You found our list of the best virtual birthday party ideas for adults.
Virtual birthday parties are ways to celebrate birthdays online through video conferencing software. For example, birthday Zoom backgrounds, cake delivery, and web-call karaoke. These parties usually include friends, family, and coworkers. The purpose of these events is to celebrate distance between adulthood and our misguided youth. These events are also known as a “Zoom birthday party” or “online birthday party.”
This article includes:
- Zoom birthday party ideas for adults
- online birthday celebration ideas
- virtual birthday party games
So, here is the list!
List of virtual birthday party ideas
From balloon bouquets to online birthday countdowns to tiny campfire, here is a list of ways to celebrate birthdays online that will excite and delight your virtual guests.
1. Surprise online birthday party
Online surprise parties are a great way to celebrate with coworkers. Friends and family members might get suspicious if you push them to join you on Zoom, but colleagues will assume the invite is for a run-of-the-mill meeting. Attendees can join the web call a few minutes early and blackout their screens. When the birthday guest arrives, the other participants switch on the video feeds to reveal party hats, banners, and confetti. Of course, guests can shout “SURPRISE!” and fill the text box with birthday wishes and emojis.
Here are some ideas for what to do at the party:
You can do a combination of activities too.
2. Cake delivery
A very wise woman, me, once said, “no birthday is complete without cake.” You can send cake to your virtual birthday honoree or to all of your party guests. Foodie favorite MilkBar will ship a signature cake anywhere in the US, and you can find treats from various famous bakeries on GoldBelly.
Of course, you could always contact a local bakery in the birthday celebrant’s city and order a treat, or email an online gift certificate. Budget conscious online birthday organizers can scour Etsy for cake pops or cupcakes in a jar. Or, you can mail your party guests mug cake makings. Most packets of mug cake mix will fit in a standard envelope, though you may need to add an extra stamp!
3. Virtual Birthday Party Bingo
Bingo is a game you and your guests can play together on Zoom, WebEx and other virtual meeting software. To play, split up into breakout rooms and chat with other attendees. Mark each square with the name of a player to whom the statement applies. While you can use names of players more than once, you cannot use the name of the same player in any one consecutive row, diagonal, or column.
We made a template to use for your game.
Feel free to add your own clues, and be sure to randomize the squares so that the whole party does not win at once!
4. Goodies on the hour
Instead of holding the entire celebration on one video call, you can spread out the fun and send the birthday person goodies every hour. Suggestions of birthday goodies to send:
- Music videos of birthday-related songs like Katy Perry’s Birthday or Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday
- Collection of nearby businesses that offer birthday freebies
- Online gift certificates to services like Spotify, GrubHub, or Hulu
- Video or slideshow messages full of pictures, quotes, advice, and personal sentiments
- Recipes for cocktails or desserts
- Pictures of celebrities that share the same birthday
- Lists of events that occurred on celebrant’s date of birth
The above are just a few general ideas. You can also personalize goodies to fit the recipient’s tastes and personality, including interesting articles, custom artwork, games, or funny gifs that you think the birthday person will enjoy.
5. Cocktail Shake-Up (Fully Facilitated)
Even the Great Gatsby would enjoy Cocktail Shake-Up, a 20’s style cocktail class slash fun and classy party. During this virtual event, a guide will lead the group through a drink-mixing tutorial, scavenger hunt, toast-off, and tasteful drinking game. Cocktail Shakeup provides refreshments and entertainment, meaning you will only need to supply the guests and the actual alcohol. Guests will not only have a great time, but will learn handy cocktail recipes to impress at future birthday bashes.
Learn more about Cocktail Shake-Up.
6. Virtual Escape Room
You have probably done an escape room in person, and if not then your friends definitely have. Escape rooms are fun group activities that give your guests a chance to work together to solve clues and puzzles. This activity works well online too, which means it can be a great idea for your next virtual birthday party.
Here is a list of virtual escape rooms to start with.
7. Morning or afternoon off
Virtual birthday party ideas for adults do not have to revolve around alcohol, tons of guests, or games and entertainment. In fact, the perfect party for some folks might be no party at all. For many parents and professionals, free time is a rare treat and privilege. You can give the celebrant a break by organizing an afternoon or morning off.
8. Buy a birthday candle
While it would be complicated to light the candles on the remote celebrant’s cake, you can still send the birthday persona candle to observe the occasion. Simply invite the honoree to pick out a fancy candle on a site like Etsy or Bath and Body Works.
Then, buy and ship the candle to the person’s home. Or, you could email a virtual gift certificate to an online candle shop and leave the recipient in charge of the order. If you are crafty, then you could even make and mail a homemade, customized candle to your friend, family member, or coworker.
