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Cheers to another revolution around the sun! / Image: Linsey Kraeling // Published: 4.19.20

One Way You Can Celebrate a Birthday While Supporting Your City

When life hands you lemons, grab some curbside carryout, toast to a virtual happy hour, and get creative when planning your birthday party—all while observing social distancing and safety measures put in place by the CDC, of course.

For those of us with birthdays or special occasions happening during the stay-at-home order, don’t cancel your plans entirely. Just modify them to celebrate a retirement or another important milestone with loved ones by supporting local and observing safe social distancing.

In birthdays past, I’ve celebrated by going to a favorite local restaurant, hosting a streetcar bar crawl, having friends for drinks on Neon’s patio, or blowing out candles on a Justin Bieber cake or a Holtman’s donut surrounded by friends and family.

But birthdays look a bit different this year.

I didn’t let a little quarantine keep me down. Instead, I dug deep inside my creativity for alternative, unique ways to bring in year 35. On my actual birthday, I got curbside carryout and had a virtual happy hour with friends for some much-needed face time and a good laugh.

Supporting local has never been more important than it is now. When you shop small, you help to build a better local economy, reduce environmental impact, put your taxes to good use, sustain jobs, keep the community unique, and encourage local prosperity. But because of closures, limited hours, and reduced traffic, small businesses are really hurting right now. So it is extremely important to support small businesses in whatever way you are able.

That's why I decided to get one of my favorite desserts, honey vinegar pie, from O Pie O; dinner from a nearby LaRosa’s that has a drive-thru pick-up window (the White Oak location); and enjoyed wine bought locally at Muse Cafe in Westwood during a virtual happy hour with girlfriends.

And because birthdays don’t just have to be one day of the year (more like an entire week or weekend, right?), I also picked up groceries from Findlay Market to be able to enjoy some Eckerlin goetta and other local goods; had a driveway happy hour with my neighbors, featuring sidewalk chalk fun, West Side Brewing beer, and dinner from S.E.A. Cuisine food truck; and had a birthday picnic “tailgate” with my family, complete with blankets, takeout, cupcakes, fun for the kids (bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk), all while keeping at least six feet of distance between us.

If none of this quite hits the mark for your celebration, some additional ideas include getting creative with Cincinnati fare (check out this post for some inspiration), picking an “urban hike” from the book Walking Cincinnati, ordering a drink mix kit from HomeMakers Bar, hosting a drive-by party, streaming a concert online, or viewing a Cincinnati Zoo home safari.

More ideas about how you can support local while social distancing.

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Linsey Kraeling is a woman, wife, and mother about town, proud millennial, and lifelong Cincinnatian with an invested interest in community involvement and having a full plate—literally and figuratively. Read more about eating like a sophisticated six-year-old, supporting local, and acting like a tourist in her own city at