This No-Fail Guide Will Help You Plan a SOLID Virtual Birthday Party

Khadija Horton

So it’s ~officially~ been a year of hosting and attending virtual birthday parties, and shocking twist: We’ve found out they can actually be the most fun you’ve had in a hot minute. While nothing beats a night of bar-hopping and hyping up someone you just met in the club bathroom, planning festivities via Zoom comes with a ton of room for creative options that we just didn’t think of during those pre-pandemic days. And so enter: some fun virtual birthday party ideas.

As with any birthday party, you’re going to want to give yourself some time to prep accordingly. Start off with the entertainment (see: virtual tarot card reader or a Cameo celebrity), then make your way to the deliverables (Etsy accessories and the cutest custom cookies ever). The best part? Food is a free-for-all, as is the dress code. So throw on those sweatpants, pop up a celebratory Zoom background, and brace yourself for the night that will change lives—or at least make everyone feel a little better about the chaos that is video chat.

Here are 14 virtual birthday party ideas to take the affair from zero to 100.

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Step 1: Send pretty virtual invites

Zoom Party E-Invitation

An official invite will automatically get all your friends hyped for the event. This Etsy store will help you customize all the details on an easy-to-use template.


Step 2: Get Gussied Up

My Evening Sweat Set



Show up dressed for the occasion with your fave sweatsuit. Don’t have one yet? Let us introduce to you these Cosmo-made (hey, that’s us!) “evening sweats” that are oh-so-comfy and perfect for a virtual night in.


Step 3: Deliver the booze

Liquor Delivery

Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky


No need to waste money on a gift they aren’t going to use. Instead, send a fancy bottle of bubbly straight to the star’s house with this liquor delivery service.


Step 4: Curate the menu

Grubhub Takeout


Go above and beyond by picking a food theme for the party so everyone can enjoy similar dishes at the same time. Mexican? Sushi? Thai? God bless you, hero delivery people.


Step 5: Plan the entertainment

Group Streaming

Netflix Party

Make it a movie night and get everyone together on this streaming service that lets you all chat about what’s happening. Oh, and there’s no need to worry about spoilers. The program makes sure you’re all always at the exact same spot even if someone needs to pause for a bathroom break.


Step 6: Think about dessert

Custom Shortbread Cookies

Celine Zhou


It’ll be nice to have a little snack to munch on during the movie (or whatever you do). These shortbread cookies are both yummy and cute with a personalized message.


Step 7: Make a video card

Video Greeting Card


Don’t even try singing “Happy Birthday” over Zoom. It’s a technical disaster waiting to happen. Instead, everyone can record short messages and you can put them all together with help from this (not at all $$$) video-editing service. It’ll be cute (and maybe slightly embarrassing) to add some baby pics too.


Step 8: Consider a powder confetti moment

Birthday Party Parade Cannons



Okay, this one isn’t exactly virtual, but you’ll still be practicing social distancing when you and the crew pull up to the house with this colorful surprise.


Step 9: Send a custom cake topper

Quarantined Birthday Cake Topper



If the birthday star has a good sense of humor, they won’t mind seeing this gold topper on the cake that you could have delivered to them.


Step 10: Coordinate Zoom backgrounds

Custom Zoom Backgrounds


Set the virtual mood by creating custom backgrounds for everyone to use during the party. You’ll get bonus points if you add an inside joke. 


Step 11: Accessorize accordingly

Socially Distanced Partier Headband



Since getting fully glammed is more than likely a no-go for your virtual festivities, spice things up a bit with these colorful headbands for you and your guests. 


Step 12: Hire a tarot card reader

Virtual Tarot Reading



Finally discover if you’ll be receiving love in the near future and have your party’s tarot cards read. I’m personally offended that I didn’t think of this before Zoom gatherings became the standard, but this experience is so worth it to connect more with your invitees and add an element of ~mystery~ to the soirée.


Step 13: Organize a little surprise

Hire a Celebrity on Cameo


If your guest of honor has an affinity for a certain celeb, hiring one on Cameo to send a personalized message is going to make. their. year. Actors from your favorite movies (Mean Girls) and TV shows (Grey’s Anatomy, The Office) are available for all of your special-surprise needs. Go big or go home.


Step 14: End the night in song

Virtual Drunk Karaoke

It wouldn’t be a night to remember without someone fearlessly belting out to “I Will Always Love You” on the karaoke machine (after a few margs, of course). Queue your favorite sing-along songs on Watch2Gether, send the link to your friends in the Zoom chat, and have the honorary singer turn their audio all the way up while everyone else is muted in moral support. Throw some strobe lights in the mix and it *almost* feels like the Before Times again.

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