All the Essentials You Need to Throw a Socially Distant Birthday Bash

Everything you need to create the perfect celebration with family or friends.

Photo: Getty Images

As we navigate our new normal in the year of coronavirus, many milestones and celebrations are passing us by. To those who have celebrated in isolation so far, we wish you a belated happy birthday and good health this year. For those of us who have birthdays still yet on the horizon, let's chat.

While safety should remain a priority, there are still ways to be festive and follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Whether you are planning a birthday party, an adult rendezvous, or a little something for yourself, you should keep the party small—10 or fewer people would be safest. Definitely host the event outdoors, weather-permitting, because the fresh air should help mitigate the spread of germs (as will wearing masks). Most importantly, and I can't say this loud enough, create social distance among your guests.

So, how does one host a socially distant birthday bash? We compiled a few products to jazz up your socially distant birthday bash.

For the Movie Night Extravaganza

A movie night could be an ideal option for kids and adults wanting to distract themselves from the craziness of our daily lives. This activity also makes it easy to create distance among partygoers. To achieve the ultimate movie night birthday, you'll need the following.



No outdoor movie night is possible without a reliable projector and the GooDee HD video (2020 upgrade) projector is exactly that. Compatible with Fire TV sticks, PS4 gaming consoles, HDMI inputs, and more, this projector is ideal for many outdoor activities and can serve as great entertainment for your guests. Furthermore, by having the movie projected on a large screen, viewers will be able to spread out, thus social distancing, and still be able to see the film.


Outdoor blankets

One easy way to create distance is with designated seating, and laying out blankets and towels 6-feet apart is a safe way to ensure adequate distance between partygoers. Add a couple of pillows and you have a swanky outdoor lounge prime for movie-viewing.


Popcorn machine

A movie without popcorn is like a bird without wings, kind of pointless. The West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker will guarantee all your guests a serving of perfectly buttered popcorn. To lower the risk of germ-spread, simply serve the popcorn in disposable cups or bowls.

For the "Adults Only" Cocktail Hour

It has been an unimaginably long year, the "throw your calendar away because it seems irrelevant" kind of year. Those of us navigating this bizarre landscape could probably use a stiff drink, or two, or three. We present the adults only cocktail hour, where you can commiserate and celebrate your birthday.



Music has a way of drowning out all that plagues us, and there's no better way to blast melodies than the highly coveted Hyperboom wireless speaker. This unique speaker allows music inputs from up to four different devices, which means you and your friends can social distance, while all controlling the figurative aux chord. It's also splash-proof for those friends who like to dance with a drink in their hand. Although it's sold out everywhere on other retailers, there is some stock available now on their website.


String lights

There are few sights as homey as gleams of light twinkling against a backyard scene, and the LED spherical string lights from West Elm will add a layer of sophistication to your cocktail party. With 45 lights per garland, a 6-hour timer function, and a gorgeous copper-colored wire, these lights are a fantastic choice to add a little flair to your celebration.

cocktail shaker

Cocktail shakers

Many of us defer to bartenders to make the perfect drink in a swift motion of muddling, mixing, shaking, and pouring. However, you don't have to be a bartender to mix a drink, and the most important tool of this process is the shaker. The Bleecker Cocktail Shaker from Pottery Barn is a solid investment for your at-home bar. This fusion of stainless steel and glass in antique gold will provide your guests with a flood of delicious cocktail drinks—and an arm workout for the designated shaker.

For the Classic Backyard BBQ

It could be the smell of the grill, the idea of food bringing people together, or the selection of comfort food that always seems to appear, but there's something truly serene about attending a backyard barbeque. In these stressful times, having a sense of community is everything, so once you snag your perfect grill, here are a few items to help you gather at a distance.



Instead of serving drinks in large bottles or pitchers, use a cooler to store drinks so guests will only have to touch their own beverage. The Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler is the perfect addition to any backyard soiree and will keep all of your beverages chilly and ready for consumption. This permafrost-insulated cooler comes in six rich colors and guarantees to keep your ice, well, icy.


Outdoor seating

No BBQ is complete without delicious sides like mac and cheese and coleslaw, and your guests will need somewhere to sit while they indulge their appetites. In addition to classic picnic blankets, having a couple of patio chairs spread out in the yard will allow guests, say an elderly relative, to sit comfortably and still spread out. The Room Essentials Patio Folding Sling Chairs from Target are a sophisticated option that come in three distinct colors.


Mosquito repellant lanterns

For ambiance and a bug-free celebration, the Cambridge Mosquito Repellent Lanterns from Thermacell are the perfect touch for your BBQ. Each lantern creates a 15-foot radius of protection, and they are fairly inexpensive so with a few strategically placed around the yard, your guests will leave bug bite-free.

For the Game-Palooza Birthday

For parents who have entertained their kids for months on end, enjoy your well-deserved break and let the games do the entertaining for you at this fun kid-friendly birthday party. You can throw a virtual celebration in the world of video gaming, or if your gaming session is in person, just have the hand-sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes ready to disinfect between uses.

yeti nano


The Yeti Nano has stellar sound quality, allowing remote gamers' voices to be heard loudly and clearly even on the other side of the room. As a bonus, it's also compact and portable enough to make it travel-friendly.

nintendo switch

Gaming console

Nintendo's Switch innovative console and removable controllers allows for two players to play socially distanced. Among the many available games on Nintendo Switch, You can also turn on online play to throw a remote Animal Crossing party ($60; or Super Marios Bros session ($60;


Gaming console add-ons

An easy way to spice up your normal games and make it feel like a special occasion is through console add-ons. The G-series Driving Force Racing Wheel from Logitech will have your kids (and maybe a few parents) feeling the excitement of being behind the wheel in a high-speed simulation. This sleek leather wheel with 900-degree rotation comes in two varieties: the G29 for PS4, PS3, and PC, and the G920 for Xbox One and Pc. Simply hook it up to a projector and outdoor screen, and let the games begin.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles