Because the mama-to-be still deserves to be celebrated safely.

By Southern Living Editors
November 13, 2020
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Credit: Getty Images / Sol Stock

Baby showers are a true treat. Whether it’s a luncheon with pretty little tea sandwiches or a gender reveal party with blue and pink accents incorporated into every possible detail, there’s something especially sweet about celebrating a growing family. Not to mention, we could watch a mama-to-be unwrap precious onesies, baby books, and stuffed animals with mimosas (or mom-osas) in our hands all day long.

But with social distancing in the age of a pandemic being more and more important, especially for pregnant women, our classic celebrations have taken on a new form.

Enter the drive-by baby shower. More fun than a completely virtual shower, many would argue, a drive-by baby shower lets guests keep their distance while still celebrating the guest of honor. It’s exactly what it sounds like–friends and family drive-by the home of the mom-to-be and shower her with well wishes and gifts–but there’s still a lot of room for creativity.

Even though there aren’t in-person details to execute, a little coordination goes a long way when planning a drive-by party. From scheduling time slots for guests so traffic doesn’t get backed up to working with the right kind of decorations, here are a few tips we’ve learned from planning drive-by baby showers during the pandemic in 2020.

Make it clear on the invitation.

The first step is making sure guests know what to expect. Be sure to make it abundantly clear that this is a drive-by party to ease any guest fears over social distancing and safety. Stationary companies have caught up to the trend, and there are plenty of pretty drive-by shower invitations available at your favorite paper stores.

Schedule time slots for guests.

This is an easy one to overlook, but the last thing you want is all of your guests to drive up at once. Avoid a traffic jam and ensure everyone has some one-on-one time with the guest of honor through the car window by scheduling times for arrival. When guests respond with their RSVP, let them know to expect to hear from you with a time to drive up to ensure their safety and space guests out. Giving each guest a 10 to 15-minute time slot should allow for enough time while still keeping things moving. However, if you have a large guest list, you may want to double up to make sure it’s not too long of a day for your mom-to-be.

Balloons and signs are your best friends.

When it comes to decorating a driveway or a front yard, go for the statement-making pieces. Balloon arches and clever yard signs make a big impact and send a signal to the neighborhood that there’s something exciting to celebrate. Simple blue and pink helium balloons tied to the mailbox are always a classic choice too.

Set up a simple curbside game.

Make your guests feel like they’ve really been to a party without getting out of their car. Print a poster-sized calendar and let them guess the due date. You can write the guest’s name on the day she picks so she doesn’t have to leave the driver’s seat. Or, use a poster board to let guests guess your baby’s name. You’re sure to see lots of fun ideas (and maybe a few jokes, too!).

Treat guests to a goodie bag.

Since our beloved baby shower finger foods are off limits for a safe, socially distanced affair, send your guests on their way with a little something sweet. Prepare goodie bags with individually wrapped cookies and themed sweets for something they can enjoy once they get home.

Make sure your mom-to-be is comfortable.

Just because your guests will drive up with their own seat in front of the wheel doesn’t mean you can forget about chairs and tables completely. Make sure your guest of honor is comfortable by setting up a decorated table and chairs. You can use this space to display the goodie bags you’ll be giving away, and your mom-to-be will thank you for not having to be on her feet the whole day. Plus, there's no better place to tie balloons than the guest of honor's chair...even if it is in the driveway.