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8 Online Birthday Surprise Ideas

Say “Happy Birthday!” in a big way with these birthday surprise ideas that can be organized and completed online!

8 Online Birthday Surprise Ideas

Birthday Surprise Ideas

We all know the surprise birthday party scene: The recipient comes home to a dark house, turns on the light, and the room erupts with a “Surprise!” shout from their friends, family, and loved ones. It’s a classic for a reason, but it’s not very easy to organize - especially if you’re separated by circumstances or distance.

Sometimes it’s impossible to gather everyone in the same place at the same time, let alone keep it a secret! So, how do we plan a surprise when we can’t have a party? What’s a great surprise birthday gift that we can send to someone who lives far away?

Luckily, technology can not only bring long-distance friends and family together virtually, but also offers tons of birthday gift options! Let’s take a look at our top surprise birthday ideas and gifts that you can organize online.

Plan a Birthday Surprise Online

There are several online birthday surprise ideas that your recipient will love. Best of all, a birthday online surprise can often be planned right from your phone, so everything remains under wraps! Here are a few online birthday surprise ideas, big and small, to help get you started.

  1. Digital Birthday Greeting Cards 

Digital birthday cards are unexpected treasures in the birthday honoree’s inbox! Birthday eCards have the look and feel of traditional paper cards, but they can be created and sent via email or text from the comfort of your own home. Online birthday cards let you send personalized birthday greetings, and you can even include a short video message and a digital gift card for an extra birthday surprise! 

  1. Virtual Surprise Parties

If you can’t throw an in-person surprise party, a virtual surprise party is a great alternative! Programs like Google Meet and Zoom provide a fun and convenient way to have a virtual party, when you can’t get together in the same physical location. In addition, you can have a virtual “Open House” that allows people to come and go, depending on their own schedules. 

surprise party

A friend of mine threw a virtual party from noon to sundown, complete with events at certain times - such as watching her break open a piñata! People could drop in and out whenever they wanted and there was always something to discuss or something fun going on. Another friend scheduled a Princess appearance in her daughter’s Zoom party to surprise and delight all of the children in attendance.  

For some services, such as Zoom, you only need one paying account, while your guests can come in and out as they please without any cost to them. 

When you’re planning the surprise, get everyone on just a few minutes before you send the link for a “chat” to the guest of honor. Or, if you’ve pre-booked the meeting, a fun surprise will be the joy of seeing many friends join in just a few minutes later. 

  1. Digital Invitations for Surprise Parties

Digital surprise party invitations are a great asset to help make sure the surprise stays a surprise! Online invites for in-person or virtual parties can be sent via text or email, helping to keep the party details top secret. Additionally, party hosts can specify the time they want guests to arrive, include a Zoom link if needed, poll guests about surprise gift ideas, and easily track RSVPs online.

surprise birthday party invitations

4. Memento’s Surprise Gift Service: Video They’ll Love!

Sometimes time zones and schedules can get in the way of gathering at the same time, even virtually. This is why a birthday surprise video from Memento is the perfect gift for any birthday honoree. The great thing about a Memento group video is that you don’t need to schedule a time for everyone to participate in the birthday surprise video. Birthday greetings from friends and family can be recorded by each contributor on their own time.  

The collage of faces in the group video intro can be an overwhelming surprise in the first second of the video - the digital equivalent of suddenly entering a room full of everyone you know, yelling “Surprise!”  It’s also fun to turn that option off, which ensures that the recipient doesn’t know what or whom to expect! You can get creative and surprise the birthday honoree with a video from friends or family that they haven’t seen in a while or didn’t expect to hear from! It all depends what sort of surprise you want to give!

Surprise Birthday Ideas for Her

Buy your mom, sister, or girlfriend an unexpected gift online that can be sent through the mail for a great birthday surprise. 

  1. For Jewelry & Animal Lovers

If your special someone likes both jewelry and animals, Wildlife Collections is a fantastic website that lets you buy beautiful rings and bracelets while supporting wildlife conservation. Some bracelets even come with an animal tracking number that allows you to track either a specific turtle or an elephant (a truly unique and unexpected gift!).

  1. For Fashionistas

Sometimes women are too busy to go to a store, browse the racks, and try clothes on. And who really wants to wait in line to buy something? Even if they do have the time, many are reluctant to treat themselves to a nice birthday outfit. The next step in the online shopping experience is a clothing subscription box. Services like Stitch Fix, Nordstrom Trunk Club, and thredUP give recipients their own personal stylist to find and send them clothes and accessories that match their size and style. Women can look and feel great without leaving home!

Surprise Birthday Ideas for Him

Here are a few unexpected gifts for your brother, boyfriend or dad that you can buy online.

  1. For the Gamer, Film Critic, or Comic-Book Collector

Is the birthday honoree into video games, movies, or comic books? There are subscription boxes specifically for those hobbies, and for almost every hobby or interest out there! Whether it’s a monthly subscription box for BBQ, coffee, or craft beer, the recipient will love being surprised with fun goodies multiple times during the year! 

  1. For Those Who Hate (or Love!) the Kitchen

Does your boyfriend or brother hate cooking? Is he looking for an easy way to make delicious meals quickly? Or, on the other hand, does he love to spend time in the kitchen and try out new recipes? A meal service subscription is the perfect gift for either scenario! A weekly meal kit can be a thoughtful gift for kitchen-phobes to make dinner planning easier or for foodies who are tired of their tried and true recipes. 

man cooking in the kitchen

No matter where you are or how great the distance between you and your family, friends, or partner is, there’s always a way to send a surprise gift to let them know that you’re thinking of them! We hope you like our suggestions!