9. Birthday lip dub
“Happy birthday” is the standard birthday anthem, but the song is a little plain for some folks’ taste. You can spice up your Zoom birthday party entertainment by choosing a more upbeat tune like “Birthday” by the Beatles or “In da Club” by Fifty Cent. Or, you could opt for a general party anthem like Pink’s “Raise Your Glass,” or perform the celebrant’s favorite song.
To really up the ante, you and the other guests can film a lip dub to the song of choice. Lip dubs are music videos where participants lip-sync to songs while dancing or performing skits. You can assign portions of the song to each guest, ask participants to send you a recording, then compile and edit the clips into one cohesive video. During the online birthday party you can share screens and play the final product, and you can send a link or file to the celebrant as well.
10. Web call karaoke
While some folks look forward to singing happy birthday, others prefer to belt out Adele. Web call karaoke is a fun virtual birthday party entertainment option. To host a web call karaoke session with your friends or family, you will need to send a meeting invitation, then use a program like Watch2Gether to synchronize YouTube lyric videos. For extra kicks, the birthday individual can request that friends or family members sing certain songs. Perhaps Aaron’s one wish this year is to hear grandma rap Missy Elliot.
11. Remote birthday club
For remote birthday club, group together every employee that shares the same birthday month. To form your birthday clubs, you will first need to collect birthday information from your employees. You can gather birthday dates and preferences using Google Forms, and can organize and track your groups via spreadsheets.
Once you figure out your club rosters, invite employees to the groups via email, social media, or chat. Or, you could also create Slack channels for every month, like #januarybirthdays, and invite teammates to join the channel for their month.
Here are a few remote birthday club ideas:
- Meet for regular virtual coffee breaks
- Post icebreaker prompts
- Participate in fun remote team building activities together
- Issue social media challenges, like baby photo throwbacks or tag your friend memes
- Gather online for a half birthday virtual party, held six months before/after the birthday month
- Compete against other birthday month groups in online team games
Birthday clubs are a fun and easy way to build camaraderie in remote workplaces and establish common ground between colleagues who might not otherwise interact.
12. Birthday icebreaker topics
Because online birthday parties can accommodate attendees from opposite corners of the world, guests may not know each other. Conversation may be awkward initially, and icebreaker questions can help bridge gaps between online party guests. We created a list of birthday-specific icebreakers below.
Birthday icebreaker questions:
- When is your birthday? Does anyone in the room share a birthday?
- What was your best birthday?
- What was your worst birthday?
- What was the most interesting gift you ever received?
- What is the best birthday card you ever received?
- What is the craziest birthday party story?
- Does your family and/or your culture have any special birthday traditions?
- What is the best birthday cake flavor?
- If you could pick one dessert to replace cake as the official birthday dessert, which one would you choose?
- Have you ever forgotten the birthday of someone close to you?
- Given the choice, what age would you choose to stay forever?
- A genie shows up to your party and tells you that he or she will grant the wish you make when you blow out your candles. What do you wish for?
- In your opinion, what is the perfect way to spend a birthday?
- You can eliminate one birthday tradition forever. Which one goes?
- Easter has the bunny, Thanksgiving has the turkey. If birthdays had an animal mascot, which one would it be?
These questions are sure to keep the conversation flowing. If you need more topics or want a variety of prompts, you can also check out these virtual team building questions.
Here is a list with more fun question games to play on calls.
13. Balloon bouquets
Ordering a balloon bouquet from PartyCity or Balloon Planet is one easy option. If you live in the same city as your honoree, then you could always leave a bunch or box of balloons on the person’s doorstop. Stuffing balloons into a large box adds an element of surprise, and helps protect balloons from the elements.
One of the cutest and most creative virtual birthday party ideas is to enlist all your online party guests to assemble a balloon bouquet. You can assign a theme to the bouquet, like a certain color, cartoon character, or shape, or you can allow free choice. Each guest will send an unblown balloon or two in an envelope to the honoree. You should also send a simple balloon pump.
You can also skip the real balloons and send your friend a digital bouquet using the free trial of Virtualoon.
14. Zoom birthday backgrounds
Virtual birthday party ideas include tips on how to decorate. Zoom lets you customize your background, which means you can decorate without needing to hang a single streamer or blow up any balloons. A fun and bright Zoom background can liven up any online party.
Here are a few fun examples of backgrounds for online birthdays:
- Animals in birthday hats
- Cakes or cupcakes
- A crowd of celebrities
- Glowing birthday candles
A personalized background can set the tone for your online birthday party and add atmosphere to your video call.
