29 Amazing Surprise Party Ideas

Looking to plan a surprise party but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! This article contains the best ideas for surprise parties. We have collected a list with tips and ideas on how to make your surprise party special, from decorations to invitations to everything in-between.

Surprise Party Ideas

The first step in planning a party is to decide where and how you want it to be held. These creative and fun ideas for surprise parties will help you plan your day.

1. Make a Homemade Digital Video

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

A homemade video is a great gift for someone who values quality gifts over extravagant ones. It’s a gift to cherish forever, literally, it’s a permanent space for all your memories! It can be viewed wherever and whenever you want. Trust me, the person you’re throwing a party for will definitely appreciate all the love and hard work you put into this surprise. It’s easy and inexpensive to create a video.

There are many free editing programs that you can find on your computer or phone. YouTube and Vimeo allow you to share videos easily. To create the video you will need to search your digital and physical photo collection and select the most memorable, visually appealing photos. Photos from childhood, vacations and holidays can all be included.

If your editor permits, you can also add fun effects to make the video stand out. Add their favorite song or an upbeat tune to finalize the video. Then, viola! You now have an amazing birthday clip.

2. Give them a shout out on their favorite podcast or your local radio station

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas That Won't Break the BankSurprise Birthday Party Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

If you’re looking for a sweet surprise, you should definitely consider getting a shoutout from a local radio or podcast station. This idea is simple and meaningful. It’s pretty simple and quick to contact local stations and ask them to mention your friend’s birthday or play their favorite song. This surprise is a great way to thank them for their birthday.

If you’re a planner then you will find it relieving to know that you can plan a specific date and time to have them listen to the radio. A shoutout is a small surprise that can be done at a party, birthday dinner, or even while they are on their lunch break.

It really is a convenient and cute idea and I bet they wouldn’t expect to hear their name on the radio. If you decide to do this, I’m sure they will remember your sweet and kind gesture. Send a request!

3. Invite all your friends for a game night

Do you know someone who’s introverted and isn’t big on grand gestures? Surprise them with a game night with some close friends. You might have an old monopoly board collecting dust on a shelf, or maybe you have a classic game like Mario Kart that everyone can play. You can make it festive by hanging a happy birthday banner and decorating the place with colorful balloons, party hats, streamers, and confetti.

Also, don’t forget the snacks! Pizza and cheese platters are simple and classic. You can spice it up even more by adding karaoke. You can play songs on Spotify or YouTube.

This is a great low-budget idea that’s full of laughter and fun. An introverted person or someone who doesn’t enjoy big celebrations will definitely appreciate this one!

4. Beach Party

Beach party at sunset with friends closed to swimming pool with ocean view. Premium PhotoBeach party at sunset with friends closed to swimming pool with ocean view. Premium Photo

Are you one of those people who loves the beach and lives near the ocean? Have I got some ideas for your! Surprise parties at the beach are a great idea for anyone celebrating a summer birthday. This party is easy to plan and convenient. A surprise trip to the beach can be fun and easy to plan. You just need to trick the birthday person into thinking that they are going somewhere else.

If you’re stuck on ideas, I’d suggest telling them you’re going to the store or the park. It will be a great day for everyone to enjoy the beautiful weather and the cool ocean. You might consider adding surfing lessons or a boat trip. You can decide what you want, but you don’t have to worry about the budget. You probably already have sunscreen, a beach umbrella and towels. Since it’s a party, of course, you’ll need music, gifts, and food!

If you don’t want to eat at the beach then you can go to a nice dinner afterward. I agree, it’s not always the most delightful place to eat but it is the best opportunity to surprise someone and soak up the sun!

5. Potluck Dinner Party

A pot luck can help relieve stress when throwing a party. You will spend less time cooking food since everyone will bring their own. This type event is great for any day. It can be hosted at your home and takes very little time to plan. However, it takes some effort.

First, you’ll want to tidy up the place and hang up some decorations. You can reuse decorations or choose a color scheme, such as gold. You can then choose music and plan an activity such as karaoke, or a movie night. Pot lucks are a nice alternative to the usual birthday dinner at a good restaurant.

