If you are planning a surprise birthday party, you really do want it to be a surprise. This might be easy or difficult to pull off, depending on how suspicious or savvy your friend is about things like this. Whether it is a complete surprise or just a minor one, here are some key things your party needs.
Pick a Theme
Every great party needs a theme. Think about what your friend really enjoys. A beach theme does not even need sand and water. It can just be friends in shorts and flip-flops wearing Hawaiian shirts with Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background. You could make your own Louisiana Mardi Gras theme with some Cajun food and special décor items, like those from Mardi Gras Supplies. Being creative and whimsical with your theme choice for the surprise birthday party adds charm to the event, making it even more memorable.
Plan the Food
Catering would be great, but it might be beyond your budget. Nearly everyone enjoys a cookout, and you can even have grilled food in the middle of winter. A propane barbecue works in January the same as it does in July. Your cook might be a little chilled, but the food will be great. Try to tie in some of the food with your theme. If you do a Mardi Gras theme, some gumbo or a shrimp dish is practically a necessity. Be sure to have some vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for guests following special diets.
Master the Entertainment
You can MC the party, but you need to be enthusiastic and be able to grab the attention of guests. Even close friends and family will cluster in groups and get deep in discussions at parties. You need to be able to rally them to action. Plan a few party games or other participatory entertainment options that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. Check local entertainment agencies for the cost of an act to liven up your party. You can get anything from an Elvis impersonator to a celebrity lookalike for pictures. Just pick something you know will be a hit for your group, but keep in mind that you will have to go out of your way to motivate guests to initially participate. The action usually snowballs from there.
Provide a Kid’s Area
If you have a lot of guests with children, provide the means for them to be monitored and entertained. A couple of trusted friends or family members should be in charge of keeping an eye on the kids while the adults enjoy the party. Notify your guests that you will provide child entertainment and services to get more people to come. It is tough for some parents to get a sitter, and knowing they can bring the kids along will get more guests at your surprise party. Also, kids will especially enjoy participating in the moment of surprise.
Make sure to plan a venue big enough for all your guests. If there are too many for your home, ask your friends and family with the space needed for help. You can also look for local civic and community groups that have party spaces for rent for a low cost.