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Birthday Bash Ideas for College Students: COVID-19 Edition

Is COVID-19 messing with your upcoming birthday plans? Are you wondering how to social distance while still being able to see friends on your special day?

We can all agree that so far, birthdays have looked a lot different in 2020. A year ago, if someone would have told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to blow out my own birthday candles, I would have ignored them.  Now here we are. It’s been 5 months since drive-by parties began, and celebrating from afar suddenly seems like the new norm. 

Even though planning for fall birthdays this year will be different, there are plenty of ways to have a good time while being safe.  The truth is, unconventional and unique celebrations are more memorable.

Planning creative parties are not as difficult as they seem!!  Here are 13 social distancing party ideas that will be fan faves this fall, and can even be modified to work in the winter.  

Outdoor Movie Night

Ask a friend to borrow their projector and you’re ready! Set up the projector in your backyard (connected to a speaker) and arrange towels/blankets on the grass so that each guest has their own space to relax.  Pre-package boxes with candy, popcorn, and a drink so that each of your friends will have their own snacks to munch on during the movie.  This will prevent any orange cheesy fingers from staining your new white t-shirt :).  Hang up fairy lights in your backyard and don’t forget to sit 6 feet away from your guests (and it won’t even be awkward because you’re watching a movie)!! 

Apple Picking Adventure 

Apple picking is perfect if your birthday falls in late September or October.  Make sure to book a reservation because apple picking is going to be one of the most popular activities this Fall. The scenery will be perfect for pics (punny!), and you can enjoy the fall weather with your besties. To end the day, turn an apple pie into a birthday cake!

Coachella Mock Music Festival (+ Food Truck)

Set a boho dress code to help ensure that all of your guests will feel like the biggest celebs in town! Make an epic Coachella playlist and set up a photo booth area with tons of lights.  The night wouldn’t be complete without INSANE food.  If you’re willing to splurge a little bit, rent out a reasonably-priced food truck. 

PowerPoint Party 

PowerPoint parties are the latest fad that we’re all loving!  Each party guest or group must create a PowerPoint presentation about the birthday gal. They’re allowed to include embarrassing videos and pics, sweet messages, and throwback content.  Present the PowerPoints on the big screen and watch the madness unfold. 

Day at the Beach

This one’s a classic (especially for Summer and Fall birthdays) but you can never go wrong with a beach day!   Bring some pool floaties and popsicles with you so that you can take some cute pics. 

Game Day Bash

Planning to celebrate your birthday on game day is perfect for sports fanatics!  Wear your jerseys, watch the game together, and order 10000 pizzas (SPORTS GAMES ARE LONG). This will be wayyyyy more fun than watching it alone on your tiny computer screen.

Glow in the Dark Party/ Silent Disco!

Ask your friends to wear white or neon clothing and dance the night away while holding glow sticks. You can even have a silent disco! Everyone will play music on their own headphones and pretend that they’re at the best rave in town.


Even if you live in the city, there are tons of well-known trails worth exploring.  Rock Dunder is a popular spot in Kingston, ON. 

Halloween-Themed Party

If your birthday is in October, this is the party for you! But honestly, your friends will love dressing up no matter what time of year it is.

Backyard Olympics and Campfire

Look up some Minute to Win It games and challenge your friends.  It will get competitive but who doesn’t love some good competition:) 

Visit a Lake House or Cottage for the Weekend

Rent out a cheap lake house or cottage with your besties! During the school year, some cottages are actually more affordable, so hopefully it won’t be too pricey. Bring along some fun board games and you’re all set!

Backyard Karaoke 

Belt out your favourite tunes with the help of some karaoke tracks. Set up a projector and microphones in your backyard so your guests can sing along to the lyrics.

Zumba or Yoga Class

Ask one of your friends to lead a Zumba or yoga class for your special day! Help the instructor pick a killer playlist and your friends will be pumped to pick out matching workout outfits. 

Who knew that socially distanced gatherings could be fun!? Happy partying and stay safe!

Julia Sable

Queen's U '21

Julia Sable is a fifth year student at Queen's University. She is passionate about writing and hopes to pursue a career in fashion.
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