When you’re planning a birthday party, there are several things you need to take into account. What they like, what their favorite color and decorations are, what special events they prefer, and many other things should all be taken into account. More than anything else, the gender of the person you’re holding the party for plays a huge role.
While there’s always a bit of overlap, of course, men and women tend to like very different things. When planning a birthday surprise for her, you should make sure that the surprise aligns well with her feminine interests as well as her personal ones.
Don’t forget about the surprise aspect, either, though! Planning a birthday surprise is a delicate process. You’ll need to be careful to keep whatever you have planned a surprise, and it needs to both be something she will enjoy and something that will lend itself well to a surprise. Some things just don’t make pleasant surprises.
In the following sections, we’ll go over several of the best birthday surprises for your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, or none of the above. These activities are sure to please any woman, and they’ll make excellent surprises, too.
1. Spa Package
There’s nothing a woman loves more than some time off to relax, unwind, and experience some good pampering. Spa packages are incredibly flexible gift ideas, and they’re universally loved by both men and women everywhere (though some men may not like them as much as others).
If you have the money, time, and inclination to go for a spa getaway with your significant other, a spa trip for couples is an excellent way to improve and deepen your relationship. It’s a great way to de-stress and let the worries of everyday life melt away, too.
Destination spa getaways are plentiful both in the US and around the world. It’s easier to keep it a secret if you go somewhere nearby, but a trip to a destination spa across the world can make some incredible memories. Some excellent options include:
- Ananda Spa in the Himalayas
- Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, TX in the beautiful Texas Hill Country
- Six Senses Resorts across the world
- The Ranch Malibu in Malibu, CA
- Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps
The best thing about a spa birthday surprise is that you can choose from many different levels depending on your budget, time frame, and what she likes. If she lives a busy life and doesn’t have time to go on a vacation, an evening spa package is an excellent option. If you’re on a tight budget, an hour-long massage is a great way to melt the stress away for cheap.
Making a spa trip a surprise is relatively easy. All you need to do is drive her to the spa after work or on the weekend. You might think about blindfolding her, too, so she doesn’t know about it until the moment you walk in the doors.
However, if you want to take a spa vacation, that might require a bit more work. You might have to contact her employer to approve some time off, and you might need to tell her you’re going to a different destination than whatever spa you choose if you want it to remain a surprise. However, you both will appreciate the extra effort when you’re relaxing together!
2. Give Her a Bouquet
Flower bouquets are a traditional and time-honored way to show someone love on a special day. If this person is someone you have your eye on, your significant other, or even your mother, sending flowers is a reliable and foolproof way to kick off your birthday surprise. Bouquets are simple to give and receive since they’re easy to hide or have delivered on that particular day.
However, bouquets are a small-scale gift, and they don’t last too long, either. While flowers are beautiful while they last, they’re not functional, and they’ll eventually wilt. While this is fine if you’re simply sending a surprise gift of appreciation to your mother, your friend, or your colleague, unless you’re on a tight budget, it’s not quite enough for a spouse or girlfriend’s birthday.
However, there are ways to get over the impermanence and simplicity of a bouquet. For example, you could buy her something equally meaningful, but more permanent, such as a glass flower. While this is more of a mantlepiece than a functional gift, it’s something that will last her a lifetime, and she’ll appreciate it for years to come.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something functional, consider an edible bouquet. Edible bouquets come in many shapes and forms, from chocolate to fruit to chocolate-covered fruit! If your significant other loves some kind of food, the chances are that that food is available in an edible bouquet (as long as it’s physically possible, of course)!
Some ideas you can consider for bouquets (both edible and non-edible) include:
- Cake pop bouquets
- Fruit bouquets
- Flower arrangements
- Steel or glass bouquets
- Handmade bouquets
3. Surprise Girls’ Night
A girls’ night out is an excellent way for her to unwind, get rid of some stress, and catch up with her girlfriends at the same time. While you’re probably an incredibly important person in her life, sometimes a woman just needs some time with her female friends! Planning a night out for her to spend with her girlfriends is a great way to give her a change of pace.
There are many things that women do on a girls’ night out. Some like to go out to a fancy dinner, others like to party, and still, others prefer a relaxing night at the spa. Movies are a great option, too. You can adapt your plan to various options based on your budget, and your lady’s friends might have some useful input on where to plan their night out, too.
