A Birthday Party During a Pandemic
It has been a year now since the first lockdown. It seems like we are stuck in groundhog day, the movie. Things are slowly starting to improve, but not entirely and not totally. There are still things that are different. And many things will probably be like this for a long time, and having a birthday party is one of those things. You can not really have a big get-together, and you can not blow out the candles. But you can still have a good birthday party during a pandemic, and here is how:
Planning a Kids Party
In the past, parties were held at a venue. The venue could allow for lots of kids and lots of noise, and possibly a theme. Not all of these things are doable now, and that is ok. But we can still make it work.
It is best to keep your kids involved in the planning process. This way, they are mentally prepared for a birthday party that is different than usual. And they will have their somewhat expectations can be met.
Below is a list of what needs to be considered. It may seem like I have done this in reverse order, but I believe figuring out how/where you want the party to happy will dictate all of the other items.
Now we are not able to have a bit par
ty at a venue.
So this is a significant change. There are other fantastic options for a birthday party.
- Virtual Theme Birthday Party – There are lots of organizations that host virtual birthday parties. They set up a zoom call, and a character or your choice hosts the party on behalf of the birthday child. We recently did a princess-themed birthday party for the girls. All of the kids loved it. You can find local virtual birthday party companies here.
- Open Virtual Birthday Party – You do not need to have someone host a party. It can just be a simple zoom call with friends. Have a timeline – when the party starts, cake-time, when Happy Birthday will be sung, and then leave it open for the kids to talk be silly with each other.
- Drive-By Birthday Party – Let your friends and family know that you are having a drive-by Birthday Party and that they can drive by between a specific time. You can have small treats set up for kids and balloons and decorations all set up outside. This way, you can maintain social distancing. It is also good to request that people come between a specific time. If everyone comes at 1pm, for example, it will be difficult to social distance.
- Postpone the party – As much as kids like parties, postponing the birthday party will not be the end of the world. So long as you have the party at a later date when it is safer.
Make Guest List
You need to get a guest list. Who does your child what to attend the party? Depending on what your venue idea is, you will be limited to numbers. If you pick a Virtual Themed party, there will be a limit on how many children can attend. But if you do a Drive-By Birthday, most people can make an appearance, so long as you spread out the visitors.
Does your child want a theme? A princess theme? Dinosaurs? Sports? This is not needed, but some kids have wants while some are more easygoing. If you plan to have a themed party, make sure decorations in the theme are available before the big day. Give yourself a few weeks to get this sorted out. If you’re last minute and want just balloons, check out this quick simple balloon flower.
Before you invite anyone to the party you are planning, you need a plan for gift receiving.
- Are you allowing your child to get gifts? If not, make sure that you are clearly letting the guests know what the plan is.
- Are you taking donations to a charity instead? If so, you need to make sure you provide details on how to donate or where a donation will be made.
- Or are you hoping to have a Fiver-Party? A Fiver-Party is where in place of individual gifts, you request $5 from your guest so that you can get one fancy gift for your child instead of several smaller gifts. Additionally, the nice thing with a Fiver-Party is that you can have the $5 e-transferred to your bank, so you never actually need to touch money.
Food for a kids’ party is pretty easy, and if you plan the party right, you can spend little money here. You will need a cake, but for a 2-hour party, you can order some pizza and you are done.
It is important to make sure you inquire about allergies for a kids’ party, so keep that in mind and ask about allergies on the invitations.
Life is different now. And it will most likely never entirely return to the way it was. Many of the tips I have given can be used in non-lockdown times. But some good things that have come from having a birthday party during a pandemic:
- No longer blowing out candles – Let’s be honest. Who wanted to eat cake with kids spit all over it from trying to blow out the candle?
- Individually portioned cakes/cupcakes – This is a good thing. It helps to keep the portions sizes in check, and there is a lot less waste.
- Smaller birthday parties for kids are not a bad thing. You do not really need to have 30 kids come over to a party to celebrate.
- Do not be upset if this is not the party of the century! There will be other birthdays in the future. Just make sure to be present at the moment and enjoy the day.
- Do not feel the need to live up to the Jones’. – Just because others have bigger parties, or more parties, or whatever kind of party, do not feel obligated to live up to what other people are doing. This is your party. You do not need to re-mortgage your house for this event. You can make it as low-key or as grand as you want.
- Do not feel guilty for canceling altogether. Do not forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. And you do not need to have a party. Do not let friends or family guilt you into having a party. It is better to wait or skip a year for a party than to have a party and no longer have those people around as a result.
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