Birthday at Home: Tips For Making It Fun & Memorable

Life sure has changed in the last week, hasn’t it? As we all do our part to practice social distancing, several parts of life have been postponed, adjusted, or cancelled. One part of life still coming? Birthdays.

In our family, we are approaching what I affectionately call “Birthday Week”. We have three birthdays in eight days. Honestly, I thrive in this! I love planning and celebrating birthdays. But having to make it a nearly 100% birthday at home poses some challenges. Admittedly, I am not a birthday PARTY planner, it just hasn’t been my thing. But I am pretty good at making their day memorable. Even if your kids are used to having parties with friends, some of these ideas for a birthday at home can make for a pretty special day!


To really make an emphasis, I would suggest over-decorating. Make sure everyone in the house knows that it is someone’s BIRTHDAY! Here are a few ideas that I plan to do this year:

  • Streamers hanging from their door. It’s the first thing they’ll see when they open the door and know that it is their special day.
  • Balloons: At their door, at the table, hanging from the ceiling!
  • Photo Garland. We started doing this in the past couple of years and my nostalgic mother heart loves it! Print out photos of them from birth to the present day and hang them up for all to see. The kids will love it, too! *And if it’s an adult birthday, this will be extra fun for kids to see their parent at a young age.
  • Birthday Signs. In the past, our family has written some of our favorite things that we love about the birthday person on papers and posted them all over the house. This is very fun for the birthday person to wake up to!


I’m pretty sure this a common way to celebrate but let the birthday person choose all the meals for the day. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. It can be a homemade meal or a take-out/drive-thru choice. And you can’t forget the birthday dessert! With some members of my family not the biggest cake fans, we have started to branch out in recent years. A few ideas to think outside the birthday cake box that can still include candles:

  • Ice cream sundaes
  • A “cake” made out of donuts or cookies
  • Brownies

Maximize Technology

One of the biggest disappointments of a social distancing birthday for kids will likely be not celebrating with their friends. Whether it’s seeing them at school, or gathering for a party, it will definitely be different and hard for them. Technology can help with this! Here are a few ideas:

  • Photo Slideshow. For several years (I have slacked off a little the past year or so), I would make slideshows of photos of the birthday person from the past year set to music. The kids LOVE this. Just another way to make the day about them!
  • Video Messages. Have friends and family members send a short video message to the birthday child (or adult!). If you have an iPhone you can easily put these clips into a movie on the iMovie app and play it for the person of honor! But you don’t have to make a movie, just play the clips individually and it will still be so special.
  • Video Chat Birthday Song. Utilize the many video chat options out there. For example, you can create a Google Hangout and invite friends and family to join in. Send them the link beforehand and everyone can join in when it’s time to sing and blow out the candles.
  • Email/Text Messages: Have family and friends email or text birthday messages to you and then print them from your home printer into a small book for the birthday person. They can read this over and over and feel the love from a distance!

Games & Activities

Even with a smaller group, you can have some fun with these party games and activities:

  • Treasure Hunt. Make a treasure hunt for the birthday person to find a special gift at the end. This could be one present, all their presents, their favorite cereal or treat, a new book, anything you want!
  • Game Day. Have the birthday child (or adult) choose their favorite games and play them all. Have some fun candy or snacks to go along with it.
  • Dance Party. Turn on a playlist via Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, or your own and have a dance party! You could save this one for nighttime, turn off the lights and grab some glow sticks and have a glow party!
  • Birthday Quiz. Growing up, my family would do a birthday quiz. The birthday person would answer questions like favorite food, color, movie, etc. Then the rest of the family would take the “quiz”! So simple, but also fun and memorable. I still remember doing this years later!
  • Re-create Activities at Home: Were you planning to go to the movies? Make a “drive-in” movie at home with a snack bar. Supposed to go bowling? Make a bowling alley at home down a long hallway. The options are endless!

These are interesting times right now, and a lot of our normal routines are put on hold. If you have birthdays happening in the next couple of weeks, I hope these tips can help your loved ones have a birthday at home to remember. All of these ideas work just as well for an adult as they do for a child. We can make their birthday one they will remember for years to come!

Amanda Stewart
Amanda moved to the Dallas area as a child, moved away for college, but then returned “home” with her husband and new daughter. Now five years later, she and her family are putting down roots in Collin County. Her educational background is an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Early Childhood Studies. Most days you can find her doing her best to put her knowledge to work with 3 of the sweetest students around- born in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Once bedtime hits, you can find her doing some instructional design work, blogging, or finding the next great series on Netflix, usually with a cookie in hand. You can read more about her collection of thoughts on everything from motherhood and parenting to DIY and fitness, and whatever else is on her mind at her new blog <a href "" This Collective Life .


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