Drive-By Party Ideas for Safe Celebrations

Published April 15, 2020
Family going to celebrate a birthday party

Drive-by party ideas can make your safe celebration a fun event in spite of the separation. Plan ahead, order presents online so they are delivered the day before the drive by party and designate a person to make a video of your event.

Drive-By Baby Gender Reveal Party

Baby gender reveal parties are a popular way to announce if you're having a boy or girl. If the expectant parents aren't aware of the gender, alert the designated person to reveal the gender to the drive-by party guests so they can decorate their vehicles in either pink (female) or blue (male). Some possible decorations include:

  • Crepe paper streamers attached inside the car and allowed to flow out the partially lowered car window.
  • Ribbon streams and helium balloons anchored inside the car so they rise above the driver's and passenger's windows.
  • Baby shower gender specific plates can be attached to a cord and strung/secured to the sides of the car running from front to back.
  • Give each car occupants pink or blue pom-poms so they shake them out open windows as they pass by the couple's house.
  • A purchased folding tissue paper and cardstock centerpiece can be positioned on the hood or roof of your card.

Baby Shower Drive-By

With the presents delivered the day before the baby shower, guests and perform a festive drive-through with decorated vehicles. If the baby's gender is known, use traditional colors of pink or blue. You could also assign each person a baby shower theme for decorating each car individually.

  • You can string pennant banners along the sides of your cars.
  • Tissue honeycomb balls and hanging fans can be secured inside the car and suspended from closed windows.
  • Empty colored baby bottles can hand in clusters from open or closed windows.
  • Play a synchronized lullaby as the cars drive by or each car play a different lullaby.
  • Balloons are always a must.
Pregnant Woman Sitting In Yard

Bridal Shower Drive-By Plans

Guests can decorate their cars to reflect the bride and her personality. You can also select a bridal shower theme for participants to use when decorating their vehicles. Ask guests to mail gifts from a registry or drop off the gifts prior to the shower day and time.

  • Go all out with car decorations with faux white rose garlands strung over the cars.
  • Guests can make personalized banners and signs to hold out of windows as they parade in front of the bride's home.
  • Balloons and streamers make a fun show as the cars roll past.
  • Be sure to toast the bride with a non-alcoholic drink as you drive by!

Birthday Drive-By Party Ideas

The party theme will depend on the age of the birthday girl or boy. You can include glitter signs, balloons, and streamers for your base design and add to it.

  • Have guest wear party hats and give everyone a party horns to blow as they drive by.
  • Guests can hold up LED birthday candles in their vehicle windows.
  • If possible, stop the parade of cars so everyone can sing Happy Birthday.
  • Don't forget to honk the horns the number years being celebrated!
  • Young children may enjoy having local heros drive past their home, so call your local fire or police department to see if you can arrange something.

Cards and gifts could be dropped off prior to the party (so vehicles don't get backed up) and you could place them on a table near the door to add to the party atmosphere. Most birthday wrappings are festive and even themed, so it will only add to the celebratory feel of the drive-by party.

Anniversary Drive-By Party Ideas

There are many anniversary party themes you can use for your drive-by wedding anniversary party. Your caravan can play the Anniversary Waltz or the song the couple danced to at their wedding. Guest can decorate their vehicles according to the meanings for the number of years married. A few examples include:

First Year Anniversary

The first-year anniversary is celebrated with paper and clock gifts. Draw large clocks on poster board and hold out the windows.

15th Year Wedding Anniversary

A 15th year anniversary gifts are crystals and watches. Your drive by guests can decorate their vehicle windows with crystal fringe, tassels and beaded streamers. Everyone can make oversized wrist watches from colorful construction paper for everyone in the vehicles to wear about their wrists. Be sure everyone dangles their arms out the windows to show off their wrist watches.

25th Year Wedding Anniversary

The 25th wedding anniversary is silver. Your guests can hang silver hearts around their windows and doors. Silver, heart-shaped, mylar balloons with silver ribbon streams are extra fun when filled with helium. Go all out and wrap the vehicles in aluminum foil or silver wrapping paper for a fun tribute.

Kids inside car filled with colors

Retirement Drive-By Party Ideas

A retirement is something to celebrate and having people drive by the retiree's home is a great idea. Consider asking everyone to wear robes, pajamas, and loungewear since the retiree no longer has to dress for work. Also, request signs with funny retirement quotes hung on each vehicle's door.

Florida Themed Retirement Drive-By Example

A retirement party drive-by can be themed based. For example, if your retiree is moving to Florida, go with the Florida theme.

  • Pink flamingos can be put in a basket and held out the window.
  • Magnetic palm trees can be placed on doors.
  • Toast the retiree with a non-alcoholic margarita as you pass by.
  • Broadcast Jimmy Buffet songs as your caravan parades by.

Graduation Drive-By Party Caravan

Graduates not able to have a typical celebration will enjoy a progressive drive-by. If possible, get the fire department involved and any teachers/principal from the school.

  1. The caravan with start at one graduate's house with school officials leading the caravan.
  2. The graduate will then join the parade by falling in at the back of the line.
  3. The group will progress to the next graduate's house and that graduate will fall in at the end of the line.
  4. The progression will continue until every graduate involved has been visited and joined the caravan.
  5. Everyone will drive to the school and circle around the school before breaking up and returning home.

Practical Drive-By Party Planning Tips

When setting up your drive-by party, there are a few planning tips to keep in mind in order to pull the event off successfully. This will ensure everyone involved will have a fun and uninterrupted drive-by!

Obtain Permits and Follow Ordinances

Check with your local authorities and HOA about any possible permit you need to obtain and/or any ordinances regarding this type of event. You may need to have a permission for a parade, even if it's not one long line of vehicles, or hang approved signs on the block the day of the party.

Include Clear Instructions With Invitations

Be thorough in the party invitations you send. Explain whether the drive-by is going to be in the form of a continuous caravan (including when and where to line up) or if people should drive past the home during a designated time frame. Also, make sure attendees understand how to get gifts to the celebrant and whether they are allowed to get out of their vehicles.

Safely Position the Celebrant in a Visible Spot

Set up a chair with some balloons attached in a spot visible from the street but a safe distance from the curb. Several feet from the end of a driveway works well. If the celebrant needs to stay inside for some reason, be sure to have all lights on in the house and curtains pulled back so everyone can see him or her. Make sure they are ready at least 15 minutes before the starting time and stay visible until you know the last attendee has gone by.

Fun Drive-By Party Ideas for Safe and Memorable Celebrations

There are many occasions and reason you may need to plan a drive-by party. Discuss with everyone involved to make sure your efforts are coordinated without any surprises.

Drive-By Party Ideas for Safe Celebrations