How to Celebrate Your Girlfriend's Birthday

Four Methods:Throwing a Birthday PartyPlanning a Night/Day OutCooking a Birthday DinnerTaking a Trip

It's always a good idea to make your girlfriend feel special, but on her birthday, it's even more important. That doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of money or make elaborate plans, though. As long as you focus on your girlfriend and the things that she really enjoys, you'll make her feel like a queen for the day.

Method 1
Throwing a Birthday Party

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    Pick a date. If possible, you’ll probably want to have the party on your girlfriend’s actual birthday. However, if the day falls during the week, it’s usually best to move it to the weekend so guests don’t have to worry about getting up for school or work in the morning. You can choose the weekend before or after her birthday, depending on which is closest to the actual day.[1]
    • If you’re planning to throw a surprise party, try to pick a date before your girlfriend’s birthday. The further away from the actual day, the less that she’ll be expecting it.
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    Find a venue. In most cases, it’s easiest just to have the party at your or a friend’s house. However, if you want a more formal party, you may want to rent a catering hall or hotel function room. Many restaurants have party rooms available too, which can be convenient if you just want a simple party.[2]
    • You can also opt for a destination party by celebrating your girlfriend’s birthday at a venue that hosts a specific activity, such as a bowling alley, an arcade, or a pottery studio.
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    Choose a party theme. To make the event special for your girlfriend, it helps to come up with a fun theme for the party. It can be something simple, such as her favorite cartoon characters, or something more elaborate. In warm weather, you might hold the party outdoors and go with a tropical theme where all the guests wear Hawaiian shirts. If she’s a fan of gambling, you might choose a Monte Carlo or Las Vegas theme. Tailor it to your girlfriend’s specific interests.[3]
    • After you choose a theme, don’t just make the decorations match it. Have all of the elements, including the food, entertainment, and music, fit it as closely as possible.
    • If there’s a movie that your girlfriend loves, make that the theme of the party. Have all the guests dress up as characters from the film.
    • A carnival theme can be fun. Make fair-worthy foods, such as corn dogs, snow cones, and popcorn, and set up some games, such as a ring toss.
    • A murder mystery party is a fun idea if your girlfriend likes detective stories. Let the guests know ahead of time, though, so they can get in character and dress up.
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    Create a guest list and send out invites. Once you have the date, venue, and theme decided, you can start to invite guests. Create a list of all the people that your girlfriend would want at the party, such as family, friends, co-workers, and classmates. It’s a good idea to get her input on the list so you know that everyone who she wants to celebrate will be there. The easiest way to send invitations is through an email invitation site, such as Evite, because you don’t have to worry about postage.[4]
    • For a surprise party, ask your girlfriend’s close friends and family to help you come up with the guest list so you don’t miss anyone.
    • If you’re going with email invitations, make sure that you have email addresses for everyone on the guest list.
    • You can also invite guests more informally, such as through phone calls or text messages.
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    Plan the food. When it comes to food for a party, a buffet-style setup is usually the best bet. If you’re doing a theme party, you may want to tailor the food to fit the theme. You can also create a menu based on your girlfriend’s favorite foods.[5]
    • Making the food yourself can add a personal touch to your girlfriend’s party.
    • If you don’t want to cook for a large group, consider having the party catered from your girlfriend’s favorite restaurant.
    • You can also opt for easy to prepare foods from the grocery store, such as frozen appetizers.
    • If you’re on a budget, just go with simple snacks foods for the party. Put out bowls of chips, pretzels, and some dip. A platter of vegetables is also a good option.
    • Don’t forget beverages. Set up a bar area with bottles of soda, water, juice, some alcoholic beverages if your girlfriend and the guests are of legal drinking age, ice, and plastic cups so guests can help themselves.
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    Decorate the venue. If you’re holding a theme party for your girlfriend, you can choose decorations that help bring it to life. For example, for a tropical theme party, you might hang tiki lights outside. For a general party, you can’t go wrong with the old standards of balloons and streamers.[6]
    • Party supply stores have decorations to fit a wide range of themes, so you can find the perfect options for your girlfriend’s party.
    • If you’re going for a low-key party, you may want to forgo decorations and just hang a Happy Birthday banner.

