You’ve been productive in lockdown – that play you wrote was a massive hit with the audience of mannequins you built out of brooms, and you discovered that while baking might look fun, flour gets absolutely everywhere. But what you need now is some real fun. So whether you’re having a lockdown birthday or simply want some fun quarantine party ideas, Big Potato is here to ply you with good times.

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DIY Taskmaster

Nothing says lockdown birthday like a pointless chore.

A lady on a laptop leans back laughing, she's having the best lockdown birthday.

A structured lockdown means structured fun, and what better way to structure your fun than with actual tasks? Hey, don’t pull that face – these tasks involve fun things like making a giant face out of the things in your room or seeing how high you can throw an egg. Hand out the challenges and use your lockdown party to share these endeavours across a video call, laughing as you all fail horribly.

 

Online Escape Room

Quarantine: the perfect time to learn the art of escape.

Some keys with labels that say "escape room" the perfect idea for a lockdown birthday.

Escape rooms are great practise for 2055, when we’re all living underground in the service of tyrannical super ants and need to find a way out. In the meantime, online escape rooms are great fun. They cost less than the in-person version, induce less claustrophobia and you can mute that one friend’s terrible ideas. If you like the sound of this quarantine birthday bash, this list has lots of cool escape themes.

 

Zoom Board Games

From tabletop to laptop.

A large chest full of big potato games, many can be adapted to play via zoom call for a lockdown birthday.

Traditional games ain’t gonna fly at this lockdown birthday. You need something fresh and new. That’s why we decided it was time to adapt some of ours to play across video calls. Download our free, specially adapted rules here, and soon you could be throwing shades in Colour Brain, rolling back the years in What Came First? or just arguing your corner until the cows come home in Herd Mentality. Happy Birthday, you’re welcome. (We had to toot our own trumpet as one of our lockdown birthday ideas!)

 

Film Watchalong

The only trailer is the one parked on your neighbour’s driveway.

A lady eats popcorn looking at her laptop screen, having a movie watchalong for her lockdown party.

Remember the cinema? Apparently it was a gigantic room, where the challenge was to try and listen to the plot of a film while a group of intimidating 14-year-olds threw ice at each other. An advantage of lockdown is that the movie watching experience has vastly improved, and has been replaced with fantastic film watchalongs. If movie magic is your kind of party, Netflix offers this handy tool to help sync your movies together.

 

DIY Craft Along

The devil makes work for idle hands – now you can too!

Some hands make some pompoms on a colourful desk. A fun lockdown activity.

Look around – see those elastic bands, paperclips and old newspapers around you? Well it’s treasure my friend, DIY treasure! Assemble your craftiest friends online, share a design (this list varies from easy to hard) and then spend a few relaxing hours putting together some homemade handicrafts. Wow, you used an old, worn out sock to make a bird feeder! You were this close to throwing it away. Now who’s the hoarder Mum and Dad…

 

Home Tasting

Home tasting doesn’t mean you have to lick the walls.

Cheese and wine on a platter, a delicious tasting experience for a lockdown birthday.

There’s been plenty of wine and cheese consumed during lockdown – I mean it was just sitting there, what were you supposed to do, not consume it all? Use that greed to your advantage, and call it a ‘home tasting.’ Send out a menu of food or booze to your gastronomic chums and spend an evening sampling some nosh. For inspiration, try these handy online kits.

Fancy Dress Competition

What fancy dress? These are my normal clothes…

A man wears a lovely fairy outfit, he's having a perfect lockdown party.

Recreate the glamour of the catwalk by challenging your friends to dress up nice for once. There’s something empowering about parading around in a lockdown party outfit consisting mainly of belts, while people shout encouragement from the screen. Try to adhere to the fancy dress instructions you’re given, then just strike a pose and do deliver your best Blue Steel impression.

 

Host a Birthday Quiz

Ever wanted to tell people to “come on down?”

A happy man hosts a quiz for his lockdown birthday party.

Find your finest sequins, gel back your hair, and break out that teeth-whitening kit, because this quarantine birthday idea puts you front and centre as the host of your own quiz. You’ll need questions of course, and Big Potato has some pre-made slides here that will make you look super professional. Alternatively, stay on theme and make the questions all about you, by using What the Cluck to create your lockdown party.

 

Takeaway Roulette

For when the chips are down.

Lots of takeaway boxes full of delicious food.

One of our more delicious lockdown Birthday ideas! For a tasty way to mix things up, why not spend your lockdown birthday enjoying a secretly ordered feast with your friends, where everyone gets something different? Discover whether they got you a delicious burrito or experimented by ordering fried tarantula from that new all-night spider place. Whatever arrives at the door, the real food is friendship – which we’re told tastes just like chicken.

 

Zoom Murder Mystery

Find out who the murderer is (from a safe distance)

Sherlock Holmes investigates their laptop for some lockdown birthday fun.

“So, Hargreaves – you thought you could get away with murdering dear Auntie Pam did you? Well, you’ll never get your hands on the diamond, because I saw to it that she changed her will, before the speed boat crushed her!” If you’re looking for a better murder mystery plot than this, you can try these. Then get your friends dressed up and gather in the virtual drawing room for this classic quarantine birthday idea.

 

Birthday Video Messages

Like a birthday card that’s yelled into a computer.

A couple sit at a laptop and smile at their lockdown Birthday messages.

You know what’s nice? Nice things. If your friend has a birthday in lockdown, and they don’t fancy a lockdown party, then why not get in touch with their loved ones and ask them all to record short messages to the birthday person. Put these together with your local editing software, and then share it live on video chat with your friend. In doing so, you’ll spread some much-needed joy on someone’s quarantined birthday.

 

Improv

Comedy, for people who hate planning.

Improv written on a typewriter.

Lots of people do improv these days, and during lockdown loads of improv groups and classes have been getting together across Zoom and other platforms to perform in casual jams. A lockdown birthday is a great chance to try something daring like this with the support of your friends – and nothing says bonding experience like pretending to be a giraffe in an imaginary coffee shop.

 

Online Club Night

If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in

Some glow sticks lay on a table ready for a quarantine party.

One of our lockdown birthday ideas those who grew up in the 90’s might love! Online clubbing is a perfect excuse for a boogie, and superior to the old version in a number of ways. For starters, there’s no queue to get in. Second, you can play your own music and themed playlists. And thirdly, the drinks are much, much cheaper. For a truly authentic night, switch the lights on and off for a strobe effect, or fill up the bathtub for a proper foam party. DJ, drop me a quarantune!

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