18 Socially Distanced Adult Birthday Parties You’d Actually Want to Throw (or Attend)
You say it’s your birthday? And, even though you’re a full-fledged adult, you have never given up on the magical notion of a birthday party, even amid a Covid-19 pandemic. But how to celebrate with your nearest and dearest, taking social distancing protocols in mind? We’re imagining something that’s safer than, say a Los Angeles superspreader house party or that raided New York event in a Queens hanky-panky club. Therapists say we must ask for what we need right now, and what we need is a party that’s still more exciting than six pals getting together on Zoom singing “Happy Birthday.” Taking into account CDC guidelines, here’s our list of creative and safe get-togethers.
1. Attend a Socially Distanced Art ShowIn San Francisco this spring, Immersive Van Gogh is an exhibit that treats attendees to walk through rooms of giant projections of the artist’s paintings. Timed tickets, limited attendance and compulsory mask wearing make this a safe excursion for all, and much appreciated by entertainment-starved culture lovers. The show travels to Los Angeles in May, and look for other cities to roll out similar events.
2. Have a TikTok-Inspired Crafting Event
Do you and your pals like to make things with your hands? Or are you curious to learn how? Either ask your pals to source some yarn and a crochet hook (or send them ahead yourself, along with instructions), then follow along together as you each construct a super-simple crochet square. Then have everyone mail you their squares and assemble them into a cardigan, like TikToker Liv Huffman did, inspired by “the Harry Styles sweater” by JW Anderson.
3. Perfume Making, Virtually
Digital media executive Jordan Sausa had a handful of friends join her in a virtual perfume-making workshop. “I did it as a birthday event and it was really fun, interactive and easy to do as a group online,” she says. Led by Austin-based natural fragrance maker Roux St. James, each participant is sent seven fragrance accords (with names like “seashore” and “sawdust”), two mixing bottles, cleaning solution and a recipe card. St. James leads participants through each accord and mixing practices and best, if anyone wants to order more of the blend they make, they can order a batch sent to them.
4. Rent an Igloo
No matter what the weather, you can be in an open-air drinks environment with one of the new all-weather domes erected at resorts nationwide. Air circulates inside through an open door, while heaters and blankets keep you cozy.
5. Arrange a Pop-Up PicnicCompanies such as San Diego’s Pop Up Picnic will not only bring everything from blankets, napkins and tables to your outdoor event, they will suggest secret spots that are less crowded than other popular spots—and they’ll set it all up so that each guest pod is six feet from each other.
6. Host an Outdoor Workout Class
Enlist a teacher at a local exercise studio (or approach someone you see leading training sessions in the park) and ask them to come up with a 45-minute workout that’s suitable for a range of fitness levels. Then invite your friends to a pre-arranged spot where you’ve already assembled exercise mats, water bottles and hand towels for each guest.
7. The Now-Classic Drive-By
This one is best if it’s a surprise, like Khloe Kardashian’s surprise birthday paradefor sister Kourtney. Make sure everyone not only decorates their cars, but plan out how to decorate the celebrant’s lawn…and someone needs to drop off a cake.
8. DIY an Outdoor Movie
Rent a video screen projector online to project a favorite movie onto the side of your home, prepping a self-serve snack bar (hello, regularn and birthday popcorn) beforehand so everyone can get their own refreshments. Before guests arrive, arrange seating pods six feet apart.
9. Host a Makeup TutorialGet a pro makeup artists from Blushington to lead your guests on a refresher course in Zoom beauty. Or send a Lashify practice kit to all your buddies, then arrange for a lash educator at the company to give a quick teach-in for how to apply.
10. Take a Pizza Making Class
Nothing says quarantine like carbo-loading, so arrange to have your friends join you in a chef-led pizza making class on Zoom. Coursehorse will ship all the flour, yeast, crushed tomatoes and more they need before the party, then you and guests follow along to assemble and bake the pie.
11. Group Hike
Meet a small group of friends on a pre-designated trail head, then agree to meet back in an hour in case you get separated. You’ll be safe while wearing masks, and get to counteract, en masse, the shut-in syndrome that’s affecting us all.
12. Zoom Dance Party
During quarantine, the digital dance party has become a lifesaver for movement- and endorphin-starved people around the world. Send your guests a list of cocktail ingredients to make for themselves, along with the Zoom invite link. Then have a dance teacher lead your friends through a session—just make sure they have their cameras on so everyone can enjoy watching each others’ moves.
13. The Garden Experience
Meet at a botanical garden or outdoor area then tour it while wearing masks. Plan a socially distanced meet-up afterwards in a park, with a six-foot-square blanket for every pod, including one spare blanket where you can enjoy guests visiting with you one at a time.
14. Host an Outdoor Workout ClassEnlist a teacher at a local exercise studio (or approach someone you see leading training sessions in the park) and ask them to come up with a 45-minute workout that’s suitable for a range of fitness levels. Then invite your friends to a pre-arranged spot where you’ve already assembled exercise mats, water bottles and hand towels for each guest.
15. Host a Beach Dinner Party
Angeleno life coach Libby Lydecker arranged a sunset beach party for her daughter’s thirteenth birthday, complete with a table dressed with a tablecloth, fine china and a towels for an optional dip in the Pacific Ocean.
16. Staycation with Your Besties
Take advantage of favorable hotel rates by arranging a block of rooms at a hotel or resort in your town that has outdoor areas such as a rooftop bar or pool deck. Then work with hotel staff to reserve an outdoor area for evening cocktails and a light dinner, with table settings dotted at six-foot intervals.
17. Host a Mentalist on Google Hangouts
Professional mind reader/mentalist/magicians have caught our attention after the star-studded Hulu show In and Of Itself knocked our socks off. Then we got all the chills attending an event by Nitin Ramlall, and we’re all in.
18. Throw a Wine Cellar Drive-By
Does your friend pooh-pooh the idea of a birthday party at all? Much less shudder at the thought of all those beloved-but-germy people mingling? Why not arrange for everyone in their friend group and extended family to drive by their home that day and drop off a favorite bottle of wine, along with a birthday note?