Stay at Home "Themed Weekend" Ideas for Quarantine or Staycations

How we passed the time during quarantine, and how you can pass the time too!

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The Big Idea

It was our first weekend being stuck at home, and we were bored out of our minds. “There’s just never enough time!” is our constant cry, and yet, when time is handed to us…we’re bored!

I washed the dishes, dried the dishes, put away the dishes, washed the rest of the dishes, did the laundry, put away the laundry, and cleaned the kitchen floor (my house has never been so clean), and still it was only 3:00, and I had plenty of pent up energy.

As we sat on the couch, staring into space, Jason suddenly sat up and said, “We should have theme weekends. Like, a Lord of the Rings theme weekend.”

If you know anything about me, you know I perk up at the words “Lord of the Rings.” You also know that I’m a sucker for themes.

“I can wear my elf ears and my “Hobbit” apron and make food from my “Hobbit” cookbook!” I cried, no longer bored, but now totally committed to this idea.

“But wait,” I said, suddenly disappointed again. “What if we get bored of watching LOTR?” (I mean, they are 3 hours long each, and we have seen them a million times already).

“A day may come,” Jason responds, “when we get bored of watching LOTR. But it is not this day!”

I’m pretty sure he got that off a meme, but if you understand it, you will want to have a LOTR themed weekend too! And if not, maybe one of our other themes will appeal to you (they do vary widely).

The Themes

Quarantine Theme Weekend #1

Lord of the Rings

Because I’m in love with the Lord of the Rings, I had lots of things to go all out on this weekend. I donned my Hobbit themed apron, put on the LOTR soundtrack, pulled out my Unexpected Cookbook,” and made pork hand pies and apple hand pies.

I also never want to make two different batches of hand pies at the same time again…

Rolling out all that dough is a lot of work! But they’re delicious, and then we could eat them while watching the 3 LOTR movies.

And then we decided (when my sister judged us for not being true fans) to order the extended editions!

But we haven’t watched all those yet.

Quarantine Theme Weekend #2


Someone asked me during “British” weekend, “Isn’t LOTR British?” Well, yes, it is, but it’s like a square and a rectangle. LOTR is a square and a rectangle, but British weekend just focuses on the rectangles. Plus, there are just so many options to fill a British weekend.

We watched the last Harry Potter movie (since we were just finishing them anyway), some Sherlock, some Doctor Who, and the second Sherlock Holmes movie (with Downey Jr.).

I didn’t exactly have a “British” themed soundtrack to listen to this week, but I did have an apron!

I made scones (while wearing my apron!), but Jason did not think that tea and scones was quite enough, so he came home with three different packages of cookies (or should I say biscuits). And yet they all three were basically shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate.

Quarantine Theme Weekend #3

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli”

The Godfather is one of those classic movies that we always say we should watch some day, and never do. So quarantine is the perfect time to catch up on those classics that everyone (else) has seen.

Jason’s exact words were, “Our theme should be ‘Leave the gun, take the cannoli.’ So then we can make this cannoli cheesecake! And we can take it to our friends’ houses and leave some outside their doors.”

Now, when I say “take it to our friends,” I don’t mean we gave away our cheesecake. We made two.

And still had some leftover from the second one. We actually could have gotten away with just making one, but then there would be no leftovers, so what would be the point of that?

We also made lasagna (technically, we made lazy lasagna, which is just egg noodles and sauce and cheese that’s baked) for the Italian theme, and then made our two cannoli cheesecakes. And it was a process! But that’s the point of quarantine theme weekends, right? To take up all that extra time.

We got The Godfather Trilogy, but honestly we’ve still only watched the first two. We just got too depressed. Someone commented on our Facebook post that she prefers Tom Hanks’ version in You’ve Got Mail. And I gotta say, I do too. It’s much more lighthearted.

But at least now we’ve seen them (most of them).

Quarantine Theme Weekend #4


This was obviously my favorite theme weekend.

And we obviously did not watch enough Disney movies this weekend!

We had to watch Onward, because my sister (and everyone else) told us to. So Jason said we could each pick one other movie to watch (he sounds like a mom at the candy store. You can pick out one sweet to take home). I picked The Little Mermaid, and he picked Frozen II (but I did sneak in Peter Pan while he was taking a nap!).

