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Some special moments happen only during birthday parties.
Laughing so hard that you spit out your drink. Singing the birthday song off-key. Taking way too long to blow out a few candles.
Practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic might have you missing these small, yet meaningful, moments. But guess what? You don’t have to be in the same room as your friends and loved ones to experience all these joys.
Keep reading to learn how to throw a virtual birthday party with all the magic and memories you cherish.
Benefits Of Throwing A Virtual Birthday Party
You don’t have to look at the virtual birthday party as a sub-par substitute to the in-person experience.
Virtual parties deliver their own equally delightful birthday experiences and even come along with some added benefits:
- Safety for yourself and your friends and family during pandemic times when even small gatherings present a public-health risk.
- Flexibility that allows even more friends and family who live in any location or time zone to attend with no trouble.
- No pressure to show up with a beautifully wrapped and perfectly selected present.
- Memories that are easy to capture via screenshots and screen recordings.
- Cost benefits to hosts who no longer feel pressured to purchase tons of decorations or food.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas
The best virtual birthday parties make the guest of honor feel special while also keeping guests engaged. Tactile components, such as activities or snacks, everyone can enjoy in their own home can elevate any virtual party from fun to spectacular.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas For Kids
The Virtual+ Birthday
The celebration happens online, but before the big event, the guest of honor’s parents will deliver a package of goodies and supplies kids can use to enjoy physical activities during the virtual party.
- Arts and crafts: Paints, brushes, paper, and glue sticks
- Building: A mini Lego set
- Cookie or cupcake decorating: A pre-made, but undecorated, cookie or cupcake, frosting, and sprinkles
Tip: Establish a time for the activities to make sure everyone completes them at the same time and focuses during the greeting, birthday song, or other portions of the party.
Why we love this idea: The delivery of a tactile activity adds a nice touch that guests and parents will love.
Virtual Magic Show Party
- A professional magician who offers in Zoom or Skype shows
- A festive costume for the guest of honor
- A set of magic tricks or cards for kids to play with
Tip: Ask the magician to do an easy mini lesson for kids at the end of the show.
Why we love this idea: Magic tricks will keep kids glued to their screens. They might even forget they’re attending a virtual party!
Birthday Cake Bake-Off
The guest of honor chooses a cake design—hot air balloon, dragon, taco, anything. Guests create their best edible interpretation of the design, and the happy birthday star selects the winner, judging solely by visual appeal.
- Standard baking ingredients or cake mixes
- Cake decorations or candy
- Aprons or chefs’ hats to send to all the guests
Tip: Ask guests or parents to do baking prep work before the party so baking doesn’t take up the whole time.
Why we love this idea: It gets kids to be creative in the kitchen, plus everyone gets their own sweet treat to enjoy after the birthday song.
Virtual Minecraft Birthday Party
This virtual birthday party idea allows party guests to get creative while celebrating on the big day. For a truly unforgettable virtual Minecraft experience, it may require some technical proficiency with the Minecraft game. For the true Minecraft-lover, this will be a party they will never forget.
- Dedicated server
Tip: Ask guests to arrive wearing or holding their favorite Minecraft gear.
Why we love this idea: It incorporates a game kids already love and adds an exciting scavenger hunt element.
Virtual Aquarium Visit
Supplies and resources:
Tip: Ask guests to share their favorite sea creatures so you can be sure to hit all the in-demand webcams.
Why we love this idea: It’s educational, it’s colorful, and it’s exciting. It’s everything you want in a kids birthday party.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas For Teens
Movie Night Birthday Party
Supplies and resources:
- Netflix subscription
- Popcorn to send to guests
Tip: Use Netflix party to run a group stream.
Why we love this idea: It adds a theme and a structure to your virtual party while also allowing teens to chat as much as they want.
Virtual Board Game Night
Tip: Have each guest suggest a game and play at least one round of everyone’s pick.
Why we love this idea: A familiar activity adds comfort and enjoyability to this new way of celebrating birthdays.
Live Music Birthday Party
Book a virtual live band to give birthday teens and their guests a full-on concert experience.
- A band willing to perform over video stream (You can use the Bash, BookaBand, or Thumbtack)
- A virtual concert where participants each add favorite live performances to a song queue for everyone to enjoy some tunes
Tip: Share information about the band or concert ahead of time so teens can look them up and get excited.
Why we love this idea: It can be challenging to build solid energy during a virtual event, but live music will satisfy any teenager’s need for excitement.