Alternatively, if she isn’t the partying type, you can think about setting up a girls’ night in, too. This can be spent in a nice hotel so she can get away from it all, or you can set up the house for a girls’ night in, too. Think party decorations, beverages, and yummy finger foods, and desserts!
If you have a lovely house to stay in, spending a night in with the girls isn’t a bad idea at all. Alternatively, one of her friends might volunteer to have the girls’ night at their house. It all depends on whether she would prefer to relax at home or spend an evening in a different locale.
4. Start the Day Right
While this might not be the most unexpected way to surprise her on her birthday, treating her right from the moment she wakes up is a great way to make her feel good all day long. While this might be a bit awkward with friends or coworkers, this a great thing to do for your mom or significant other.
The best way to start the day off right is to make her breakfast in bed. This is the most meaningful if you cook her breakfast yourself, but if you can’t handle yourself around a stove, a delicious breakfast ordered in is a great alternative. Let her start the day off slowly and relaxingly, and make sure to take care of any household chores or duties for her. This is her day!
5. Find a Fancy Restaurant
While dining out at a fancy restaurant also isn’t the most surprising way to spend her birthday, it’s definitely an appreciated one. The best way to truly elevate your choice to go out to eat and make it special is to choose someplace unique. Avoid going to chain restaurants or any place she’s been before. Instead, find a luxurious restaurant that’s brand-new, exciting, and packed with her favorite types of delicious food.
A trip to a delicious restaurant goes well with many other surprise birthday activities, too. While you’re already out on the town, you can take her other unique places, such as a play or another formal event.
While not every woman will say she likes a surprise, they will all appreciate when you acknowledge their birthday. One great way to do this is to decorate something to reflect that! There are many different things that you can decorate for her, and some items may be easier based on your relationship and what she likes. Consider these options:
- Her car
- Her (and your) home or apartment
- Her desk at work
- A venue
Even if she isn’t a big fan of surprises, showing her that you know it’s her birthday and want to celebrate her day is essential. However, the beautiful thing about decorating is that you can then use it in many different ways. A well-decorated venue can quickly turn into a little surprise party if you have time to throw one.
One way you can bring your decorations to the next level is to make them by hand. DIY decorations come in varying degrees of difficulty to make, and they come in varying levels of love, too. You can easily create decorations that are suited to a sister, mom, coworker, or romantic interest.
DIY decorations can be an excellent economical choice, too. While not all DIY decorations are cheaper than their store-bought counterparts, you can create some truly incredible things even while watching your budget. You can personalize them more than you ever could bulk party decorations, too.
If you don’t have a creator’s hand, you can purchase handmade decorations, too, or have them commissioned. While this won’t mean quite as much as making them yourself, they may look more professional, and they’ll still say more than bulk party decorations will. Nowadays, there are plenty of handmade decoration options on sites like Etsy.
7. Show Up Unannounced
Showing up unannounced is a bit of a risky move, but it’s a great way to surprise someone. Of course, before you do this, you’ll need to know details like where she will be and when. If you can swing it, though, this is an excellent way to surprise her on her birthday.
The only problem with this strategy is that you’ll need to be careful about what other plans she might have for her special day. If she’s planning to have a day with her friends or family, for example, you’ll need to be careful about when or where you show up.
There’s always the option of showing up to surprise her after she finishes for the day, but keep in mind that she will probably be exhausted after whatever birthday activities she’s gone through. However, you can also use that to your advantage! If she’s your friend, mother, sister, or coworker, you can show up with chocolates, flowers, or other pampering gifts.
If your significant other is celebrating her birthday, you can plan to do much more with your evening. Things like extravagant homemade dinners, massages, and aromatherapy baths are the way to go after a long day of festivities. She might be in the mood for some wine to help her unwind, too.
While this might be a bit much for someone you don’t know too well, a serenade is a great way to liven up a birthday party for siblings, mothers, and significant others alike. In the case of a sibling or a mother, you could quickly turn your melody into something humorous to brighten their day. However, for a significant other, a serenade can be genuinely romantic.
However, there’s one obvious drawback of a serenade: you have to be able to sing! If you can’t sing, you can still sing a humorous melody, but a romantic one might not go over quite as well. A song that you’ve written yourself from the heart can mean a lot regardless of whether you’re a stellar singer or not, but some people may appreciate it less than others.
