If the special guy or gal in your life has a birthday coming up, make sure you do your part to make the day the best they’ve ever had. Instead of dropping loads of money on a gift, plan a surprise that will remain a treasured memory and really up the birthday ante!
1. A Scavenger Hunt
Inject some mystery into your surprise with a fun and fully planned scavenger hunt. If their big day happens to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, you’re set for a full day of fun, but if their birthday falls during the work week, simply plan your scavenger hunt surprise for the weekend before—they definitely won’t be expecting it. Write your chosen number of clues, and drop them off at the desired locations in the days or even hours before the hunt begins. All of the locations should be special to your relationship—the place you had your first kiss, the restaurant where you had your first date, or any other sentimental locales. Use fun rhymes or tricky riddles to hint at where the next clue is. Find a friend who would be willing to accompany them for the day, and be waiting at home (the final destination point) with a romantic dinner or saucy surprise.
2. An At-Home Picnic
Even if money is tight, you can still plan an excellent birthday surprise on a budget—right in the comfort of your own home! Instead of heading out for a fancy meal, get creative and transform the living room into a picnic surprise—an especially excellent idea if their birthday falls during the chilly winter months when you want to stay bundled up. While they’re at work, move all of the furniture to the sides of the living room. Lay out large blankets and create a dish you know they’ll love—even if it’s macaroni and cheese from a box. Play some mood music, wait for them to get home, and feel proud when their jaw drops at your simple but amazingly thoughtful surprise.
3. Embrace your Inner Childhood
Throw a curveball surprise by planning an event that harkens back to a fun childhood memory. Whether it’s a night of laser tag where you two team up against all those youngsters that have nothin’ on you, a day spent at a theme park, or a few hours putting around a mini golf course, fun activities are a surefire way to surprise your sweetheart on their birthday. If you have kids, this is the perfect way to incorporate them into the surprise too!
4. A Room for Two
Plan a stay-cation in an awesome hotel for a night away that doesn’t break the bank or require a ton of travel. Bring a special bottle of birthday wine with you to the room engraved with a birthday message or etched with a gorgeous image of the two of you. Have the room stocked with all of his or her favorite snacks, rent some movies, and use the hotel hot tub to have a birthday night you both will treasure forever.
5. A Love Letter
You can take it really old school with this one, rich in heart and cheap in cost. Write your special someone a sentimental love letter that will tug at their heartstrings and let them know just how much they mean to you. Wrap it in a lovely envelope and slip it into their bag or pocket before they leave for work. The discovery is sure to delight and further brighten their special day.
6. A Favorite Things Basket
You know them better than anyone, and you can prove it with your birthday surprise! Create a basket filled with their favorite things—whether it’s snacks, coffee grounds, silly games, or pictures of their favorite celebrity, as long as you put thought into each item, you’re sure to create a compilation they will go gaga over.
7. A Surprise Road Trip
Be a chauffeur for the day and whisk your guy or gal off to a mystery spot. The destination really doesn’t matter, it’s about the surprising journey. Have the car stocked with road trip snacks and make a mix tape to set the journey’s mood. If you need a destination idea, consider a fancy restaurant a few towns over, a beach spot, or a forage into the woods to see some good old fashioned mother nature.
The time and energy put into planning a surprise are gift enough in themselves, and your sweetheart is going to have the birthday of a lifetime when you plan one of these fun ideas, so get out there and make their day as special as they are!
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