Birthdays are the one day per year you're allowed to act self-absorbed without being judged by your friends, so you should take advantage of it and celebrate the day however you want. Surprise parties are fun, but not always the way you want to spend your day, so take your celebration into your hands and plan it the way you desire.
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Depending on where you live, there may be restaurants that cater to theme parties, such as an '80s prom or a mystery theatre dinner. If you're in a smaller town, however, you can create these parties yourself by asking people to come dressed in their best puffy satin gowns and tuxes complete with white gloves or by having people ready to sit through a live game of "Clue," using a script you found online with a few of your friends ready to act a certain villainous part.
Wine and Dine
Gather a few of your closest friends or family members and go out to eat at a fine-dining restaurant. By keeping your birthday celebration more intimate, you'll be able to spend more time catching up with the people you love. Consider going to a fondue restaurant, which will give you reason to interact more with each other while cooking your food. Or go out for sushi or tapas and share your plates, allowing you all to try something you might otherwise not have had the guts to eat before.
Whether you are playing the game yourself with a large group of friends -- enough for two teams, preferably -- or you choose to go to a minor or major league game, you're sure to have fun spending time outside. This type of birthday celebration is good for people of all ages, as most games take place in the afternoon or early evening, and there doesn't necessarily have to be alcohol involved. Of course, for your adult friends, you could consider bringing a keg or cooler to your own game, and when the sun begins to set and the kids go home, you could build a bonfire and spend the night partying under the stars.
Gather your friends up and take a trip to the Bahamas or Las Vegas for a weekend of fun away from all the stresses of your daily life. You can keep the cost reasonable by going with a large group of friends and renting a house for a week instead of staying at hotel, where you not only have to pay for the room, but all of your meals out at restaurants as well. A house rental will allow you to buy groceries and cook at home, saving you money for adventures to the local shopping and nightlife.