Additionally, keep in mind that while serenading is a time-honored romantic tradition, it’s not all too common anymore. While some people will see the beauty and love (or humor) in a serenade, others might not even know what they’re dealing with.
All in all, a serenade is a great idea, but it’s not for everyone. If you think she will like it, then, by all means, go for it! However, we do recommend composing your own song rather than using one that already exists. Whether you’re looking to make it humorous or not, it’ll mean more this way.
9. Handwritten Letters
Handwritten letters are an unexpectedly lovely way to tell someone how you feel about them. While this probably wouldn’t be appropriate for a coworker or even a sibling, a mother might appreciate a set of letters from you. It’s quite easy to make them romantic for a significant other, too.
Handwritten letters are an excellent option to surprise her with on her birthday because they can function both as a gift and as a surprise. While you might not want them as your only gift, they certainly can be if you want them to be.
One of the best things about letters is that they literally function as a blank page. You can write a letter to her about anything and everything! You should follow your heart and be creative with it, of course, but some ideas to start from include:
- Your childhood
- How you met
- Your relationship
- How your life has changed since meeting
- How much she means to you
Another great thing about letters to someone is that you can send them through the mail very easily. If you’re far away from the lady who’s celebrating her birthday, you can send your handwritten letters to her anyway. This can be just as meaningful and romantic as handing her the letters yourself, if not a bit more unceremonious.
10. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is always an entertaining and fun activity, but it’s often something that we forget about as we get older. But, contrary to what you may believe, scavenger hunts can be great fun for adults, too! Of course, if the birthday girl is a young child, that makes this all the more accessible for her, but you can make it fun for your mother, sister, coworker, or wife, too.
The trick to making a scavenger hunt that’s fun for adults is to turn it into a brain game. You’ll need to spend time thinking up clues, riddles, and hiding spaces for those clues, but once you have a cohesive idea, it’ll be great fun for her birthday surprise!
A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep someone busy while planning something else, too. While a small scavenger hunt in your home might not keep her occupied for too long, a cross-town scavenger hunt will! Consider leaving clues in places like her work, her car, a friend’s house, a public park, or other sites that she can access easily.
Do make sure that your scavenger hunt is exciting enough that it doesn’t become a bother to her. If you have her running across town to find the clues you’re planted for hours, she could end up getting bored before the hunt itself is over. Keep it satisfying and short enough that she won’t get bored.
11. Naughty Gifts
While naughty gifts definitely aren’t appropriate for your relatives or coworkers, they’re an excellent idea for your significant other! A naughty gift is not only a great way to get her and you both in the mood, but it’s an excellent way to surprise her, too.
Just keep in mind that, as this is her birthday, it’s entirely up to her to refuse your advances if she’s not feeling in the mood. Make sure that she knows that you just want to pamper her and make her feel good on her special day.
Fortunately, some toned-down naughty gifts are great for getting in the mood, but still somewhat casual. Consider some ideas like:
- Naughty dice or board games
- Naughty movies
- Provocative outfits
It’s a good idea to let her know that there’s no pressure to use your naughty gifts on her birthday if she’s already exhausted. However, if she’s not too tired for the day yet, this might be a great way to finish your night and end an already amazing day!
12. Romantic Day Trip
If you don’t have enough time to go on a full-blown vacation, a romantic (or relaxing) day trip is an excellent alternative option. This is an excellent choice for working individuals and couples, too, who might find it challenging to get away from it all for more than a day or two. Fortunately, you still have plenty of options!
The day trip options that are available to you depend very much on where you live. If you live somewhere a bit more rural and secluded, there is likely an abundance of scenic locations for you to explore. Think waterfronts and beaches, forest hikes, and nature parks.
If you live in the city instead, your options are different, but no less special. You could stay at a bed and breakfast, see some city locations that you’ve never visited before, or even indulge in something expensive like a river cruise. However, make sure to pick something that she will like – you do not want her to end up bored on her special day!
You might be surprised by the availability of romantic (or even platonic) daytime activities where you live. Some popular choices you can start with include:
- Horseback riding
- A boat ride
- A painting-and-wine class
- Street food dining
- Glamping (or camping)
Just keep in mind that, by taking a day-long vacation, you might be stealing her away from other activities that she’d planned to do on her birthday. Make sure she does not have any other plans before doing this! If she does, you can always plan your day away for a few days before or a few days after her birthday instead. The experience will be just as memorable either way.