It’s even greater if the party is for a food lover. This is a great opportunity to celebrate a foodie’s birthday with their friends and enjoy delicious food. It’s a bit simple but you never know, this could be an ideal surprise for someone you know!

6. Host a Luau Party

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas That Won't Break the BankSurprise Birthday Party Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

If you live near a beautiful beach, a luau party is a great surprise idea. If you don’t live near the beach then you can still host a party in your backyard. All you need is some fun decorations like inflatable balloons, garland, and tropical flower décor. You might also consider buying a scenic backdrop.

A luau-themed backdrop would be great for photos. You don’t wanna forget some classic items like leis, pineapples, coconuts, and ukuleles either. A Tiki bar can also add an extra flair to your party.

If you’re opting for a backyard occasion then a BBQ luau can be a fun idea as well. Don’t forget the music! You can either bring live entertainment or play music from the luau. This party can take some effort but I’m sure it will turn out as a great surprise!

7. Rent a Limo Or Party Bus

It’s not every day that you can party in a limo and what a better time than your birthday? It’s a sweet surprise to go out with some friends and family and head somewhere fun. You can request that the limo take them to a luxurious restaurant, concert, club, or beach. You will need to decorate the limo! It is a good idea to decorate the limousine with birthday decorations. It can be pricey but it’s totally worth it to surprise someone you care about.

8. Take Them on a Helicopter Fly

You want to catch someone off guard? You can book a private helicopter tour that takes you around the city. This surprise is perfect for anyone who likes to be adventurous and try new things. It’s expensive yet easy to plan. Invite a small group. You can then all enjoy the beautiful scenery together. It’s definitely a wonderful and thrilling experience they will love!

9. Go To Disney World

This is the perfect place for big Disney fans and people who love amusement parks. They would love to celebrate their birthday at Disneyland and Disney World. Disney World has so many things to offer. You can eat at fine restaurants, take rides, or browse the gift shops. You just need to buy tickets for your friends and family, and then have some fun! It will be a memorable day filled with joy and laughter.

10. Spa Day

Some of us know someone who’s constantly busy and running around. It’s a great surprise to take someone like this to the spa. Take your loved one to the spa or bring some friends. But you don’t want to invite too many people because this is supposed to be a day of relaxation and peacefulness. This would be a relaxing and low-key birthday getaway.

11. Celebrate at an Ice Rink

The late fall and winter can limit some event options but don’t fear because ice skating would be an awesome surprise! It can be done indoors or outside, depending on whether you prefer one.

The ice rink is ideal for those who are competitive and active. Ice skating is a serious skill. It’s a fun place for everyone to enjoy and feel energized afterward. Then, after you’ve raced around the rink for a while you can all grab some hot cocoa or apple cider afterward!

12. Go Race Car Driving

Pricier Surprise Birthday Party IdeasPricier Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

It’s a great surprise to take someone racing for their birthday. This idea will be extra special for someone who is interested in cars or maybe it’s a person who always wanted to learn how to drive a racecar.

Race day on the track can be a great experience. There’s the option of actually driving the car by yourself or going for a ride-along. You and your birthday person can share the experience of driving the car.

This can be a bonding experience for the two of you. To cement the memory, you can take photos of yourself in the car. If you’re interested then go ahead and search for local tracks in your area!

13. Go Indoor Skydiving

Pricier Surprise Birthday Party IdeasPricier Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

Indoor skydiving is definitely a surprise somebody wouldn’t expect on their birthday. This idea is for people who are looking for adrenaline-pumping adventures and would enjoy doing something like this. Indoor skydiving is less nerve-racking as you can experience the freefall part without taking on too much risk.

There is also the benefit of not dealing with weather and you won’t have a high altitude compared to outside skydiving. You will only have to pay for the session. You won’t have set up decorations or invite a huge group of people.

This would be a great surprise and experience that someone will truly appreciate. You can guarantee that they’ll remember this birthday occasion for years to come!

How to Plan the Best Surprise Party Ideas

Once you have an idea it is time to plan! Surprise parties can be difficult and may require some assistance. You can’t keep it a secret, pick a location, pay for food and drinks and decorations, arrange transportation, and get all the guests together by yourself! These steps will ensure that your surprise party is a surprise to your guest of honour as well as everyone else.

