Written by Anna Dugdale
As we come up to a year of COVID lockdowns, many of us will have spent at least one birthday under restrictions over the course of the pandemic. It may not be how anyone expected to spend their birthday, but there are plenty of ways you can still celebrate and have fun!
My 19th birthday came in the middle of the first lockdown, where I couldn’t see any friends or family members outside my household. I felt nothing but trepidation as the day approached, but my family did their very best to make my day enjoyable.
I went for a walk with my family and in the evening, my brother set me up a mini bar in the dining room, filled with all my favourite alcohol. In typical lockdown 1.0 fashion, I did a drunk Zoom call with my friends and had a big catch-up with them, too.
I’ve also been able to celebrate my flatmates’ birthdays across the lockdowns. We’ve decorated, bought balloons and cake, ordered takeaway, played drinking games, made cocktails and even afternoon tea; there are lots of ways to celebrate a lockdown birthday!
Whether you’re getting dressed up for drinks, or dressed down for a night on the sofa, here are some ideas for celebrating your lockdown birthday:
- Have an in-house party
This will work best if you’re a student or live with your friends. Put a speaker in your kitchen or living room, dim the lights, put some strobes on your monitor or TV, blast some music and have a good old-fashioned party! Replicate the feeling of a club in your own home.
- Turn rooms into different ‘scenes’
I’ve seen this idea on TikTok, where you make each room of your house into different club ‘scenes’ so there’s something for everyone. Each room can have a different theme and throughout the night you and your friends, family or housemates can make your way into each room. For example, one room could be themed as ‘tropical’, so when you enter you put on floral shirts, lei’s and drink tropical, fruity drinks.
- Make your own cocktails
You can buy kits to do this on Amazon or eBay and create your favourite (usually overpriced) drinks. It’s more low-key and civilised but will also give you the chance to get dressed up, put some make-up on and have a good time. This idea also allows you the chance to do something during the day.
- Have a pamper night
A classic idea, one that might be your favourite if you’re wanting something super low-key. Grab some face masks, hair masks, do your nails, maybe even grab a bottle of wine if that’s something you’re into. Take some well-deserved time to yourself, or spend it with your loved ones!
- Have a movie night
I know you’re probably spending a lot of time on Netflix, Prime or YouTube but a movie night never gets old. Maybe you could choose a theme: classics, Disney, chick flicks, horrors. You can get your favourite snacks in and use it as an excuse to pig out!
- Zoom Quiz
In traditional lockdown one fashion, organise a Zoom quiz with those you cannot spend your special day with. You can get everyone to create their own quiz on different themes, such as general knowledge, COVID, a specific subject or on funny moments you’ve experienced with your friends and family.
- Afternoon Tea
If you’re one for a civilised celebration, or spending your birthday with someone who cannot or doesn’t drink, then an afternoon tea is the way to go! You can either support a small business and order one pre-made to your house or you can get creative and make one yourself. This idea is also the perfect chance to relive those childhood birthday parties, filled with snacky, finger food.
- Order your favourite takeaway
There is no better time than your birthday to order your favourite takeaway and spend the night pigging out on the sofa. This is also a great way to support a local business that may be struggling through lockdown, as well as treating yourself to some good food!
Remember, just because your birthday is in lockdown, doesn’t mean you cannot celebrate it and have a good time. It’s still an occasion that you can celebrate however you wish, and I hope you have a fantastic time doing so!