Use this guide to plan your child the ultimate surprise birthday party.

Surprise party planning 101

Have you ever thought about throwing your son or daughter a surprise birthday party? It’s tricky to pull off, to be sure, but the look of pure joy on your child’s face as they are greeted by shouts of “Surprise!” on their special day will make it all worth it. Planning a surprise party will require a bit more effort than planning a more traditional birthday celebration, but with a little help – and our handy guide – you’re sure to pull off a memorable event that your child and their friends will be talking about for years to come.

Pick a date and start strategizing
As is true of planning any birthday party, the first thing you’ll need to do is pick a date. Then you can begin strategizing about how you can pull off the big surprise! You’ll need someone to keep the guest of honor distracted on the big day, but other than that, you should keep the number of co-conspirators to a minimum – the more people who know about the party, the more likely the secret will get out.

Send out special birthday invitations
It’s critical that you make it absolutely clear on the birthday invitations that the party is a surprise. If your child is younger, you may want to hand-deliver the invites to the guests’ parents and ask them not to share the information with their children until the day-of – you don’t want their kids to accidentally spill the beans! Be sure to also ask guests to arrive 15-20 minutes early so they don’t spoil the surprise.

Plan the decorations
When planning the decorations for the big celebration, be sure you take into consideration the fact that decking out your house can’t be an all-day process. Chances are you’ll only have an hour or two to get the party ready while your child is taken on a special outing. Ask some of your co-conspirators to come early to help you decorate with balloons, crepe paper and pre-made decorations.

Get ready for the big moment
The big day is here! The house is decorated, the birthday boy or girl is on an adventure with one of your co-conspirators, and the guests have arrived. Assemble the guests in one room and ask them to quietly hide. Don’t forget to let them know what the signal will be to jump out and yell “Surprise!” (Pro tip: Draw the curtains and turn out the lights so your child doesn’t suspect anything when they first arrive – turning on the lights will be the signal for the big reveal!)

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