14. Accomplices

Planning a party can be a difficult task. It is often a multi-person job.  You will most likely make mistakes if you try to do it all yourself. You might get caught unawares, or someone will notice your unusual behavior.  You obviously don’t want that, so find a small cadre of trusted individuals who can assist you (and who, preferably, doesn’t see the guest of honor very often). They can not only help you plan, but they can also store decorations or other items for your benefit.  They can also make reservations at the party halls and locations you choose, so they are not in your names.

Another way to make your accomplices useful is to invite them along to decorate with you. You can make it a few hours before the party so that you are ready to meet your accomplices. Make sure you have all the decorations and checked-in done. This way you can get in quick when it’s time and this leaves another task done. Consider having someone stay with your guest-of-honor. If your guest of honour is someone you like to live with or are best friends with, they may call you to invite you to join them. Have someone “babysit”You can give them a day of activities. Allow them to hang out at their place, eat, and run extra-long errands.

Don’t forget to give everyone a task. You will need people to help you decorate and to watch over your guest of honour. Someone should bring the food and be there to help with the cake. The birthday cake is the most important part. You should also get any extra supplies, such as coolers, ice boxes, candles, napkins and utensils.

15. Secret RSVP

You’ll want to know about how many people are coming, so send out invitations that ask guests to RSVP. Tell them that the party is secret and ask that they keep it quiet if they are not able to attend. Make sure that they understand that this is a surprise party that you don’t want spoiled because someone only skimmed their invitation. Your accomplices can also help in this area. Have one of them send out the invitations and receive the RSVPs to ensure that an inconvenient text message doesn’t ruin the fun.

Depending on when you came up with the idea of a surprise party you’ll want to make this part at least 3 weeks in advance. This gives people enough time for requesting off work, finding babysitters, and moving their calendar around their busy schedules so they know what’s to come. It is efficient to invite people by using a group message. This allows everyone to be in one place and communication between you and the planner is constant.

16. Timing

Chances are your friend or relative will be expecting something. So you need to plan your party carefully. Even a brunch party or afternoon fiesta can be better than a nighttime party. You can also plan your event the day before or the day after. You can also ensure that your guests know the time by having them arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before the event starts. It is hard to predict the outcome of a game if you run into someone you know at the door.

If they miss the deadline, inform them to wait until ten minutes after the party’s start time to arrive. This will avoid the above scenario. It is a good idea to set up a meeting an hour before the party. This ensures everyone arrives on time, and if something goes wrong, someone can quickly fix it before the guest of honor arrives.

Important Tips for Throwing a Surprise Party

17. Decoy

You might need a decoy in order to get your guest of honour off the scent. You can do this by choosing private rooms or places for baby showers that they already frequent, such as a restaurant or gym. Even a small gathering can be held before the party to let them know what the real celebration is. This could be hours or days in advance. Don’t go overboard pretending like nothing is going to happen.

Don’t say weird things to bring up a surprise party or hint at it. It might be hard if you’re bad at keeping secrets. They are likely to know that there will be a celebration at some time so acting strangely will only increase their suspicion. It’s okay to even act like you forgot about their special day. They most likely won’t mention it if you don’t! They’ll hope you’ll remember on your own. This sounds a little mean but once they see how much work and effort you put in to making them feel special they’ll see why you never mentioned it.

Decorations: Best Surprise Party Ideas

Surprise parties are fun and thoughtful ways to surprise someone. Visit your local party or craft store to plan the perfect surprise party. Don’t worry about figuring out the right decor for the room. Take a look at some of these surprise party ideas for decorations we’ve put together to make your party planning that much easier.

18. Choose a theme

A fun theme is the best way to get a party started. A casino night theme, a Hollywood theme, or even a throwback to the ’80s could be perfect for this surprise party. Ask your guests to dress according to the theme. Make sure you have options for the guest of honour. Make sure to add flashing lights and chips to any casino night. Use glamorous colors like gold and silver to make your Hollywood theme party. If you went for the ’70s, 80’s, or 90’s theme, make sure to decorate with bright colors and loud music. A backdrop for photos is a great way to complete the theme.

