So, birthdays. It’s that time of the year when you can devote all your effort to taking care of your boyfriend – especially if his love language is receiving thoughtful gifts.
But what are the best romantic birthday surprise ideas? Can you top last year’s gift? And most importantly… is it something your boyfriend will absolutely love?
While the way to every man’s heart is unique, there’s one thing we know for sure – certain gifts strengthen relationships more than others.
Romantic & Hot Surprises for Him
Yes, you could give him a nice aftershave. Yes, he’d probably like the gift and use it. But psychologists recommend something slightly different:
- The gift of experience
- A sentimental and emotional gift
- A gift that reflects who you are
Not only are these gifts more fun, but they also show how much effort you’ve put into making your partner happy. That’s what I call a sweet way to surprise your boyfriend!
(P.S. If he really loves aftershaves, ignore what I said and buy it! The specifics of your situation should always be factored in as well.)
Ready? Here are 16 creative birthday surprise ideas for your boyfriend!
Experiential Gifts Your Boyfriend Will Love
Surprise him with a trip.
What sort of a trip, you ask? Well, that depends on what kind of person your boyfriend is. Does he prefer quiet romantic dinners, or is he a fan of adrenalin sports? Are you dating a gamer, or a man who can’t live without books?
Have your pick!
1. Plan a treasure hunt with a cute picnic at the end
This one’s perfect for a boyfriend who’s adventurous and also loves food. So, uhm, all of them. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all.
Place various clues around the flat or even the city you live in – for instance, each clue could lead to a location that means a lot for you as a couple. The place you had your first kiss, the place you made your relationship official, the place you had the most ridiculous fight of all time – it could be anything.
And the main surprise for your boyfriend, of course, is you!
(And the food.)
Prepare a picnic he’ll adore: include all the meals he loves best or make him a cake, bring some fun board games with you, and enjoy the perfect afternoon.
2. Take him for a drive in the car of his dreams
Some men are obsessed with cars. Strange, but true. Those metal boxes could just as well be their best friends.
If you don’t know what to do for your boyfriend’s birthday, why don’t you arrange a driving day in a Ferrari or any supercar that’d make him jump for joy like a little kid? There are plenty of driving experience vouchers you can buy and surprise your partner with.
Alternatively – and this may be even more fun – take him go-kart racing! That’s bound to get his adrenaline up, not to mention you get to have some great fun yourself.
(Psst – adrenaline has been shown to increase the attraction between two individuals. That certainly won’t hurt, either.)
3. Make his inner child happy and go to an amusement park
My dad loves roller coasters. Every time he gets to go to an amusement park, it’s like he’s eight years old again, excited to try out all the craziest rides. The best gift he could ever receive would be a couple of days in Europa Park.
If your boyfriend is the same and you have some extra savings, go ahead and plan a trip to one of the best amusement parks in the country! And if you’re stateside, you can never go wrong with Six Flags.
You get to hold hands when climbing to the top of a roller coaster and regretting you ever got on (seriously, some rides take you so high up it makes you want to scream before anything even happens), share sugar candy, kiss on a Ferris Wheel, and have an amazing day as a couple.
That’s a nice surprise for your boyfriend if I’ve ever seen one!
» Readers’ Favorite: Check out this list of a few dozen cute date ideas.
4. Schedule a fun reading day
Two bookworms in love? I’ve got a perfect idea.
One of the best things to do for your boyfriend on his birthday is to turn his love for reading into a romantic date.
Just imagine – you’ve bought a book you know he’ll love. But hold on, you haven’t bought one copy, you bought two. Spend his birthday reading the same book next to each other, discussing each chapter and reading your favorite quotes out loud to one another.
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5. Enjoy a romantic ice-skating date
Is your boyfriend’s birthday in winter?
If so, you’ve got the incredible opportunity to spend his birthday in one of the most romantic ways possible. In the winter, there are many beautiful ice rinks in the middle of cities that you can go to, and if it gets very cold where you live, you may even get to skate on a frozen river.
