Easy Surprise Party Ideas and Printable Surprise Party Games

Need ideas for how to throw a surprise party for husband, for best friend, or even for mom? Tons of great surprise party ideas including themes, decorations, invitations, and even printable surprise party games!

If you’re looking for surprise party ideas, you’ve come to the right place! With fun surprise birthday party ideas, surprise party invitations, and even four printable surprise party games – there’s something for anyone who wants to host the most amazing surprise party ever!

Need ideas for how to throw a surprise party for husband, for best friend, or even for mom? Tons of great surprise party ideas including themes, decorations, invitations, and even printable surprise party games!

This post is sponsored by Evite and written as part of the Evite Influencer program. All opinions and ideas are 100% honest and my own.

Surprisingly Easy Surprise Party Ideas

Some of my favorite ever party memories are when we pulled off an amazing surprise party for a family member or friend! We did one for my brother when he turned 18 and I still remember every detail. There is just something about surprise parties and that added element of surprise that makes them so memorable!

And speaking of memorable, I’ve put together a bunch of tips, tricks, and surprise party ideas – food, games, and more – for one epic surprise party!

Tips for Hosting a Surprise Party

Obviously the toughest thing about hosting a surprise party is keeping it a surprise! If the surprise gets ruined, it’s no longer a surprise party – it’s just a party! Here are a few tips to help you plan and host a surprise party without ruining the surprise!

Choose a Co-Host

Have someone else help you host the party, preferably someone that isn’t quite as close to the guest of honor as you are. You want someone who is comfortable hosting but isn’t as likely to get caught making phone calls, sending text messages, or reading emails.

The Evite co-host feature makes co-hosting a party easy. Simply add them to the invitation as a co-host and they will receive all RSVPs, responses, and more. You can even set them up as the only one to receive notifications of RSVPs so you don’t risk the chance of the guest of honor accidentally seeing an email in your inbox.

Choosing a co-host is one of the best surprise party ideas for making things easier

Don’t Host it Somewhere the Guest of Honor Frequents

I’m always a fan of being able to plan and prep parties ahead of time. Choose a venue to host your event, whether it is someone’s home or an outside venue, that the guest doesn’t frequent. But also a place that wouldn’t be too weird to go so they don’t suspect anything when they’re walking in. You don’t want to have to rush to set everything up in the say two hours the guest of honor is distracted before the party. Give yourself more time to plan and prep by hosting it somewhere else they wouldn’t be the day of.

Even better if your co-host is willing to host the party at their home. You can have food, decorations, and more delivered straight to their home instead of having to hide anything in yours. The less you have to hide, the less likely you’ll get caught.

Send Text Message Invites

Take the stealth up a notch by sending invitations via text message. This is especially handy if the guest of honor shares a computer or email with you. Check out Evite’s surprise party invitations for some great options you can send via text!

Picture of sending text message surprise party invitations

Save the Date

Don’t do the surprise party on the person’s actual birthday or anniversary or special day. Do it a day before or a day after so they’re not expecting anything. If it’s after, plan something small like dinner out for their “celebration” to throw them off the scent of anything big coming later.

Get Help

Don’t try and do everything by yourself or even with just you and your co-host. Surprise parties typically mean getting a lot of help from people whether it’s to be the diversion before the party, to help setup at the party, or to contribute food/drinks. Let people show their appreciation for the guest of honor by helping with their party!

If you’re asking for people to bring contributions to the party such as food, drinks, or party supplies – set up a signup after you send your invite with Evite’s easy to use what to bring organizer! You can keep track of all of your RSVPs and who is bringing what all in one place!

fun family games to play outside

Get help with Evite when you send surprise party invitations

one minute games for adults

Surprise Party Invitations

I already mentioned sending surprise party invites by either text message (if you share an email or computer) or email – I also recommend telling people ahead of time by word of mouth. Then when you send the invites, they’re more of just a formality – a pretty formality with all of the event info on it!

Evite has a huge collection of surprise party invitations for men, women, and even kids, but these were some of my favorites! I chose these because I thought it would be fun to plan an entire party centered around one of these themed surprise party invites! Click on the images below to go directly to some of my favorite invites! Or see the entire collection here.

Shh zip it surprise party invitations and ideas


Balloon inspired surprise party invitations and ideas

Secret surprise party ideas for women

Surprise Party Themes

These are just a couple of fun surprise party themes I came up with that tie well into the surprise party idea. You could obviously just do any sort of theme you want whether it’s a birthday party, anniversary party, etc. But I think it’s fun to stick with a theme from the very first invite to the party favors!

Can You Keep a Secret Party Theme

Plan an entire party around secrets. Serve food with secret ingredients, play games like Werewolf that require people to keep secrets, or even set up some sort of secret agent activity. Or just find out the guest of honor’s secrets with the “It May Come as a Surprise” game below! It’s a fun way to keep the secrets going even after you’ve yelled surprise!

Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag Theme

This theme would really only work for a specific person but I think it could really fun anyway! The key is to go light on the cat and heavy on the bag! Serve food in mini bags, play the “what’s in your bag” game from my list below, give out bags of candy as favors with these sweet gift tags , and of course incorporate cats in some subtle but still there way.