19. Light Show

Give your guests fun accessories that light up! You can give your guests flashing LED eyeglasses and wine glasses, bracelets, necklaces, and bracelets from many party shops. These can be placed on the tables and left to twinkle throughout the night. You can also add sparkle to the room by using string lights or candles.

Another option for lighting is to purchase paper lanterns and hang them in the room. If you have a theme, make sure to choose a variety of colors.

20. Paper Mache Piñata

These are the steps to make your own pinata. Make a fun shape out of mylar and then fill it with candy pieces before inflating it. You can cover the balloon with newspaper scraps and glue. Once the balloon dries, paint it with fun colors. Soon you’ll have your own pinata! Make sure you have a bandana handy so that you can start making fun of the balloon when it is time to open it.

21. Specialty Cake

A nice way to customize the party is to use food to spell out the guest of honor’s name. For example, you could make letters with cupcakes or use an alphabet-shaped pan to make their initials. This little gesture is thoughtful and sweet in so many ways.

22. Bundle of Balloons

If you’re looking for a fun display to accent the room, a balloon bundle is perfect. You can twist some thick wire into any shape you like. This shape could be a circle or a heart. Use colored balloons to fill the wire. Tie them with ribbon. Once it’s filled, you will have a wonderful centerpiece for the party. It’s great for photo-ops.

23. Decorative Paper Chains

Choose colors that complement the theme when you buy construction paper. Cut the paper into 1-inch strips. To create chain links, tie the ends together with tape or stapler. These make great decorations for the entranceway, on a staircase or around the table’s edge.

24. Colorful Balloon Arch

These beautiful creations are easy to make. Simply blow up some balloons filled with helium and try making them similar in size. Attach pieces of clear fishing string to the ends. You’ll need about a foot more fishing line. You’ll need two balloon holders. The first balloon should be tied to the holder. The next balloon’s line gets tied to the end of the first balloon. Continue this process until the last balloon is attached to the other balloon holder. You’ll have a beautiful arch to accent the doorway or cake. You can decorate the arch with ribbons or bows for more fun.

25. Noise Makers

 You can buy noisemakers from any local party shop. Noisemakers come in a variety of noise levels. They can sound like kazoos and loud cranks. These should be used for the guest of honour’s arrival. This increases the excitement and surprise. You can give some of these to the guests and they will hide!

26. Confetti Bombs

Confetti Bombs release confetti all around the room. These are small and portable for enclosed environments. These can also be used for the guest of honour’s arrival. To add to the surprise, shoot the confetti in the air!

27. Balloon Shower

A balloon shower is supposed drop balloons onto a person as they walk through the room. For this purpose, blow up as many balloons in different colors as possible. To hold the balloons, use a sheet and tape to attach them to a bag placed above the doorway. Pull the sheet down so the balloons can be released as soon as the guest enters the door. A balloon shower can be fun and magical. It doubles as decor and surprise.

Surprise Party Ideas: Invitations

Even if you have a plan, invite your guests! Whether you’re having a surprise birthday party for your child, your spouse, your sibling or even a close friend or family member, you want to make sure that the invitations are as special and well thought out as the event itself. It is not an easy task to make your own invitations. However, it is worth the effort and dedication. These are some tips that will make it easier to make your own invitations.

28. Homemade or bought?

First, you need to decide if you want invitations made by you or ordered from a business. This decision will depend on the theme of the event, how many guests are attending, and the number of people invited. If you’re throwing a formal event with many guests, it might be in your best interest to order them. However, if the party is intimate and smaller, homemade can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch.

29. Information to Include

A party invitation should give guests a clear breakdown of the event. The invitation should detail the exact location and time. It should also clearly state who the party is for and the reason it is being held. It is important to inform guests about what to wear and what to wear depending on the theme. It is a surprise, so make sure to emphasize that!


These surprise party ideas are great ideas to use as inspiration for your own party. These fun events are sure to amaze and delight all of your party guests. Be sure to plan ahead and timing everything perfectly. Most importantly, ensure everyone is quiet! Good luck!

29 Amazing Surprise Party Ideas

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