How to throw the best at-home birthday bash

From DIY Cuban cocktails to cameo guest speakers, there are still ways to celebrate your birthday in style this lockdown

Birthday girl dancing in confetti with a black backdrop

by Emily Farquhar |

Is your birthday coming up? Any idea how you'll celebrate it? Whether it’s your sweet 16th, 21st, or your ‘dirty thirty’, lockdown shouldn’t stop you from throwing that ‘rager’. You might be thinking, “Emily, how on earth are we meant to ‘throw a rager’ in lockdown?” A very good question and one I might be able to help you with.

Firstly, ditch any idea of having a quiet one on the sofa with some sneaky Uber Eats and a pick-me-up movie. I mean, do it if you want and there will be zero judgement coming from me. But, for those who want to get some plans in order, legal of course, you’ve come to the right place.

Rule number one; get yourself some decent speakers. Wait for it: “Ah, but my neighbours will complain about the noise”. Your neighbours will be fine with you and your housemates letting your hair down for one night. Luckily, we've an article about the best Bluetooth speakers. Rule number two; roughly decide on what kind of party you’re after. If you’re by yourself, then jump on a Zoom call with your family and friends. The first 40 minutes is free, and then I would recommend paying the £11.99. If you want to celebrate it with a few groups of people but know the ‘vibe’ won’t be right hosting one big call, then download Houseparty and interchange between the ‘rooms.’

If you have some housemates and are willing to try something different, why not organise a surprise virtual appearance by a famous guest speaker? Check out Cameo: it’s super easy and somewhat affordable. From actors to comedians and reality TV, the world is your oyster.

Now it comes to the fun part – food, booze and ways you can set the mood. Below I’ve selected the best online deals going now and options so you can pick and choose the right essentials for you.

Best booze deals

As we all know, one of the key ingredients to a birthday’s success is booze. And, there are a few ways you can incorporate it into your festivities. If you are after a ‘chill’ birthday, a couple of beers and some champagne for a toast, here are some recommendations:

For the spontaneous party goers, could I tempt you with a night of lavish cocktail-making? The Mixology Brothers are offering virtual mixology masterclasses during lockdown. With a few different package options, you and your housemates, or any virtual group of your choosing, could hop on a call with a skilled mixologist and party the night away. Conducted on Zoom, you can either get a tuition-only class, tuition and ingredient gift box class or a cocktail kit and ingredient gift box class.

If a personal bartender doesn’t appeal to you, there are other ways to whip together some tasty DIY cocktails. Borough Box offers a range of DIY cocktail kits delivered to your door. From Negroni Kits to Cosmopolitan Kits, I’m sure you could find the right kit for you.

Recommended food essentials and birthday delights:

When there’s booze, there’s always yummy food. If you're against ordering in takeaway on your birthday during lockdown but need some direction and cooking ideas for your special day, our sister site Yours has lots of recipes to choose from. Clever apps such as SuperCook and BigOven provide that much-needed food inspiration and recipes. All you need to do is choose a few key ingredients and flavours you want to experience on your birthday, and they will do the rest of it for you (apart from cooking it of course).

Extra activities if your friends can't top the entertainment factor:

Now that you’ve got all the main party elements sorted, if you think your housemates or family members need an activity to get them partying all through the night or even some more birthday spirit, why not organise a games night birthday bash? There are plenty of board games options in our article about the best family board games. However, if you’re living on your own, then why not check out online game sites such as Escape Rooms Durham, Red Herring Games and My Mystery Party for some virtual murder mystery game inspiration.

And last but not least, how to document the big day:

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