Don’t Blow It Surprise Party Theme

This is definitely the easiest of these party themes. Decorate with balloons, bubbles, bubble gum, and anything else that you could blow. Serve a cake with candles to blow out. Serve mind-blowing food. Play the balloon burst game from these birthday party games or any of these balloon minute to win it games . And give people a cute scented candle to take home.

It’s a Surprise Party Theme

Similar to the secret party theme, plan an entire party around surprises. Make surprise cupcakes. Freeze ice cubes with surprise berries inside. Play surprise Scattergories or this gift exchange game using the surprise party poem I created for you (printable below!). There’s so many things you could do with this theme – surprise everyone with how creative you can get!

Free Printable Surprise Party Games

All four of these surprise party games would work for any of the themes above or really any surprise party you’re going to throw. Other than matching the Evite invites in this post, they’re generic enough to be used for any theme, any person, and any time of year! Keep scrolling to the very bottom to get a free printable download of all four games.

Surprise Scattergories


  • Free printable surprise Scattergories PDF
  • Pens or pencils (enough for everyone playing)
  • A 2-minute timer

How to Play:

  1. Give everyone a Scattergories sheet and pen.
  2. When you say go, everyone must try to come up with a word for each category in round 1 that starts with the letter of the guest of honor’s first name. So for example if it was me, Britni, everyone would try to come up with a word that starts with B for each category.
  3. Once the timer goes off, everyone goes around and reads their answer to #1. If someone else in the room has the answer, they both cross it off. If the answer doesn’t make any sense or doesn’t fit the category, they cross it off.
  4. After everyone reads their answers, whoever came up with an appropriate answer that didn’t get crossed off gets a point.
  5. Repeat with the second category in round 1 all the same through the 7th category. Total all their points for round 1.

Repeat this exact same thing for three rounds. In round 1, you’ll use the first initial of the first name, in round two the first initial of the middle name, and round 3 the first initial of the last name. The person with the most total points at the end of all three rounds wins.

A fun printable scattergories game - one of the best surprise party games

It Might Come As A Surprise


  • Free printable games – the PDF has two per page
  • Pens or pencils (enough for everyone playing)
  • A timer (you’ll want to give about five minutes for this one)

How to Play:

  1. Give everyone printed sheet and pen including the guest of honor.
  2. When you say go, everyone must fill in the page with what they think the guest of honor will say about themselves. The guest of honor will be playing at the same time. No one can talk during this portion to give away anything.
  3. When the timer goes off, have the guest of honor go through and read their answers to each of the questions. If someone matches them exactly (or close enough – you be the judge), they get a point. If they don’t match, cross it off and move on.

The person who earns the most points from matching the guest of honor wins.

Surprise party games that are all about the guest of honor

What Surprises Are In your Bag?


xmas games to play at home
  • Free printable games – the PDF has four per page
  • Pens or pencils (enough for everyone playing)
  • A timer (you’ll want to give 3-5 minutes for this one)

How to Play:

  • Give everyone printed sheet and pen including the guest of honor.
  • When you say go, everyone must go through their bag to see how many of the items they can find. For any item they can find, they mark an “x” next to it and get a point. All items other than the bonus are worth 1 point each.

Whoever earns the most points from the printable list of items wins.


A Layer of Surprise


  • Free printable gift passing poem
  • A gift
  • Two small gift cards or dollar bills
  • Wrapping paper

Before the game, print out the gift passing poem and cut into couplets. Wrap the gift with one layer of wrapping paper then put the final couplet of the poem on top of that layer. Wrap it again and add the next to final layer of the couplet. Continue wrapping and adding couplets until you run out of couplets – then wrap it on more time. This is one of my most popular gift exchange game ideas and would be perfect at a surprise party!

Note: In the poem, there are mentions of where someone gets a small gift. Put the gift card or dollar bill with these couplets (wrapped up) so people know they get to keep that small gift but should continue wrapping/passing the gift.

How to Play:

  • Give someone the wrapped gift and tell them to unwrap a layer then follow the directions.
  • Guests will unwrap one layer at a time then pass the gift to someone else based on the instructions in the poem.
  • The gift will continue to be passed until the final person unwraps the actual gift.
  • If someone gets to a couplet with a gift card or small gift, they keep that and still unwrap a layer/pass it on to someone else.

One of the best surprise party ideas - a surprise gift game

Get the Free Printables

Enter your first name and email address below to get the free printables. You’ll be immediately taken to the PDF to download and receive a copy to your email shortly after. If you can’t see the form below, click here to get to the form to enter your info.

Need ideas for how to throw a surprise party for husband, for best friend, or even for mom? Tons of great surprise party ideas including themes, decorations, invitations, and even printable surprise party games!

Surprise Party Favors & Prizes

It’s not just kids who love blind bags – adults loves surprise bags too! Fill a bunch of colored bags with random surprises (have one pile for men and one pile for women) and let people take a surprise bag as their party favor. They can either open it before they go (and trade if they want) or take it home for a surprise later! Just make sure all of the surprises inside are things people will actually keep (or eat) so it’s not a waste of your time and money!

Evite Wants to Surprise You With Prizes!

This year Evite is celebrating their 20th birthday and instead of someone throwing a surprise party for them – they’re hosting a Surprize sweepstakes to give their users thousands of dollars in prizes! Simply enter your email address on this sweepstakes page for your chance to win sweet tech gifts and surprise gift cards from Evite!

Surprise party ideas to celebrate Evite