How to Make Celebrations Social While Social Distancing

lady joining a social distancing birthday via zoom
Photo from Pexels

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, live in the moment, and connect with the people you love. While celebrations this year will be like social distancing birthdays, there are still many ways you can spend quality time with friends and family during life’s big moments – whether you live in the same area or further apart.

We want to help you bring a social element back to physical distancing so you can have fun while also protecting the health of everyone involved. When the next special occasion comes along, all you need is a little creativity, a lot of love, and one of the ideas below!

Choose from one of the ideas below and you will be more than ready to celebrate any special occasion ‘together’! Then, check out these virtual gift ideas – the perfect icing on the cake.


Play virtual games online.

Photo of Woman Taking Selfie With Her Family
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

It’s okay if you are not into social distancing birthdays, you can just attend online celebrations. Now that everyone is a certified Zoom aficionado, your siblings, aunts, cousins, and even grandparents will be more than happy to join in on a virtual party. To avoid the conversation from going stale with so many people on the call at once, have everyone download the Psych! app on their phones. Psych! is a virtual game that gives players a chance to answer fun and silly questions about one another and then vote for the best answer. It is fairly simple to learn and is sure to bring laughter to a party of any kind.


Get friends and family to pitch in on a group gift.

woman in Teal Crew Neck T-shirt Holding Gift Box for social distancing birthday she will attend
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

After picking out a single gift that your recipient would enjoy, head to Presently to send out invites and easily manage the contributions online. Each gift contributor can even add a personal message to send love in their own special way. This is a great idea for a group of college friends to celebrate the birthday of someone quarantined across the country, making the miles between you feel less distant. It’s also the perfect way for students and parents to give back to teachers at the end of the school year. Imagine your teacher’s reaction when they see that the entire class worked together to give them a meaningful gift!


Need help picking out the perfect group gift? Check out these articles on Teacher Appreciation Group Gifts Ideas, Best Group Gifts for Students and Young Adults, and Group Gift Ideas for Kids this Spring.


Host an outdoor picnic.

fruits, bread, flower, hat and books on a mat for an outdoor picnic
Photo by Анна Галашева on Pexels.

If you have friends that live close by, set up an outdoor picnic with friends! Choose someone’s backyard so you can avoid any crowds and have each person bring their own blanket and food. In this case, sharing is not caring, so stay six feet apart and bring a face mask so you and your friends can be safe and comfortable! Put on some music, dig in, and enjoy. Who knows, you might even enjoy lounging in the sunshine more than being inside at a restaurant!

For more tips on hosting a safe outdoor picnic, read this New York Times article.


Make movie night BYOB: bring your own blanket.

three popcorn boxes as party favors to be distributed to all who will attend the social distancing birthday
Photo from Pixabay on Pexels

Watching a movie with friends and family is a fun-filled activity for all ages. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice a birthday movie night tradition or weekend get-together with friends. As long as everyone has Google Chrome installed on their computers, it is simple to download Netflix Party. This allows your group to watch an online movie together as well as send messages to one another. If you really miss your friends’ faces, Scener is another virtual movie theatre plug-in for your computer where you can see everyone on a video call. The only thing left to do is make popcorn.


Organize a drive-by parade.

three girls inside a car practicing social distancing for their friend's birthday
Photo by Kate Baumgardner Marzo via

Here’s a great social distancing birthday idea. Text family and friends in your neighborhood with a specific time and place to meet in their individual cars on the day of the celebration. Make sure the celebrant is at home (better yet, in their front yard) and have friends roll down their windows and sing from a safe distance. Have spare poster boards and streamers laying around? Decorate your car to make the parade stand out even more. Family and friends will love the chance to easily get involved and show their support.


Have fun and stay safe!

While we want your social gatherings to be memorable and fun, make sure they follow all CDC social distancing guidelines and you are staying up to date on the latest public health and safety information in your area. As you ease back into in-person celebrations, check out these tips for fun and safe in-person hosting, and a few extra ideas on long-distance holiday celebrations for the whole family to enjoy.

Head to Presently to find more creative ideas for your next special occasion!


Presently is a group-gifting platform that gives people an easy way to contribute to a single gift, together. Designed for kids and adults alike, Presently enables communities to gift better, choosing quality over quantity.

Organize a group gift here.


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Gianna Dowd