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Surprise birthday party ideas

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a...

Best day ever

A surprise party can be an event that is talked about for weeks or a total bomb; there doesn't seem to be anything in between. Take steps to make sure that yours makes the A list.

Surprise birthday party in limo

Movie buff

For the friend who knows the ending lines to every film ever made since 1940, consider renting a movie theater for a couple of hours if you're throwing a large party. You will probably have to choose a time when the theater is not normally open or busy. Black and silver balloons, ribbons and other decorations are perfect for this cinema theme.

Surprise picnic

For outdoorsy types, a picnic at a scenic spot might be just perfect. Invite your friend on a hike that ends up at the picnic spot where the party is waiting. Keep the decorations natural, and dispose of trash and leftovers properly. Have a backup plan in case of bad weather.

I remember

A memory party can be held anywhere. Decorate with old photographs and ephemera from places that the guest of honor has been. Use a scanner and printer to ensure that irreplaceable photographs don't get ruined. Ask everyone to write a little about their best memories with the recipient and place these on keepsake cards. You can even have some bakeries print an edible copy of a photograph for the cake.

Queen for a day

Create a royal experience for someone special by having a small surprise party in a limo. A stretch SUV typically seats up to 20 people. Choose a route through the prettiest part of town at night, or take a drive through the countryside. You usually can get champagne on ice as well as other drinks and have your own music play. Check with the limo company about food; many of them allow it, but some may not. Cupcakes are probably a better choice than cake for this party.

Progressive party

Make plans with the honoree to go out for coffee or dinner. Pick her up and take her to the first place where you have arranged for friends to meet. Have drinks, coffee or some small treat, and then go to the next place for dinner. Finally, head to the main party area, where a cake and decorations await.

Some cautions

Taking a few precautions can mean the difference between a great party and one that just doesn't work.

  • Be sure that this is something your friend will enjoy. Not everyone likes surprise parties.
  • Don't plan too far ahead. If you do, someone is bound to let the cat out of the bag.
  • Have a plan B if you're planning an outdoor event, just in case the weather turns sour.
  • Choose a theme that fits the honoree's personality.
  • Always check with companies and businesses that you will be using before solidifying the plans. Ask about all of the details and policies for food, beverages and large parties. This will ensure that your surprise party doesn't crash and burn because of some policy that you didn't know about.

More party ideas

Surprise party tips
6 Creative birthday party locations for kids
Birthday party disasters averted

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