By Jennifer Halter
Even before the times of social distancing, planning and executing a child’s birthday celebration in the
winter could be a challenge. With technology and many more options than we had when we were young,
winter birthday parties at home can be so much more fun these days. Here are a few ideas to make your
kiddos’ winter birthdays special.
Host a Virtual Party
Although it’s not the same as actually being face-to-face, being able to see your friends and family onscreen
is the next best thing. You can plan your virtual party in the same way you would a traditional party, with
a few tweaks. The best place to start is to choose a theme. Maybe you have a little one who wants to have a
princess party or a tween/teenager who wants to host a movie night.
Once you’ve decided on a theme for the party, send out invitations either virtually or through the mail.
Although the first option is free in most cases, it’s always fun to get something in the mail, so you may want to consider purchasing invitations and sending them out to your guests. Your child can help write the invitations and address and decorate envelopes for a fun learning opportunity.
Prior to the party, decide what activities will take place during your event. Will you play games? Will there be
an organized craft time? Will you be watching a movie together? The possibilities are endless! If you will be
doing an activity that will require supplies, consider sending a list to your guests in advance so they can
be prepared and no one is left out. Or, you can put together a supply kit for each guest and mail or deliver
prior to the party day.
Kids love party favors and goodie bags, and this is another item that you can prepare in advance and either
mail or drop off to your guests. You can even include a snack, juice box or cupcake for the children to enjoy
together after singing “Happy Birthday” to the guest of honor.
Host a Virtual Shopping Date
Have older children? Take them on a virtual shopping date! Set a time where you will sit down together and
let them shop online. Give them a budget and any guidelines you may have. You can add to this by picking
up drinks and treats from your favorite coffee shop or ordering delivery from their favorite eatery.
Decorate Your Home
Nothing says birthday party like balloons and streamers, and kids of all ages will enjoy seeing their spaces at home transformed just for their special day! You can pick up low-cost decorations at your local dollar store or even make your own at home. Another option that has gained popularity over the last several months is having the large birthday greetings signs placed in your yard.
Birthday Scavenger Hunt
This is another option where you can get really creative and add excitement to your child’s day. You can find
lots of printables online for this if you need ideas. Your child can hunt through the house (and even outdoors if they are okay with braving the cold) to find gifts or even their cake. For younger children, you may have to read the clues or make them a little more obvious to avoid frustration on their part. This is also a great way to burn off some energy.
Restaurant at Home
Let your child feel special by letting them set the menu on their birthday. Cook your child’s favorite meal at
home or order from their favorite restaurant. With either option, make the experience special by making
your own restaurant at home. Design and print menus, decorate your table, use fancy dishes or, if ordering out, ask the restaurant to include their branded disposable cups and plates. If your child has siblings, they could act as wait staff and take orders, serve meals and refill drinks to give the experience a more authentic
Virtual Birthday Greetings
Rally your family and friends and ask them to record videos with birthday greetings for your child. Be
sure to message your child’s teacher to invite them to participate, as well. Set a deadline and if you are
planning to consolidate the greetings into one video, let participants know in advance if there are time limits and video/camera requirements.
No matter how you do it, with a little creativity you’re sure to make your child’s winter birthday memorable
Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas.