Here are a few creative ways to celebrate birthdays and special occasions in New York City

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By Jana Beauchamp

Life’s special moments still want to be celebrated! New and exciting ways to celebrate big days are coming to life since large–scale, traditional celebrations are on hold in the current climate. We spoke to Laura Remmert, expert event planner and contributor for Martha Stewart Weddings, to learn about current event trends. We also spoke to celebration experts to get the scoop on the best innovations and products to help you make the most memorable milestone celebrations right now.   

Micro Events and Other COVID Party Trends 

According to Laura Remmert, event planner extraordinaire, a popular party trend is Micro Mitzvahs (just like Micro Weddings). Gather a group of close family and friends and plan a “micro mitzvah.” Celebrate with close family and friends in person to keep the party small. The service can be available on Zoom for special guests who cannot attend in person. Work within the local rules and regulations for the event, noting guest count limits, social distancing, and utilize outdoor space when you can. To make these Micro Mitzvahs smart, safe, and sentimental Laura Remmert Events supplies gift bags to guests with hand sanitizer and custom masks, tables are spaced 6’ apart and guests were grouped with their family or friends they see on a regular basis.  

Laura also plans weekends away for the mitzvah. Start by renting a space where close family and friends can stay for the weekend, planning fun activities, the mitzvah service, and dinner to celebrate. Whether finding a family-friendly home rental, remote cabin, vacation villa, or resort rooms or cottages, there are many fun and diverse options.

Laura tells us that any of these celebration styles can be for any type of party, too. She added, “We’re seeing a lot of “micro events” and a lot of trips for smaller groups to celebrate big life moments. One big thing we’re seeing is lots of fun personal details, special place cards for guests that can be taken home as a keepsake, custom masks, and letters to each guest at their seat.” There are many ways to make celebrations as special as can be and celebrating in the style that’s just right for you is always the way to go!   

Birthday Fun 

When it comes to birthday celebrations for kids the most popular options are a small, smart, safe, socially distanced gathering outside or a larger, virtual bash for your closest family and friends. Roof decks, parks, playgrounds, and green spaces are the ideal venues for socially distanced celebrations. Just don’t forget to BYOM  — bring your own mask! For a party planning primer, visit our How to Have a Birthday Party Amid COVID. If going the virtual birthday party route, check out our Best Virtual Birthday Party Ideas for the best (virtual) party time! For both types of parties, having a party host with the most can make all the difference. 

DJ Natalie is hosting parties and can host your virtual dance party on Zoom or bring the beat in-person to the outdoor location of your choice!  She is incredibly engaging with kids of all ages and the parties are epic! Virtual Dance Parties are a super fun way to connect with friends and family from afar! Her Zoom parties include a high-quality dependable stream; incredible audio, a fun look (DJ Natalie transforms her home studio into a disco with pulsing lights and a shimmering background); virtual jumbotron (her Spotlight Video feature is a fun way for DJ Natalie to highlight different guests and encourage participation); and more fun and games. Kids will enjoy group dances such as the Macarena, follow the leader, show and tell, dance contests, and more. You will party like a rock star!

Family Holidays

Make family holidays extra special while supporting local NYC business as well as innovative merrymaking services that are helping people find creative ways to celebrate holidays and every day.

Tribute videos make it easy as pie to create a meaningful video montage for special moments from family and friends near and far so that the special someone feels the love. Plus, the Tribute is fun to make and simple to use. The Tribute Family “recognizes the deep impact COVID-19 has had on so many important milestones in our lives. We believe that in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and change, social connection is more important than ever, and we want to do our part.” It’s a gift they will treasure now and cherish forever.

Celebration Stadium is a family-owned business filled with heartfelt ideas to keep the candle fun while staying safe. These stunning centerpieces are a creative and cool way to put 1 to 100 candles on anything from cake to pizza to pancakes! Being able to move the dessert away and safely enjoy the tradition of blowing out candles without getting germs or candle wax on anyone’s cake is priceless. Plus, they make for beautiful photos and are very Instagram-worthy. Families can purchase candles and decorations with the stadium or add DIY decorations like flowers or make flags or other personalized items. The stadium (we adore the mirrored and heart designs) can also be used for holidays not just birthdays! Celebrate a birthday, holiday or any day with your own stadium, using coupon code NYFAMILY15 for 15% off.

