25 Great Surprise Birthday Ideas Every Party Planner Should Know

Make their day extra special with these brilliant surprises.

Who doesn’t love a good surprise birthday party? Everyone wants to grab a piece of the cake and have loads of fun. If you have a friend or a loved one whose birthday is fast approaching, then here’s what you can do to make their special day a memorable one.

Plan a birthday party with friends and family with these cool and super-fun surprise birthday ideas. Scroll down and get inspiration for different kinds of surprise parties you can throw.


1) Treasure Hunt

 Treasure Hunt

Brush up your creative writing skills. Use some rhyming words and inside jokes to make up clues and hide them in various places. Send the birthday boy or girl on a treasure hunt and get the party folk to participate by yelling “cold,” “warm” and “hot,” to help find the next clue. Treasure hunt parties are fun, memorable and perfect for a gathering of family and friends.

2) What’s your number?

 What’s your number

Buy gifts equivalent to the age of the person. If someone is celebrating their 25th birthday, then pick up 25 different gifts. Think out-of-the-box for this one; gifts can range from simple trinkets to expensive gaming consoles. (Not ideal for someone in their 80’s)

3) Go fancy

 Go fancy

If you have a bigger budget, you can turn the party a little extravagant. From hiring a chauffeur driven vehicle to a full-fledged DJ night, make sure you bring the roof down. Perfect for the young crowd.

4) For the kids

 for kids

No one enjoys a birthday party as much as kids do. From welcome drinks to desserts, make sure you have plenty of eats and drinks on the table. Bouncy castles, face painting, balloons, games, magic, etc., will keep the kids occupied. Extra brownie points for return gifts.


5) This is your day

 This is your day

This idea is perfect for your partner. Plan out every detail well in advance so the surprise is smooth and uninterrupted. Make the birthday a journey from breakfast in bed, shopping, movie, etc. Include the things your partner loves to do as much as possible; after all, it is his/her birthday. You can wind it up with a surprise dinner with your near and dear ones. If you can’t pack all the events in one day, try spreading it over a week.


6) Gifting on the hour, every hour

 Gifting on the hour

This one needs preparation and planning. The more number of people you get involved in this, the better. Present the birthday boy/girl with a gift every hour. Even if the birthday person is at work or home, find out a way to get the gift delivered to them. Make the gifts progressively better so it keeps the celebrant guessing what’s next.

7) Balloons


Nothing says birthday like balloons! Fill up an entire room (or the whole house if possible) with balloons. You can even fill the balloons with confetti, clues, gifts, etc., and have them pop the balloons for some added fun.

8) Cards


Handpick a ton of different birthday cards from palm-sized to ginormous ones. You can have them “secretly” delivered every hour or every day (for a week / month). Humour, poetry, photographs, etc. will surely help.

9) Garden of flowers

 Garden of flowers

This one is similar to the balloons idea, except with flowers. Have multiple bouquets of flowers delivered to the celebrant. Word of caution: make sure the birthday boy or girl is not allergic to pollen.

10) At the office


Depending on your office policies, you can throw a surprise party for your colleague at work. Be it a cake or team lunch, your colleague will definitely appreciate the thoughtfulness.

11) Multiple surprises

 multiple surprises

Another great way to surprise someone is to have more than one surprise. If the celebrant has a close family member or friend in a different place, arrange to have them come to the surprise party. The celebrant will remember and cherish this epic surprise forever.

12) Themed parties

 Themed parties

This one is perfect for all age groups and easy as well; all you need is a theme. From classic superheroes and princess themes to trending Radhe Maa and cosplay themes, get the party folk to arrive at the party in theme-specific outfits. You will have people raving about the party for a long, long time.

13) The big fan

 the big fan

If the person celebrating their birthday is a huge fan of a TV show, superhero, music, movie etc., then base the party around it. E.g. if the celebrant is crazy about Harry Potter, have everything (from cake to drinks) surrounding his favourite character or houses.

14) Take it outdoors

 Take it outdoors

Is the celebrant an adventurous or outdoorsy person? Then plan the party outdoors. Go camping or to the beach. Get creative with barbeques and grills.

15) Slide shows and videos

 Slide shows and videos

Get in touch with close family members and friends of the celebrant and collect some old pictures and stories. You can even have them shoot a video wishing the birthday person. Works well when the celebrant is in a different country.

16) Resort party

 Resort party

Pre-book a resort with a pool and invite friends and family over for the entire day. This is a great idea for family fun as it doubles up as an outing and is perfect for a bonding experience. Add bonfire, wine and grill to the itinerary and you are golden.

17) Karaoke party

 Karaoke party

Rent a karaoke machine, roll out the bottles and see the magic unfold as people sing their hearts out. From high-pitched solos to shy duets, you will have people reaching for the mic one after the other.

18) Brew Birthday Bash

 Brew Birthday Bash

Ideal party for grownups. Have an assortment of various brews, from light wheat to dark cocoa, for your guests. You can also include other beverages. Have plenty of finger food to accompany the good stuff. Make sure that your guests get home safe.

19) Chic party

 Chic party

This is a great party idea to celebrate the birthday of a girl / woman who loves sophistication and glamour. Have tables and chairs set elegantly; include a banner announcing the celebrant. Get a band or DJ to play soft jazz music in the background. Perfect way to make the birthday girl feel special!

20) Glow in the dark party

 Glow in the dark party

Install black light tubes instead of regular ones, whip out the glow sticks, bands and other accessories, and get the DJ to play upbeat music. This party will soon turn into one of the best birthday parties ever!

21) Cruise bash

 Cruise bash

If you’ve got the budget, then host the birthday party on a cruise/yacht out in the ocean. Not only is this a great way to relax and unwind, it is perfect for a close group of friends or family.

22) Sweet 16

Oct. 8, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA - Exclusive - Bella Thorne Rings in her 16th Birthday with a Candies Cake at STK Restaurant in West Hollywood, CA. - PICTURED: Bella Thorne - PHOTO by: Sara Jaye Weiss/StartraksPhoto.com

Plan an amazing sweet sixteen party based on a favourite theme. From the invitations to plates, let the entire party be based around the theme. Make sure to include a tiara for the Princess and a sword for the Prince.

23) Mid-life party crisis

 Mid life

Plan the birthday party according to the celebrant’s liking. Make the food and drink the main attraction, pay more attention to the presentation and style. At any cost, never display a banner that says “You are 40”.

24) Stripper party

Stripper party

Caution: This one is strictly for adults. Hire strippers, male and female, so all your guests enjoy the show. Have them entertain the crowd with lewd yet tasteful acts. Make sure you can get a pole set up in the venue. Stripper parties can be fun and entertaining. Remember – strippers only and nothing more!

25) Friendly fire

 Friendly fire

Organise fun and friendly sports such as paintball, go-karting, etc. This will make the birthday fun and memorable as the crowd participates in all these fun activities.


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