Method 2
Planning a Night/Day Out

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    Take her to dinner at her favorite restaurant. If you want to keep your celebration quiet and simple, plan an evening out at your girlfriend’s favorite restaurant. To make the occasion special, though, don’t choose a place that you go to often. Opt for a fancier restaurant that the two of your don’t get to go to as often as you’d like.[7]
    • Depending on the restaurant, you may need reservations, so it’s important to plan the celebration with enough advance notice.
    • When you call for reservations, you might arrange to have the table set up in certain way. For example, you might have flowers sent over so they can be waiting for your girlfriend when you arrive.
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    Meet friends at a bar or club. If your girlfriend wants a celebration that’s a little bigger but still low-key, arrange to meet some of her friends at a local bar or club. You can choose a locale that has special activities, such as karaoke or trivia contests, that she enjoys, or go with a spot where she can dance the night away if that’s what she prefers.[8]
    • Make the evening more special by planning a “pub crawl.” Pick three or four of your girlfriend’s favorite bars, and map a plan to hit all of them in one night with your friends. Give a copy to everyone in case someone gets lost along the way.
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    Go out to “play.” If your girlfriend enjoys competitive games, celebrate her birthday by taking her out to play. Plan an evening at a bowling alley, or laser tag or paintball facility. You can leave it just the two of you, but it may be more fun to organize some friends and family to come along and play.[9]
    • If there’s a particular sport that your girlfriend enjoys, such as softball or volleyball, arrange a birthday “tournament” at a local field with friends and family.
    • Keep things simple by taking a trip to the local batting cage or putting green.
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    Take her to a sporting event, concert, or play. A special event is an ideal way to celebrate your girlfriend’s birthday. Buy tickets to a concert for a musician that she’s been dying to see, or take her to see the play or musical that she’s been interested in. If she is a sports fan, get tickets to her favorite team’s game.[10]
    • It’s usually more fun to keep the event that you’re going to a surprise until the night that you’re celebrating.
    • At some venues, such as a sporting event, you may be able to get a message on the video board wishing your girlfriend a happy birthday to make the night even more special. Check the stadium’s website to learn how to request a message.
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    Visit the outdoors. If your girlfriend is someone who loves the outdoors, plan a day where she gets to spend plenty of time out in nature. Plan a hike along a trail that offers spectacular views, or take her to the beach so you can enjoy the sand and surf. If you both enjoy cycling, map out a long bike ride that allows you to see some spots that you don’t visit often. Depending on the season, you might go apple picking or spend the day skiing. Even a picnic in the park can be fun.[11]
    • You don’t just have to stick to an outdoor celebration during the day. Take her out in the evening for some star gazing.
    • Make a weekend out of it by planning a camping trip to her favorite local spot.

