How to make regular day into a festive birthday outing, queer, adult, TX
December 9, 2018 9:36 PM   Subscribe

How to make everyday social activities into a festive birthday outing, queer adult version, San Antonio, Texas edition. I am planning an afternoon/evening birthday outing for four adults. Age range mid 20's to mid 40's. All varying shades of queer, NB, trans. The birthday outing is tomorrow (Monday), and we are still at a loss for what to do, very last minute strategizing here. I'm trying to figure out how to make San Antonio suburban strip mall sprawl into something special. Also pondering if we are overlooking a possible fun activity.

1. What can we do to make otherwise everyday social excursions more festive and fun? We very well may end up doing the same damn things we always do together: go out for cheap food, get coffee, maybe go to a dollar movie. But...what can we do to make those familiar activities seem celebratory and different? I had nearly given up hope when a friend said "well, you can at least wear party hats, right?" and that alone made everything sound more fun. So, I plan to pick up some pointy hats and those whistle streamers and some confetti. Whee!

But what other ideas am I missing? Some sort of theme or game we could incorporate to make the day special and festive?

2. I'm open to suggestion of fun stuff to do, but there are a bunch of snowflake qualifiers for us:
First, we are on a tight budget, probably around $100 for the four of us for the day, maybe $150, which eliminates many of the fancy fun dining options, or tourist stuff in town.
Second, 2 of us have extreme sensitivity to loud noise overstimulation, so crowds or loud shows won't be fun for very long (brief loud noise is no problem).
Third, some of us have varying degrees of physical disablilty: we can all get around without mobility devices/chairs for the day, but standing for long periods isn't great, and trampoline parks or indoor waterpark or lazer-tag type stuff is not an option.
Fourth, this can't be a late night, some have to get up early on Tues. Otherwise we would try to find a drag show to go to, but none seem to start earlier than midnight, and most venues for them are closed on Monday anyway. (We will have that outing another time). :)
Fifth, most of us drink little or no alcohol, so traditional bar crawls won't work. (We may stop into some of the few gay bars in town briefly anyway.)
Sixth, birthday person just wants to spend the day out of the house with friends, so an at home party is not appealing.
Seventh, it's darn cold out this week, so spending the day outside in a park or nature is not a good option either. (Walking outdoors between indoor places is fine, and we have cars, we just don't want to spend all day outside).
Eighth, we like the local museums but have been to them too many times recently.

(Yep, we're a tough crowd to accommodate, we realize that (and have a sense of humor about it), hence the decision to just do normal stuff but try to make it "more funner.") ;)

We're pretty happy to be spending the day together anyway, with party hats on, but if anyone has any suggestions for how to make the same old, same old, into something special, or can think of an activity we're overlooking, we're open to suggestions.

posted by ethical_caligula to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really believe in the "party hats make things more fun" suggestion! You will feel a little silly wearing them in public, but just enough to make it feel like you are all in on something together. Going out in public and doing relatively normal things actually makes this was better -- strangers sometimes will ask whose birthday it is, or just shout "happy birthday!" at the group. You can grab some cheap dollar store children's costume accessories (mustaches, fairy wands, etc.) for extra fun.

Balloons do the same thing! My household has developed a tradition for buying a few of the siliest, most obnoxious balloons at the party store and crossing out and making additions to them that awkwardly relate to the celebration at hand. (For example, one of the balloons celebrating getting a Master's was a blue giraffe with "It's a boy thesis!") Then the celebrated person has to carry around this over the top cloud of balloons, feeling silly and joyfull every time they hilariously bump up against doorways or don't fit in the car.

The philosophy behind this is that a birthday celebration is about giving someone special attention on that day. Party hats and balloons are a way to have that attention have a physical manifestation. (In high school I had made a giant poster that said "Happy birthday, Zoe!" for my friend's birthday, and carried it around behind her head all day long, getting people to sign it. She's kept it for fifteen years now. Your version of something similar can be less tiring.)

You can also have verbal manifestations of that special birthday attention. Something on the sillier side would be, whenever there is a chance to make a decision, you can say that the birthday person gets to decide. (Popcorn or candy? Do we cross the road here or at the next light?) For a more touching way, you can make a toast to the person, or some other moment of everyone taking a turn saying something they love and appreciate about the person -- maybe sharing some special memory of them, or saying something they are looking forward to doing together.

Cheap food, coffee, and a dollar movie can all totally be made into a special birthday celebration just with genuineness and a sense of humour!
posted by Pwoink at 11:46 PM on December 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

Scavenger hunt- team based, look for things to tick off along the way.

Op-shop/thrift store to get thematically appropriate costumes for the dollar movie.

Dollar store to get said party hats?

As non-drinking youth group kids we did a 7-11 slurpee crawl (instead of a pub crawl) - could you do something like a donut crawl?

Will you have a car, or will you be walking?
posted by freethefeet at 12:20 AM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh you do have cars!

Can you all cram into one and have a party car? So decorate it, have good tunes cranking, as you go?

What about a quiz about the person? Or a chance to write outrageous memories on a slip of paper, then the birthday person has to guess who wrote each one, also others guess.

Card games or board games in a cosy cafe might be nice- uno (but modified to include your house rules) or whiskey poker would be my go to (no drinking required, just the name to help you google it).
posted by freethefeet at 12:27 AM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pictionary! Novelty outrageous moustaches!? (Ok I am done. :) )
posted by freethefeet at 12:29 AM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am a big believer in small bottles of bubble soap. Harder to spill, mirth to all!
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:49 AM on December 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Is there a bakery you can stop at for cupcakes/cake/pie/ice cream? This celebration needs cake, IMO.
posted by sarajane at 4:37 AM on December 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

What about mini golfing? That's usually my go to on strenuous activity for the masses that if you haven't been to in a long time is really fun and pretty affordable.
posted by vespertinism at 5:21 AM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the replys so far, everyone responding seems to "get it." <3

Several ideas here I will try to incorporate.

I'm keeping this question open for the whole day, and will check it periodically.

This is also generally good info for future reference.

posted by ethical_caligula at 8:22 AM on December 10, 2018

Please let us know how the day went! :)
posted by freethefeet at 2:12 PM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Please let us know how the day went! :)

It was a really great time!

Dollar store party hats, streamer whistles, and bubbles were purchased. Everyone adorned their hats when we met up.

The hats in particular were great! Strangers wished us happy birthday, started conversations. Met some nice people. Used the little bubble wands to make bubbles in the bar patio.

We created a fun festive atmosphere wherever we went. It was a total success.

Oh, we picked up false moustaches but they didn't come into play, I'm saving them for another occasion. All the suggestions were great, and will be put to use in the future.

Thanks everyone!!!! <3
posted by ethical_caligula at 10:15 PM on December 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

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