Why Birthday Parades Should Stick Around



Birthday Parade[pinterest image_url=”https://coastalbend.momcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/birthday-parade.png” count=”horizontal”]


Our family has had the WORST luck with birthdays. Having a successful birthday party for both of my kids has been almost impossible up to this point. 

When my son was turning 5 years old, he asked desperately to invite his pre-k class (15-20 kids). I was dreading having that many people in our home, but I knew he was going to a new school and, for many of them, this would be his last time to really have a chance to have a playdate together. {Side note: His birthday is on May 10th and is always really close to Mother’s Day and the Beach to Bay Marathon. Both of these events prove tricky to plan a party to begin with. We pick a date on a weekend close to his birthday and hope for the best.}  

Anyway – That year he had one friend show up! ONE! And not a single person reached out to me to RSVP or let us know if they were or were not able to come. 

 For his 6th birthday, we decided that maybe inviting that many people are setting ourselves up for failure. Instead, we invited four of his friends to come over, have some pizza, and play one evening for his birthday.

AGAIN, ONE friend showed up and only one other responded to my Facebook event letting me know they were unable to make it. {Ugh.}

To say that I was DREADING his 7th birthday would be an understatement. We told him that we might just skip having a party this year and, instead, take him on some really cool adventure! He said he was okay with that, but I knew deep down he really just wanted to have a party. In all honesty, COVID-19 saved me! Necessity is the mother of invention right? These crazy times have brought their fair share of invention, they have also given us amazing creativity. 

As the stay at home orders and social distancing were happening, I was suddenly getting invited to participate in “Honk Parades” for local kids who were trying to celebrate their birthdays in the midst of a lockdown. I realized this may be the answer to our Birthday Party Disaster trend! I created a Facebook Event a couple of weeks in advance and invited normal friends and family. The day before the scheduled parade I put the call out again on social media {and within my neighborhood group} inviting people to drive by with a honk and a wave.

YOU GUYS! We had neighbors we have never even met show up!!! We had friends and family driving in from all over the place to SHOW UP for our now 7-year-old! It was amazing.

Here is my real question though:

Why have we not been doing Birthday Parades this whole time?? 


Let me break it down for you. Birthday Parades are awesome and here is why:

  1. They require little to no planning. Put out a blast on social media, walk out to your driveway and enjoy!
  2. They allow friends and family to put effort into an experience rather than a gift. Yes, people may still give gifts, but people can decorate their cars, scream, shout, sing, and go crazy. Wouldn’t you rather a birthday to remember rather than a toy/gift to forget?
  3. Parades take the guesswork out of who “makes the cut” to the guest list and can cut down on expenses for party favors or invitations. Why not just invite everyone?

Here are some tips to make your Birthday Parade one to remember, and keep the tradition going:

  • Set a meet-up location and time prior to the parade. It’s nice to provide a visual like this one below.
  • Have a friend or family member “lead” the parade so you can enjoy it with the special birthday person.
  • Circle the block a few times (but not too many you don’t want to keep the whole neighborhood up) to really get the experience!
  • Encourage attendees to decorate their cars, play music, honk, throw things like streamers or toys, and just have fun!
    Birthday Parade (1)
    Birthday Parade (2)
    Birthday Parade (3)


  • If you want, you can give out party favors, throw candy, bubbles, or even mall trinkets. For my daughter’s ONE-der Woman 1’st Birthday, we threw personalized koozies stuffed with candy!
  • You can also decorate your front yard.

Remember, you can make this as extravagant or as simple as you want. This is a trend that I really hope sticks around, and you can bet come May 2021 I will be asking for another parade outside our home! 

Photos by: Chelsea Wilmot Photography

[pinterest image_url=”https://coastalbend.momcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/birthday-parade.png” count=”horizontal”]

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Madison O
Madison is a Texas A&M Graduate who is beginning her 6th year as a Technical Theatre teacher and 3rd year at Gregory-Portland High School. She and her wife moved to the coastal bend to be closer to family as they began the fertility process to grow their family. Madison and her wife were thrilled to welcome their daughter, Amelia, to the family in May via Reciprocal IVF. Madison has also begun working toward her Masters degree in Educational Administration at TAMUCC (gotta keep it in the Aggie family!) Talk about one busy mama! Madison enjoys time outside and has always loved to write for her own personal blog in her free time. She is so excited to start this new adventure of motherhood and to be joining the wonderful community of Corpus Christi Moms on the blog!