How To Celebrate Birthdays In COVID-19 Lockdown

Maximus Escouri
happy birthday

The other day, Jen and I joined other members of our family to celebrate a cousin’s birthday.    Birthdays are cherished events in our households.  Before the pandemic, we would gather at the home of the birthday boy or girl to celebrate these memorable milestones.  Summers were good old-fashioned Aussie BBQs.  Winters was potluck dinners. On occasions when no one was in the mood to prepare meals, we would book a restaurant.  Usually, it was a Sunday Brunch so everyone could attend. 

This month, we attended a Zoom Birthday Party.  There were no hugs or kisses or high-fives.  We didn’t eat the birthday cake although we were there for the cake cutting ceremony.  But the laughter and camaraderie were just as good as any physical party.   We asked ourselves: “Wouldn’t it be great if we can share this with the TopKidz community?”  That’s how the idea for this article was formed.

How to celebrate birthdays in a pandemic

Birthdays and celebrations are important.  They are the special moments that bring friends and families together.  The coronavirus threat means we cannot come together because of concerns for the health and well-being of others.  But just because we cannot physically meet or go to a fancy restaurant, does not mean we cannot find other meaningful ways to join our family and community during these special occasions. 

Here are 7 ways to celebrate birthdays with the family during a pandemic:

1. Bake a cake

bake a cake

Chocolate is a universal favourite. Chocolate cakes will go down a treat for the family on birthdays. 

Max’ Easy Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup self-rising flour

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten


  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (160 degrees if using fan forced)

  • Grease a 24cm cake tin

  • Beat all ingredients with a hand mixer (approximately 4 minutes)

  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake springs back when touched lightly (or when a skewer inserted into the centre is clear)

Birthday cake decoration ideas:

Buttercream frosting and decorative flowers.  For recipe and decorative tips, please watch Tasty video here.

Mirror glaze.  For recipe and instructions, please watch Tasty video here.

Chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Beat 1 tub light cream cheese, 1 tbs butter, 3 cups icing sugar and ½ cup cocoa powder together.  Use a spatula to spread on cake

2. Have a theme party

Just because we are all social distancing does not mean we cannot come up with creative themes for birthdays.

Here are some trending kids’ party themes:

Superheroes Party

Food: Cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, fruit kebabs

Dress code: Favourite superhero

Activity: Pass the kryptonite, face painting, obstacle course

Mamma Mia Birthday Party

  • Food: Greek mezzes, roast lamb, pita breads and dips

  • Decoration: Cyan, cobalt blue, yellows, and whites with splashes of pink and red geraniums

  • Activity: Abba Karaoke

Movie Night Party

  • Food: Hotdogs, sausage rolls, pies, popcorn

  • Dress code: PJs

  • Activity: Movies

Camping out Party

  • Food: Hotdogs, Cheesy fries, toasted marshmallow with hot chocolate

  • Dress: Outdoorsy. Bring your favourite soft toy, pillow, or blanket

  • Activity: Backyard camping

theme party

3. Plan a Car Parade

Themed car parades are brilliant to celebrate grandparents’ birthdays.  Decorate the car, arrange the time, and take a drive with the kids to celebrate their birthdays at a safe distance.

4. Decorate the house

decorate your house

No party is complete without decorations. If you have a theme, you can enlist the kids to decorate their rooms and the rest of the house.  

Party decoration staples:

  • Balloons

  • Streamers

  • Signs

  • Music

5. Arrange a Virtual Hangout

Surprise the birthday boy or girl with a video call from friends, cousins, and grandparents.  There are plenty of options including Zoom, Facetime, Messenger, Google Hangouts, Slack and WhatsApp

Decorate the house, create a Spotify playlist that everyone can listen to, stream a movie to watch together or suggest a theme so everyone can dress for the special occasion.

6. Send a gift

send a gift

If you can’t go to a friend’s birthday, you can take the party to them.  Same day gifts and flowers are a great way to show a friend or family member, you care about them.

Here are some ideas:

Davidjones.com.au – David Jones has some specially curated food and beverage hampers for foodies

Maggiebeer.com.au – Good quality produce from the Barossa Valley.  Great for family birthdays

Endotaspa.com.au – Luxurious home spas delivered direct to your doorstep

Toyuniverse.com.au – One of Australia’s largest range of toys online

Poho Flowers – Ed and Dan run a sophisticated flower shop in Potts Point. Order by 2pm for same day delivery.  

Leaf Supply – Houseplants make a great gift.  The Luxe Leaf is a collaboration with local ceramists. 

7. Order a restaurant meal

Our favourite restaurants and cafes are now online.  Looking for a takeout from a five-star eating establishment? Here are our suggestions:

Lankan Filling Station – for a unique Brunch experience. Their monthly crab dishes are legendary

St Peter – Classy fish and chips.  We recommend Charcoal Grilled Mooloolaba Tuna Burger

Stanbuli – Bring Istanbul’s famous street food to your home

Mr Wong – Sichuan chicken and king prawns from our favourite Chinese restaurant

Firedoor – This month’s firestop dinner is a North Indian Thali Feast

Birthdays are special even with a virus around. Let’s keep this tradition alive! 


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