LOCKDOWN PARTY IDEAS
For the thousands of us who will be marking birthdays, celebrating wedding anniversaries or throwing baby showers while in lockdown, there are still ways to make the day special.
With just a bit of creativity and the power of technology, here’s how to throw a top party from self-isolation
Cheese and Wine Night
Tell all of your guests to purchase the same cheeses and ask each to pick a wine or two to pair with them. Then organise a video call so everyone can explain their selections and discuss the merits of a Somerset goat versus a Cornish Yarg.
Bars are shut and people are turning private spaces into secretive drinking holes. Get all of your friends to create their own at-home speakeasy, stocking up the cabinets with liquor and tuning in to some jazz on the radio.
Professional mixologists have been sharing their expertise online, so pick a video and watch along together as you learn how to make your favourite cocktails. Then admire each person’s creations via video call.
A Night Under The Stars
Just because hotels and b&bs are closed doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t celebrate an anniversary with a romantic weekend away. Pitch up a tent in the garden, grab some blankets and a few deckchairs and spend the evening stargazing.
Make sure to get up early and deliver a freshly cooked breakfast in bed (sleeping bag) to secure yourself some bonus points.
The best part? A hot shower or bath is just a few metres away – and there’s no chance of a noisy family pitching up alongside.
Zoom Dinner Party
People have been quick of the mark in finding online replacements for their usual social calendar and zoom dinner parties are now all the rage. Cook the same meal as your ‘guests’ , dress up and arrange a time to eat it together. Video call app Houseparty makes it easy to play after dinner games like Pictionary and charades.
Alternatively go to town and opt for a DIY approach – create a ‘Generation Game’ conveyor belt from a roll of bin bags and test your friends’ memory of the objects whizzing past their screen: a bottle of corona beer, a loo roll, some dettol. The options are endless.
Children's Birthday Party
Trying to explain to young children why a global pandemic means they can’t have the pirate-themed birthday bouncy castle, BBQ and water fight they’ve been looking forward to for weeks is hard. But you can soften the blow by telling them they’ll have a party unlike anything their friends have ever experienced before.
Invite their friends to get dressed up and beam into the party via their parents’ smartphones or computers. Then send them scurrying round their respective houses in search of items like summer hats, toothbrushes and slippers on a virtual scavenger hunt. Games like musical statues also work well via video link.
If one of your friends is obsessed with a certain celebrity, and is dreading a birthday in lockdown, this is the app that will brighten their week.
Through its website and app, Cameo allows you to enlist celebrities, athletes, comedians, musicians and reality TV stars to deliver personalised messages for congratulatory shout outs.
Requests take seven days to complete, so make sure you book one with enough time and the cost per Cameo varies depending on who you have chosen to deliver your message, and range from as a little as £8 to more than £200.
Online Escape Rooms
A great idea to have some fun with friends is to try an online escape room.
It includes audio, video and visual files that are gradually unlocked as you solve your way through the exciting puzzle.
Upon purchasing you will receive your teams login details via a download link which you can all use to login from multiple locations and devices including Phone, Tablet and PC and you can play whenever you want 24/7. Communication to your team is recommended via Facetime, Whatsapp or Zoom.
The concept is simple. You invite a group of people to upload their videos directly to Tribute, which then compiles them into one montage of clips for you. You decide on the order you want each person to appear, add effects if you like and then the app will send the video to the intended recipient.
It’s perfect for birthdays, graduations and new parents, bringing all your goodwill into one video that – best of all – you won’t need to spend your time editing.
It’s also a great option to send a cheerful message to somebody who is self isolating and may live on their own.
Prices start from £20 ($25)