30 Birthday Party Ideas at Home - Play Party Plan (2024)

Celebrating a birthday at home instead of going out? Try one of these 30 ideas to make your at home birthday party ideas more special! From virtual activities for birthday parties to special birthday traditions to try this year – there are ideas for anyone having a birthday at home!

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Birthday Party Ideas at Home

I’ve talked to a lot of people over my past 10 years as a party blogger and past 10 years as a mom. A lot of people like to celebrate birthdays at home, whether it be birthday parties at home, or just birthdays at home without parties.

So I thought it would be fun to put together a list of all of the ideas I can come up with to make birthdays at home special whether you’re having an actual at home birthday party or just doing something with your own family to celebrate a birthday!

These ideas are so fun you may have them asking for an at home birthday party next year instead!

Here are 30 ways you can make celebrating a birthday at home just as special as having a Chuck E Cheese birthday, going to Great Wolf Lodge, or another fun place for your birthday!

Make it Special At Home

If you’ve chosen to do a birthday party or birthday celebration at home, it can be a little tricky to make it feel as exciting as going out somewhere to party. These ideas can help!

1 – Have a birthday countdown.

Count down the days to their birthday by crossing them off on a calendar or even doing a simple advent calendar like this one filled with small treats or things you love about them! They’ll love getting to celebrate each day leading up to the big one!

2 – Set up a birthday scavenger hunt.

Give them the first clue for this printable birthday scavenger hunt as soon as they wake up leading them to special surprises throughout the house!

While most of these scavenger hunt ideas are better for kids, the birthday one is a hit with adults too!

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3 – Go out all on decor.

You know those streamers hidden in the closet? Get them out. Fill up their room with balloons while they’re sleeping. Add party decorations throughout the house. Make it feel like it’s a big deal because it is even if you’re not leaving the house!

4 – Make a surprise sign

Add a big surprise sign like this one to their door while they’re sleeping! Have the entire family write things they love about the person on it, draw pictures, or do other things that will make them smile when they wake up.

5 – Make it a yes day.

Say yes to everything you possibly can. Yes to taking a nap in the middle of the day. Yes to eating rainbow donuts for breakfast. Yes to staying up late to watch a movie.And if you can’t do this on their actual birthday, plan a yes day for the weekend or a day that does work!

6 – Let them choose.

As much as possible, let the birthday person choose everything for the day. All the meals, all the activities, family movie to watch, what kind of cake, when to go to bed, and more.

7 – Make a birthday in a box.

Give them a birthday in a box at the beginning of the day that’s full of everything you need for a party – wrapped presents, treats, decorations, party favors, games, and more.Make it a party even if it’s just with your family and close friends!

8 – Break out the balloons

Just like in this New Year’s Eve countdown box idea, put a fun birthday activity in a balloon and blow it up for every hour of the day. Or if you don’t want to do every hour, do one balloon for every year old they are (within reason). Let them pop the activities randomly and do that activity then!

Some fun ideas you could include in the balloons include:

  • Candy bar game
  • Playing one the best board games
  • Making cookies together

9 – Keep up the traditions

If you have any typical birthday traditions like ordering pizza or eating off a birthday plate, this is the year those traditions will be the most important because they’ll get the chance to really remember them!

10 – Let them eat cake.

Order or make their favorite cake, cupcakes, or other dessert. For me that means striped delight!

Just because you’re not having a traditional party doesn’t mean you can’t still have a traditional dessert! And don’t forget the candles and traditional happy birthday singing!

11 – Give them the day off.

Whether they’re doing school at home or working from home – give just them the day off to do whatever they want.

And don’t just leave it there – give them a day off from all the rules. Unlimited screen time, stay up late, don’t have to eat their veggies, within reason of course!

12 – Make a Birthday Charcuterie Board

Instead of just having one dessert when you sing happy birthday, setup a birthday board with all of their favorites to enjoy throughout the day. While our birthday dessert board is full of desserts, you could easily make this snacks or fruit or anything!

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13 – Plan a Trip

You may not be going to any of those places this year but it doesn’t mean you can’t plan your next trip to somewhere awesome! If your birthday person likes to plan things, this could be a fun activity to do together!

14 – Make it your own.

Ask the birthday person what they’d like to do for their birthday if they weren’t at home beforehand. Then use that information to make your own version at home.

Someone wants a Chuck E Cheese birthday party? Make pizza, create your own Skeeball game, and set up a little mini store where they can turn in tickets for prizes.

Want to do a paint party? Setup an art party with your very own splatter paint project! Want a spa day? Have an at home DIY spa party complete with DIY face masks and pedicures.

Is your guest of honor a Disney fan, try one of these fun Disney World themed party ideas!

15 – Play Birthday Bingo

Create a bingo card filled with things to do as a family or with the birthday person today. Things like take a 30 minute nap, watch your favorite TV show, catch 10 Goldfish in your mouth, etc.

