Birthdays Aren’t Cancelled! 20 Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday in Quarantine

Birthday parties have always been a big deal in our family. I love planning them, buying and making themed decorations and party favors with my kids, and watching my child’s joy when she sees all of her friends and family show up to celebrate her on the big day. Much to my dismay, this year’s celebration will look very different for one of my daughters, whose birthday falls at the end of the month. But even though it may look different due to social distancing, we can still make sure she feels special and celebrated. We just have to get a little creative.

A few weeks ago, we asked moms on our Alamo City Moms Facebook page to brainstorm ideas for celebrating a child’s birthday during this time of social distancing. We received an overwhelming response of fun, imaginative, and social distancing-approved ways of making the birthday child’s day extra special. After all, this is a birthday they will likely remember for many reasons. Let’s make sure they remember it for all the right reasons!

The following are just some of the ideas moms shared on our Facebook post. We’d love for you to add yours in the comments below.

1. Make yard signs announcing the child’s birthday, or rent a sign from a local company. (Many companies will place the sign in your yard without any personal contact at all!) You can even ask passersby to “honk” for the birthday child!

2. Plan early and ask friends/family to send cards or video messages for the birthday child to open/watch on the big day.

3. Decorate the house with balloons and crepe paper. Cover the birthday child’s door with crepe paper so they have to break through it in the morning. You could even involve your Christmas elf in the mischief!

4. Create a scavenger hunt for the birthday child to search for his/her gifts.

5. Have a silly string, water balloon, or cascarones fight in your yard.

6. Let the birthday child stay up late for a movie night (their choice).

7. Buy a piñata and fill it with candy and/or small toys for the birthday child and any siblings to break together in the yard.

8. Invite friends and family members to join in a virtual birthday party via Skype, Zoom, or another similar service.

9. FaceTime with family and friends as the child opens the gift they sent.

10. Proclaim the child King or Queen for the day, complete with a crown. Let them make all (or most) of the decisions for the day.

11. Dress up and allow the child to walk the “red carpet” with parents and siblings as photographers. Then sit and watch a slideshow with pictures of the child or a movie of the child’s choice.

12. Allow siblings (and parents, too, if they want to participate!) to have a sleepover in the birthday child’s room.

13. Organize a “birthday parade” where friends and family members drive by the birthday child’s house at a certain time holding signs and singing/honking. For a real treat, they can also decorate their cars.

14. Serve the birthday child breakfast in bed.

15. Ask neighbors (use your community Facebook page if allowed) to put Happy Birthday signs in their windows and go for a walk to find them.

16. Order or pick up food from the child’s favorite restaurant.

17. Bake a cake together.

18. Put party hats on stuffed animals and let them join in on the celebration.

19. Have a “card hunt” around the house using cards sent/made by friends and family members.

20. Hire a local company to place a balloon garland (or create your own) on your front porch or over your front door.

However you choose to celebrate, the main goal is for your child to feel special and loved. It shouldn’t take a lot of money or effort to achieve that goal. Just think about what your child loves most and enjoys doing, and build your day around those things. This quarantine birthday may turn out to be their favorite one yet!

Jill is a small-town girl at heart but has loved discovering all San Antonio has to offer since moving here in 2004. She and her husband of 16 years are proud Texas Aggies and parents to two elementary-age girls. Jill worked as an editor, writer, and 4th-grade teacher before discovering her dream job as a taxi driver (for her girls). As a stay-at-home-mom, she spends her days volunteering at her kids' school and at church, attempting to exercise, pondering how four people can accumulate so much dirty laundry, and driving her kids to numerous extracurricular activities. She has recently taken her love for all things Disney to the next level by becoming a Disney Travel Planner. Follow along on her family’s adventures in San Antonio and beyond on Instagram at @satxfamily or email her for a Disney (or Universal Studios) vacation quote and planning assistance at [email protected] Favorite Restaurant: The Melting Pot Favorite Landmark: Japanese Tea Garden Favorite San Antonio Tradition: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo