Birthday Fun… Quarantine Style


Tori Larner

A train of cars filled with friends and family head down the street for a drive-by birthday surprise.

Kate Ryan and Tori Larner

Getting a license. Friends and family. A big party. It’s what every girl dreams of for her sweet sixteen. Most people don’t expect for all of their friends and family to be on a stay-at-home order.

My sixteenth birthday was last week on April 2. Considering that there aren’t supposed to be any social gatherings and that everyone is supposed to stay six feet away, I was prepared for the day to be spent with my immediate family—just my mom, dad and sister—with minimal festivities.

Boy, was I wrong. My family had more up their sleeve than I had originally thought.

I was sitting on the deck with my mom after online school when she asked me to go for a walk with her. When we got to the end of the driveway, I noticed a train of cars coming down the street, toward my house. There were balloons and signs attached to many of them, and people were honking and flashing their lights. My family had thrown me a drive-by birthday party!

If you haven’t heard of this, don’t worry, I hadn’t either. With the coronavirus inhibiting people from spending birthdays together, people have gotten really creative. All you need to have a drive-by party is some friends and family to swing by your house in their cars (decorated or not!) at a designated time. Drive-by birthdays are now happening left and right, and they’re a great alternative to the typical party.

Because I had never heard of this before, I was completely shocked and brought to tears. I saw multiple friends and even some family members that I hadn’t been able to see for three weeks as they drove by. Some cars even came back around multiple times. Of course this is a great way to make your birthday special but check out some other ideas that you and your family can do to celebrate that special day. 


Although you might not be able to go out to a birthday dinner to get your favorite, there are plenty of restaurants still doing takeout. Texas Roadhouse, Stone Summit,  Kitaro and practically every fast food place are open for takeout business. Go on a nice drive with your family to get out of the house and pick up your yummy birthday dinner to eat at home!

Parks and Hikes

Going on a walk with family has proved to be the number one way to (safely) go out of the house and converse with other people. Klondike is one of the most popular parks still open to go on a fun birthday hike and release some serotonin. If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, a walk around the neighborhood or local park does the same trick and allows you to have quality bonding time with your family on your special day.

Virtual Celebrations

Apps like Zoom and Facebook Live can be a great way to get the whole extended family together to celebrate. Most of these apps can hold a lot of people and allow commenting, so you can talk to all your cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents on your birthday.


Although you might not be able to go out to a party, you can bring the party to you by decorating your house. Put up banners, signs, balloons and other decorations to set the scene of a perfect birthday party. To top it all off, make yourself a yummy cake and eat your special birthday food underneath your cool new banners and balloons.

Being stuck in a quarantine situation on your birthday definitely isn’t everyone’s first choice, but if you have an upcoming birthday for yourself or someone you know, be sure to try out these great ways to still enjoy the special day. Stay safe—and to those who have one coming up—happy birthday!