday during quarantine or self-isolation, hide the birthday girl or boy’s presents around the home in various places of significance or interest. Then, create a series of riddles or clues to help them discover the nooks and crannies in which the presents are hiding.

Alternatively, if you have the artistic skills you could draw a map featuring helpful hints that lead to the presents. Leave the best gifts until last to finish the game off on a high.

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