Idea No.


John's Surprise Party -30yr- Riverboat Party



April 2010


Kim in Lansing, MI USA

Special Mention

Surprise Party

Okay, so idk if this site is meant for adult birthday ideas but I use this site as a reference a lot for my kid's birthday parties & really wished I could've found something like this for ideas for my husbands surprise 30th birthday party. So for all those in need of some adult party ideas I hope this sparks some!

INVITATIONS: Since it was a surprise party, I created a secret email address for this so he wouldn't know what was going on.  I also created a secret Facebook account to locate family members & old friends/classmates, which I also used as a place to update everyone on information for the party too. I asked everyone to post a favorite memory or funny story of him on Facebook so that I could use it for the party later.

LOCATION: I wanted to have the party somewhere fun that had entertainment, food, somewhere people could buy their own drinks so that I could save money on that and that was kid friendly so that our kids could be a part of the party so I booked the party at the Michigan Princess Riverboat! The Riverboat was perfect because I chose to have the party on a weekend they were having a live band already so I didn't have to pay for entertainment, appetizer's were included in the boat ticket fee, there was a cash bar so people could buy their own drinks & of course it was family friendly & the kids really enjoyed the cruise! I paid the fee for everyone's ticket to attend the party.

THEME: The theme of the party was based on his past 30 years of course & the theme colors for the party were navy & silver, navy because it's my husband's favorite color & silver to accent.

DECORATIONS: The Riverboat was pretty classy looking already but I love to decorate because I think it adds so much more to a party! I rented satin navy tablecloths for the tables, covered the chairs in white satin chair covers & also rented navy & silver chair sashes, which I alternated. I bought 30th Birthday themed table centerpieces, table confetti, 30 ceiling hangings, 30 ceiling dangles, 30 balloons, balloon weights, and a birthday banner.  I used the ceiling hangings over the dance floor & the ceiling dangles over a memorabilia table I had set up which looked really good! I put clusters of balloons all over the room, which gave it a very decorated look! The balloons were a combination of navy balloons, silver balloons, a big 30 balloon & an 80's cartoon character ballon.

My husband was born in 1980 so the 80's played a big role in my theme decorations, I bought old 80's toys from eBay like He-Man & Thundercats for the memorabilia table & used some of my nephews toys too like Transformers & Ninja Turtles.  I got out my husbands old Super Nintendo & games to set up on the table, his old sports trophies, sports stuff, I found his birth announcement, graduation announcement, I bought a cap & gown from eBay to represent his school years, I had a laptop set up on the table with a slideshow going of pictures of him through the years, a book of the stories friends & family wrote from Facebook and an autograph football for everyone to sign friends & family really enjoyed going through all of his old memories on the memorabilia table!

I used his birthday cake as the centerpiece for the memorabilia table, which looked really cool cause it was three layers & decorated according to the theme. I had two 8X10 photos of him on each side of the cake, one of him when he was a baby & a recent photo I put boxes underneath the cake & photos to add height and draped a table cloth over the boxes to hide them and then decorated the other stuff around the cake & photos. I had four posters that I got from eBay hanging on the walls behind the memorabilia table which filled in more space & really added to the memorabilia table, I bought Night Rider, Goonies, Air Wolf & Rambo, these were his favorite growing up. 

FOOD: We had light appetizers that the riverboat refilled through the night meatballs, BBQ chicken wings, cheese/crackers platter, and veggie platter plus birthday cake for dessert! CAKE: The Cake was a three-layer topsy-turvy fondant cake. The top layer was white with silver polka dots & had a navy 30 on the side, the middle layer was navy & had the logos from all of his favorites sports teams around it, the third layer was white & had old 80's cartoon characters/toys around it like He-Man, Thundercats, Mario & an old school Nintendo controller.

THE SURPRISE: I told him we were going on a special date for his birthday. I blindfolded him in the car all the way there & walked him up to the dock still blindfolded when we got there, the guests were standing outside on the second deck with signs that read Happy Birthday & when he took off his blindfold they yelled SURPRISE! He says he could tell where I took him in the car by the curves & bumps in the road but her never knew it was a surprise party so, mission complete & it was a great party!

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