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Until the world recovers from the strain of the virus, parties won’t be the same. We can’t have gatherings or celebrate with our classmates anymore. This doesn’t mean we have to treat a birthday like any other day. We can still celebrate from the safety of our own homes, using our computers to communicate–because thankfully, everyone already knows how to use a computer.

Video chat has been more popular than ever with the rise of social distancing, and with the development of apps for the purpose, online meetings have been the safe alternative to in-person parties. Once you have decided you’re up to trying a virtual birthday party, the question remains: How does a person plan a virtual birthday party?

1- Keep It Small

If the person you are celebrating does not like large crowds, chances are they won’t want their entire class invited. A small party with people who truly care for you is better than a Zoom chat full of people you barely know. Keeping your online party small but intimate is a great way to maintain the festive, friendly feeling that you are aiming for.

2- Use An Online Wishlist

Any party is better when the presents received are things that are wanted and won’t be regifted. Create an online wishlist on a site like Elfster or include it in the RSVP of the party. You’ll be saving your guests from the stress of wondering what to get as a present–and ensuring that a stay-at-home birthday is cheerful, because you’ll be getting a person what they really want!

3- Get Creative With Activities

Once the talk has died out on the video call, there should be activities to keep the party going. Consider karaoke or guessing games. You can also arrange for all of the guests to put on the same movie and watch it together. That way, you can all enjoy an old favorite–or see the new film that you wanted to view since it came out. There are many ways to keep an online party fun and festive, so long as the guests are willing to cooperate–and the Wi-Fi is working properly.

4- Send Out Gifts

Party favors never go out of style. You can still send some of these to your friends, even if they arrive in the mailbox. Try sending them before the party, and include anything you might need for the guests to participate in a game. You’ll be all set when the party starts, if everyone has the things that they will need for your online activities.

5- Send Out Snacks

You can have your guest of honor’s favorite snack delivered to all of your friends so that, when snack time comes, it can be enjoyed together. This is another way that you can feel connected at an online birthday party. Alternatively, have each of your guests send one of their favorites, to add variety.


One day we’ll be able to throw surprise parties at home again. Until then, the Internet makes it possible to have a fun, personalized online birthday party, making sure that the day is still special. It might seem like a strange celebration when you first begin, but as the laughter and singing continue, you’ll realize that your friends are right there with you.

Don’t forget to send out thank-you cards to anyone who attended. It’s a novelty to them, too!