Social Distancing Birthdays & Celebrations Guide

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Life as we know it may be on pause, but one thing that is still happening…birthdays! With some creative thinking, these celebrations can carry forth in new and different ways during our current quarantined life. Try one or more of these ideas for making birthdays (or other important days) special while upholding social distancing. These great ideas have come from our Charleston Moms contributors as well as YOU, our readers!

Don’t have an upcoming birthday or other event to celebrate? Create your own celebration! It will put smiles on everyones faces!

*In the hopes of supporting our local businesses during these tough times, we’ve included a lot of them in this list. Though it may not be business as usual, many places are offering delivery or no-contact pick-up options. Please note that with everything going on, things are constantly changing and some of the services listed below may not be available anymore. As always, we strongly recommend that you check for up-to-date details.

DECORATIONS

  • Hang streamers from their bedroom door. It’s the first thing they’ll see when they open the door and know that it is their special day.
  • Balloons: At their door, at the table, hanging from the ceiling! Check out Charleston Balloon, Cannonborough Collective, and Rachael’s Balloon Frenzy.
  • Photo Garland. Print out photos of them from birth to the present day and hang them up for all to see. And if it’s an adult birthday, this will be extra fun for kids to see their parent at a young age.
  • Birthday Signs. Write some of your favorite things about the birthday person on paper and post them all over the house. This is very fun for the birthday person to wake up to!
  • Place yard signs in front of the house. Local businesses like Sign Gypsies of Charleston will come place them for you, or you can also have friends come place their own signs in your yard, hot gluing posters to paint stirrers or rulers. Sign Dreamers is another local company you can check out!
  • Skip & Sully is offering a birthday in a bag which includes the balloons, plates, napkins, cupcakes for four and a coordinating build a bear from Teddy Bear Mobile. They can either be picked up or delivered. Easy-peasy!

THINGS TO DO (THEMES, GAMES & ACTIVITIES)

On the left: sweet kiddos celebrating their friend in a birthday parade On the right: try a birthday letter scavenger hunt!
  • Was your kiddo looking forward to a party with the princesses? Glass Slipper Productions is offering FaceTime with their characters!
  • Drive-by birthday parades are becoming all the rage during this time! Coordinate with friends and neighbors to have them decorate their cars and parade by at a certain time, honking and waving as they go by. Not only will the birthday kiddo love it, but their friends will love being able to celebrate their friend.
  • Have their friends write birthday messages on their driveway or sidewalks. (Just make sure to coordinate with the parents so that no more than one family is coming to decorate at a time!)
  • If you have the space, set up a movie night in the backyard complete with popcorn and sweet treats. Let the birthday kiddo pick their favorite movie to watch!
  • If the weather isn’t cooperating for an outdoor move night, set up a movie night in the living room! Blow up an air mattress, bust out the popcorn, and enjoy!
  • Kids (and adults, let’s be honest!) love pinatas! Fill a pinata with their favorite treats and let them have at it!
  • If your kiddo isn’t tired of them yet, have them go on a scavenger hunt around the house to find their birthday gifts!
  • Pick up a flower crown making kit from Florabella Charleston.
  • Have a birthday letter scavenger hunt around the neighborhood! Have kids in the neighborhood each cut out and decorate a different letter of the birthday child’s name. Hide the letters throughout the neighborhood and send the birthday child on a scavenger hunt to find them!
  • Have the birthday child (or adult) choose their favorite games and play them all. Have some fun candy or snacks to go along with it.
  • Turn on a playlist via Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, or your own and have a dance party! You could save this one for nighttime, turn off the lights and grab some glow sticks and have a glow party!
  • Re-create some of your favorite out of the house activities, at home! Like to bowl? Create a bowling alley in a long hallway of your house!
  • Sculpted Lotus Yoga has some great options for both kids and adults birthdays! For the kids, try out an open ended art and yoga party on Zoom. The party would use basic items that most parents would have on hand for the art part and the class could be parent and child interactive yoga. For the adults, have a private yoga class for a birthday party over Zoom. We could all use a little help with relaxation techniques during these crazy times!
  • Reverse the birthday. Since the world feels a bit upside down, reverse the birthday. Start with dinner in the morning and wind down to breakfast at bedtime. This might be just the solution to mix up the daily grind and make it special.
  • Be a birthday genie. Within reason, grant the birthday child three wishes. It could become an all-day event, complete with watching Aladdin and playing dress-up.  
  • Base the day around a favorite book. If you have a book lover (or are a book lover), order a new book and plan themed food or activities that coordinate with the the book.
  • Build a movie fort. Build a birthday fort, watch movies, eat snacks, and enjoy the day in the fort. Declare it a pajama day!
  • Do something kind for someone else. Have your child write his/her teacher a thank you note, make a card for someone in a nursing home, or check out ways you can help our local healthcare workers.
  • Have an outdoor birthday. Spend the day outside soaking up some Vitamin D. Sidewalk chalk, water balloons, and bubbles are really all you need!

