We celebrated my husband’s birthday in quarantine last weekend and here’s what I planned. It was hard to do surprises since he’s always home and it was difficult to find supplies, buttt I think it turned out okay.
VIDEO CALL PARTY!
I wanted to have planned activities during the call since those can get out of hand with nothing to do. First I had to settle on a platform – I wanted one where it was easy to share your screen since I had a lot to show. We ended up choosing Go To Meeting (you need a subscription).
We started off with flip cup. I split everyone up into teams, put them onto a power point document and shared my screen. That way everyone knew when to go. It worked pretty well. Make sure you tell people to have cups to flip before the call.
Then we went into a personalized game of Jeopardy. I downloaded this template and made it my own. We had 11 people, so I split everyone up into 3 different games (3-4 people per game). The winner of each game went to the final round game. I asked everyone to submit questions about themselves, the friend group and just any other topics that they wanted included. After I got all the submissions, I tried to break them up into categories. I made sure that if someone submitted a question, their question went into one of the games that they were not playing in. That way no one is answering their own question.
For the finals game – I made up all the questions to be fair since I didn’t know who would make it to that round. After I made up categories out of the submitted questions, I filled in the rest with real jeopardy questions – this website was really helpful. Overall the game was made up of questions about specific people, things that had happened in our friend group and then real trivia questions. I did four categories per game, did a Daily Double per game and there was a Final Jeopardy question per game.
For the actual game play, I shared my screen and read each question out loud. There was a big lag in what people saw so keep that in mind. Also videos and gifs didn’t really work. People held up a piece of paper to buzz in and the other players watching/not in that game were the judges. Also designate someone to keep score – it’s too hard to keep it while you’re reading the questions. If you get a question wrong, you have to drink. If no one can guess the answer, the whole group drinks. I added a birthday shot slide into the last game. You could add more drinking surprises throughout the game. Like “drink before you answer this question” or something like that on the slide.
I made brownies and put candles on top. We sang happy birthday and I told everyone to have a dessert on hand to eat with us.
A good theme makes the call more fun! We did band t-shirts. Other ideas were Hawaiian/beach, flannel and goth. Decorations are also key! I made the house festive with birthday balloons and banners. I had this stuff already, but I think you can get deliveries from Target.
The next day was his actual birthday so I planned some fun stuff for us to do. I ordered bagels on Door Dash the night before and scheduled a delivery for the morning. That way I could sneak downstairs and set up a cute breakfast for us.
Later in the day, we went out for a picnic. Yes our whole day/lives revolve around food. I got some of our favorite cookies and beer delivered earlier in the week. When we got groceries, I added some cheese, bread, meat and some other charcuterie items. He didn’t really notice because a lot of them were used in other recipes throughout the week. I packed all that up in a cooler and we picked a park that we’ve never been to in our area. We walked there and set up a picnic blanket, a little cheese board and drank our beer. I brought a candle sparkler and put it in one of the cookies. It was nice to get out of the house for a while!