How to celebrate your birthday remotely

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With coronavirus cases on the rise, a bit of creativity can go a long way in swapping out in-person gatherings for remote ones. Although nothing can replace in-person interactions with friends, here are some creative ways for you to celebrate your special day while staying safe:

Virtual Parties

One easy way to celebrate a friend’s birthday is to set up a virtual birthday party over apps like Zoom or Houseparty. Both of these options allow you to join a large number of friends in celebration. You can also put together a slideshow with special pictures and videos and use the screen sharing feature to share it with everyone on the call. Video-editing programs like Final Cut Pro are usually expensive but are now free for 90 days and can be found online.

Virtual Potlucks

Eating in the company of your family and friends is now a treasured luxury. One way to bring back the feeling of “eating out” at a nice restaurant with your friends is to hold a virtual potluck! You can set the theme to be whatever your favorite cuisine is, and invite all of your friends to whip up something in the kitchen and dine together over Zoom. Bonus points if you all follow some easy cake recipes (think: mug cake) and end the potluck with a round of singing Happy Birthday. 

Birthday Photoshoots

Posting new photos on Instagram can be considered a rite of passage—it’s a great opportunity to commemorate your special day! Other than using the nifty self-timer feature, Facetime photoshoots are a great way to have a fun photoshoot with all of your friends. All you need to do is Facetime a friend and ask them to take screenshots as you pose! These photos have been extremely popular lately, and produce some great, hands-free results. Another option is to have a socially distanced in-person photoshoot—meet up with a friend in an outdoor area and have a photoshoot while staying six feet away from each other.

Gift a Snapchat Geofilter

One cost-effective and thoughtful way to celebrate a friend’s birthday is to design a custom Snapchat geofilter for all of your friends to use! For as little as $5, you can create your own filter wishing your friend a happy birthday and customize how long you want the frame to be available and in what geographic locations you want the filter to be shown. This is a great opportunity to get friends involved all around the city, for a creative surprise. 

Get Crafty

There has never been a better time to get crafting! Personalized gifts are always extra special, so with all of the extra time for quarantine, one creative way to celebrate a friend’s birthday is to create a customized jigsaw puzzle! All you need is cardboard, a photo for reference, some spray adhesive or clear glue (Mod Podge will work), some coloring supplies, and a scissor or X-acto knife. You can draw any image you want on the cardboard, color it, and paint a layer of glue or adhesive over it to make sure the color stays. Then, draw a puzzle shape on top and cut out the pieces! Other options are to draw your friend a portrait and frame it, or even simply design a pop-up birthday card. Bonus points if you drop the gift off at their front door as a special surprise.