Idea No.


Surprise Luau -50yr- Birthday Girl Trivia Game



April 2007


Danielle in Salt Lake City, UT  USA

Honorable Mention

Surprise Party

SURPRISE 50TH LUAU PARTY  This was for my mom's 50th. I'm a list maker and the description is long but it worked for us!  I bought (you could make) invitations in the shape of a shirt with hawaiian print on them. On the inside left flap I wrote Shhh! It's a surprise!" and on the right flap wrote "Dress as a tourist as tacky as can be. The settings are the tropics like the beaches of Hawaii." I'm no poet but it worked. Then in the center I just filled in the blanks -- For Date RSVP etc. I sent the invites out a few weeks prior to the party.

I let family know about it months ahead since most are from out of town. That way they could make flight arrangements take time off work etc.  Ahead of time I had everyone submit to me their favorite memory of my mom a funny story or just a happy birthday message. I put all those together in a 12x12 album and used luau/hawaiian pages and stickers. The Memory Book was on dispaly and was one of her birthday gifts.  

LOCATION. We used our church gym because it was free to us. My other idea was to use a city park but I would have to get a city permit and reserve the location and weather is questionable here so we decided to stay indoors.   I bought most items from the dollar stores from Zurchers and from; food was catered but could have been made by us had we had enough time off work to do it; cake was made by a friend. It was 3 layers with fresh flowers. Then I had a sheet cake from Costco in case the main cake wasn't enough.  Picture the interior/party:

1. AT ENTRANCE: Small table & table cloth Guest book & pen Picture of mom Inflatable Tiki pole Basket of lei's (had a greeter and everyone received a lei)  

2. PICTURE TAKING AREA Two inflatable palm trees  large Luau banner Flower petals tossed on floor Scenic banner 

3.TRASH CANS At two corners of the room Garbage Bags 

4. STAGE 3 long silver table cloths  cover length of stage Long decorative fringe w/ hibiscus hang from stage Pictures of mom L to R birth to now Tiki men candles pineapples small inflatable palm trees etc in between the pics 

5. MEMORY BOOK Small table & table cloth Memory Book  

6. GIFT TABLE Table & table cloth Put her b-day gifts here Helium balloons 

7.SEATING AREA Round tables & chairs Table cloths & centerpieces Center pieces: Tiki cups pineapples candles etc Plastic candy/nut dishes 

8. FOOD - catered from L&L Hawaiian in SLC Long tables food plates napkins utensils Green fringe hanging from tables x 3 Behind the tables are 3 decorative plastic pictures Water cooler at end of table; punch 

9. DRINK Inflatable Kiddie Pool Bottled water Sodas Ice Luau Rubber Duckies 

10. SEATING Extra chairs - just to sit and visit  I had everyone arrive 30 mins earlier than my mother did. I had veggies and drinks available. And because I had enough sitting out to look at it didn't seem long at all for my mom's arrival.   The trick was getting my mother there. I thought she might suspect something because it is her 50th so we made her think she was going to a surprise party for a friend of hers. We went so far as making a few fake invitations for the party so she would think it was legit. I had the friends daughter give out the fake invites. I had the man and his entire family in on my white lie. She took the bait.   It was hilarious to see the look on her face when she walked in everyone yelled "Surprise!" and there before her was the man she thought she was attending a party for.   We did a roast/toast during lunch.

Once most people had their food I was the MC and had her husband her kids and her siblings say a little something about her. It was really neat and of course she cried. Her siblings and other family members flew in from all over.   WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE KIDS?!  I had a corner of the room set up with a banner "Kids Corner". I had hula hoops for kids to play with. I had a TV/DVD player set up with little chairs surrounding it and played Disney's "Lilo & Stitch". I thought about having a craft section but that would have been a disaster. I also ruled out crayons and coloring books -- if we were outside that'd be fine but I had nightmares of kids coloring on church walls. :) 

GAME: On each table I had a tiki cup and in those cups I had little facts about my mom taped to bright straws. Taped under each chair was a questionnaire about my mom. The person who answered them all correctly and the fastest received a tacky prize.   Good luck!    "

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