If themes and games aren’t your thing, that’s ok too! The most important thing is making the birthday person feel loved and celebrated! Take advantage of all this time at home just to enjoy being with your loved ones!

FOOD & SWEET TREATS

How about a birthday surprise from Holy Rolly Ice Cream Truck?
  • Try the take-and-bake cupcakes from Smallcakes Windmill Station Summerville: A Cupcakery and Creamery.
  • If homemade is more your thing, have your kids help out in making their own cakes or cupcakes and decorating them.
  • Arrange for the Holy Rolly Ice Cream Truck to come by your house and watch your kid’s face light up with excitement.
  • Grab one of Off Track Ice Cream’s delicious treats. Their flavors are all very unique and they even have vegan options!
  • Baguette Magic can deliver a birthday pizza making kit, cookie decorating kit, as well as cakes! While you’re at it, you can also get fresh, locally made bread, croissants, cooking kits, eggs, meat, produce, and more delivered contact free right to your door.
  • Try out The New Primal’s Snack Mates, healthy, meat snacks for kids. (You can also download a free activity book for the kiddos while you’re on their website!)
  • Rent out the Kona Ice truck to come to your house. Shaved ice on a warm, spring day is the best!
  • Order some gourmet desserts from Charleston Pops! (You can also order alcohol infused pops for the adults!) They are offering free delivery.
  • Set up an ice cream sundae bar! Include your child’s favorite flavors and toppings and let them create their own.
  • Schedule a lunch or dinner delivery. Use a food delivery service to enjoy your birthday child’s favorite meal from his or her favorite restaurant. This is a great way to support local restaurants struggling right now.
  • Make breakfast in bed. Start the birthday with the birthday song and breakfast in bed, perhaps with a donut cake or pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles.
  • Check out Delights Desserts food truck for some yummy treats!
  • Take advantage of the beautiful Charleston weather and have an outdoor picnic in your yard!
  • Not only does Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, Cocktail Caravan & Pedal Pub offer delicious treats, but you can also order a Quarantine Blues Singing Telgram! Free delivery to Charleston, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, Johns Island, James Island, and Folly Beach.
  • Did someone say donuts? Grab a dozen from Glazed Gourmet or get a kit to decorate your own donuts from Duck Donuts!
  • Decorate your own cupcakes with a kit from Sugar Bake Shop! Free delivery on the Charleston Peninsula.
  • Grab a DIY Cookie Kit from Carolina Girl Cookies or give her a theme and make it easy-peasy for you!
  • Check out the delicious sweets from Gala Desserts. They offer take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery through Postmates.
  • Swank Desserts also has a delicious menu and is offering curbside pickup.
  • Ashley Bakery is making all kinds of birthday cakes and offering curbside pickup!
  • Not all sweets have to be unhealthy! Local company Blender Bombs has a great array of healthy options that taste like a treat, but without the guilt!
  • Joy-ist has some delicious kombucha flavors and will do a no-contact kombucha porch delivery!

