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Celebrating a special occasion in lockdown




14 May 2020

Got a birthday or anniversary to celebrate while we're still in isolation? Sure it's probably not how you imagined spending it this year and might not be ideal, but we know how you can still make the most of it.



If you live by yourself, or want to celebrate with friends and family that aren't in your household, you can still party with them through the power of the internet. 

Setup a video call with your loved ones and treat it as you would a normal party - get dressed up, put a playlist together, decorate your backdrop with party items and play some games. 

Here's some inspiration for games to play over video call:

  • Pub quiz
  • Pictionary
  • Guess the baby photo
  • Beat the intro
  • Charades
  • Guess the quote

Check out the Chapter Resident Experience Platform to see what live events we have scheduled for you all to join as well.

If you need any more party inspiration, Virtually Together is a party planning website made specifically for moments like these, offering packages from afternoon tea and gin tasting, to a magician and live DJ.



Missing the pub? Lockdown doesn't mean you can't bring the pub to you. Get creative and put a drink in each room and ta-da... you’ve got yourself your own pub crawl! Even if you live in a studio apartment, why not have a different drink in each little area?

Learn how to make some delicious cocktails (or mocktails) so each area can have a theme - head over to My Bar to see what cocktails you can make with all the ingredients you already have at home.

And if you live on your own, get your friends or family to do the same thing from their home over video call - cheers to you!



Would you be heading to a karaoke bar right now if it was your special day? Don't worry, you don't have to miss out this year even if you don't have a karaoke machine at home.

The Smule app allows you to sing and make music with friends outside your household, plus other players from around the world. Connect with your friends and family for an evening of solos, duets, party anthems, a cappella and dancing to celebrate your special day with a tune (whether your in tune or not).



If you'd normally spend your birthday or anniversary with dinner and a movie, a Netflix Party is the perfect way to spend the occasion in isolation. 

The application synchronises your video and adds group chat to your favourite Netflix shows - so you can link up with friends and host a long distance movie night and TV watch party for your special day.

And if you don't have access to the application, you can still arrange to watch a film at the same time as people in another household. Synchronise your watches and start the film in 1..2..3 PLAY!



If you've been trying to be your best self during lockdown, now's the perfect opportunity to celebrate with a good old takeaway. Whether that's from your favourite restaurant down the road, or that dessert place you've always wanted to try... it's your day so make sure you treat yourself!

Or if Deliveroo can't bring it to you, why not have a go at making your favourite restaurant dish yourself? Check out Taste of Home's list of restaurant meals that are super easy to recreate at home and make for the perfect celebratory meal.



We realise this might be an obvious one but no doubt some of the normal presents you'd buy for a friend or loved one might be off limits during the current circumstances. However, many online retailers are still delivering things like balloons or banners, albeit with a slight delay (which is to be expected), plus a whole range of isolation specific items that we think would go down a treat. 

Here's a few ideas on gifts you could send directly to their house:

  • Personalised treats - cupcakes, marshmallows, cookies
  • Flowers - or change it up with a chocolate or alcohol bouquet
  • Personalised card - try Moonpig or Boomf for something different
  • Care package - filled with all the essentials for a birthday in isolation



If sending a standard gift in the post just isn't going to cut it for your loved one, why not make your own video present? Get their friends and family involved by asking them all to send you a 10 second video of them saying happy birthday, congratulations, or whatever message you want to send... then edit them all together, add some of their favourite music and voila! 

Or if you're planning on celebrating with them when this is all over, use the video to tell them exactly what your plans are going to be. So if you're going to take them out for a big night out, why not get dressed up and pretend you're in the club for your video - it's always the personal touches that make something like this pop, and we think the cheesier the better! So use this opportunity to get creative and let them know how much you care.



We know this one isn't going to be possible for everyone, but if you live reasonably close to your friends, why not do a surprise drive by? (Or walk by if you aren't driving!). 

Get yourself setup with some balloons, bunting, banners, anything that screams birthday or congratulations, and have a socially distant cheers to them from their front yard. You could even make them a personalised sign to hold up and let everyone know much you care.

They'll probably really appreciate the effort you've made to see them (as long as you stay more than 2m away) and will make their day even more special.



One good think to come out of isolation is everyone seems to have perfected their baking skills, so it's the perfect opportunity to show off and bake your loved one a cake.

Whether you plan on dropping it round to their front porch (whilst keeping at a safe distance) or sending them a picture as evidence that you made the effort but then eating it yourself (it's the safest thing to do,  come on), check out these BBC Baking Recipes for inspiration.



So they might have already invited you to their virtual party for a night of games (see above), but wouldn't it be great if you planned a game that was completely dedicated to them. 

Whether it's a quiz about their childhood to see who know's them the best, a playlist of their favourite songs to beat the intro to, a game of bingo based on facts about them, or even a game of true or false based on their old embarrassing Facebook statuses (yes we went there!).

Plus, it's always a bit more fun if you keep it a surprise so they have no idea what you're up to when you start asking questions about them.

There we have it, our top tips for celebrating a special occasion in lockdown - we hope you have a fun time celebrating at home and with your loved ones!

Check out our blog on 10 things to try in the comfort of your home for inspiration on how to occupy yourself in isolation.

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