How to Throw a COVID-Friendly Birthday Party

Missing a birthday during COVID is the pits. So don't skip it. Throw your child a COVID-friendly birthday party instead.

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year. So, when your child’s birthday rolls around, we want to make sure it’s still a special day for them.

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to evaluate the best options to keep your family safe. We’ve shared some tips for hosting either a virtual or in-person birthday party.

Virtual Birthday Party Ideas

If your family is in quarantine, there are still fun ways to connect with your child’s friends online! Organize a Zoom celebration to give family and friends a chance to wish them a happy birthday. Here are a few ways to make it a memorable day.

Pick a theme

Plan a theme like you would for any other party. What’s your child’s current obsession? Unicorns? Superheroes? Cooking? Here are some fun virtual party theme ideas from Little Miss Party Planner.

Figure out your technology options

Whether it’s FaceTime or Zoom, pick a video chat platform that your family and friends can easily access. You can add any details like the video call link and password in your invites. Tip: Send out fun virtual backgrounds that guests can choose from for the party.

Organize games and an entertainer

It’s still a party and good entertainment is key. There are plenty of virtual games that kids of all ages can enjoy like charades or a scavenger hunt. If you want something more special, consider hiring an entertainer that offers virtual party packages.

Send out party favors

You can up a goodie bag to drop off sometime before the party. The kids can open it during the party. Maybe even include something that is tied with a game or the entertainer.

In-Person Birthday Party Ideas

Before you decide on any in-person social gatherings, check your state and town guidelines to make sure what they recommend during the pandemic. Guidelines may vary depending on the COVID-19 cases in your area. If you decide to do a small gathering, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Be strict on safety precautions

The CDC has listed guidelines on social activities. Encourage social distancing by setting tables and chairs that are six feet apart. Other precautions include setting up hand sanitation stations and asking guests to require to wear face coverings when near others.

Keep your guest list small

Try to stay away from big parties or people outside your quarantine bubble. If you can, keep the invites to children only and try to refrain to invite those at a higher risk. More importantly, make it clear with guests to stay home if they feel sick.

Add special items to the party favors

Break the tradition by handing out party favors when the party begins. Get creative by packing face masks and individual hand sanitizers that match the party theme. Also, it seems like a good way to set some rules with younger guests on how to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

Offer single-serving food

Refrain from doing any buffet-style meals and snacks. You can hand out snack bags or even try homemade Lunchables. Also, purchase water bottles and label them with each guest’s name. For the cake, you can serve cupcakes or cookies instead. Don’t forget to have the birthday boy or girl blow out their candle away from sweets that others will eat.

Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


  1. My cousin’s daughter recently attended a birthday party where a bag was dropped off to each child beforehand. It contained everything needed to make mini cake. All the kids mixed together on a Zoom call then while it was baking played a game. While the cakes were cooling, they all used items from the bag to color some frosting and then frost, decorate and eat their cooled minis together. The kids all had a great time!


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