Method 3
Cooking a Birthday Dinner

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    Plan the menu. The easiest way to decide what to make for your girlfriend’s birthday is to think about her favorite foods and find recipes that you think you can handle. If you’re not an experienced cook, it’s usually best to keep it simple by making a basic pasta dish. To get some inspiration, visit a few cooking websites and skim the recipes until you find the perfect options for your girlfriend.[12]
    • Steak and baked potatoes is a relatively simple meal to prepare, particularly if you cook the meat on a grill. Make the meal a little more special by adding a marinade to the steak, such as soy sauce, lemon and garlic, or a balsamic vinaigrette.
    • Roast chicken can be an easy recipe to follow if you swap a whole chicken for several individual skin on, bone-in pieces instead. Place them in a baking dish with your favorite marinade and roast until they're brown. Add your girlfriend's favorite vegetable or starch side dish, and you have an elegant, but simple dinner.
    • Once you have selected the recipes you’ll be using, make a list of ingredients and head to the grocery store. You don’t want to find out that you’re missing an ingredient when you start to prepare the meal.
    • Don’t forget the cake! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by preparing the meal itself, go with a store-bought option that you know she’ll love.
    • You don’t necessarily have to make dinner for your girlfriend’s birthday meal. Surprise her with a delicious, homemade breakfast in bed instead.
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    Set the table. It’s not just about the food when you’re planning a birthday dinner for your girlfriend. Make it special by dressing the table up a little more than you would for a normal meal. Use a tablecloth and cloth napkins, and set out the best dinnerware and glasses that you can find. You may also want to add flowers or balloons.[13]
    • If you don’t have a nice tablecloth, napkins, dishes, and glasses, ask a friend or family member if you can borrow some for the evening.
    • Make the table setting even fancier by learning how to Fold a Cloth Napkin in elegant shapes.
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    Prepare the meal. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to cook your girlfriend’s birthday meal, so you don’t feel overwhelmed at the last minute. Make sure you know when she’s going to arrive, and consult the recipes to see how long it should take to prepare the food. Add an extra hour or so to the time in case you run into any trouble.[14]
    • If you’re nervous about cooking the meal, ask a friend or family member who has experience in the kitchen to help. Just make sure that your assistant leaves before your girlfriend shows up.
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    Create the right mood. As the food is cooking, take the time to make sure that you have the right mood to celebrate your girlfriend’s birthday. Dim the lighting, and light some candles on the table and around the room for a more romantic feel. Make a playlist of your girlfriend’s favorite songs, and have it playing when she arrives.[15]
    • If you don’t want to light candles, you can opt for string lights. Hang a few strands throughout the room for soft mood lighting.
    • Help maintain the perfect mood by making sure that your phone is turned off or on vibrate during the meal. You don’t want any interruptions to ruin the celebration.

Method 4
Taking a Trip

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    Figure out a budget. Trips can be expensive, so it’s important to know how much money you have to spend on a birthday trip for your girlfriend. It’s not just hotel costs that you should think about too -- you’ll need to consider transportation, food, and entertainment expenses as well. Set a firm budget, so you can start to narrow your destination options.[16]
    • You don’t need to have a lot of money to plan a special birthday trip. Even one night away at a bed and breakfast can mean a lot to your girlfriend.
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    Think of a special destination. When you’re choosing a place to take your trip, budget will play a role. However, you should also try to find a destination that will be special for your girlfriend. That may mean taking her somewhere that she’s always wanted to go or taking her back to a place where you’ve shared happy memories before. It can also be as simple as taking her for a weekend to an amusement park that you know she loves. Make the trip all about her, so you know that she’s sure to enjoy it.[17]
    • If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your getaway, talk to your girlfriend’s friends and family to see if they have any ideas.
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    Make reservations. Once you’ve settled on a destination, you can make hotel reservations and arrange for transportation, such as airline or train tickets. Use a travel site to find the best deals for the area, so you’re sure to stick to your budget. You should also figure out if you need any other reservations for the trip, such as for dinner at a trendy restaurant, tickets for a show, or admittance to a local attraction.[18]
    • Make sure to plan ahead, so you’re not making reservations at the last minute. You may wind up with limited options if you wait too long to plan the trip.
    • If you’re not sure if you need other reservations, speak to the staff at the hotel. They can usually help you figure out what you might want to plan ahead.
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    Create a gift box that goes with the destination. You’ll want to have something to give to your girlfriend on her birthday, so put together a gift package that hints at the trip’s location. For example, if you’re taking her for a weekend of vineyard tours, put together a basket that includes a map of the area, a couple of bottles of her favorite wine, and a monogrammed wineglass. For a weekend away at the beach, put some sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, and a towel inside a beach bag for her.[19]
    • If your destination doesn’t lend itself to a gift box, just print out your itinerary or reservation confirmation, place it in a box, and wrap it for your girlfriend to open.


  • You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your girlfriend’s birthday celebration to make her feel special. Focus on who she is and what she enjoys, and she’ll appreciate the thought that you put into it.
  • Try asking your girlfriend throughout the year what kind of celebrations she prefers. That way, when her special day comes, you’ll know what type of party or event to plan.


  • If your girlfriend doesn’t like surprises, it’s best not to keep her in the dark about her birthday celebration. Let her have some input in planning it to make sure that she’s comfortable.

Article Info

Categories: Theme Parties | Birthdays