Happy Pandemic Birthday: Ideas for Celebrating During COVID-19

The party hats are on, the refreshments are eaten, the candles are blown out – it’s an unforgettable birthday celebration. 

At least, that’s what a birthday might have looked like six months ago. 

Now, while Utah continues to see an increase of COVID-19 cases daily, an intimate birthday party with family and friends isn’t a safe option. But for those turning 21, 50, or 80, milestone birthdays shouldn’t be ignored.

For those looking for a social distance-inspired celebration, here are a few ideas. 

Bring the club to you

For years, I’ve talked about the epic party that would be my 21st birthday. I had plans of dressing up, going dancing at a downtown club and spending the night with my closest friends. 

But as my birthday approaches, Salt Lake’s bars and nightclubs remained closed as the city continues to heal from the pandemic. 

Thus, it’s time to bring the club to the backyard.

For those hoping to dance the night away, invite a group of 20 or fewer to a backyard rager. Set up speakers, strobing lights and listen to a custom-made playlist with all the hits. Take it up a notch with a DIY bar full of fancy drinks and refreshments. 

Lather on that hand sanitizer while you boogie the night away!

Spend the day outside

If big parties aren’t your thing, try soaking up the summer sun with a friend or family member. 

Although the national parks are a Utah favorite, the crowds are not, especially now. Fortunately, there’s plenty to discover without running the risk of getting sick. 

For something more intense, give a local hike a shot. Take it up a notch by having a favorite treat at the and as a reward, topped with a candle for a wish. 

Those wanting something more leisurely could take a drive-by excursion through Big Cottonwood Canyon, Emigration Canyon or Cedar Breaks. 

Spend your day escaping the chaotic city air for a deep breath of birthday relaxation.

Host a virtual party

If an in-person celebration of 20 people feels too restricting or risky, invite as many people as you want by hosting a virtual birthday party. 

Using Zoom, or another free meeting service, the party themes are endless. Game nights, murder mysteries and karaoke parties aren’t off the table with this option. 

After the festivities, when it’s time to blow out your candles, have your guests sing “Happy Birthday” from wherever they may be. This is a germ-free choice, which works for any age group. 

Although the birthdays of 2020 might not be as imagined, they are certainly still worth celebrating. Wear your home-made party hat, eat a favorite treat and blow out your virtual candle – it really is an unforgettable birthday. 


Story by: Amanda Walton
Photo courtesy of unsplash.com