Think about what kind of surprise party you want to plan. The list of things you can do is limited only by your imagination.
Ask yourself the following questions and consider the answers when planning the party:
Hobbies. Does the person have any hobbies they're passionate about? Would it be feasible and fun to make the surprise party revolve around this hobby?
Likes/Dislikes. Keep in mind the things that the surprisee likes and dislikes. Pack the surprise party with things the surprisee likes and your party will be a hit.
Personality. Is the person shy, making a surprise party of more than a dozen people a bad idea? Is the person outgoing, letting you think about inviting two dozen people?
Timing. Is there a good balance you can find between picking a time when the surprisee will be totally baffled and letting everyone, including the person being feted, enjoy themselves?
Start planning a theme. As mentioned earlier, there are tons of different kinds of surprise parties. Here are some ideas for surprise parties that might get your creative juices flowing.
Throw a surprise party at home. Find someone who will occupy the surprisee somewhere else for the time it takes to set up.
Throw a surprise party in the great outdoors. The woods or the beach would be a great location for a surprise. You could have a Survivor-themed party in the woods, or a luau-themed party at the beach.
Throw a holi(birth)day surprise. If the surprisee's birthday happens to fall in between the holidays, they'll often be forced combine a birthday celebration with a holiday celebration.
Throw a double-surprise party. Surprise the person once, all while another group of their friends are off in another room.
After the shock of the first surprise has died off, surprise them again with the second group of people!
Find a chaperone who will escort the surprisee while others plan/set up.
A chaperone is really vital to the surprise. If you don't have a minder along with the surprisee, the surprisee could come and ambush the party before it's adequately set up.
Typically, a best friend or spouse acts as a chaperone. This is because the surprisee feels comfortable with them, and won't feel any social anxiety, causing him or her leave unexpectedly.
If the party is at home, have the chaperone take the surprised somewhere. Make sure they know for how long.
Have the chaperone do something fun with the surprisee. A boring outing will make the surprisee want to go home sooner.
Plus, wouldn't the surprise be even more memorable if the surprisee and chaperone had a blast on their own before they went to a legendary surprise party?
Now it's time to set up the party.
Decorate the party. Right after the chaperone leads the surprisee away from the house, start decorating your party.
Ask a few good friends who will attend the party to come and help set up the decoration before the rest of the guests arrive.
Pick decorations that have his or her favorite colors, or decorations that share a theme with the party's activity or the surprisee's hobby.
Think about whether it's possible and/or appropriate to have balloons, streamers, tassels, candles, centerpieces, or a bar at your surprise party.
Keep in mind whether it's going to involve kids, adults, or a mix of both.
Decorate the main areas first. If you have time, put a little attention into beautifying the bathrooms, and any other room that isn't a big part. Each new decorated room will be a surprise of its own.
Choose food for the guests and the surprisee to eat. No party is complete without at least snacks.
If you expect the party to last for more than three hours, or if the party overlaps with lunch or dinner, plan to offer more filling food to the guests.
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