The best part about Disney weekend is that there were so many other Disney themed things we could do besides eating and watching movies (I even had Disney hand towels up in the kitchen). I have four Disney themed bored games, Jason put together a mini metal model castle (say that 5 times fast), and to top it all off, Disney live aired their Magic Kingdom fireworks show on Facebook during our very own Disney weekend!

For food we made frosted sugar cookies with our Mickey head cookie cutter, and princess dress cookies. We also bought Mickey head ice cream bars at our local Wegman’s. And I had no end to the Disney themed clothing I had to wear.

  • Please note that I specifically posed myself in front of a picture of the Cinderella Castle that is hanging on our wall.

  • Pictured below—the mini metal model castle that Jason built!

Quarantine Theme Weekend #5

Angels in the Outfield/Endzone

This was my favorite theme weekend (except for Disney of course!), because it was the most creative. And it all came about because we’d had an angel food cake in the cupboard for months, and needed a reason to use it up (not that you should need a reason for angel food cake, because it’s delicious).

This was the first time we used our grill for the season. And the first time we used our grill at our new house. And the first time we used our grill ever!

Sort of. I mean, we’d used this particular grill before, but back then it was my parents’, but now it was ours!

Either way, the weather turned out beautifully (always a risk in western NY), and we were able to grill out hot dogs and hamburgers to go with our angel food cake for dessert. And then, because he had to, Jason came home with peanuts and cracker jacks. Because if you are doing a ballpark theme, you just have to. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts. Which I am.

But he ate the peanuts, and I wore my football jersey (go Bills!) and halo. We watched Angels in the Outfield, which was so good I actually started tearing up, thought, ‘No way am I going to cry over this movie,’ saw Jason rub his eyes and sniffle, and then decided it was ok to cry too.

Then we watched Angels in the Endzone, which was just painful. Don’t waste your time on that one.

  • Fun fact—who knew that Matthew McConaughey and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were in Angels in the Outfield?? And yes, McConaughey does take off his shirt!

Quarantine Theme Weekend #6

Twinkies, 80’s, and things that just never die out

This weekend came about entirely because I’ve been really wanting to make homemade Twinkies (from my Gilmore Girls cookbook) for a long time. And quarantine is definitely the time to do things you’ve always wanted to do!

I googled movies that feature Twinkies (and came up with more than I expected). Yes, there is Zombieland. Yes, there is Weird Al. But let’s be honest, I didn’t really want to watch those.

And then there was Ghostbusters. Another classic that everyone in the world except me has seen. There is one scene where one of the scientists explains how much psychokinetic energy is in Manhattan, and why he thinks something “big” is on the horizon. Because if the normal amount of psychokinetic energy is the size of a normal Twinkie, the amount they were currently reading was the size of a 35 foot Twinkie.

That’s a big Twinkie.

Now, I don’t have an actual Twinkie pan (yes, that’s a thing), so I decided I would have to make do with Twinkie muffins. I also don’t have a frosting tube to insert the filling into my Twinkies, so we basically ended up just frosting them like cupcakes. They’re Twinkie cupcakes! And they are delicious!

But then I realized my missed opportunity! I don’t have a normal size Twinkie pan, but I do have a big Twinkie pan (AKA a bread pan). I should have made a ginormous Twinkie, so the theme would be, “That’s a big Twinkie!!”

Oh well. Next time.

Quarantine Theme Weekend #7

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This was Jason’s idea.

But I’m definitely a big fan of the pizza part.

What’s a TMNT party without pizza? We made crust in our fancy bread maker (second time we’ve ever used it!), and baked our pizza on a pizza stone to give it a beautifully crispy crust. And then we cover half of it with delicious toppings, and half of it with…grossness. I’ll let you decide which half’s which.

We started to watch Jason’s old 90’s Ninja Turtles movies, and just as we got into, it stopped working. The discs were covered in water damage from when our apartment flooded the summer before! Luckily, he had gone over to borrow the new ones from his brother, so we watched one of those instead.

Then of course on our weekly outing we picked up a 4 movie edition of the originals! Can’t wait. Ha!

We ended up watching one of the original TMNT movies, and the two new ones. Which aren’t bad, really, but I did enjoy my pizza more.

Cowabunga Dude!

Quarantine Theme Weekend #8

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean may have been a bad choice, because I now desperately want to go visit the beach in the Caribbean!!! And it’s still quarantine, soo…

I asked my pirate obsessed cousin for some food ideas, and he gave me the whole (Wikipedia) rundown on how buccaneers hunted for boar on the Caribbean islands and became pirates. Or something like that. He can explain it better.

