20 Virtual Birthday Party Ideas, Games & Activities

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October 06, 2020

Hi! You found our list of awesome virtual birthday party ideas.

Virtual birthday parties are ways to celebrate birthdays online through video conferencing software. For example, birthday Zoom backgrounds, cake delivery, and web-call karaoke. Online birthday parties are perfect for friends, family, coworkers, or a mix of all three. There are remote birthday activities that appeal to all ages.

Online birthday parties are a subset of virtual celebration ideas, and are one way to do virtual team building with remote teams.

This article includes:

  • virtual birthday party ideas for adults
  • virtual birthday party ideas for coworkers
  • virtual birthday party ideas for kids
  • online birthday party games

And more. 🎂

Light the digital candles and make a wish, because here comes 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. Online surprise party

Online surprise party

Online surprise parties are ideal virtual birthday party ideas for 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 can 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. Throughout the party, teammates can play Zoom games, listen to music, and enjoy each other’s company.

One of our most popular virtual team building activities is Online Office Games, which is a great fit for virtual birthday parties too.

2. Cake delivery

A very wise woman, me, once said, “no birthday is complete without cake,” and remote parties are no exception to this rule. You can send cake to your birthday honoree or to all of your party guests. Foodie favorite MilkBar will ship their 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. tiny campfire 🔥 (includes s’more kits)

tiny campfire banner

While cake is great, some folks may prefer a different dessert, say, s’mores. As a treat and activity all in one, tiny campfire is an ideal remote birthday celebration idea. Each attendee will receive a packet with s’mores ingredients and a tealight “stove” via snail mail and a meeting invitation via email. During the virtual event, participants will listen to ghost stories and play fun camp games.

tiny campfire is one of the more unique ways to celebrate a virtual birthday. Winter birthdays will also appreciate the ability to go birthday camping during the colder months of the year! These events are great virtual birthday party ideas for kids, too.

Learn more about tiny campfire.

4. Virtual Birthday Party Bingo

Virtual birthday party 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.

Virtual Birthday Party Bingo template

Feel free to add your own clues, and be sure to randomize the squares so that the whole party does not win at once!

5. Goodies on the hour

Instead of concentrating all festivities into one video call, you can spread out the fun and send the birthday person goodies every hour. Most email providers give you the option of scheduling emails, but you could always use a platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact to manage the delivery.

Suggestions of birthday goodies to send:

  • Ecards
  • 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 occured 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.

6. Cocktail Shake-Up (Fully Facilitated)

Cocktail Shake-Up

Folks knew how to throw a wild party under any circumstances during the prohibition era. You can bet that if the internet existed in the 1920’s, then online speakeasies would be a mainstay. Folks who claim that online parties are lame have clearly never attended a great virtual happy hour.

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.

7. Afternoon or morning 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.

For remote employees, you can offer paid time off. Allowing the employee to choose the block of free time is a good idea, as some folks may prefer mornings over evenings, or vice versa. Of course, if you are generous and the schedule is flexible then you could give the employee the whole day, but prepare to offer this option to every teammate in the spirit of fairness.

You do not necessarily need to be a boss or colleague to arrange birthday time off. Friends or family members can buy a parent an hour or two of free time by engaging a child on a video call or online game. If the birthday parent has teenagers, then you can get the kids out of the house by sending online vouchers for activities like the movies or mini golf. You can lend a hand to childless adults by paying for a service like house cleaning or an errand through TaskRabbit.

8. Celebration recommendations

Just because you are not with the celebrant in person, does not mean you cannot design a great day for your friend, relative, or colleague. 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 always send a coupon or gift certificate to help fund the idea.

9. 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 celebrant’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.

Sending candles is a great way to observe the occasion and capture the birthday spirit, with the added plus that the giftee can enjoy the candle long after the birthday ends. This activity also doubles as a great virtual employee engagement idea.

10. 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 online birthday serenade 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.

11. Web call karaoke

Virtual birthday karaoke

While some folks look forward to singing happy birthday, others prefer to belt out Adele. Web call karaoke is a fun remote birthday party entertainment option. Karaoke might be one of the best virtual birthday party ideas if you plan to invite a boisterous bunch. 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 boy or girl can request that friends or family members sing certain songs. Perhaps Aaron’s one wish this year is to hear grandma rap Missy Elliot.

12. Remote birthday club

Remote birthday clubs are ideal activities for virtual offices. The concept is simple; you 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, a la #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 a virtual team building event 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 friendly 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.

13. Birthday icebreaker topics

Because online birthday parties can accommodate attendees from opposite corners of the world, guests may know the celebrant, but not each other. Conversation may be awkward initially, but luckily, 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 virtual team building icebreakers.

14. Balloon bouquets

Balloons are staples of birthday celebrations, and luckily, there are ways to send balloons from a distance. 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 celebrant’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 remote birthday 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 send a simple balloon pump to the celebrant, who can then use the pump to inflate the bouquet.

The more environmentally-conscious can skip the real balloons and send your friend a digital bouquet using the free trial of Virtualoon.

