13 Going on… {Quaranteen}

My daughter turned 13 at the end of the summer.  As you know, this is a milestone birthday, and one she has been looking forward to for years. Her goal of becoming an actual teenager and not just a tween was here.  So was the Coronavirus.  She was officially a Quaranteen.

13 Going on Quaranteen

We weren’t sure how to mark this momentous occasion during a pandemic.  Quick on her feet, Ella decided she wanted a picnic in the park with five or six friends.  I thought that was totally safe and doable.  We took to Pinterest, got some ideas and planned a really cute, fun party her friends thoroughly enjoyed.  Especially since most of them hadn’t seen each other since school shut down in March.

The Food

I knew everything had to be individual and we couldn’t have a cake or anything that was shared.  We decided to make a lunch bag for each of the girls which would have everything they needed for the party and there would be no need to share anything.

13 Going on Quaranteen

We made a simple pasta salad at home and packaged it in individual Mason jars.  We then tied a napkin and plastic fork around the jar using kitchen twine and wrote the name of each girl on the lid of the jar.  You can get the recipe for the pasta salad from Salty Side Dish here.

Next, we had individual bags of chips.  These were Ella’s idea and quite frankly, can you have a party for a teenager without junk food?  Probably not. Ella texted all of her friends to ask what kind of chips they would like and we added them to the lunch bag.

We also cut wedges of watermelon, wrapped them in plastic wrap and added them to the bag.  To drink, we bought cans of Izze soda.  Again, Ella asked her friends which flavor they wanted and we put them in each of the girl’s lunch bags.

We made cupcakes that were watermelon themed {strawberry cake mix with chocolate chips and green frosting} and put them in individual cupcake boxes which we handed out separately from the lunch bag.


The décor was pretty simple. We were in a park, so there wasn’t much we could do.  We bought a mylar balloon and tied it to a tree branch.  We also got towels for each of the girls to sit on.  We spaced them so they were socially distanced and we placed the lunch bags on each towel.

Quarantine birthday picnic

On a side note, I had bought cute beach towels from Kohl’s which were set to arrive the day before the party.  They were delivered somewhere, but not to our house.  So, we had to make a Target run and buy plain white towels the night before.

Ella also wore a t-shirt that said, 13 Officially a Quaranteen, which we purchased from Etsy. You can buy it here.

Shout out to Kohl’s for their great customer service.  If your package doesn’t arrive within three days, you can call and ask for a refund. They refunded the towels and it wasn’t a problem at all.


For games we purchased Mad Libs books from Amazon and we included individual pens with each book in the bags.  They had a lot of fun taking turns asking for answers to fill in the blank and sharing the Mad Libs when they were complete.  They’re teenagers, so you know the word “butt” was used a lot.

Quarantine Birthday Picnic

Finally, Ella opened her gifts and she got some really great things perfect for a teenager including a lava lamp and some fancy hand soap, perfect for a quarantine birthday.  Our family has a running joke with toilet paper being gifted during all the 2020 summer birthdays, so she also received some bamboo toilet paper called No. 2 and guaranteed to not give you butt crumble. Idk.  For more information, click here.

Quarantine birthday toilet paper

Overall the party was a huge success and the girls were excited to see each other after such a long time.  It was so simple and easy just the way I like it.

As for being 13, Ella thinks it’s pretty cool.  We went to our friend’s house for Labor Day.  My friend prepped her 6-year-old daughter that Ella was now a teenager. Of course, we were the first to arrive, so when the next family arrived, her daughter answered the door and whispered, “You’re not the first ones here.  Ella’s here and she’s a teenager.”

It was adorable!  The other kids were smitten with Ella, and she was smitten with them.  Even though she’s a teenager, she actually played with them and had a blast doing it.  I was just happy she wasn’t on her phone the whole time.

Being 13 is going to be pretty cool, coronavirus or no coronavirus.

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