How to Surprise Someone on Their Birthday

Two Methods:Surprising the Person with GiftsSurprising the Person with Activities

Is your spouse or best friend's birthday coming up? Want to surprise them? Read this article and surprise your loved one with the best birthday ever!

Method 1
Surprising the Person with Gifts

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    Write a note to the person. Instead of just giving a traditional card, write the person a small note or letter. You can leave it on the kitchen counter if you live with him, mail it to him if you live far away, give it to him in person, or talk to a co-worker to put it on his desk or work station.
    • Make your note interesting by shaking up the message. Instead of just saying, "Happy birthday!" write, "Hope your birthday is rocking!" or "Have a birthday full of joy!"
    • Write a personalized letter letting the person know how much they mean to you.
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    Make the person a birthday breakfast. Waking up to breakfast in bed, or walking into the kitchen to find her favorite breakfast will make the birthday girl feel extra special. Think about what her favorite breakfast foods are. Does she like pancakes, muffins, or eggs? You want to surprise her with her favorite foods.
    • Get up early, make the breakfast, and put it where she usually sits for breakfast. Or you can take it into her bedroom and wake her up with a tray of her favorite foods.
    • Put a small note wishing her a happy birthday on the saucer.
    • This is a great idea for spouses and significant others, parents, children, siblings, and roommates.
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    Fill their space with balloons. Blow up balloons, and then fill a cupboard, the person's closet, or the car with the balloons. When she opens the door to her closet, she will be showered in balloons. Or use crepe paper to gently secure balloons to her bedroom door so that when she opens it, balloons cascade in front of her.[1]
    • If you have the time, write messages on the balloons. You can write, "I love you more than ____" or "Reason #___ that I love you is _______." If this is a surprise for a friend, sibling, child, or parent, write reasons you appreciate her on the balloons.
    • Another idea is to write memories, funny stories, inside jokes, song lyrics, and meaningful words on the balloons to show her how special she is to you.[2]
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    Make a birthday in a can. Repurpose a tin can to make a special surprise for someone. Fill the can with streamers, candy, and small gifts that the person will like and that will make her smile. All you need is a can with a pop top, some tape, a can opener, and a hot glue gun.
    • Use the can opener to open the bottom of the can. Remove the label, remove the food, and clean the can well. Cover the sharp edges on the can and the top with masking tape, clear tape, or washi tape.
    • Make a few paper chains and hot glue them to the inside of the pop top. This will make the paper chain come out as soon as the person pops the top of the can. Then fill the can with small gifts, candy, and treats.
    • Replace the bottom of the can and secure it with clear tape. Fit the outside of the can with paper that you can decorate. Add ribbon, glitter, sequins, or any other accents to the paper. Hot glue the paper to the can.[3]
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    Bake them a cake. One simple way to surprise someone is to take the time to bake her favorite cake. This is meaningful because you took the time to make it (even if it's from a box instead of scratch) instead of a buying a cake from a store. Plus, homemade cakes usually taste better.
    • Make cupcakes or pie if your loved one prefers either of those desserts to cake.
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    Collect letters from their loved ones. One way to surprise your special someone is to collect letters or notes from his loved ones and friends. These notes can be general well wishes, memories, song lyrics, inside jokes, lists - whatever the person wants to share with the birthday boy.[4]
    • Put the notes in envelopes to open, or place them in a scrapbook or notebook for him to look through.
    • Put the notes on post-its. Stick the post-its on a wall, on the door, in his car, or around his work space. Choose different colors for a pretty array of messages.[5]
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    Decorate their usual places in a theme. To surprise your loved one, decide what she likes. Then leave little surprises for her during the day at her regular spots. Leave a surprise by the bed when she wakes, along her regular jogging path, at her desk at the office, or in her car.
    • If she likes music, start the day off by leaving a piece of paper with song lyrics where she can find it. This can be taped to her alarm clock, the bathroom mirror, rolled up in her coffee mug, or texted to her phone. The song lyrics should be either from her favorite song or have a significant meaning to the two of you.
    • Make her a mix CD and leave it in the car for her to listen to on her commute and at work. String musical notes along the path where she normally jogs. Text her a video of her favorite song or a song that means a lot to both of you.
    • This can work with movies, sports, animals, or anything else your loved on likes.
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    Decorate the person's locker. This is a fun way to surprise your friends when in middle and high school. If you go to the same school, decorate the outside of her locker. Make sure your school allows it before doing it so you don't get in trouble. Think about using the following things when decorating:
    • Ribbon and streamers
    • Balloons
    • A huge card
    • Wrapping paper
    • A locker mirror. Write in lipstick, "You look great!"
    • Candy. Tape the stick of lollipops to the locker. You can also tape Tootsie rolls, candy bars, and other treats to it.
    • A group photo
    • A Christmas stocking filled with fun stuff
    • Glitter
    • Cute magnets
    • Magnetic whiteboard. Write something nice on it. You might even get friends to leave messages on it.
    • If you can't decorate the person's locker, leave post-it notes on it with messages.