Especially since the pandemic began, The Bouqs Co fab florals see more and more people sending flowers just because and they love that they’re helping people connect and share something beautiful from afar. Kaylyn Hewitt, The Bouqs Co’s lead floral designer gave us the scoop that one of her go-to birthday gifts is a Bouq that includes a succulent in the assortment that can be replanted! It’s such a great way to give a gift that extends beyond the vase life. If you’re not sure which flowers to send, the site has helpful guides to direct you toward the best Bouqs for any occasion. There are also matching/coordinating arrangements for a family in different places. Order Bouqs in different sizes, so you can show Mom some extra love with a larger arrangement while sending something a bit smaller to your sister in her studio apartment. And we are loving the seasonal specialties available in the Bouqs Co Fall Collection!

Piñatagrams sends some crazy fun in the mail. These unique greetings are an absolute experience when you’re not physically there. They really bring smiles to people’s faces. The universal favorite is the standard donkey/llama version and then next best seller is the googly-eyed. Customers pick a body type, enter customization for a message printed on the side of the piñata belt box, and hit send. There are even seasonal sensations right now like the vampire and zombie piñatas for Halloween and coming soon, a reindeer piñatagrams with giant googly eyes for the holidays. It is crazy cool to be on the receiving end and seeing the smiles on faces. Send some piñata joy in the mail! Use code NYFAMILY10 for 10% off! 

Sign Gypsies is the largest yard greeting company in the U.S., delivering festive and colorful greetings in a big way. The Sign Gypsies yard greeting displays are great for homes, schools, and businesses. They create a custom yard greeting that’s as special as your guest of honor, and they handle the set up and break down of the greeting. They love bringing joy and it is sure to create a magical and memorable moment.

Balloon Saloon recently made Kelly Ripa’s 50th fabulous and can give you the royal treatment, too. Balloon Saloon brings the fun to any and every occasion with their joyful balloons. Balloon Saloon’s beautiful and celebratory creations will make a big day extra special. They can personalize every arrangement with balloon names, clusters, age numerals, and organic columns. Giant confetti-filled balloons are so popular now as well! They do an expert job to customize creations to clients’ likes and colors. Balloon Saloon has been bringing joy throughout Manhattan and now with a Covid business pivot is offering curbside delivery as well as delivery service to the outer boroughs and suburbs like Long Island and the Hamptons. You can even arrange a socially distant pick up by having Uber pickup and deliver your bunch of balloons.

Cameo special celebrity greetings are the new greeting card! Imagine getting a personal birthday greeting from Snoop Dog or Michael Rappaport! Cameo has 40,000 talents around the world that delivers personalized video messages, live Zoom calls, direct messages, and more. Kids’ favs include personal greetings from the famous animals on Cameo, Coyote Peterson, David Henrie, and Fiona the Hippo. Since kids are following their favorite people on social media without being able to interact, this is a special way to get a personal message, interaction, and birthday satisfaction. Simply find your perfect star match, check the price, and fill in the recipient and occasion (use the text box to put in a message with relevant info) and ask for the shout out. To make it extra memorable, add as much color as you can to ensure the recipient gets the most out of it! Cameo features every type of talent and is sure to give the birthday kid major bragging rights! 

Jars By Dani, delicious handcrafted cake jars, look amazing and taste even better! Jars By Dani are especially perfect for quarantine celebrations because they are individually packaged already so there are no worries about cutting a cake and everyone touching things since you have your own. The most popular flavor for kids and adults alike is the cake batter but all of the varieties are delicious. We also love that most flavors are nut free and there are gluten free and vegan options as well. The sky is the limit with customization of the lids to have writing, names, photos, or whatever you wish. Jar By Dani makes variety packs so party people can pick and choose their flavors and customization and then ship nationwide for special occasions or any ordinary day to bring someone a smile and decadent treat. Celebrate your birthday or any day in sweet style using the 10% discount code NYFamily at checkout.

And as you plan your celebrations, don’t forget to help others in need with great initiatives like the Birthday Party Project! They bring joy to children experiencing homelessness by bringing them the magic of birthdays!

It’s these small celebrations that have a big impact now more than ever, so enjoy every second of your celebrations, make magical memories, and spark joy!