As they complete the items and get a bingo, they get a present! Keep going until they get blackout and the biggest present you have!

16 – Make a Punch Game

Create a punch game with presents or activities for every hour. Let them punch things out then do those activities throughout the day! We’ve done a Christmas punch game and Halloween punch game before but the birthday version is still our favorite!

17 – Play Birthday Party Games

We have a ton of fun birthday party games you can play that are good for just a small group of people! One of our family favorites is this Left Right Eat game that would work for four or more people!

Adding games to your day can make your at home birthday party feel a little more like a real one!

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Get Others Involved

One of my favorite things to do to make a birthday at home special is to get other people involved in letting them know how special they are, even if they’re not there celebrating with the birthday guest!

These are some fun ways to do it that most people are happy to participate in! Some of these ideas may have started off during the pandemic but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still fun!

18 – Drive A party bus.

Before the birthday, send a note to friends and neighbors letting them know that a birthday is coming up. Ask anyone who wants to participate to put signs, balloons, or anything else in their yard/window on the day of the birthday.

Decorate your car with birthday decorations and go for a drive around the neighborhood looking for all sorts of birthday surprises! If you have a set time, you could even have people stand out in their yards and wave and yell happy birthday as you drive around! There’s something magical about knowing people put effort into you!

19 – Chalk the walk.

Similar to the idea above, send a note asking people to write notes, draw pictures, etc. on their sidewalks in sidewalk chalk on the birthday. Then ride bikes or go for a walk and see what fun surprises you see throughout the neighborhood!

Just make sure there’s no rain in the forecast!

20 – Schedule a sing-a-long.

Text or message neighbors on your street to see if people would be willing to come outside at a specific time during the day to sing happy birthday all together from their own porch.

You could even make some birthday treats to share with everyone in the neighborhood after you sing! This is a low commitment way to still include friends and neighbors without planning a full party.

21 – Happy birthday jar

Have friends and family members from around the world send you emails with things they love about the birthday person. Print or write those out and put them in a jar or box for the birthday person to read all day long!

They’ll never feel more loved!

22 – Mail it in

Give out your address to friends, family members, and neighbors and ask them to send letters or postcards to the birthday person. Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail and even better if it’s lots of things!

23 – Play videos all day.

Ask friends and family to send you a video of them singing happy birthday then play those videos for the birthday person all day long!

24 – Pretend to be together.

Email a “flat Stanley” version of the birthday person to friends and family. Have them print it out and take at least one picture of them celebrating with it – then send it to you to share with the birthday person!

If you can get them in advance, you could even make a collage like one of my favorite 50th birthday party ideas!

25 – Celebrate with imaginary friends.

Pull out those stuffed animals, action figures, and dolls and have a pretend birthday party. Name each of them (or label them with names of best friends/family) and go back to your childhood with an imaginary friend party!

26 – Have A Special Delivery

Have one of your neighbors or friends deliver a special delivery like this out of the blue gift box with balloons and gifts inside. You can either have someone else actually put together the box or just give it to them to deliver.

It’s so fun to get a delivery, especially one with birthday surprises inside!

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Virtual Birthday Ideas

Just because people aren’t coming over doesn’t mean you can’t include family and friends from afar if you want!

There are so many different ways you can celebrate virtually with people now after we all celebrated just virtually for literally two years. From Zoom to FaceTime to Skyping, getting on a group video chat with friends and family has never been easier.

Get on a group chat with friends and family and try one of these ideas together, apart.

27 – Play a game!

Send everyone a copy of a printable game before the party then play together on the group video call. Any of these printable games would work!

Or you could even do a scavenger hunt like this alphabet scavenger hunt where people have to run around and bring back the item and show it on screen for credit.

Here are some great tips for hosting a virtual scavenger hunt (and two printable lists of items to search for!)

28 – Do a birthday interview.

Send everyone a “how well do you know the birthday” person and have them fill it out before the party. During the party, ask the guest of honor the questions and see who guessed correctly!

29 – Sing happy birthday with cake.

Have everyone sing happy birthday on the call while you bring out the cake and blow out candles. It’s fun to have other people singing to make it feel like an actual party!

30 – Get your virtual game on.

Play video games with friends through Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus, and XBox Live.Honestly, this is probably the only thing my son wants to do anyway!


If someone is bummed that they aren’t able to do a birthday party outside of the home, try alternating years or letting them have a bigger birthday party every five years or for milestone birthdays like 10, 16, etc. Or use the ideas above to make them see that having a birthday party at home can actually be even better!

Birthday Gift Ideas

Don’t forget the birthday gifts! Here are some fun lists to help you get started!

  • Orange you glad gift ideas
  • Personalized gifts for kids
  • DIY balloon candy gram
  • 30th birthday gift ideas
  • Inexpesnive birthday gifts
30 Birthday Party Ideas at Home - Play Party Plan (2024)
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