To make the experience more personal, create a playlist of his favorite songs, make him join your Spotify group, and listen in your headphones as you ice-skate together.
If he can’t ice-skate, all the better – you get to be the one to teach him, making the experience even more memorable!
If your boyfriend’s birthday isn’t in winter or you don’t have any access to ice, you can visit an indoor rink or try rollerblading instead.
6. Surprise him with a virtual reality experience
If you happen to be dating a gamer, one of the best things to do for your boyfriend’s birthday is to take his gaming experience to a new level: organize a trip to a facility that offers virtual reality experiences.
Immersive play zones, VR arcades, or even multiplayer VR escape rooms – these places have some of the most fascinating setups you can imagine, and a man who enjoys technology and games is bound to have fun on a trip like this.
Another fun way to surprise your boyfriend is to buy a game he’s wanted for a long time and play it with him. This way, you get to share his excitement and learn more about his hobby.
7. Go for a couples’ massage
What’s more relaxing than a good old massage?
A good old massage with your partner by your side.
Listen to the soothing music, take comfort in each other’s presence, and let your muscles relax. Better yet, book the massage as part of a wellness trip and benefit from other luxuries, such as a thermal bath.
If your boyfriend is stressed out often or works a demanding job, a weekend in a spa may be just what he needs. This simple birthday surprise for your boyfriend can bring you closer, give you the rest you both need, and even spice up your relationship because of the sensual atmosphere.
» Related: Check out these Cheap Date Ideas (Have A Great Time on a Tight Budget)
8. A candle-lit dinner, of course
No one will say no to a delicious candle-lit dinner, especially if you’ve made it yourself. This is a great romantic birthday idea you can do at home, which means it’s perfect for couples who are super busy and don’t have the time to go on a trip just now.
Men are simple creatures. Sometimes, a delicious dinner and some pampering are all they need to be happy. If you aren’t into cooking, you can always book a special restaurant for a fun night out.
Give Your Boyfriend a Sentimental Gift That Shows How Much You Care
To quote Sarah Newman, MA, MFA at PsychCentral:
“A gift is an act of altruism, of generosity. The point of gift-giving is to show love and appreciation for another person. It’s not about a dollar amount. It’s not about custom. It’s about being thoughtful.”
Sentimental gifts make more of an impact because they prove you care. They prove you’re willing to put in the effort to make your boyfriend happy. Even if he’s not big on receiving gifts, getting something that was made from the heart will make him feel loved.
Here are some of the best emotional gifts to surprise your boyfriend with.
9. Create a journal you write in each day for a year
This cheap surprise for your boyfriend is also the most emotional, which makes it a win-win situation!
Buy a nice notebook. Every day, write down a few sentences about your boyfriend, be it the things you love about him, how he made you smile today, or a beautiful memory you’ve made together.
Keep up the habit for a year – really, even one month is enough if you don’t have a year – and complete the journal with photos of the two of you.
And ta-da! You’ve created a deeply emotional and sentimental gift that shows a tremendous amount of effort and love – just for a few dollars.
10. Give him a love basket
Put together things that remind you of him or that you know he will appreciate, be it a drawing of him, a new book of his favorite series, or a mug with My Girlfriend’s Always Right on it (which you are, of course).
The point of the basket is that it’s a mix of various things, from material gifts he’d like to a sentimental card with a hand-written poem. This way, he gets the best of both worlds – the new vinyl record he’s wanted, as well as a letter about why you love him. You can get as creative as you’d like here.
11. Put your memories in a jar
This thoughtful surprise for your boyfriend is simple and affordable to do. Buy a nice jar, write your most beautiful memories together on strips of paper, and put them in the jar. The more, the better.
Whenever he misses you or wants to remind himself of how much you love him, he can unfold a memory you’ve saved for him. This is an especially great gift for boyfriends who tend to be very forgetful. In a sense, you’re keeping his memories alive for him.