TikTok Dance Party
The birthday teen starts things off with a TikTok dance that everyone else can copy or build on.
Tip: Tell everyone what you’re planning so they have plenty of time to learn some trendy dances.
Why we love this idea: Getting active and dancing makes this virtual party feel super-real. Plus, it will be amazing to have a video montage to document the event.
Disco Statues Party
In this variation of a dance party, everyone has to freeze in place when you pause your music unexpectedly. Pause to laugh or take pictures and then let the dance continue.
Supplies and resources:
- A festive Zoom background
- A disco ball
- Glow sticks to send as party favors
Tip: Take song recommendations to accommodate everyone’s preferences.
Why we love this idea: Shiny lights and lots of dancing make a recipe for virtual memories.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas For Adults
Virtual Clue Murder Mystery Night with Outback Team Building
Supplies and resources:
- Outback Team Building’s expert event services
Tip: Tell your event hosts that you’re celebrating a birthday so they’re sure to give the guest of honor the star treatment.
Why we love this idea: Sharing difficult experiences, maybe even carefully controlled experiences like this virtual murder mystery, can bring people closer together—even when they have to be far apart.
The Virtual+ Birthday
The celebration happens online, but before the big event, deliver a package of goodies and supplies guests can use to complete a hands-on activity.
- Mixology Class: Measured portions of drink ingredients and a 30-minute virtual class with a local bartender looking for gigs
- Cooking Class: Measured portions of mean ingredients and a 60-90-minute virtual class with a local chef looking for gigs
Tip: If you enlist the help of a local professional, then ask for their Venmo/PayPal details so guests can send tips.
Why we love this idea: Including a shared physical aspect to your virtual party ties the event together, making everyone feel more connected.
Virtual “Roast” of Guest of Honor
Celebrate the guest of honor with the time-honored tradition of roasting—poking 100% good-natured fun of them.
Supplies and resources:
Tip: Ask everyone to check out some star-studded roasts to prepare and get inspired before the event.
Why we love this idea: Adults don’t need a lot of structure to have solid virtual events, but themes and structure, especially when they revolve around comedy, certainly help keep the laughter flowing and the engagement sky-high.
Virtual Comedy Club
Hire a comedian to give your party a decidedly hilarious and intimate flair. During a virtual comedy show, you’ll likely have a better comedian-to-audience ratio and deeper, more meaningful interactions.
Supplies and resources:
Tip: Recreate the comedy-club opener with a video playlist to warm your virtual audience up for hilarity.
Why we love this idea: This takes all the pressure off the guest of honor or the event hosts. You get all the laughter without anyone (besides your hired hand) feeling like they have to be the event MC.
Virtual Casino Night
Supplies and resources:
Tip: Ask everyone to brush up on the rules of your selected game
Why we love this idea: Casino games translate well to online environments. Plus, without the noise and bustle of a physical casino in the background, party guests will actually be able to carry on conversations while they play.
Hamilton AGAIN Watch Party
Turn you third+ viewing of Hamilton into a party.
Tip: Encourage everyone to sing along if they want.
Why we love this idea: It captures the festivity of the live shows we’ve all been missing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also lets you socialize in a way that would be impossible during live events.
Virtual Birthday Party Ideas For Work
City Brew Tours Virtual Happy Hour
City Brew Tours can pull off a virtual beer and cheese pairing happy hour that achieves just as much delicious magic as an in-person tasting.
Tip: Ask all your guests to come prepared with their most pressing beer questions so everyone can learn as much as possible from your beer expert/host.
Why we love this idea: You don’t have to be in the same place to enjoy the conviviality of eating and drinking together.
Each guest has to order delivery for a different guest. Each delivery should be a total surprise. (Guests can even plate their meals to create a drool-worthy Instagram story.)
- Customized dinner napkins from Swag.com
Tip: Have everyone share food allergies and sensitivities long before everyone makes their
Why we love this idea: The surprise and delight of not knowing what you’re going to eat. (And we also love the eating the delicious food part, of course.)
Virtual Karaoke Party
You’ll be laughing all night watching your friends and family belt out some of the best songs ever written. Not all of the performances will be worthy of a recording contract, but they’ll still be entertaining.
Supplies and resources:
You can also plan ahead of time and use a karaoke-themed app to expand your catalogue.
Tip: Vet a list of karaoke tracks ahead of time to make sure each song is instrumental only and sounds how you want it to.
