50th Birthday Surprise Party Ideas


Ease the pain of turning 50 by throwing a loved one a surprise party. While planning a surprise birthday party is a great deal of fun, making sure it remains a surprise for the birthday person can be a bit tricky. Keep the birthday person in the dark by doing the party planning away from home and by not leaving any evidence laying about.


You may want to keep the guest list small for a surprise party. The fewer people who know about the party, the less chance there is that one of them will accidentally spill the beans to the birthday person. If the birthday person has children or teenagers, keep the children in the dark about the party, too. You may also want to invite guests who do not know each other so that they won’t talk about the party beforehand. Play a few icebreaker games to get everyone acquainted after the group yells, “Surprise” to the unsuspecting guest of honor.

Choosing a Theme

Pick a theme that has some relevance to the person turning 50. For instance, plan the party using the year she was born as the theme. Play music from that year. Plan activities and games from the time period. You may also want somehow to incorporate the excuse you gave the birthday person into the theme of the party. For instance, if you told her you were taking her out to a special birthday dinner, you should serve dinner at the party. If you were going to get your nails done, hire a manicurist to give party guests manicures and pedicures.

Selecting a Location

If you don’t live with the birthday person, throw the party at your home. That way you can decorate without having to get her out of the house. Instruct the guests to arrive 30 minutes to an hour before the party so they can hide. Ask them to carpool and to park several blocks away from your house so that the birthday person does not get suspicious. You can also arrange to meet the birthday person at a restaurant and hold the surprise party there. Be sure to let the restaurant staff know you’re throwing a surprise party.

A Time for Memories

After the birthday person has been pleasantly surprised and you’ve played a few icebreaker games to get everyone acquainted, turn the party into an open-mike event, where any guest who wants to may say a few words about the guest of honor. Kick things off yourself by sharing a special memory and by explaining why you wanted to give her a surprise party. Hire a photographer or recruit a teenager to go around snapping pictures of all the guests. After the party, make a photo album to give your friend to remember her party by.


Provide all the guests with a believable alibi before the party, in case the guest of honor asks them where they will be. Don’t worry too much if the surprise is blown before the party starts. Your friend will most likely be grateful that you’re throwing her a party. If he’s a really good actor, you won’t even know that he knows about the party beforehand.

Photo Credit

  • happy 50th image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from Fotolia.com

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