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Sweet Sixteen Ideas for Celebrating During Coronavirus

Sweet Sixteen Ideas for Celebrating During Coronavirus

Make your 16-year-old feel special despite the pandemic with these ideas for a Sweet Sixteen celebration during COVID-19.

A child’s sixteenth birthday is a right of passage and for many in the past, that has meant a big party with friends and family or a special trip to commemorate the big day. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, neither a big party nor a trip far away are good ideas (and we’ve seen how throwing a big Sweet Sixteen in a pandemic can go awfully wrong right here in New York). However, there’s no reason your sixteen-year-old shouldn’t feel special this year regardless of the pandemic, so here are some sweet sixteen ideas for celebrating during coronavirus.

"Even during the pandemic, families have found ways to celebrate their child’s milestone events,” says Sheri Lapidus, founder of “Parents have told us it wasn’t the event they had planned for, but it was even better than they thought was possible.”

Socially Distanced Sweet Sixteen Picnic

If you’ve spent any time in an NYC park in the last eight months, you’ve surely seen the birthday celebrations of friends spread out on blankets (six feet apart) with snacks, cake, and even decorations. Have your guest of honor create a list of those closest to her and plan to bring balloons, cake, lots of blankets you can space out, and snacks!

Socially Distanced Backyard Gathering

If you choose to have a small group of friends or family over to celebrate the guest-of-honor, make sure you are following all CDC guidelines for safe outdoor gatherings (masks, hand sanitizer, six feet distance, etc.). You can make things more fun by getting personalized sweet sixteen masks, personalized hand sanitizer, and even putting pictures of whoever is meant to sit at each table at the table so people aren’t moving around.

Birthday Photoshoot

Pictures are a great way to commemorate any big occasion, and just because the big party can’t happen this year doesn’t mean you don’t want to commemorate the coming of age! Book a photographer that can take pictures of the sixteen-year-old from a safe distance at the location of your choice and you can even put them together into a book that she will have forever!

Sweet Sixteen Drive-By Parade

Drive by birthday parades are another celebration that have risen in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. Make yours extra special by getting decorations for the front lawn like a personalized lawn sign or a balloon arch for the front door. You can also get food trucks for your son’s favorite foods to make the celebration even more fun.

Collect Sweet Sixteen Cards

While she may not be able to see all of her friends and family for her sixteenth, you can still find a way to get everyone’s birthday messages to her. Let your friends and family know ahead of time that you’re collecting special birthday messages for the birthday girl or boy and give them to him all together on his special day.

Give a Celebrity Birthday Shoutout on Cameo

Cameo allows you to order a personalized video birthday message from a celebrity!

Happy Birthday Messages via Kudoboard

Kudoboard is an easy and safe way to send a group birthday message to someone online. You can attach messages, photos, GIFs, or videos to the Kudoboard and deliver it online, print it as a poster, or play it as a slideshow!

Sweet Sixteen Montage

Montages are a staple at sweet sixteen parties, and there’s no reason that you can’t have one without the party.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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