With the pandemic going on, it can be hard to keep your spirits up. One thing that helps me stay positive is having virtual gatherings with friends and family online. I love planning parties, and since my grandpa’s birthday is coming up, I’m planning him a virtual birthday party. Here’s how to plan a virtual surprise birthday party.
One thing every party needs is a theme. For your loved one’s birthday, think about what they like and use that for a theme. A grandparent that loves old westerns could have a party where everyone wears cowboy hats, with an old classic playing on the TV in the background. For my grandpa’s party, since he loves jazz and the 1920s, my family and I decided a ‘20s themed party would be a perfect fit. To get a feel for the era, I watched The Great Gatsby and looked up flapper fashion and other common trends from the time period. We all made art deco inspired decorations, and chose a few 1920s-inspired movies to play on mute in the background. We’ve also found a few of my grandpa’s favorite jazz songs to put on during the event as well.
The next thing you need to plan is activities. There are quite a few games that would work for almost any party, and would be easy to adjust to any theme.
Bingo is always a fun game, and the squares can have captions that work for your party. You can also find a lot of already made bingo games to fit your theme online. All you’ve got to do is print them out, and you’re good to go. Another game that is super versatile is pin the tail on the donkey. If a donkey doesn’t fit with your party there’s plenty of ways to switch it up.
A western themed party could have a pin the hat on the cowboy, or a space themed party can have a pin the sun in the solar system. For my grandpa’s party, we are doing a pin the tie on Gatsby version, since The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920s. We’re also going to do a jazz bingo game, with the names of different songs and composers on the cards.
One problem with throwing a party virtually is how to handle food. Bingo can be played virtually, you just need everyone to print out their own bingo cards. Music can be played on someone’s speakers at their house, and everyone should be able to hear it.
And decorations can be seen by everyone where they are set up, so as long as the venue the birthday guy or gal is in is decorated, everyone else can appreciate the decor without having to setup their own spaces. But food cannot be shared virtually. If our party is for all adults, this probably won’t be an issue. If children are involved, tantrums may ensue if you don’t plan ahead.
Solution- make baking a treat one of the activities for your party. Have everyone plan ahead to make something simple, like pudding or jello or brownies. Everyone can prepare the treat at the beginning of the party, and then set it aside to set or bake during games. Once the small talk and games are done your treat will be ready, and all the kids can enjoy some snacks together, virtually.
A final thing to do is send out invitations to everyone. Even if you have to plan everything via text or email, an invite sent in the mail will serve as a great keepsake for everyone involved. Be sure to order an extra invite to give to the birthday person after the party. My favorite site to order invitations from is Basic Invite. You can get surprise 70th birthday invitations, like I did, or personalized birthday invites. No matter what age you are celebrating you’ll absolutely find the right birthday invites for your party. I hope your virtual birthday party is a huge success!