Birthday Surprise Ideas

Plan a birthday surprise with friends and family
Birthday surprise ideas can be big or small.

Birthday surprise ideas can range from extravagant to simple, as long as they're thoughtful and designed to delight the recipient. It can be great fun to plan a birthday surprise, as long as everyone involved is able to keep the secret!

Simple Birthday Surprise Ideas

Any kind of surprise is suitable for a birthday, and if you're limited in what you can arrange, simple surprises often have just as much impact as larger ones would. Here are some suggestions for small birthday surprise ideas which make a big impression.

Plenty of Presents

Rather than spending a lot of money on one large gift, you could give several smaller ones. One gift for each year is an especially nice idea. These presents don't have to be expensive; consider things like a bouquet of hand-picked wild flowers, bubble bath, and fresh pastries for a woman, or golf balls, a baseball cap, and fancy marinades or spice mixes for a man. Give the gifts throughout the day, or hide them around the house for added fun.

Surprise Party at Home

Invite friends and family to arrive at a specified time, without telling the guest of honor that there's a party coming up. Mention that a friend will be stopping by so that the birthday boy or girl will be dressed appropriately. Then let him or her delight in the actual number of people who arrive for the surprise party. For an even easier party, make it a potluck.

Start the Day Off Right

The day before the birthday, pick up lots of inexpensive helium-filled balloons. You can often find these at dollar stores. Attach several balloons to heavy items such as books or coffee mugs, and hide them. After the birthday celebrant has fallen asleep, bring out the bunches of balloons and place them all around the bedroom, so when he or she wakes up, it looks very festive and fun.

Extravagant Birthday Surprises

If a milestone birthday, such as a 40th or 80th birthday, is being celebrated, a more elaborate surprise is called for to create a lasting memory of the big day. These can cost quite a bit of money, but the results will be worth it.

Extreme Sports

Many people love the rush they get from extreme sports. If the person celebrating a birthday is among them, plan for a day full of fun and adventure. Bungee jumping, wakeboarding, surfing, inline skating, and indoor or outdoor climbing are all great options. Invite along a group of friends to share in the activities, and make sure to take lots of pictures to present in a keepsake photo album afterwards.

Take a Trip

Planning a vacation may not seem like much of a surprise, but there are many ways to pull it off. You can book the trip and only mention what sort of weather the guest of honor should pack for, leaving the destination a surprise until you get to the airport. You could also arrange for friends and family members to arrive after a couple of days to participate in the ultimate surprise party. Alternatively, plan some fun activities to take part in while you're away for a surprise.

Make a Big Announcement

There are a number of ways you can draw attention to an important birthday, such as:

  • Take out a full or half-page ad in the local newspaper
  • Rent billboard space
  • Ask local radio and television stations to make an announcement for you
  • Post signs around the neighborhood or workplace
  • Use the P.A. system at school or work

This type of announcement makes a big impact, and you can use this type of media to let the birthday celebrant know about an upcoming party in his honor, or a special dinner to celebrate the day.

Always Consider the Recipient

No matter how big or unusual your birthday surprise may be, it's important to keep the guest of honor in mind when you're in the planning stages. Not all surprises are appropriate for every personality, age, or fitness level. However, as long as your surprise ideas are thoughtful and suitable, they are sure to be appreciated!

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Birthday Surprise Ideas