15. Festive Zoom 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.

Zoom birthday background

Here are a few fun examples of backgrounds for online birthdays:

  • Balloons
  • Presents
  • Animals in birthday hats
  • Cakes or cupcakes
  • A crowd of celebrities
  • Glowing birthday candles
  • Confetti

A personalized background can set the tone for your online party and add atmosphere to your video call. Best of all, your digital decorations require no cleanup afterwards.

16. Online birthday countdown

You can build anticipation for your video call birthday party by posting an online birthday countdown. You could use a site like time and date to create a countdown clock with fun graphics. Then, you can embed the clock on a celebration webpage, or send it to friends and family. You could also publish countdown posts on a social media page or group.

We recommend using a program like Canva to create images to post to your feed or story. You can start posting the week before the party, and continue posting until the birthday arrives. The attention will make the celebrant feel special, and the posts will serve as a reminder for your guests too.

List of virtual birthday party games

Virtual birthday party games are games you and your guests can play during your online party. The games on this list are birthday themed. For more remote game suggestions, you can check out our posts on video conference games and team building online.

17. Virtual Team Trivia

virtual trivia

Virtual Team Trivia is a hosted pub-style trivia game played online. The questions are entirely customizable, meaning that you can order-up a special 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 guide 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.

In case you want to run your own game, we created a template of birthday-themed trivia questions you can use at your bash. You could also create your own trivia clues based around the birthday boy or girl, for instance, “what is Hilda’s favorite dinosaur?” or “In what city did Hans celebrate his 21st birthday?”

Learn more about virtual team trivia.

18. Birthday Mad Libs

During your remote birthday bash you and your guests can play fun online birthday party games like birthday mad libs. Players will volunteer word types like verb, adjective, or noun, and the leader will plug those words into a story. Once players fill in all the blanks, the leader will read 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.

madlibs template 1

madlibs template 2

madlibs template 3

madlibs template 4

19. Virtual wish jar game

Virtual wish jar is another online birthday party game you and your guests can play during the birthday call. Each player writes down a wish, for instance I wish for a puppy that never grows bigger, or I wish for the perfect cup of tea.

Participants will 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. Thus, the point of the game is to evade all other player’s guesses.

To better structure the game, the leader can allow a maximum of three guesses per wish, and each player can submit multiple wishes, so that other players cannot guess based on the process of elimination. The leader will award “wish points” to any player who guesses correctly, or any player whose wish remains a secret. At the end of the game, the player with the most wish points wins.

20. Never In All My Years

Never In My Life is a birthday version of the popular icebreaker game Never Have I Ever. All participants will start by holding up ten fingers, or “birthday candles.” Players will take turns naming birthday-related actions. A player will lower one finger for each named act he or she has committed. To get you started, we listed sample prompts below.

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
  • Spent more than $500 on someone’s birthday present
  • 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.

21. 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.

Conclusion

Whether you celebrate a child or adult, your neighbor or your pen pal in Delhi, your grandma or Oscar in accounting, a virtual birthday party is a great way to observe the occasion. Gathering and celebrating birthdays online is a great way to forge and maintain connections despite distance, and will help improve company culture.

If the birthday of your loved one or colleague falls on or near a holiday, then you can always turn your online birthday bash into a virtual holiday party. For seasonal-specific online party ideas, check out our posts on Virtual Halloween Party Ideas and Virtual Holiday Party Ideas.

FAQ: Virtual Birthday Party Ideas

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about virtual birthday party ideas.

How do virtual birthday parties work?

Virtual birthday parties typically take place on video conferencing platforms like Zoom, WebEx, or Skype. Participants gather on the video call and chat, play games, eat cake, and engage in other fun activities. Online parties can unite guests from across the country or even the globe and serve as a low-cost, logistically simple way to honor the special day. Web conference software can accommodate hundreds of attendees, but you will want to keep in mind that some platforms have limits on the number of participants or the length of the meeting depending on the payment tier; the free version of Zoom, for instance, allows for a maximum forty minutes on single meetings.

What are virtual birthday party ideas?

Virtual birthday party ideas are ways to celebrate birthdays together online. Though some birthday traditions, like sharing one single cake or, are off the table when friends cannot gather in person, the internet offers many amusing and creative possibilities for observing the special occasion.

What are virtual birthday party ideas?

Virtual birthday party ideas are ways to celebrate birthdays together online. Though some birthday traditions, like sharing one single cake or, are off the table when friends cannot gather in person, the internet offers many amusing and creative possibilities for observing the special occasion.

What are good virtual birthday party ideas?

The best online birthday ideas center around the birthday celebrant but actively involve other guests. Connection makes parties fun. There are many ways to interact online including playing virtual games, posting and tagging on social media, messaging, and meeting on video call. Some good virtual birthday party ideas include Virtual Team Trivia, remote birthday clubs, and birthday lip dubs.

How do you host a virtual birthday party?

To host a virtual birthday party, you will need to gather the email addresses of all your desired guests, and then create a meeting in Zoom, WebEx, or the like. You will need to send attendees invitations with the meeting link, but you can get creative and include the link on a custom e-Card designed in a program like Canva. If you plan to send goodies to the birthday celebrant and the other guests, then you should leave plenty of time to mail your packages. Finally, you should plan fun games and activities to entertain your digital guests and honor the celebrant. When the party arrives, join the video call and have fun!

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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