Creative Kids’ Birthday Ideas in a Pandemic

So much about this pandemic has forced us to get creative. And it’s no different when it comes to celebrating kids’ birthdays. The good news is that from sourcing supplies to ordering a stellar cake, we’ve done the legwork for you — and we’ve got ideas for every budget.


Virtual Photo Booth Did your kiddo have their heart set on a theme for a party that had to be canceled? Ask friends and family who you would have invited to dress up according to the theme and text a pic to the birthday kid. Harry Potter, unicorns, superheroes — you’re sure to see some amazing creativity.

We Love a Parade Birthday parades are a new trend! Ask friends, neighbors and family to drive by your abode to wish your birthday kid a happy day — from a safe distance.

Hey Mr. Postman Go old school and ask friends and family to send your kid a card through the mail. Getting a flood of cards and letters is sure to bring a smile to your kid’s face.

Birthday Wishes We’ve seen parents on Facebook neighborhood groups asking other families to come and chalk in some birthday greetings on the sidewalk outside the birthday kid’s home. What a great way for kids to spread some kindness!

I Heart You Got construction paper? Cut out hearts and glue photos of your kid in each one. Plaster all over the house on the night before the big day so your child wakes up to a fun surprise.

Low Cost

Balloon Drop Go for a bouquet of balloons from Portland Balloon Delivery for your birthday kid. They’ve got contactless delivery and a range of options from Spiderman to purrmaids. Prices vary with many bouquets around $35. Pro tip: If you order a birthday gift from local toy store Hammer and Jacks, you can also add balloons to your order! And for birthday gifts, visit our full list of local toy stores that offer delivery or pickup!

Decorate! Find streamers and other birthday flair from online retailers like Walmart or Party City. Pro tip: Decorate outside of the birthday boy or girl’s bedroom so they are surprised in the morning when they wake up! 


Fairytale Cupcakes Yes, you can bake cupcakes at home, but the super cute, stuffed Toadstool Cupcakes look like they are straight out of Wonderland. And they deliver! $3 each or $33 per dozen.

Light Them Up Don’t forget the candles! Pro tip: You can add birthday candles to your Fred Meyer pickup order!

A Trip to the Farm Plumper Pumpkins has recently started a drive-through farm animal tour! You stay in your car the whole time, but get a peek at baby goats and lambs — and get to munch on a dozen pumpkin doughnuts. Pro tip: Make sure everyone uses the bathroom before you drive to the farm! Check their Facebook page for future dates and to pre-purchase tickets. $10 per car.


Flock the yard Think Pink Flamingo Flocking will set up a brightly colored array of pink plastic birds in your yard for any occasion. Birds remain on your lawn for two nights and one full day. Prices start at $45, plus mileage fee for certain zip codes.

Big Birthday Greetings Hooray Yard Cards will spell out a birthday announcement in huge letters on your lawn. Prices start at $79, and include delivery, set up and pick up. Available in Happy Valley, Beaverton, Canby and beyond.

Party on a Platter Customize a gorgeous spread that your birthday kid (and the whole family) will love with The Platter Girl. P.S. Get ready to drool when you check out her Instagram page! Customizable platters start at $60.

Dream Cakes Want to go big on the cake? Got a very specific theme? Hit up Jam Cakes! Studio Ghibli, baby Yoda, Peppa Pig Meets Frozen — if you can dream it up, Jam Cakes can do it! Mini cakes start at $40, and large cakes range from $85 to $250. Curbside pickup and delivery available.

Crafty Party The Craft Factory is offering virtual craft party kits. You order the kits, do your own no-contact delivery to guests and then create collectively via Facetime or Zoom. $10 per kit for five or more. Call 503-577-4310.

In On the Act Many of Portland’s wonderful children’s performers are doing some sort of online birthday performance package. A virtual birthday party from Penny’s Puppets ($150) includes a full 35- to 45-minute puppet show. And she’ll even do it over Facetime or Zoom so friends can join the fun! (And she’s got a very fun low-cost alternative: a video chat with one puppet is only $10!) Olive & Dingo will put together a 30-minute video of personalized stories and songs for your birthday kid for $50. Portland favorites Micah and Me, Red Yarn and Mr. Ben will do personalized greetings as well. And KCPuppetree will even create a sweet animated birthday card! 

Keep Birthdays Weird For the ultimate Portland birthday, you can ask The Unipiper to deliver a “birthday-gram.” He’ll roll over to your home and give a unicycle/bagpipe performance while you and the birthday kid watch from a safe distance. Starts at $250.

Denise Castañon
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