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Lockdown birthday ideas: 6 simple ways to celebrate a friend during the coronavirus pandemic

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Lauren Geall
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A hand cutting a birthday cake

Wondering how to celebrate a friend’s birthday during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s 5 lockdown-friendly birthday ideas to help you make their day extra special.

The world may be in the middle of a global pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the earth stops turning on its axis. Life still has to go on, no matter how many countries go under lockdown – people still age, and birthdays can’t just be put on hold (much to the dismay of those of us celebrating over the next month). 

Having your birthday in the middle of a virus outbreak and country-wide lockdown is, to say the least, a bit unfortunate – especially when so many of us are separated from our friends and family for the considerable future. 

Of course, there are plenty of worse things going on at the moment – that’s for sure – but it’s okay to feel a little disappointed that things won’t be going ahead as usual. After all, not being able to see your friends – or leave the house – on your birthday doesn’t leave you with very many celebration options.

If one of your friends is due to celebrate their birthday during this rather unusual period, then you’ve probably spent some time brainstorming exactly how you’ll make their day special from afar. 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. 

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So without further ado, here’s Stylist’s guide to celebrating a friend’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. 

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
Fancy 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.

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 to have the card sent straight to a friend with the message already printed inside. 

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 subscription box 

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. 

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In a time where we’re being encouraged to go to the supermarket as little as possible, having some treats in will make their birthday all the more special. 

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

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