"SEEING" FAMILY & FRIENDS

  • Set up a virtual birthday party via Zoom.
  • Use Marco Polo for a video party. 
  • Have fun online with a virtual play date. Coordinate a virtual play date with his or her best friend, whether that be a board game or pretend play together. For younger children, have them color simultaneously or play with Play Doh, recreating parallel play however you can online. Facebook’s Messenger Kids allows for a safer platform for online chatting that parents can monitor.
  • Have a virtual dance party over a video messaging app with friends or family.
  • Declare a “read to the birthday child” day! Have family and friends read books on video to the birthday child. This is even more fun if the child has the book at home or the book can be purchased as a gift sent to the child from the reader.
  • Send birthday affirmations. Have friends text, email, or send photos with notes expressing what they like about the birthday child or a favorite memory with him or her.
  • Check out this great list of 22 online games to play with friends. There’s a mix of ones for kids, and others for adults.
  • Host a virtual dessert or cake eating party. Set up a time when friends and family can join from their homes with their desserts to sing “Happy Birthday” while the child has his or her own cake.
  • Set up a Facebook event for the birthday person that spans over a few days. Invite people to leave nice messages each day of the event.

GIFT IDEAS

Gifts for kids:

  • Have friends and family members send a short video message to the birthday child (or adult!) If you have an iPhone you can easily put these clips into a movie on the iMovie app and play it for the person of honor. But you don’t have to make a movie, just play the clips individually and it will still be so special.
  • Have family and friends email or text birthday messages to you and then print them from your home printer into a small book for the birthday person. They can read this over and over and feel the love from a distance!
  • WonderWorks Toys can curate the perfect birthday box for you!
  • For your tween and teen, grab a gift card from local clothing boutique Scraps of Magic! They have adorable clothing in sizes 7-16.
  • Ellifox has the cutest things for kids and if you send them your kids age, they can put together a tailored gift!
  • Ask friends and family to mail birthday cards or leave them on the porch.
  • Arrange for a Bear in a Box delivery from Teddy Bear Mobile! Animals come in a keepsake box with birth certificates, wish inserts, stuffing, and directions.
  • Have friends and family send gift cards so your child can shop for gifts online. Bonus points if they’re gift gards to some of our favorite local businesses that need our support!

Moms need gifts too! Whether it’s a birthday, Mother’s Day, or just because, here are some ideas!

Gifts for mom: 

  • If you’re not sure what mom needs or wants – send a style box. Map and Co Designs offers curated style boxes full of women’s clothing and accessories. They’ll deliver a box to your door, you try everything on, keep what you love and put the rest back in the box and have it picked up. Mom will love the ease and convenience of the style box (and you for thinking of something different and fun for her to try especially during this time).
  • Check out Skip & Sully’s Stay At Home Mom Survival Sale! Get 30% off all wines. DM them or call 843-352-7086 to order.
  • Have frose delivered from The Co-Op on Sullivan’s Island!
  • Flowers are always a good idea! Charleston Flower Market is offering is offering a Friends & Neighbors Bouquet! You can get two beautiful bouquets for $35, and either have them delivered (no contact) or curbside pickup.
  • Give mom the gift of great skin! Me Time Botanicals is a locally based natural skincare company. With products perfect for a spa day or just to incorporate into mom’s daily skincare routine, we are huge fans! Delivery is available.
  • Books are a great gift! Find out what’s on mom’s to-read list and order it online or have it downloaded to her Kindle.
  • Grab a gift card from a local Charleston boutique. Even if business isn’t operating as normal right now, mom will have some shopping to look forward to later, plus it really helps our local stores! Some of our favorite boutiques include:
  • We have a feeling that all moms could really use some spa time. Since going to the spa isn’t an option right now, how about arranging for the spa (products) to come to her! Check which local spas are offering either delivery or curbside pickup, or, a gift card is always a welcome gift too! Some of our favorite local spas include:

We Want to Hear From You!

Birthdays and celebrations can still be special, even during social distancing! We hope these ideas help make life a little easier for you right now and that we can also do our part in supporting our local businesses! Have an idea on how to celebrate not listed here? Let us know! Want to see your favorite Charleston business included? Reach out!

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