Why we love this idea: Instead of performing for the office birthday crowd, performers stricken by stage fright might be able to muster the courage to sing into their screen.
Imaginary Gift Exchange
Ask all the guests to arrive with their vision of the perfect gift for the guest of honor, something they would offer if money and logistical planning were no object. Guests then provide clues about their gift and the guest of honor has to guess what it could be.
- Custom photo party hats
- A fabulous homemade birthday cake (a must-have for a gift exchange)
Tip: Tell everyone to have fun with this. The more ridiculous the imaginary gifts, the more fun everyone will have.
Why we love this idea: Sure, there are no physical gifts to enjoy, but this idea shows the guest of honor just how well their co-workers know them.
Ask everyone to arrive wearing their own DIY masks.
Supplies and resources:
Tip: Keep some icebreakers on hand if your costumes aren’t enough to spark quality conversations.
Why we love this idea: Easy costumes and a theme don’t add any steps or stress to party planning, but they do make a virtual event feel special.
Virtual Birthday Party Games
Virtual birthday party games bring a central point of interest and bonding to online celebrations. They dissolve the awkwardness and “what should we do/talk about now?” factor that sometimes comes along with virtual events. Any of the games below will keep your virtual event on pace and flowing for all your guests.
Virtual Birthday Party Games For Kids
Spooky Goosebumps-Themed Games
Where to find the game: Scholastic’s official Goosebumps website
Tip: Make sure all parents know your activities might be scary for some kids.
Why we love these games: Light-hearted scares help kids bond, even virtually!
Lego® Kids Experience
Choose from online games, videos, and instructions that will entertain guests for hours. You can also take a break from the action by experiencing The Batcave:
- Plenty of LEGOs®
Tip: Interested kids can build anything they want using their own sets and collections to show off during the party. Bonus points for anyone who can build an epic LEGO® birthday cake.
Why we love these games: Imaginative and tactile, building games keep kids entertained, but not too entertained to not socialize with their friends.
Where to find game: PBS Kids
Tip: Help guests get to know Oscar the Grouch a little better by watching his best moments as a group.
Why we love this game: Oscar the Grouch. Kids will be more likely to pay attention to and follow instructions from this famous Sesame Street resident.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
This easy, equipment-themed guide requires no fancy equipment and very little instruction, especially if kids have played before. Raise the stakes by playing in rounds and having the “champions” of each round face off for a prize of your choice.
Tip: Share a virtual countdown timer to make sure kids freeze in their final pose at the same time.
Why we love this game: It’s easy and vastly entertaining, even for kids who are just watching other competitors.
Explore virtual campsites as a group, and maybe end the night telling stories around a virtual fire.
Tip: Have guests take turns sharing their screens and being the “guides” of each virtual campsite.
Why we love this game: Open-ended exploration of spectacular virtual environments provides kids with the taste of the camping-style adventure they love.
Virtual Birthday Party Games For Teens
Where to find the game: https://skribbl.io/
Tip: Create a list of drawing challenges teens can quickly choose from.
Why we love this game: Watching friends try to draw weird things, and do it with their computer mouse, produces roaring laughter.
Where to find the game: https://www.jackboxgames.com/
Tip: Have teens play a few practice rounds. This game is much more fun when everyone understands the strategy behind it.
Why we love this game: It’s amazing to see all the things your friends can come up with and sometimes, learning some truths that are stranger than fiction.
The Multiplayer Mario Kart Race
- Nintendo Switch
- Mario Kart 8
- Mario Kart Tour (Free App)
Tip: Give out awards for things other than just winning the race. (Ex: Most crashes, most epic jumps, etc.)
Why we love this game: It has competition, excitement, and stunning visuals. It shows players of all skill levels a fantastic time.
Where to find the game: https://www.runescape.com/splash
Tip: Have party guests create accounts and download the game before the party so everyone can jump right into play.
Why we love this game: Fantastic adventures and sweeping scenery create a virtual birthday celebration that would be impossible in person.
Virtual Birthday Party Games For Adults
Party guests split into two groups—werewolves and townspeople—and face off until all the werewolves are dead or the two groups reach equal numbers.
Tip: Make sure everyone understands the objective of the game before you officially begin.
Why we love this game: It involves plenty of thinking, strategy, and even a little deception—a recipe for a no-fail good time.
