When cake and ice cream seems a little boring, a surprise party might be just the thing to give the birthday-person something to remember. But there are tricks to surprise parties. Have you ever seen a surprise party on a TV show go according to plan? Be sure to think things through when planning a surprise party.
1. Don’t Promise Something You Won’t Deliver
At some point, you’re going to need to be at least somewhat deceptive. If the party will be at the person’s house, you need to get him away from the house. If the party is being held elsewhere, you need to transport them without arousing suspicion. However you’re getting the person moving, follow up on promises. Don’t promise a baseball game unless you’re going to a baseball game. The promise will get him excited about it, which can only end in some degree of disappointment,no matter how cool the surprise is.
2. As Chaperone, Don’t Be Boring
Commonly, a chaperone stays with the target while everyone else sets up the surprise. The chaperone can stall for time if the target gets the itch to head back early. But there’s only so long one can stall if the afternoon is boring.
Sure, you can go out for groceries or some other errand, but why not do something fun? Maybe go out for lunch or even attend that baseball game previously mentioned. Do something that will keep the target away from the party location until the appointed time.
3. Don’t Pretend It’s Not His Birthday
It’s the party that’s a surprise, not the birthday. By all means, wish him a happy birthday. Give him a card. Promise you’re going out to dinner later (presuming you actually are, as per rule #1). One of two things will happen if you pretend you forgot: feelings will be hurt or suspicions will be raised.
Even better, don’t hold the party on his birthday. Offset it by a couple of days and behave normally.
4. Hide the Cars
If you’re holding the party at the target’s home, hide the cars. He’s going to know something is up when there’s eight cars parked outside. Carpool to limit the number of vehicles. This is particularly important if someone has a memorable car. Scatter cars down the street so it doesn’t look like a single group and it doesn’t look like they’re associated with his house.
5. Plan the Surprise with the Target in Mind
Not all parties were created equal. Surprise parties do not require people to jump out from behind the sofa. You can lead him to a room at his favorite restaurant where he’s surprised by all the guests awaiting him, for example.
Do not embarrass the target. He may already feel a bit flustered by the surprise. Let that turn into excitement and love rather than frustration at juvenile behavior.
Consider what kind of party this person enjoys. Does he like huge groups of people, or is something more intimate appropriate? Measure your party on quality, not quantity.
Always remember the surprise party is about him. It’s his day. Help him enjoy it as much as possible in a way they’ll remember fondly for years.