12. Get him a gift card – with a twist
Beware, this isn’t a regular shopping mall, department store or restaurant gift card. In fact, there is nothing to buy. This gift is completely free.
And that’s because you made it. Let your imagination run wild and create a home-made voucher for anything you can think of, from a day of pampering to a striptease or a fun sex game.
Careful, though – your boyfriend is free to use the voucher anytime he wants, so make sure it’s something you can fulfill on short notice.
While this idea isn’t strictly sentimental, it’s personal and fun!
» Related: Romantic Italian Sayings (that will melt her heart)
13. Home-made with love
Home-made gifts are one of the most sentimental things you can give your partner because you inadvertently spend a lot of time creating them, meaning you pour your heart and soul into making something from nothing.
If you’re a fan of DYI, all the better! Surprise him with a scarf you’ve knitted, a plushie you’ve crocheted, a mug you’ve molded and painted, or a portrait you’ve drawn yourself.
Making something from scratch takes hours, so it will be all the more rewarding to see your boyfriend smile and feel showered with your love.
Give Him a Gift That Reflects Your True Self
This may seem counterintuitive, but research has found that giving a gift that reveals who you truly are – rather than a gift that is recipient-oriented – significantly promotes closeness.
This is because you’re essentially giving your boyfriend a piece of yourself by opening up. A gift that tells him a lot about you lets him connect with you on a deeper level and fall even more deeply in love.
These are some ideas on how you can make that happen.
14. Send him a playlist of songs that speak to you on a fundamental level
Pick out all the songs that make you feel heard and that describe your personality, your desires, regrets, and your feelings about the relationship.
To make it more romantic, you can create a playlist that’s solely about the latter: give him the gift of music that perfectly represents your love for him. To add an experiential aspect, take him out on a romantic walk and listen to the music together.
This would make an incredible romantic birthday surprise.
15. Annotate your favorite book and gift it to him
Believe me, a bookworm boyfriend would go crazy if he received a gift like this. Not only are you giving him a book he will enjoy, but you’re also revealing every single aspect you love about the book, something that in turn says a lot about you as a person.
Highlight your favorite quotes, jot down notes in the margins that are meant specifically for him, write a sentimental dedication, and send him on a journey through your all-time favorite story.
» You Might Like: Will I Ever Find Love Again? (Let it Find You).
16. Take him on a trip to your hometown
If you come from different cities and have never taken your boyfriend home before, his birthday might be the perfect occasion.
Plan a treasure hunt in the city where you grew up and leave him letters with your favorite memories of each place. In the end, take him to a location that means the most to you and spend a beautiful evening together.
This birthday idea is an amazing mix of adventure and connection.
Final Thoughts on Best Romantic & Hot Surprises for Your Boyfriend’s Birthday
Here’s a quick summary of all our romantic birthday ideas:
- Plan a treasure hunt with a cute picnic at the end
- Take him for a drive in the car of his dreams
- Go to an amusement park
- Schedule a fun reading day
- Enjoy a romantic ice-skating (or rollerblading) date
- Surprise him with a virtual reality experience
- Go for a couples’ massage or a wellness trip
- Make him a delicious dinner
- Buy a journal and write down what you love about him for a month or a year
- Give him a love basket
- Put your memories in a jar
- Offer him a gift voucher for a day of pampering, a striptease, or anything else that comes to mind
- Create a home-made gift
- Send him a playlist of songs that reflect your true self or your feelings toward him
- Gift him your favorite book with annotations, highlights, and a dedication
- Take him on a trip to your hometown or home country
“The real motivation behind gift-giving is the positivity it creates in us and others, and that is very important to remember,”says psychology lecturer Daniel Farrelly.
No matter your budget, it’s the connection you make with your boyfriend that ultimately counts. Show him you’ve put some effort into creating a lovely gift, make his birthday special, and give him all the love he deserves.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
Before you go, check out this ultimate list on on questions to ask your boyfriend.
What are you getting for your partner this year?
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