A party planner offers five tips for throwing a stay-at-home-friendly bash for Dad.

By Caroline Biggs
June 02, 2020
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Father's Day may look a little different this year because of social distancing, but that doesn't mean you can't still devote the day to Dad. "Instead of having a physical get together with your family at someone's home, you can plan a virtual gathering to show appreciation for your loved one," says party planner Lisa Cokinos of B. Lee Events. "New types of distanced and virtual celebrations are opening up the opportunity to get creative with your family, while still providing a level of intimacy despite the lack of physical presence."

While nothing can compare to celebrating your dad in person, Cokinos says there are several benefits to hosting a virtual Father's Day. "Being able to extend your guest list to all family members and friends, regardless of location, will surely make your father figure feel extra loved (and entertained)," she says. "And since your family is not gathering in real life, you won't have to spend as much time on prep work, food costs, and cleanup."

Ready to throw a virtual Father's Day bash? We asked Cokinos for advice on how to orchestrate an online party for your dad, and here's what she had to share.

Pick a platform.

The first step to throwing a successful virtual Father's Day celebration is picking out what video conferencing platform to host it on. "Per our experience, the best platform remains to be Zoom.com," she says. "A great benefit to Zoom calls is that you can record the entire event and your dad can watch it over and over again for 30 days." If you aren't a fan of Zoom, HouseParty.com allows you to schedule group video calls, with up to eight guests, for free.

Send electronic invitations.

Once you've settled on a video platform, Cokinos says it's time to send out invitations. "Set the tone for the event with an electronic invitation," she says. "Sites like Paperless Post, Evite and Greenvelope have beautiful themed options with RSVP tracking." She also says to take care to make sure that your invites provide guests with all of the pertinent party info, including the date, time, streaming platform, and any login information, as well as a schedule of events so your family members will know exactly what to expect ahead of time.

Decorate accordingly.

If you decide you want to decorate your dad's place with balloons, banners, or florals for the event, Cokinos recommends sticking to just one room. "Décor should be concentrated in one area of your dad's house, and visible to the virtual participants," she says. "Arrange to have the décor sent ahead of time (if feasible) from local businesses or drop it off yourself (appropriately)."

Plan for refreshments.

If you are hoping to share a meal with your father virtually, Cokinos suggests arranging to have your dad's favorite meal or dessert delivered that day for him to enjoy during the party. "Goldbelly is delivering nationwide from a variety of vendors across the United States and there are plenty of fun options to choose from," she explains. "You can have similar refreshments delivered to other family participants, too."

Send a fun (but thoughtful) gift.

Since you might not be able to celebrate Father's Day face-to-face with your dad, Cokinos recommends sending him an extra meaningful gift for the occasion. "Boombox will put together a priceless memory box of personal letters and photos gathered from family and friends anywhere in the world," she says. "Or you can sign him up for a virtual golf lesson via Golftec so he can practice his swing while practicing social distancing." If you want to send something tangible, she suggests hitting up Man Crates for a fun, dad-friendly gift that will get delivered straight to his door. "From beef jerky to birdhouse making, they offer cool gifts for all kinds of interests," she says.

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