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Lockdown birthday ideas: 6 easy ways to celebrate a friend during quarantine

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Lauren Geall
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Birthday balloons

Looking for unique and interesting ideas for how to celebrate a birthday in lockdown? Here are six easy tips that’ll help you to make the most of your friend or family member’s special day from a distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

As we face further time spent separated from our friends and loved ones thanks to the lockdown, plenty of people will be faced with the dilemma of how to celebrate birthdays from a distance. Whether you or someone you love is set to mark the occasion over the next couple of weeks, it can be difficult to work out exactly how to make the day feel special during this strange time. 

It’s safe to say that having your birthday in the middle of a global pandemic is rather unfortunate. But despite all the terrible things going on at the moment, it’s only normal that many of us will want to make our friends’ or family members’ birthdays as wonderful as possible, even if we’re unable to celebrate with them physically.

If you or someone you love is due to celebrate their birthday over the coming weeks, there are plenty of ways to make the day seem special despite the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the world of video calling and online deliveries, there are plenty of small ways we can show someone we’re thinking of them without the need to see them in the flesh; M&S’ new cake delivery service (which includes a Colin The Caterpillar cake gift set for £20, by the way) is a perfect example of how businesses are adapting to bring the party to us.

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So without further ado, here’s Stylist’s guide to celebrating a loved one’s birthday during lockdown. From giving them a creative gift to get them through quarantine to having a virtual drink, these simple ideas are a great way to make sure this one’s a birthday to remember. 

And if you’re looking for some gift inspiration, check out our guide to the thoughtful birthday gift ideas you can send in the post.

1. Have a (virtual) house party

Forget having a drink over Zoomviral video chat app Houseparty allows you to have a virtual party with a group of your friends.

As well as giving you the space to chat and hangout with whoever you like, Houseparty offers a range of in-app activities to do with your friends, including ‘Heads Up!’ and trivia. You can also share your screen with the people on your call, making it super easy to watch films or TV programmes together as you celebrate. 

A woman on FaceTime with her friends
Lockdown birthday ideas: why not organise a (virtual) house party with a group of close friends?

With up to eight people permitted to join each session, Houseparty may not allow for as big a gathering as Zoom, but it’ll certainly allow you to create some sort of party atmosphere for your friend’s special day.

On top of that, there are plenty of online activities you can do together. From online escape rooms to virtual pub quizzes, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You could even host your own virtual pub quiz, and theme it around the birthday girl or boy!

2. Pick out a special card

While in “normal” times you might not care too much about birthday cards, in the current situation something as simple as a friendly message is sure to make a difference.

Oliver Bonas have a great selection of cards by different designers which you can currently order online, or you can use a card delivery service like Thortful (who have now released a fabulous collection of isolation and quarantine-themed cards) to have the card sent straight to a friend with the message already printed inside. 

Seeded Card from All Paper Everythings
Lockdown birthday ideas: this seeded card from All Paper Everythings can be used to grow wildflowers after use, making a perfect two-in-one gift.

Independent designers also tend to sell unique cards perfect for showing your friend how much you care – this seeded card from All Paper Everythings on Etsy can be torn up and planted after it’s finished to grow a patch of wildflowers.

3. Send them a boredom buster

Staying at home all the time is sure to get boring pretty quick, so give your friend the gift of distraction in the form of a craft kit. Not only will it break up the endless Netflix bingeing sessions which will inevitably form most of their life now, it’ll keep them busy for a considerable time. 

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Lisa Angel’s needle punch kit is a lot easier than embroidery (making it perfect for beginners), and Cast’s bespoke jewellery making kit will give them everything they need to create personalised silver jewellery.

4. Invest in a delivery-friendly gift 

Lucky for us, there are plenty of gifts you can send through the post these days to suit every type of person. 

You could also give them the gift that keeps on giving and pay for a subscription box to be delivered to their house every month. There truly is something for everyone out there – just take Bloombox Club’s houseplant subscription.

If you’re looking to give them a subscription they’ll be able to use during quarantine, premium art kit subscription service Artful sends out a box curated by a featured artist as soon as you register, and will send your friend a new set in the post every three months. 

A houseplant
Lockdown birthday ideas: invest in a subscription box such as Bloombox Club and give the gift which keeps on giving.

5. Make plans for when lockdown is over

One of the worst bits of celebrating a birthday in lockdown is not being able to see all your friends and family, so doing something that shows you understand how your friend feels is important.

None of us knows when the coronavirus pandemic is going to end, but reassuring your friend that you’ll celebrate with them when lockdown is over will give them something to look forward to throughout this uncertain period.

6. Food glorious food

If there’s one thing sure to brighten someone’s mood while they’re in lockdown, it’s a delivery of tasty snacks. 

Thanks to a new delivery service from M&S, you can now send your family or loved one a special ‘cake hamper’ to mark their special day. This Happy Birthday Surprise Gift Box currently available on their website comes with a chocolate cake, a box of swiss chocolates and a bottle of prosecco, all for £30. 

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Alternatively, you could think outside the box and send them a selection of sweet treats from one of the many brands still shipping at the moment. 

From the beautiful hand-iced biscuits of Biscuiteers to the delectable brownies of Bad Brownie, there’s still plenty of delivery options available to give their day that extra boost. 

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Images: Unsplash/Getty/All Paper Everythings on Etsy

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Lauren Geall

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