In the good old days, hosting your kid’s birthday at a local party venue with all the activities included was an easy option for busy parents, but the pandemic put a stop to that. Thankfully, many party venues have pivoted and can still supply the same party magic and activities online. There are tons of fun programs, such as virtual collaborative Minecraft gaming parties, Lego parties, science parties, paint-along and cook-along activities, magic shows and more.
Check out the options below along with fun ideas to amp up the party atmosphere at home.
1. YMCA Birthday Party in a Box
This YMCA box has it all! Choose from a variety of age-appropriate themes for your virtual Zoom party, led by a YMCA party host. Each box contains 10 activity kits with all the materials you need, party hats and even a T-shirt for the birthday kid. Party themes include Zany Zookeeper, Construction Junction, Spa and more. Print-ready invites, a themed Zoom background and an extra 30 minutes of Zoom time at the end (led by the parent) for the cake are also included. Check out all the details on the YMCA website.
Cost: $175 for members and $200 for non-members. Parties are for kids ages 3–14.
2. Lego party
For a Lego-themed virtual party, check out Snapology. Choose from a variety of themes on the website. A host instructor leads the kids in a Lego activity for 60 minutes via Zoom. Party guests will need to use their own Legos for the build.
Cost: $100 for 10 children, plus an additional $10 per extra guest with a limit of 20 guests.
Set the scene: Decorate your party space with this Lego balloon bundle, and for a fun party favor (that can be dropped off at guests' homes), check out these building block glasses that can be customized with Lego bricks.
3. Gaming party
For the Roblox or Minecraft enthusiast, Tech Rocks offers virtual party experiences. The virtual party on Zoom includes 90–120 minutes of collaborative play time facilitated by a party host. Guests can explore up to three Minecraft or Roblox worlds. For Roblox, they provide private VIP servers and accounts for guests who don’t already have one. For Minecraft, guests will need to install Minecraft Java Edition prior to the party.
Cost: Party packages start at $199.
Set the scene: Jazz up your party space with this Roblox party décor set that includes balloons, a banner, a cake topper and cupcake toppers. For a sweet party favor idea, fill some goody bags with Roblox treats and drop them off to friends.
4. Painting party
Creative Hands Art School has three options for a virtual party: painting on canvas, fluid painting and painting on ceramics. The studio prepares the kits and the host can distribute them to the guests, along with a party treat perhaps. During the hour-long Zoom party, the instructor offers step-by-step instructions for the art project. The instructor also does some karaoke and sings happy birthday with everyone.
Cost: Starts at $190
Set the scene: This paint can banner will look great on the screen hanging behind the birthday child, and these art party cupcake toppers on a frosted cupcake would make artful treats for all the guests.
5. Painting pottery party
Paint some pottery together for a fun activity and a built-in party favor! For a Paint Away! party, the ceramic items are chosen by the party host. Party guests can select their own paint colors or the host can choose one palette for everyone. The pieces are individually packaged for pickup by the party host or guests. The party can be hosted by a staff member or self-hosted on Zoom. After the party, guests or the host can drop off the painted pieces to be fired.
Cost: The cost for each piece varies and minimums apply. See website for details.
6. Science party
Kids Science Labs has made its award-winning birthday parties virtual for children ages 4 and older. Party guests will enjoy doing their own hands-on science experiments, such as making polymers or experimenting with pressure. Parties are hosted by an instructor on Zoom. A volcano eruption with a countdown can be added for an additional fee. For the Mysteries of Science party, kids will use household materials from their own homes and for the Big Birthday Blowout, kits are provided for each guest.
7. Cooking party
Local business Popcorn, Play, Party & Cook is offering its regular parties virtually. Once the host chooses a topic, they will receive an email with details such as ingredients list, party instructions and a Zoom link. The day before the party, goodie bags are delivered to the host. Goodie bags include some of the tools and ingredients needed for the party. For example, for macarons, goodie bags include piping tips, pastry bags, almond flour and a jar of homemade vanilla chocolate ganache. During the virtual party, the activity leader will give instructions for the project, play games, tell stories and end with a happy birthday song. The party host will also receive a video recording of the event. The time of the event is approximately two hours, depending on the topic.
Cost: Prices start at $500 for 10 participants.
8. Magic party
Seattle magician Nate Jester hosts virtual magic show birthday parties on Zoom. He performs a 30–35-minute, highly produced show for the kids, followed by a 10-minute workshop in which he teaches simple magic tricks using household objects. The Zoom link is open before the show so that the host can get guests settled, and after his performance, Nate gives the Zoom link hosting to the parents so that they can stay on the call for cake and goodbyes.
Cost: The price varies for different party packages. Call Nate for details.
9. Dress-up party
Throw a magical party at home with your family by renting a Magical Party Trunk from Moonpaper Tent. The trunk includes curated dress-up items (for the adults, too), a treasure box to hide, a craft activity, extra games and a gift for the birthday kid. All items are cleaned after each use and the Magical Trunk will be dropped off and picked up from your home. Moon Paper Tent also offers party favors and special “fairy notes” and “fairy calls” for an additional cost.
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