10+ Fun Ideas for Memorable Birthday Party Alternatives

Every parent wants to make their child’s birthday special. In the past, this has included celebrating with family and friends. The coronavirus has put a kibosh on nearly all social gatherings limiting the options for wishing loved ones a “Happy Birthday” and leaving parents scrambling for birthday party alternatives.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make your child’s big day one to remember.   

10+ Fun Ideas For Memorable Birthday Party Alternatives

Ten Birthday Activities to do at Home

There are so many fun activities to do at home as birthday party alternatives.  Who needs friends when you have your family?  Mix and match any of the following options for a day your child will always remember.

  1. Scavenger Hunt.  Whether a list of items to cross off or clues leading to hidden treasure, a scavenger hunt can be as easy or involved as you choose to make it.  Either way, you child will enjoy searching throughout your house or your neighborhood.
  2. Spa Day.  Present the birthday kiddo a menu of spa services to select from and prepare a full day of pampering.  From shoulder massages to face masks to foot baths, there are endless possibilities to do right home.
  3. Nerf War.  Cue the Nerf darts!  If your family has a plethora of Nerf artillery, replenish the Nerf darts and assign everyone a blaster of their choosing (birthday child gets first pick!). Spread out in your back yard or throughout your house…and every man or woman for themselves!
  4. Dress Up and Pretend.  Who doesn’t have fun dressing up and pretending you are someone else?  Get out costumes for the kids – and possibly formal attire for the adults – and pretend you are at a Royal Ball.  Or that you are secret spy agents assigned to save the world. Or act out your favorite movie. So many fun options!
  5. Laser Tag.  Whether you already have laser guns or order them for your child’s birthday present, team up and fan out.  And don’t let the laser get you!
  6. Capture the Flag.  Split into teams and assign areas of the house or your yard as each team’s home base. Grab two different colored washcloths/rags as each team’s flag and hide in plain sight.  When both teams are ready, attempt to capture the other team’s flag and make it back to your home base without getting tagged!
  7. Have a Princess or Superhero Call or Facetime.  Many of the companies that once dispatched your favorite princesses and superheroes are now offering one-on-one virtual visits at a fee. Give your child this surprise alone – or on a video conference with his or her friends!
  8. Water Balloon Battle.  Easy and fun for everyone, don your bathing suits, and start filling up those balloons!
  9. King or Queen for the day.  Possibly an idea for older kids, let the birthday child make all the decisions for the household for 24 hours.  Ice cream for breakfast?  Whatever your highness wishes!
  10. Overnight camping trip…in the backyard.  If you don’t have a tent, build a fort in your backyard and grab your sleeping bags. Play outdoor games and grill out. Use the grill to make s’mores! And the best part?  No need to use an outhouse when you are just in your backyard:)
Read More: How to throw a birthday party on the cheap
10+ Fun Ideas For Memorable Birthday Party Alternatives

Drive by Birthday Parties

If you live in a home that has a street conducive to traffic slowing to a stop, consider one of your birthday party alternatives a parade of family and friends.  Set a time for everyone drive by with posters and balloons for the birthday honoree.  Play some music and make it a party!  Maybe even set out a box for people to drop gifts and cards for your kiddo.

Craving more one-on-one attention?  Assign each person a different time to drive by giving you time to talk and play at a safe distance.  Use your driveway or sidewalk to outline a safe distance where each child can stand and visit.  Kids are craving time with their friends and this is a great way to have quick and safe time with one another.

Read more: How to photograph your child’s birthday party

Birthday Party Alternatives from a Distance

To avoid the temptation of getting too close to others, there are quite a few birthday party alternatives that involve the mail or dropping items off:

  • Card Shower.  A week or two prior to your child’s birthday, request family and friends send multiple birthday cards in the mail.  Watch the cards pile up or surprise the birthday girl or boy on the big day with the greeting card love.
  • Keepsake drop off.  Before the big day, deliver little ceramic fairies or dinosaurs or a trinket of your child’s choosing for each friend to decorate and place in your yard on the birthday.  Another great idea is to use stones/rocks with paint for children to personize messages giving the birthday child a rock garden of birthday wishes.
  • Chalk messages.  Set out baggies of chalk (to keep as party favors) and invite family and friends to write birthday wishes on your driveway and sidewalk.  Maybe even put out a sign asking neighbors who walk by to add their love for your child!
  • Yard signs and balloons.  The majority of cities have local franchises that will set up yard signs to commemorate any occasion; Card My Yard and Sign Gypsies being two of these companies.  A cheaper option includes purchasing balloons and affixing weights, placing them throughout the yard. 
Read more: How to make a birthday balloon wreath
10+ Fun Ideas For Memorable Birthday Party Alternatives

Online Birthday Party Alternatives

The internet offers a number of online meeting places to host parties of more than 10 people.  According to Business of Apps, Zoom daily downloads increased from 56k in January 2020 to 2.13 million in March 2020.  While Zoom is used predominantly for business and educational meet ups, individual users can create an account and host an online party for free.  If you prefer to use a different online option, there are a number of websites/apps that offer free accounts such as House Party, Google Hangouts, Skype Meet Now, Facetime, and many more.  

Any way you look at it, the world has changed.  Daily lives along with its highs and lows has flipped itself upside down.  One thing that remains constant: the need for family and friends and celebrating those we love.  Although it looks different, your child will remember this year’s birthday as a happy milestone in his or her life and hopefully, this list of birthday party alternatives has given you some fresh ideas!  

Looking for Creative Kids Birthday Party Ideas check out some additional ideas here.

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10+ Fun Ideas For Memorable Birthday Party Alternatives



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Katie Cowan
Katie Cowan
A Kansas City native, Katie is a mom of three and wife of one. She enjoys being at home, freelance writing, and volunteering at her children’s school and her family’s Parish. She loves working out, trying new restaurants, reading, and binge-watching TV shows. All the TV shows. Follow as she attempts to read @onebookeachweek on Instagram!


  1. This article gave me some great ideas, not only for this Covid-19 period of time, but for other times that I’m looking to keep the kids busy! Thank you so much for sharing these! It gives me “hope”!

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