Lockdown Birthday Ideas: Creative Ways to Celebrate with Friends

We may be in for a ‘summer of fun’ in the UK, but what about those with birthdays to celebrate before lockdown measures ease off? If drinks over Zoom no longer cuts it for you, check out these ideas for a creative birthday with friends online or even a long-distance hen do… 

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Liv Facey is a community champion for Greenwich & Lewisham. She’s also a book blogger and journalist. Read more of her work at

1 Virtual Cocktail Classes
You may not be able to go to a bar just yet or meet up with all your friends, but you can still party in style by hosting a virtual cocktail class. Companies like feast it and TT Liquor have partnered with the country’s best bars and mixologists to offer virtual cocktail classes. Classes can last from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the options you choose. They’ll deliver you the recipe kits and all the ingredients you need directly to your door.


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2 At-Home Restaurant Experiences
Instead of ordering another Uber Eats, why not treat you and your bubble to a high-quality restaurant experience at home? Link Entertainment offers a bespoke tailored chef service for a restaurant-quality dining experience at home. You can choose a specially a tailored menu, prepared just as you like it, and they can arrange extras like a mixologist or celebration cake. It’s ideal for a birthday, anniversary, date night or just because you fancy a treat! Available in London and within the M25.
For further information, email

3 Online Magic Shows
Prepare to be spellbound with a mind-blowing 90-minute magic show by Secrets of Magic. Using everyday objects such as cards, coins and, the gold-dust of our times – a loo roll – you’ll not only witness the tricks but also learn how to do them. This is the perfect idea for families with kids or if you’re looking to do something a little different this year. Check out too, for Zoom shows, online magic masterclasses and Virtually Impossible, a live interactive magic show.


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4 Drive-in Cinema
Who doesn’t love an alfresco cinema after months stuck inside? London is hosting a bunch of drive-in cinemas from 12 April (which is basically the new Christmas) or shortly afterwards, with Adventure Cinema, The Luna Cinema Drive-In, Rooftop Film Club and more taking bookings now. Read more about alfresco cinemas, theatre and shows headed for London this summer here.

5 Outdoor Art in Mayfair
If you’re looking to do something a little cooler, calmer and more collected for your birthday, how about an outdoor art trail? London’s largest outdoor gallery, Wander Art, is a way more interesting way to get your daily exercise in. Weave your way through Mayfair and Belgravia via innovative outdoor art installations by 12 world renowned artists, from Yinka Ilori on Mount Street to Craig & Karl in Eccleston Yards and Camille Walala’s hugely popular Walala Lounge on South Molton Street. Find the art trail map via the link below.


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6 The Crystal Maze Dome from Home
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience has re-launched its popular virtual game, Dome From Home, to help alleviate the lockdown boredom. The online version of the live experience offers you the chance to seamlessly enjoy all of the mental and physical challenges of The Maze from the safety of your own home via a video call. Tour the four famous zones and play eight brand-new Crystal Maze-style games before a visit to the iconic Crystal Dome. £20pp. You can also opt to have an official Maze Master run the experience for you.

7 Online & Immersive Sherlock Holmes Experiences
Les Enfant Terribles, creators of Alice’s Adventures Underground, is running an immersive Sherlock experience that blurs the lines between theatre, gaming, escape room and board game. The Case of the Hung Parliament, created with virtual reality company LIVR, is an online ‘whodunnit’ that invites you to follow in the footsteps of the great detective himself alongside live actors and 360° multi-sensory technology. It’s running until 14 April and is suitable for ages 12+. Those eager to get outdoors can try Sherlock: The Official Outdoor Game, which involves scuttling across west London uncovering clues, conundrums and codes to crack. The game can form part of your daily exercise and be performed in your bubbles, making it lockdown-proof, but keep your face covering close and don’t forget to social distance from other people outside.


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8 Craft Kits
For the creatives, a craft kit is a great way to dial up your online hangouts with friends. You can get embroidery kits from Sew Botanical and Lisa Angel, jewellery-making kits from Cast and a Soy Candle Making Kit from Garden Lovers. Ana Kerin of Kana has started a Stay Home Clay Club where she’ll send over tools, clay and everything needed for hand-building at the kitchen table. The Indytute also has a selection of creative kits from lino-cutting to terrarium building, soap-making to Japanese whisky tasting, and even a sourdough starter pack. Just co-ordinate your kit deliveries and hop onto a WhatsApp video call or a Facebook Messenger Room to get creative together.

9 Digital Murder Mystery Parties
The Digital Murder Mystery Co is offering a great way to liven up lockdown with off-the-peg, download-ready murder mysteries and bespoke immersive experiences. Choose from themes such as Studio 54, 1920’s Paris, 1930s Nile Cruise, Vintage Circus, Alice in Wonderland, the Grand Horror Hotel and more. One thing remains constant throughout the themes – somebody won’t make it through the night, and it’s your job to find out whodunnit… Each mystery is set up for 12 players, with the option to buy more characters for £5 each. Players will receive party-planning tips, character profiles, mini-scripts, clues for the action and custom playlists.

10 Virtual Disco Dance Parties
Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! runs virtual Friday Night Boogie sessions every Friday night at 7pm. Join DJ Lord Anthony, HSDY creator Nikki Spencer and dance leader Andrea Rose to strut your funky stuff to your favourite feelgood 70s and 80s soul, funk and disco tunes for 45 minutes. If you want something for just you and your friends, you can book a virtual disco party over Zoom to get everyone boogying at home. Extras include eco-glitter face painting and cocktails.


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