A birthday party without guests? In the age of social distancing, we’ve got to make it work! Keep reading to discover the best ways to make your kid feel like royalty for the day. From indoor birthday party games to drive-by parades and virtual birthday parties for kids, these will be just as much fun as the real thing. Keep calm and party on.

photo: iStock

A Birthday Parade

If you’ve had to cancel a birthday party, here’s a fabulous way to make sure the day is still special. Have a group of friends gather in a nearby parking lot (staying in their cars, of course), then make their way to your house. As they drive by, they can honk and wave at the birthday boy or girl and show off homemade signs and balloons.

Piece of Cake

No birthday celebration is complete without cake! If you’re up for a baking project, we love this simple confetti cake from Smitten Kitchen. Or if you’re fresh out of eggs, support a local bakery by placing an order for pickup or delivery. Check out our other top healthy birthday cake recipes here

photo: iStock

Use Your Tech

Put FaceTime to work for your little one’s special day. Ask friends and family to call throughout the day with birthday greetings. If your kid’s into gaming, even better—they can connect with their friends through online games like Fortnite and Minecraft.

A Princess Party

If your little one loves princesses, you’ve got to check out Prestige Princess on Facebook. They’re offering video messages (starting at $25) and video parties (starting at $65) with your tot's favorite characters, from Anna and Elsa to Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty. The party option includes a story time, singalong and a Q&A session. Get all the details on their Facebook page.

Chalk It Up

If you have friends who live close by, ask them to decorate their sidewalks and driveways with chalk in honor of the birthday boy or girl. On the big day, go for a walk or drive to see all of their creations. It's a win-win: your kid's friends will have something fun to do, and your little one will feel the birthday love.

photo: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Take It Online

Have a virtual birthday party with the help of the family experience store CAMP. Every day at 5 p.m. Eastern time, they host a 30-minute virtual party that anyone can join with games, special performances and dance parties. Fill out this information form to sign up.

Sky Zone is offering a similar program—kids can invite up to 10 friends to join them in a virtual party from Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. Eastern time. To request a party, send an email to Birthdays@SkyZone.com with your name, email address, phone number and your kid’s name, and they’ll follow up with all the details.

The IMAG History & Science Center is offering virtual party themes like “Wizard School,” “Mad Science,” “Jurassic Adventure,” “Space Cadet” and more. There are even to-go party kits available for purchase. 

Ricky Roo & Friends, a San Francisco Bay Area puppet theater company will do an online puppet show that includes a personalized puppet story. 

Game Night

Pull out your board games, and make a night of it with your whole crew. Need to switch it up? Check out our ultimate list of the best board games for every age and stage, or try out a few minute-to-win-it competitions.

photo: Fort Boards

Gifting Made Easy

Thank goodness for online shopping: you can still find the perfect gift for your kiddo without having to leave the house. If you’re stumped, check out our list of toys available on Amazon that will keep them entertained for hours.

Go on a Virtual Vacation

We’re all dreaming of a vacation, but since that’s not in the cards right now, we’re willing to get creative. Littles can pretend they’re at a theme park with these cool virtual theme park rides. Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean without the lines: sign us up!

photo: iStock

Order Up

On their special day, you’ve got to let the birthday kiddo pick the dinner menu! Go for your favorite mom-and-pop shop that’s still open for delivery or pickup, or click over to our list of restaurant chains that are offering free delivery right now. Just be sure to have everyone wash their hands after handling the food containers and before eating.

Bring the Party Home

With art supplies and a little creativity, you can decorate the whole house. Place an order for balloons and streamers online and use what you already have to make signs, banners or even confetti for the occasion.

—Susie Foresman

 

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