Join a Live Trivia Experience
Where to find the game: https://www.twitch.tv/kingtrivia (Live trivia happens every Sunday and Wednesday at 7PM PST.)
Tip: Share handles/screen names with each other before you play.
Why we love this game: It’s fun to guess the answers and also learn lots of random facts as you get answers wrong. (If you get everything right, then it’s also fun to validate your genius!)
Where to find the game: https://www.letsroam.com/activities/virtual_birthday_party
Tip: Split guests into teams if you expect lots of attendees at your virtual birthday party.
Why we love these games: The virtual party planners at Let’s Roam handle all the event details, so you don’t have to worry about how to handle screen sharing and the other logistical nuances of virtual events.
Virtual 8 Ball Pool
Where to find the game:
Tip: For your eyes only: Practice on the app beforehand so you can win against all the newbs.
Why we love this game: It helps you and your friends capture some of that in-person bar experience while staying at home drinking better beer for less money.
Where to find game: http://playingcards.io/
Tip: Send out cribbage instructions, available on the game page, before the party so you can jump right into playing.
Why we love this game: This online card game walks you through the steps, so it’s no big deal if you’ve never played before.
Where to find game: https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/
Tip: Ask all your guests to show up with boat names.
Why we love this game: This is no mindless racing game! Party guests might actually learn quite a bit about sailing during this adventure.
Virtual Birthday Party Games For Work
Bring in the event pros to have a flawlessly unforgettable virtual birthday party packed with games, laughter, team-building, and quality conversations.
Where to find game: https://www.thegogame.com/virtual-happy-hour
Tip: Record, or ask someone else to record, top moments during the event so you can make and share a post-game highlight reel.
Why we love this game: During each experience, expert event hosts lead and listen, finding and feeding conversational sparks every chance they get. They’ll keep the event on-pace, making your guests laugh.
Where to find game: https://theescapegame.com/remote-adventures/
Tip: Ask beginners to prime themselves on escape room best practices so they can have fun and not be too stressed out.
Why we love this game: It provides an authentic escape room adventure that doesn’t feel virtual at all.
Baby Picture Matching Game
Have everyone send a digital baby picture. During the party, pull up the pictures, share your screen, and give everyone time to debate and guess who they’re looking at.
- Baby pictures
- Video conferencing software
Tip: Ask everyone to share the least obvious photo they can find to make the guessing more fun.
Why we love this game: You get to look at adorable baby pictures and also find out which chubby cheeks belong to your grown-up co-workers.
Where to find game: https://tabletopia.com/
Tip: Split into groups of four and take turns playing and watching/coaching from the screen-sharing sidelines.
Why we love this game: Immersive artwork helps pull players into the experience.
Where to find game:
Tip: Definitely ask all your guests to wear flannel.
Why we love this game: The character’s clear and quirky goal makes it easy to jump right into game play. (Plus, this game provides plenty of conversation starters as well.)
People Also Ask These Questions About A Virtual Birthday Party
Q: How do you make a virtual birthday party fun?
- A: Make a virtual birthday party fun by making the guest of honor feel special while also keeping guests engaged. Tactile components, such as activities or snacks, everyone can enjoy in their own home can elevate any virtual party from fun to spectacular. Find more virtual birthday party tips here.
Q: What kind of virtual birthday party is good for kids?
- A: A good virtual birthday party for kids will likely include a strong central theme and involve some kind of pre-planned activity kids can all participate in at the same time, such as baking or crafting. This post has several other ideas and games for a virtual birthday party for kids.
Q: How many people can attend a virtual birthday party?
- A: Around 30 people can attend a virtual birthday party if you work with a premium vendor, such as the Go Game. If you host your own virtual party, then you can invite as many guests as your video conferencing platform allows.
Q: What are some games that we can play during a virtual birthday party?
- A: Some games you can play during your virtual birthday party include brain games, multi-play video games, and virtual escape room games. Find a full list of virtual birthday party ideas and games for all ages here.
Q: What kind of virtual birthday party can I plan for a teenager?
- A: A virtual birthday party for a teenager should include strong interactive elements, such as dancing or enjoying music, that allow for plenty of socializing. This post has several other ideas and games for a virtual birthday party for teens.
Q: What makes a virtual birthday party successful?
- A: Memorable moments and quality time make a virtual birthday party successful. Facilitate joyful experiences and plenty of memories with ideas and games that add structure and excitement to your event while leaving plenty of room for spontaneous laughter and socializing.