Method 2
Surprising the Person with Activities

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    Plan a surprise party. The classic way to surprise your loved one on his or her birthday is to throw a surprise party. You can even share the responsibility. Have one friend bake a nice cake, one friend, or all your friends, make a card, and one friend make decorations.
    • Make sure to consider what your loved one likes. Decorate the party in a theme that reflects his interests. Make sure the cake is his favorite flavor. If he has a favorite drink and snack, make sure the party has that.
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    Schedule a day of fun. Make a day of fun for your loved one. Think about what he loves to do, where he loves to eat, and where he loves to go. Make a schedule and give it to him so he sees what you have planned. Or keep each new stop a surprise and make them wait in anticipation as you move from one place to the next.[6]
    • Take him to his favorite diner for breakfast pancakes, pack a picnic lunch to eat at his favorite park, and take him to eat at his favorite sushi place for dinner.
    • Spend the morning taking a hike, the afternoon playing miniature golf or paintball, and the night watching a double feature at the drive in. Let your imagination run wild as you fill the day with things he will love.
    • If his actual birthday is a bad day to do this, make it the weekend before or after. You can also make it a week or weekend of fun instead of just a day!
    • Make it a 12 days of birthday celebration. For the 12 days leading up to the birthday, give him a note, a card, a letter, his favorite candy bar, or even an activity. Spread out the fun instead of putting it in one day.[7]
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    Make a birthday in a box. Surprise your loved one with a themed box filled with everything for a perfect night. Or if you are away from someone, use it as a themed birthday care package filled with things you'd give them in person, along with inside jokes. This can be tailored to anyone. Try a romantic themed one for your significant other, a game themed one for your best friend, or a princess themed one for your daughter.
    • Try a movie night box filled with popcorn, movie theater size candy, a soft drink, a blanket, and your favorite movie.
    • For a romantic box, try massage oil, bath robes, scented candles, bubble bath, body scrub, massage oil, body lotion, love notes, and chocolates.[8]
    • For a birthday themed box, place birthday cake Oreos, cotton candy, and cupcakes. Decorate the flaps on the box with birthday messages and stickers.
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    Surprise them with a picnic. Set up a picnic at a park, at the end of a hike, or in a field. Decorate the area with balloons or Chinese lanterns, but since you're outside, you can keep the decorations minimal. Spread a blanket, and pack a basket full of all her favorite foods.
    • To surprise your friend, suggest going on a hike, for a walk, or just for a ride. Take her to the same place you have the picnic set up, and keep it a surprise until you just happen upon the blanket, basket, and balloons.[9]
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    Take them somewhere they've always wanted to go. Maybe your loved one has always wanted to go to Disneyland, on a movie tour, or to the beach. Arrange it so he can miss work or it falls on a weekend. Pick him up early in the morning and surprise him with where you end up.
    • If you both have the time, make a weekend out of it. You can plan a weekend trip with the person but keep the destination secret. You might also pretend you are going one place but then surprise him with the real destination.[10]
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    Host a surprise dinner. Instead of a surprise party, take your special someone out to dinner and have friends and family be waiting on her. Or have the friends and family show up for dinner at your house. This is a simple, yet nice surprise for the birthday girl.
    • You can have the guests bring gifts, treats, or birthday wishes with them.[11]
    • You also can host the dinner as a potluck, with each guest bringing a dish they prepared for the birthday girl.
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    Hire a limo. Surprise the person you love with a limo to chauffeur him around all day. Have it pick him up for work, then from work. Make him feel special by letting him ride around in style all day long.
    • When the limo picks him up from work, have it filled with friends and family, ready to go to dinner or a fun activity.[12]


  • Make sure no matter how you choose to surprise them, you do it the way they would enjoy. This is their day, not yours.
  • Sing them a birthday song you made up.
  • Do not get the birth date or age wrong!
  • Make that day their best day ever!

Article Info

Categories: Birthdays