That said, free accounts cap at 10 people per Hangout, so Zoom or Skype might be better for a big virtual birthday party. Ask everyone to come ready to make a mini toast about the guest of honor (or roast) and take turns spreading the love.
If you’re planning your own party and the idea of asking your guests to plan to say something nice about you makes you cringe (or if you know the guest of honor would be so embarrassed to sit through a compliment train with a large audience), the prompt doesn’t have to be about the birthday person at all! Instead, you can ask people to come prepared with their favorite dad joke, a TikTok that’s bringing them joy, an embarrassing childhood photo, or a PowerPoint presentation about something they’re passionate about (like this iconic viral party).
I won’t pretend that there’s a way to re-create the experience amid a pandemic, but it does make for a cute theme. Share a photo of your favorite restaurant that everyone can set as their Zoom background and ask everyone to cook or order food to fit the theme.
Encourage people to be creative and silly (or hell, to throw a birthday party background on Zoom if they’re feeling a little lazy). No extra equipment is needed, just a little planning and a dedicated host to keep things running smoothly.
For one, singing alone in your room to a computer screen is daunting (I’ve lip-synched my way through two “Happy Birthday ” s this month alone), and on the receiving end, Zoom picks up only a few voices at a time, making for some patchy audio. To circle back down to #1, sometimes sharing memories, well-wishes, or other feels-y sentiments is great in theory, but you don’t want to put guests on the spot or risk certain people rambling on...and on...and on.
Instead, have people record their toast, roast, or other birthday message and make a video out of them to share during the party. That way, everyone can enjoy instead of dreading their turn or wondering when the birthday person’s uncle is going to stop talking.
If you and your friends are a more cultured bunch, plenty of museums, zoos, and other institutions around the world are currently offering virtual tours throughout the pandemic. In any case, setting a theme is a low-stakes way to elevate your average Zoom birthday party to the next level.
Madison Malone Kirchner, a senior writer at Vulture, wrote up some handy instructions for fashioning a virtual karaoke bar out of Zoom, Watch2Gether, and YouTube, and it’s frankly inspired. While there are a variety of options around the internet if you want to do some research, Red Herring Games has several kits for virtual murder-mystery parties, including some for novice hosts without experience.
Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, large gatherings are a no-go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and feel festive. And these virtual birthday party ideas will let you celebrate your latest turn around the sun while safely social distancing.
Celebrate your birthday by belting out tunes with your crew from the year you were born or with all songs from your all-time favorite band, and try out a karaoke app. Make a formal or party dress code and rock your lashes, sequins, wigs, glitter and whatever other details bring out your inner and outer sparkle.
Have everyone made their own goodies through a virtual baking or cake decorating class (you can send everyone dry ingredients ahead of time if you’re feeling generous) and enjoy the fruits of your labor together when they’re done. You can also check your own local bakeries to see if they’re offering tutorials or just follow along with a YouTube video.
Check out these virtual dance parties and have everyone cut a rug from the safety of their own living rooms. Palm readings are pretty much out, but check in with a tarot card reader, medium or psychic to see what your futures hold.
Opt for a virtual open mic or take in a fun stand-up show via Zoom. Whether you “attend” a show hosted by a comedy club or hire a comic on your own through Funny Business, The Bash or Salad, you’re sure to crack up.
Halloween may have been a bit of a bust in 2020, but who says you can’t be Wonder Woman, a creepy clown or Onto Babylonian for your birthday ? Pick an activity to do with your friends for your birthday, so you have a souvenir, like a beginner’s needlepoint or other fun DIY crafts you can find online.
That should be more than enough to get all your friends on the same video call and have them sing Happy birthday ! Send the video to the birthday person, as well as all the participants for a fun memento.
Note: By default, Zoom saves recordings in the ‘Documents’ folder of the local PC. Simply send the invite link to all your friends to have them join in.
Check out the artwork in the Van Gogh Museum or go on the Pirates of the Caribbean tour in Disney World! This is a fun little surprise to add to your virtual party and make someone’s day even more special.
Drinking games are a fun way to break the ice and have everyone getting along. Break out your liquor cabinets and check out our list of fun drinking games that can be played over a Zoom call.
Zoom allows users to superimpose themselves on virtual video backgrounds. Find a fun birthday themed video or even just an image with streamers, and set it as your Zoom background.
Check out our article on how to plan and play a scavenger hunt over Zoom Quiz maker allows you to customize the theme of the quiz to make it more fun and party-oriented.
Check out some of our other Trivia game ideas and select your favorite from the lot! Once you have that all you need to do is share your Computer sound; that way everyone will listen to the songs you are playing in real-time.
Add some funky background to your video call for an added effect. Surprise your friend and send them a birthday cake, along with candles.
Have them blow out the candles on Zoom, while everyone sings Happy birthday ! But the birthday person does not have to know that a bunch of people are waiting on the other side of the call.
For fun, everyone could duck out of their cameras and jump up when the birthday person logs in! Learn how Cargo can help you come up with unforgettable birthday gifts you can send directly to employees no matter where they are.
Safety for yourself and your friends and family during pandemic times when even small gatherings present a public-health risk. Flexibility that allows even more friends and family who live in any location or time zone to attend with no trouble.
