There’s no denying birthdays are best spent with friends and family, but in these “Stand Together, Stay Apart” times, gatherings look a bit different. Ramp up the birthday magic, while staying safe at home, with birthday delivery services and special touches like DIY cake kits, lawn signs and curbside pick-up of a memorable gift. Here’s to another trip around the sun!

Pick the Perfect Gift

Hitting your favorite indie toy store may not be in the cards, but you can still shop virtually at plenty of your favorite spots. Chat with sales people over the phone to find just the right gift, or browse Seattle’s best toy stores with the click of a button. Then, pick up your package curbside just in time for the special day. Here’s where you can find a gift to make their day extra memorable:

Clover Toys has free no-contact delivery in Seattle on all orders over $30.

Curious Kidstuff has no-contact curbside pick up Mon., Weds., & Fri., from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Retroactive Kids is offering curbside pick up Tues.-Sun., from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Snapdoodle Toys has curbside pick up Mon.-Sat., from noon-4 p.m. and a flat $5 shipping fee in Seattle.

Cook up Something Special

Turn your kitchen into your favorite pizza joint and let everyone play a part—host, maitre d', server and chef—when you make a delish DIY pizza from FrogLegs Culinary. Once the scene is set, make sure everyone helps with prep, cooking together is a bonding experience, and kids love to feel grown up and a part of the recipe. Make it extra festive by ordering chef hats and aprons for the group, and perhaps a rubber chicken for laughs. The meal can be as elaborate or easy as your birthday child wishes.

photo: shutterstock

Celebrate with Friends Online

Surprise! It's the little things that make a big impression. Set up a surprise birthday Zoom call for your birthday star. No matter what the age, they will delight in seeing their friends' faces after this long time apart. Add some intrigue and make it a surprise costume zoom party. Choose a favorite theme and make sure all the Zoom participants know about the theme in advance. Gift your birthday kid a costume for the online party so he or she can really shine. Psst... if Zoom isn't your jam, you can also try Skype, Google Hangouts and Group FaceTime.

photo: iStock

Take it Outside

If the weather permits, take your party outdoors. Don't forget the folding chairs, blow up pools, pinatas and barbecues. Then kick up your Stay Home/Stay Healthy lawn party with a surprise yard sign for the birthday kid. Families on the north end and Eastside can pick out just the right sign to magically appear through Yard Announcements. Or surprise the birthday king or queen with some loyal subjects sure to draw attention from the neighbors. Westside Flockers will decorate your front yard with an enormous flock of pink plastic flamingos. You can also make your own lawn decorations. Signs like "Honk it's My Birthday" or "It's Always Cake Day at this House" are attention grabbers. The grass might not be greener in your yard, but it will sure be the most fun!

Make it Extra Sweet

Make the centerpiece of any party (dessert, of course) part of the celebration with a DIY kit. We’re crushing on Trophy’s cupcake decorating kit that comes with a full dozen plus frosting, pastry bags, sprinkles and toppers. For traditionalists, try Baked’s Kiddo Cake Decorating Kit you can pick up curbside. The birthday kiddo gets to choose a cake flavor and buttercream colors to match the sprinkles, fondant and a candle. Kids can also satisfy that sweet tooth with a sugar cookie decorating kit from FrogLegs Culinary. Pick up a pack of three cookies, frosting and candies at their U Village, Kirkland or Issaquah locations. Sweet!

Share the Birthday Spirit

Rock painting is the latest stuck-at-home art craze and it makes a fabu addition to any at-home celebration. Gather flat or smooth rocks and use Acrylic paint to make festive birthday designs or write uplifting messages you'd like to share. After designing, painting and sealing the rocks, consider leaving them around your neighborhood so that friends can enjoy your art work while on their walks. Get even more crafty and leave messages for people or "rock clues" to see if anyone notices your secret code. Kids love to create stories with hidden hints and clues.

photo: Gaelle Marcel via unsplash

Don't Forget the Balloons

You can never have too many balloons or streamers when it comes to birthdays. Surprise your little one with a themed, decorated room. Have them blindfolded and then reveal all the hard work you did while they were "sleeping." Get the supplies you need to bring your vision to life from Champion Party Supply. They offer curbside pick up or can do Seattle delivery (with a $10 charge).

photo: Alisa Carroll

Host a Car Parade

Birthday car parades are all the rage and a slam dunk for stay-put celebrations. Here's how it works: ask friends and family to drive by your place at a specific time. Remind them to honk and cheer for the birthday celebrant when they do. Organization is key, but ideally each car gets a few minutes to spend showering love and cheer onto the kiddo of honor. Cars get to show their personality too—some play a favorite song, others hang signs and some are decorated roof to wheels. It's kind of like being Taylor Swift for a day—smile for the camera, over here please! Click, click.

Lean In

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Lately there seems to be a lot of daytime pajama-wearing so why not embrace the fashion trend. Kids love breakfast for dinner so mix up some inventive recipes and don those matching PJ's. Get the birthday kid an apron and have a flapjack flipping fete. When bellies are full, flop down for a movie or open presents. Just be sure they wash their hands before getting sticky syrup on the wrapping paper.

—Natalie Compagno

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