Innovative Birthday Surprise Ideas

Want to give someone a great treat? Looking for some novel and interesting birthday surprise ideas? If everything feels a bit samey or salesy, it can be hard to get a handle on what to buy.

The good news? We want to help! We love a good challenge and have come up with a range of ideas for a surprise birthday. So, from the reasonable to the super expensive – you can take your pick!

 At Collection Pot we see Pots set up for big birthday milestones all the time, so we know that getting the surprise perfect is really important and there’s no time to waste – so let’s jump in and see what’s possible. 

Great all rounder ideas for a surprise birthday 

Hire them their hobby

Whatever they are into – did you know you can probably hire the venue associated with it? From the rugby club to a climbing wall or exclusive use of a cinema, there are plenty of ways to celebrate them in the place that they love the most. This is often overlooked but can be a great way to get a venue that’s ‘on brand’ for them. Bonus, you might also scoop up extra freebies and find more people to invite or get tips from people who see a different side of them. 

Meet an animal 

Raccoons, sea lions, meerkats – lots of people love spending time with animals but are unlikely to buy an experience for themselves. If you can do this, you can book in for a special day for them. In the UK you can also get a variety of events such as giraffe safari and bug handling at many smaller animal parks – so start asking what they love now! Our top picks? Become a sea lion trainer at Chester Zoo (meet the whopping ‘Arthur’) or head to a golden retriever experience in West Surrey!

Sports lessons 

From learning the tango to skid pan driving, scuba diving or caving, there is a sport for everyone. One great idea for a surprise birthday involves arranging them a few sessions that start on the day – or to find something they have always wanted to do and allow them to book on at their convenience. 

Take a look at some of the main experience providers (search ‘experience days’) to explore a wide range of activities, from surfing to indoor skydiving. 

The gang all together 

Arranging a getaway is a great way to plan an unforgettable weekend. Gather your nearest and dearest and do something new! Try a log cabin, treetop house, Airbnb or use TripAdvisor to find unique hotels. Search terms you may like to look at would be: 

And so on!

If self-catering, sort out the food and drinks and arrange it for them – and arrange something to do. 

If you are in the city, you can use Eventbrite or Facebook to find events in that location. If you are going remote, think about chilling – you might want to download an old classic and bring a projector for a cosy movie night.

Perhaps you want to get creative? Get some arts and crafts involved? Or, maybe you’re all about the pampering alongside a cocktail making evening. Even something quaint and local can be very fun when it’s been all arranged for them. Don’t forget to see if the venue will decorate their room!

Funny ideas for birthday surprise

The surprise flight 

Imagine getting taken to an airport – and being told you are off to Bali instead of Benidorm. You could suggest you have an internal flight but then surprise them with an international trip. Perhaps, you are on the bus or train to somewhere local and surprise them with a seaside trip, a diversion to the Eurostar or another exotic destination. The switcheroo can also work in the car or even on foot! Great birthday surprise ideas all start with the perfect lie – so start laying the groundwork now!

We made you a song birthday surprise 

Why not get a song recorded or a book written for someone’s birthday? Depending on your skills –  and whether it’s the gang or just yourself, why not make it yourself and make something that will really touch them. Paint their portrait, create a book where they are the hero, write a song, rap or anything else. You could also try singing telegrams (search in your local area!), a DJ experience day or head to Fiverr and find someone who will create an animated music video for you all about the birthday boy or girl!

Sentimental birthday surprise ideas

Message from their hero 

Not feeling creative enough? Cameo has opened up the window to allow you to pay for famous faces to record messages to someone for a small fee, but you may also be able to get a message from an author or artist through social media. Look at their bookshelves and see who they might love to hear from. Not every artist is too busy – and if you give it enough time, this could be an invaluable present! 

The hot air balloon ride 

Imagine being woken at 6am by someone. It could be torture – until you surprise them by saying it’s a booked hot air balloon trip ! This is a trip that most people love the idea of taking, but never get round to. It’s not as scary as a skydive, it can be done anywhere in the UK, and they aren’t as expensive as hiring a plane or helicopter. These magical moments start super early and can be cancelled if the wind is too high, so beware – but if you can get the surprise right, it’s simply perfect and an incredibly thoughtful experience for nearly everyone. 

This is your life 

Get all of the birthday boy or girl’s loved ones together and let them create their own book filled with photos, memories, notes and words about the person. There won’t be a dry eye in the house! 

We hope that these birthday surprise ideas have sparked some inspiration to enable you to give the most memorable day ever!

Start the ball rolling by setting up a Collection Pot for the lucky birthday boy or girl, so that they have a gift from everyone and a wall packed with memories of the surprise you give them. You can use Collection Pot to create a pool of funds for everyone to club in for a surprise experience, or to gather money for a large birthday gift. 

Try it today – it’s so simple! 

Elaine Keep

Elaine Keep is an accomplished content writer with over 15 years of experience in the field of marketing and content creation for many leading brands, where she shares her passion for research and helping others through her articles. You can also find her in 'mum mode', walking in the countryside or enjoying the dreamy combo of a new non-fiction book with a tea and chocolate bar to hand.

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