Here are more ideas for confetti events.
15. Online birthday party countdown
You can build anticipation for your online birthday party by posting a countdown. You can use a site like time and date to create a countdown clock with fun graphics. Then, embed the clock on a celebration web page, or send it to friends and family. You could also publish countdown posts on a social media page or group.
16. Celebration recommendations
By sending celebration recommendations, you can share great ways to pass the special day. Suggestions may range from enjoying a great book, indulging in a decadent dessert, trying out a fun new activity, or connecting with family and friends. Belinda might suggest a board game night, while Rajesh recommends bungee jumping lessons. To sweeten the deal, you can send a coupon or gift certificate to help fund the idea.
List of virtual birthday party games
Virtual birthday party games are fun activities you and your guests can play during your online party. The games on this list are birthday themed.
17. Virtual Team Trivia
Virtual Team Trivia is a hosted pub-style trivia game played online. The questions are customizable, meaning that you can order-up a birthday-themed edition to celebrate your friend or coworker’s special day. Team trivia is great for small parties or large groups alike. By booking the event, you can enjoy all the fun without doing any of the legwork. The host will research and write questions, facilitate and emcee the game, and handle all the technical aspects. Your only responsibility is to show up and compete, and, you know, maybe, let the birthday guest win on purpose. Or not.
Learn more about virtual team trivia.
18. Online Birthday Mad Libs
During your online birthday party, you and your guests can play fun games like birthday mad libs. Players will volunteer word types like verb, adjective, or noun, and the leader plugs those words into a story. Once players fill in all the blanks, the leader reads the story aloud.
We made birthday adlib templates, and you can write your own passages too. You could either play the game live on video call with help from the chat box, or you can play the game via social media posts and direct messages.
19. Virtual wish jar game
Virtual wish jar is another online birthday party game you and your guests can play during a video call. Each player writes down a wish, for example “I wish for a puppy that never grows bigger”, or “I wish for the perfect cup of tea.”
Participants privately message the wish to the game leader. The leader will read the wishes one by one, and the other players must guess to whom the wish belongs. Legend says that if you tell someone your wish, the wish will not come true. So, the point of the game is to evade all other player’s guesses.
20. Virtual Murder Mystery
You can add a little theatrical flare to your online birthday party by doing a virtual murder mystery. For this activity, you can either download a game template and encourage your guests to take on the roles, or work with an outside company. Virtual murder mystery games are a fun way to bring people together around a common activity.
Check out this list of virtual murder mystery party ideas for more inspiration.
21. Never In All My Years
Never In My Life is a birthday version of the popular icebreaker game Never Have I Ever. All participants start by holding up ten fingers, or “birthday candles.” Players will take turns naming birthday-related actions. A player lowers one finger for each named act he or she has committed. Here are sample prompts to get you started:
Never in All My Years Have I…:
- Lied about my age
- Owned a fake ID
- Celebrated my birthday in another country
- Put birthday candles on a dessert besides cake
- Blown out all candles in one breath
- Blown out someone else’s birthday candles
- Ruined someone else’s birthday party
- Had a surprise birthday party
- Lied about my birthday to get a freebie or discount
- Told the waiter it was a friend’s birthday to embarrass that friend
- Forgotten my significant other’s birthday
- Forgotten my child’s birthday
- Forgotten my parent’s birthday
- Thrown a birthday party for a pet
- Hand-made a birthday present
- Called in sick on my birthday
You can play as many rounds as the birthday guest wants or time allows. Feel free to pause the game as needed for amusing stories and explanations.
22. Collage cards
A friend and I once made a unique birthday card for a coworker. We snapped photos of our colleagues holding up happy birthday messages and compiled those images into a card. The activity translates well online because you can ask participants to email pictures and videos individually, or you can coordinate a video call and capture a screenshot.
Collage cards are a nice touch for an online birthday celebration because the images capture the personality and individual sentiment of a traditional birthday card, only nobody has to bother buying stamps or trekking to a mailbox.
You can compile the card as a single picture, a slideshow, or a video. If you feel extra creative, then you could even use Google Forms or an online flash card website to create a fun and interactive game.
23. Virtual pizza party
A fun way to bring your friends and coworkers together for a virtual birthday celebration is to host a virtual pizza party. You can either send everyone a pizza, have them order their own, or even do a DIY event. Pizza parties are a great way to have fun together and make sure everyone is well fed too.
Learn more about virtual pizza parties.
A virtual birthday party is a great way to celebrate the people in your life. Gathering and celebrating birthdays online is a great way to forge and maintain connections despite distance, and at work will help improve company culture.