A birthday is a really exciting time, whatever your age. It’s a chance to celebrate your year, the goals you’ve achieved and the next step of your life. A lot can change in a year so a birthday is a perfect chance to wrap everything up and celebrate in style. What better way to honour the occasion than by organising a birthday party? Get all your loved ones together with some delicious food, music and dancing and ring in your birthday. With any party, the organisation is key. You don’t have to go overboard with lists and agendas, but being prepared is a great way to make sure you remain stress-free and the guests enjoy themselves.
Organising a surprise party
If one of your loved ones is celebrating a birthday, organising a birthday party as a surprise can make them feel really special, but it can take some planning. Start organising it with plenty of time to spare just in case there are any setbacks, you don’t want to rush this. Invite your loved one to attend a concert, dinner or another social event with you on the night of the party. Tell them the event is low-key but they’ll need to be dressed smartly. No one wants to walk into their own surprise party underdressed. Once they’ve agreed, you can choose your location and start inviting.
The guest list for a surprise party can seem daunting, but it should be easy if you make it a group effort. Start by inviting the friends and family you know of, and ask each person to suggest who else should be invited. Together, you should be able to collate a list of the persons nearest and dearest. Utilise social media to get in contact with people. This part can take some time, which is why we suggest organising in advance. Now you have the guest list and date, follow our tips below for the rest of the event. Make sure you take a photo of your loved one when they see the surprise!
Organise birthday party at home
Planning your birthday party at home gives you the opportunity to organise most of what you need in advance, and on the night you don’t have to worry about travel arrangements. If you have a summer months birthday, hosting it in the garden always makes it a party to remember. Set up plenty of chairs and some rugs on the floor to keep guests comfortable. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and consider investing in a marque just in case the heavens open, or make provisions for guests to be inside. If your party will be spanning into the evening, string up some fairy lights and candles for that whimsical effect. Dancing under the stars is sure to make it a special birthday. If there are any kids coming, prepare a special area for them with games and colouring.
A BBQ is standard garden party food, but if you don’t feel like cooking, lay on a buffet spread inside with everyone’s favourites. Finger sandwiches, cakes, sausage rolls and cheese and pineapple sticks always go down well. If you want to ease up on catering responsibilities, why not ask everyone to bring a dish of their favourite food for a pot luck dinner. Then everyone can dip in and have a bit of everything. Music throughout the day and night is a must for a party, but you don’t need anything high-tech. Grab a portable speaker and make a playlist of all your birthday faves.
Games for parties
Preparing a few games is a great way to get everyone chatting, particularly if all the guests don’t know each other.
- Cards. Everyone has a pack of cards in a cluttered drawer, so grab them out and start up a game of slapjack, crazy eights or even poker if you’re feeling optimistic. Bonus points if you have specific card games like cards against humanity.
- Board games. If you have lots of different games, you could create a corner or dedicated room for people to play. Jenga is always a great party favourite and Guess-Who is perfect for the kids.
- Make your own. If you don’t have any cards or board games, you can always make your own. Grab some coloured sheets of card and use an online wheel to play an entertaining game of homemade twister. Pictionary and charades are great fun and don’t require many materials. Make use of free online resources and apps when creating your games.
Theme party organisers
If you want to go all out when organising a birthday party, why not choose a theme? Pick something close to your heart that represents your interests. Invite guests to dress up or pay homage to the theme with their outfit for great photo opts. Movie franchises like Harry Potter and Star Wars are always good because the majority of people will have seen them or know the premise. Pinterest is an excellent tool to see what other people are doing whilst organising a birthday party. Inspire yourself by looking at other peoples catering, decorations and methods of entertaining. If you can’t choose a theme but still want to dress up, why not ask everyone to choose their favourite book characters or film stars. Choose a prize for the best, funniest and most creative costume.
Milton Hill House is a local party venue in Oxford, which blends a stunning Georgian Manor with contemporary facilities. If you’re hosting a birthday party or want to surprise a friend, why not book one of our 20 modern spaces to celebrate in style. All of our rooms can be customised to your need, so you can make the night truly special. Our chefs are passionate about food and can create a bespoke menu for your guests, whether that be a sit-down private dining experience or finger-food buffet. Want to make a night of it? Relax after your event in one of our 120 double and twin guest rooms. Get in contact with a member of our team today for further information or to book a birthday to remember or browse our venue hire Oxford page.