Anyways, he suggested some sort of pork, and tropical fruit. I say pork and dessert, but to each his own. He sent us a recipe for honey lime pulled pork, so we had the lime theme going (I do know that pirates and sailors had to eat limes to keep from getting scurvy, because my cousin had a band called the Scurvy Pirates, and he gave me a shirt with a pirate skull throwing up a lime. Neat).

The pulled pork was good, but do you see those treasure chests??? That was purely a Pinterest idea there. It seemed easy enough that we could pull it off without too much effort, and oh my goodness, M&M stuffed Swiss rolls with extra frosting on top are amazing!

Oh, yeah, and we watched the original Pirates trilogy. Although I like to pretend the story actually ends after the first one.

Quarantine Theme Weekend #9


It was Jason’s and my first “unofficial” date. He had come up with some excuse to get coffee with me (but I knew what he was doing!), so we were hanging out at Tim Horton’s (#westernNY). And apparently it was Shark Week.

They had shark week posters up, and I think Cold Stone had some shark themed sundae. Until this moment, I had no idea there was such a thing as shark week (but why?). And Jason explained to me all about Sharknado.


Sure. Good first date topics.

But somehow he convinced me that it was so ridiculous that it’s good, and it was one more of those movies that (almost) everyone has seen that I some day needed to watch.

Also there are 6 of them.

I have NO idea how they managed to get 6 ideas out of this, but we watched 3, and they just keep getting weirder and weirder. The first one is actually pretty serious (and pretty bloody!), but I was surprisingly invested in it. And I guess when it became so well received, they decided to make more. And to make them as ridiculous as possible.

And they succeeded.

I actually found the second one hilarious! The third one is funny too, but by the end I was kinda over it. There’s no way I could make it through 6 of them, but I think I’ve seen enough to cross it off my list!

But the shark week food ideas on Pinterest are adorable. I found these shark fin waffles, which are just waffles smothered in blue cool whip, and then a section of another waffle on top for the fin. Super easy and super cute. Perfect.

I came up with the shark bite cupcakes myself! Definitely not something you would serve at a party, but the cupcake with the shark next to the cupcake with the headless fish and the bite taken out of it amuses me so much. I set them next to each other and just started giggling at my own genius creativity…

Jason worked really hard on his “sharknado” cupcake, which I put in the back of the photo so you can barely see it, haha. But if you look in the background, you can see the oddball out cupcake that kind of looks like a unicorn. That’s Jason’s sharknado. And it’s in the background because it is in the distance quickly coming towards us and we must find something to make a bomb to blow it up before it gets here!

So yeah.


Plan Your Own Theme Weekend

Bilbo’s 111th birthday cake from our Lord of the Rings “Hobbit Party.”

Here are some ideas of what to do for your very own theme weekend:

  • Think of a movie (or series) that you’ve always wanted to watch, but don’t really want to take the time to watch.

    For instance, I really do want to see Gone With the Wind, but there are just so many other things I’d rather do with my time. But now I have the time, so now would be a great time to watch it!

  • Think of some food you’ve always wanted to try.

    It can be take-out, store bought, or homemade. That really doesn’t matter. Of course, homemade food takes up more of that time you have too much of right now, so that’s a plus in that category. But it could be those deep fried frozen Twinkies you keep glancing at every time you pass them in the store. This is a special occasion! It calls for special food!

  • Think of a costume or specific style you like dressing up in.

    I actually picked Pirates of the Caribbean weekend because I love dressing like a pirate (and have a costume in my closet, ready to go!). Do you want to wear your Minnie ears (yes!)? Have a Disney weekend. Do you like wearing your old sports jerseys? Have a sports weekend! Watch all those good old sports movies, play some ball in the backyard, have a cookout!

Other Theme Ideas

  • “Back to the Future”

  • Murder Mystery

  • Romantic (including a fancy dinner!)

  • 50’s (or pick any decade)

  • Island themed (“Castaway” is perfect for quarantine!)

  • Marvel/Superhero

  • Star Wars

  • Basically any movie franchise you love

  • Gilmore Girls (imagine the food for that one!)

  • Basically any TV show you really like

There’s no end to possibilities you can do.

Get creative and see where it takes you!

Planning a stay at home weekend:

Save these pins for when you need future “stay at home” entertainment ideas: