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Drive-By Birthday Parade Ideas

drive by birthday parade ideas

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It seems as though social distancing is going to continue on through the Fall. So I thought i’d put together some ideas for having a drive-by birthday parade.

I love this idea!!! I think even after the pandemic is over we should have at least one birthday parade durring our lifetime.

What is a Drive-By Birthday Parade?

It’s a social distancing celebration that will take the place of a traditional birthday party.  Invite your family and friends to drive-by your house at a specified time to honk, wave, and drop off gifts for the birthday boy or girl.  If you live in an apartment and don’t have a street right out in front of your house you could take your child to a park and ask everyone to drive through the park instead of by your home.

It’s a good idea to have everyone line up a few minutes before you want the parade to begin so it’s a continuous parade. Ask everyone to drive through once. Then they can drive by again to stop and say “Hi”if they want to.

drive by birthday parade ideas

Tips to plan a Drive-By Birthday Party

1. Pick a Theme

Everyone loves a good theme. Do’t you? It will be much more fun if everyone can incorporate the theme of your child’s party into their decorations or gift ideas.  Let everyone know ahead of time what you are planning and see what kind of fun ideas your friends can come up with.


2.  Send Invitations

Digital invitations are the perfect way to let everyone know about the drive-by birthday parade.  Choose one that matches your theme and simply email or text them to your family and friends.

Dinosaur Drive by Birthday parade invitation

mermaid drive by birthday parade invitaionunicorn drive by birthday parade invitation









3. Decorate Your Yard

Decorations are one of my favorite parts of a party. It just makes everything seem festive and fun. These decorations are just as much for the birthday boy or girl as they are for the guests. You could cover your porch in streamers or have balloons up the driveway.  Yard signs have become a very popular way to celebrate special events during social distancing.
Honk it's my birthday yard sign for drive by parade

4. Ask Everyone to Decorate Their Car

If you have a theme people can use that as inspiration for their decorations. Here are some ideas:

Car Parade Decoration Ideas:

  • balloons
  • decals or stickers
  • streamers
  • signs (think of them as giant birthday cards)
  • washable window paint
  • bubble machine
  • costumes

You could even hand out prizes for the best decorated or most unique vehicle.  Imagine if you got all different kinds of trucks, 4 wheelers or tractors to drive by your sons party. I know mine would love that!  You could even ask local agencies if they would bring a car to drive through with your parade.
drive thru birthday parade car decorations ideabirthday parade car decoration ideasdrive thru birthday parade car decorations

5. Plan Different Stations or Stops

If you have a wide enough yard and enough road frontage you could set up a few tables for the kids to pick up activities to take home. Such as; coloring pages, party games, photo props or crafts.


dinosaur drive thru birthday party signs


6. Set Out a Table with Drive-By Party Favors

Put together individually packaged favor bags so each guest can grab one without handling a bunch of stuff.  Include a toy or bottle of bubbles for the kids to enjoy at home.

7. Drive-By Party Food Ideas

  •  individually wrapped cake snacks so everyone can enjoy this favorite birthday party food
  • lunchables for the kids to eat at home or on their way home
  • caprisuns or other individual size drink boxes
  • snack sized bags of chips
  • individually wrapped cookies or themed treat
  • single sliced pizza from the gas station (no prep, hot and ready, pre packaged)

Basically any individually wrapped, prepackaged, single serving food items make great food ideas for drive-thru parties

8. Have a Gift Table or Card Box

Make it easily accessible from a car window so they can leave gifts and cards with little to no contact. You could even do a virtual opening or Facetime call with the person who brought the gift so they can see your child open it.


9. Make It a Surprise!

Don’t tell the birthday boy or girl that the parade is happening. Bring them outside when the honking starts and watch their excited reaction.


10. Play Music

Music makes anything seem like a party. Play your child’s favorite tunes as you enjoy the parade.  Or ask the parade participants to play their own music really load as they drive by.


11.  Record it and Take Pictures

This will be a birthday you don’t want to forget.  Set out your phone or recorder to capture the parade to be watched over and over and don’t forget to get your child’s reaction in some of the shots.  Take pictures of your favorite cars and post the winners on your personal Facebook page.


drive thru birthday party parade

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