Cost benefits to hosts who no longer feel pressured to purchase tons of decorations or food. Tactile components, such as activities or snacks, everyone can enjoy in their own home can elevate any virtual party from fun to spectacular.
Tip: Split guests into teams if you expect lots of attendees at your virtual birthday party. Why we love this idea: The virtual party planners at Let’s Roam handle all the event details, so you don’t have to worry about how to handle screen sharing and the other logistical nuances of virtual events.
Why we love this idea: Including a shared physical aspect to your virtual party ties the event together, making everyone feel more connected. Tip: Tell your event hosts that you’re celebrating a birthday, so they’re sure to give the guest of honor the star treatment.
You’ll be laughing all night watching your friends and family belt out some of the best songs ever written. Tip: Vet a list of karaoke tracks ahead of time to make sure each song is instrumental only and sounds how you want it to.
Tip: Keep some icebreakers on hand if your costumes aren’t enough to spark quality conversations. Why we love this idea: Easy costumes and a theme don’t add any steps or stress to party planning, but they do make a virtual event feel special.
City Brew Tours can pull off a virtual beer and cheese pairing happy hour that achieves just as much delicious magic as an in-person tasting. Why we love this idea: You don’t have to be in the same place to enjoy the conviviality of eating and drinking together.
Virtual Comedy Club Hire a comedian to give your party a decidedly hilarious and intimate flair. During a virtual comedy show, you’ll likely have a better comedian-to-audience ratio and deeper, more meaningful interactions.
Tip: Recreate the comedy-club opener with a video playlist to warm your virtual audience up for hilarity. Why we love this idea: This takes all the pressure off the guest of honor or the event hosts.
Plus, without the noise and bustle of a physical casino in the background, party guests will actually be able to carry on conversations while they play. Why we love this idea: It adds a theme and a structure to your virtual party while also allowing teens to chat as much as they want.
Why we love this idea: A familiar activity adds comfort and enjoy ability to this new way of celebrating birthdays. Tip: Share information about the band or concert ahead of time, so teens can look them up and get excited.
Why we love this idea: It can be challenging to build solid energy during a virtual event, but live music will satisfy any teenager’s need for excitement. Why we love this idea: Getting active and dancing makes this virtual party feel super-real.
Why we love this idea: Shiny lights and lots of dancing make a recipe for virtual memories. The Virtual+ Birthday The celebration happens online, but before the big event, the guest of honor’s parents will deliver a package of goodies and supplies kids can use to enjoy physical activities during the virtual party.
Virtual Magic Show Party A professional magician who offers in Zoom or Skype shows A festive costume for the guest of honor A set of magic tricks or cards for kids to play with Why we love this idea: Magic tricks will keep kids glued to their screens.
Guests create their best edible interpretation of the design, and the happy birthday star selects the winner, judging solely by visual appeal. Why we love this idea: It gets kids to be creative in the kitchen, plus everyone gets their own sweet treat to enjoy after the birthday song.
Virtual birthday party games bring a central point of interest and bonding to online celebrations. Bring in the event pros to have a flawlessly unforgettable virtual birthday party packed with games, laughter, team-building, and quality conversations.
Why we love this game: It provides an authentic escape room adventure that doesn’t feel virtual at all. During the party, pull up the pictures, share your screen, and give everyone time to debate and guess who they’re looking at.
Tip: Send out cribbage instructions, available on the game page, before the party, so you can jump right into playing. Tip: Create a list of drawing challenges teens can quickly choose from.
Why we love this game: Watching friends try to draw weird things, and do it with their computer mouse, produces roaring laughter. A game that celebrates the harmless bluff, Cabbage will have teens making up strategic fibs to try to fool their friends.
Why we love this game: It’s amazing to see all the things your friends can come up with and sometimes, learning some truths that are stranger than fiction. This free MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) will transport teens to a fantasy world for the duration of the birthday party.
Why we love this game: Fantastic adventures and sweeping scenery create a virtual birthday celebration that would be impossible in person. Lego® Kids Experience Choose from online games, videos, and instructions that will entertain guests for hours.
Tip: Interested kids can build anything they want using their own sets and collections to show off during the party. Tip: Help guests get to know Oscar the Grouch a little better by watching his best moments as a group.
Kids will be more likely to pay attention to and follow instructions from this famous Sesame Street resident. Rock, Paper, Scissors This easy, equipment-themed guide requires no fancy equipment and very little instruction, especially if kids have played before.
Tip: Share a virtual countdown timer to make sure kids freeze in their final pose at the same time. Tip: Have guests take turns sharing their screens and being the “guides” of each virtual campsite.
Tactile components, such as activities or snacks, everyone can enjoy in their own home can elevate any virtual party from fun to spectacular. A: Around 30 people can attend a virtual birthday party if you work with a premium vendor, such as the Go Game.
If you host your own virtual party, then you can invite as many guests as your video conferencing platform allows. Find a full list of virtual birthday party ideas and games for all ages here.
A: A virtual birthday party for a teenager should include strong interactive elements, such as dancing or enjoying music, that allow for plenty of socializing. A: Memorable moments and quality time make a virtual birthday party successful.