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How to Throw the Perfect Surprise Party

Are you looking for an exciting way to spice up your child’s next birthday party? Do you feel like you’ve exhausted all the possible birthday templates over the last few years? One of the most fun and special birthday party ideas is a surprise party. There is nothing like walking into a room and unexpectedly being ambushed by a bunch of your closest friends and family.

I threw a surprise party for my youngest recently and everything went off perfectly. He had no idea it was coming and I have to chalk it up to a lot of planning. Here are a few tips for the surprise to follow.

Use Birthday Traditions

In order to make the surprise extra surprising, use one of your family’s birthday traditions as the basis for the surprise. For example, my family goes to putt-putt golf every birthday. My husband is a huge golf fan so, by association, we are too. On my youngest’s last birthday we pulled up to the putt-putt course and when we walked into the lobby, 15 of his closest friends were there to jump out and surprise him. He had no idea it was coming because for us putt-putt is just a run-of-the-mill birthday activity. This works with any birthday tradition. If your family goes to the movies every year, tell the surprisers to arrive at your house 30 minutes before the movie is scheduled to end. This will give them ample time to get situated and set up the balloons, food and activities.

Tie Up The Loose Ends

This is a broad category that covers anything that could potentially give the secret away. Make sure each of the guests know that it is a surprise party. There is no way to ensure that a child won’t let something slip at school, but you can do your best to make sure they don’t find out. This means asking the guests to arrive a half hour earlier and making sure that no cars are parked in view of the birthday boy or girl. You wouldn’t want to be walking up to the door and have them notice their best friend’s parent’s car parked across the street.

Plan the Party Food

This is where good friends come in handy. You won’t want to spend a few days preparing enough food to feed an entire party. Even the least observant child will notice something is up. Delegate the cake-baking and food preparation to a few trusted friends. You can help out while the kids are at school, but be sure that your child doesn’t catch you preparing nachos for 20 guests.

Think “After Party”

At my son’s birthday, we allowed his two best friends to spend the night after the party. This is a special way of continuing the fun even when most of the guests have left.

Throwing the perfect surprise party comes down to good planning. If you are able to pull off a successful surprise party, you will have given your child a memory they will never forget. Good luck!


Grace is a party-planning expert who knows how to throw the perfect surprise party, slumber party and Super Mario party.

This post was written by a guest writer for Prime Parents Club. We are not currently taking new guest writers.