Surprise 30th Birthday Party

My friend is turning 30 in February and I would like to throw her a surprise party. She is a single mom living in a small town like me. I am having problems coming up with ideas of a theme or what to do for her. She would freak if we did it at her house so I think a bar/restaurant would be the place to be. It has to be kid friendly too. She's not into drinking anymore but loves music, theater and her daughter the most! Help, we don't have a big budget and it's an hour away from where I live.

Kimm from Minnesota


Surprise 30th Birthday Party

First off, I believe you're a "true blue" friend. Hope your birthday girl knows how blessed she is to have a friend in you. Most "chain" restaurants can help put together a nice party to fit your budget. For our son's first leave out of Marine Corps basic training, we got a few of his friends and some of the family together at our local Fazoli's - an Italian-food chain restaurant.

Then again, your friend may want something a little more adult. And of course you don't have to serve dinner; light refreshments will work, too, especially if the party isn't at a regular mealtime. My youngest son's sweetheart made some really delicious finger foods with mini-franks. She "barbecued" them (she may have just brushed on a little BBQ sauce and popped them in the microwave,) then skewered them with plain wooden toothpicks. They weren't terribly expensive, but tasted good and "felt" fancy.


May I suggest one "don't" for this party? Since many women start feeling self-conscious about their age when they hit this milestone, I wouldn't use any of those silly "over the hill" decorations, cards or jokes. Hope these few thoughts help. (12/20/2008)

By Lelia Jo Cordell

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