24 February 2021 (updated)

Surprise Party Ideas: How to Throw a Surprise Birthday Party

There’s nothing as fun as a surprise party to celebrate a friend's birthday. Whether it’s prepping for the big "surprise!" or picking a theme, check out our ideas for a great event!

Planning a birthday party can be a lot of work in its own right. But if you’re springing for a surprise this year, it can be even more of a challenge to do it right! That’s where planning in advance and following a few tips can come in handy. From the guest count to the perfect cake, a surprise can be the best birthday gift all on its own! Share your own surprise party ideas on your favorite family app.

What Is the Best Way to Plan a Surprise Party?

There can be some hitches involved in surprise party arrangements that don’t occur when you're planning a regular birthday party. Fortunately, by staying ahead of the curve, you’ll be ready for anything!

  • Pick the Location – Deciding where you want to celebrate your friend's birthday will help you set the time, the theme and determine the decoration. While a home can be great for pulling off a surprise, their favorite restaurant can also be a great venue!
  • Get Your Guest Count – There are always going to be a few no shows at any party. However, the most important element of a surprise party is having a big crowd to yell it out! It’s just important to emphasize that it’s a surprise on the invite so no one spills the secret. Also, make sure to think about friends of friends you might not know well but who are also important to your birthday child.
  • Cue the Entry – If you’re planning the party, you know your friend or loved one best. That’s why it’s important to come up with a good idea of how to get them there without having them suspect a thing. You may also want to have a back-up plan in case anything changes. Whatever you do, ensure that the welcome will woo them!

What Are Some Good Surprise Party Ideas?

If you’re considering a theme for the surprise birthday party, there are plenty of options to choose from. The only hard part is figuring out how to get your guest of honor in on the action. Share your own surprise party theme ideas on FamilyApp!

  • The Great Gatsby – Celebrate the movie and the novel with a return to the Roaring Twenties! All it takes is champagne, some flapper dresses and a little bit of art deco excess. This is the perfect idea for every friend who loves to get fancy on their special day! 
  • Black & White Ball – If you’re having a party in your home, a little black and white can dress things up without a lot of decorations! This will easily make it a formal affair that your loved one will remember for a long time. 
  • Scavenger Hunt - A day-long event can be a great way to celebrate the occasion. Instead of dinner or dancing, organize a scavenger hunt down memory lane. If your friend is into Geocaching, they will love this especially, trust us. Another benefit: You can set up decorations for the surprise party at your friend's home or favorite restaurant while they're out in the woods!

What Are Some Tips for Throwing a Surprise Party?

  • Say It’s a Surprise! – It might seem, well, surprising, but sometimes the host can forget to mention that the party’s actually a surprise. Of course, this is the most important element of the party! Ensure that it’s outlined clearly in the invitation. You may even want to make it part of the event’s name so it’s not easy to forget.
  • It’s All About Food – There’s no doubt that food can make or break a party. But, more important than everyone else’s opinion is your guest of honor! While the food choices should reflect their favorites, make sure it fits the event. A set menu is best for a formal affair, while a buffet or potluck works for something more casual. Whatever you decide, don't forget the cake!
  • Make Sure the Guest is Party Ready – There’s nothing quite like showing up to an event where you’re not dressed appropriately. But, for the guest of honor, this is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs! Ensure whatever the story is that’s getting them there that they’re appropriately dressed without spoiling the surprise party!

Few things are more fun than seeing the surprise on someone’s face when a party’s thrown in their honor! There are just a few things you’ll need to do to make it go off without a hitch. By planning in advance, you can be prepared for any hiccups! Do you need any other ideas for a surprise party checklist? Have a look at this article and talk to your family and friends on FamilyApp.



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