My daughter turned 12 in October and I decided that this birthday was going to be special. I kept feeling that she needed some one on one time with me. She has been begging to go to Disney World, so I decided that would be the perfect mother/daughter trip. I planned a trip for just the two of us and I was able to keep it a secret for a whole month (which is really hard for me) and surprise her.

How To Surprise Your Child or How To Become The Biggest Liar Ever

Act Normal

Her birthday came and went. We took her to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins and have apple cider donuts. Then we made cupcakes and we gave her a small gift that had been sitting in my closet for 9 months (leftover from a blogger conference). She had a good birthday, nothing special, no parties, but she was happy with that, she is a pretty low-key kid.


Pack In Secret

The week before we left I started grabbing things out of the clean laundry so that I could secretly pack all of her things. She only asked about 1 item that I had packed and I straight out lied and told her that it was dirty.

The hard part was packing her carry-on items. I needed her electronics (Kindle and I-Pod) to be fully charged and my kids tend to charge their items all day long while they are at school, and not overnight. So I told her that there was going to be a wind storm (lies) so she needed to make sure that all items were fully charged overnight just in case of a power outage (more lies). This way all of her items were fully charged when I packed them after she left for school.

Keep The Secret Going For As Long As Possible

The day we left I picked her up at school right before lunch and told her that I was pulling her out for a half-day girl’s day. She freaked out at first but I assured her that the school knew and that she was excused. I took her to a lunch of her choice, which was of course burgers and fries.

Haley birthday surprise

After lunch we headed to the airport. Once we got there she got excited.

H: Are we picking someone up? Who are we getting? Who is coming to visit? Is it an old person in our family?

Me: Yes. Surprise. Someone. No. (The lies just kept spilling out!)

I told her to empty her backpack and fill it up with the items that I had placed in the backseat of the car. She asked what the items were and I told her drugs (lies). She refused to comply with my request because she “did not want to be my drug mule”. When I showed her that they were in fact not drugs she packed. She said, “I will not be apart of your scheme until I see EXACTLY what you are having me carry.” Like I would really try to make her my drug mule.

  • Kindle and charger
  • Books
  • Paper and pens (she likes to draw)
  • Headphones
  • Personal products (including chapstick and deodorant to which she replied “Oh good, my lips are chapped.”)
  • Other items for her enjoyment

At this point she still just thought that we were just picking someone up and that I brought things to help keep her busy while we waited. When we got out of the car and I opened the trunk to get the suitcases. She assumed we were going to check my luggage early for a “work trip” that I had told her I would be going on (another lie).

Me: Do you want to come on my trip with me?

H: Sure, but we need to go home and get me some stuff.

Me: No, I will buy you new stuff when we get there. (LIE!)

H: Awesome! So I get to go to Vegas with you?

Me: Yeah, Vegas. (LIE!)

Plan For Security (Don’t Lie To Them!)

Not only did she not know where she was going, but this was going to be her first time on a plane since she was very little so she was slightly nervous.

We went through security and they asked her where she is going and she answers Vegas, but I said not really. The security guard looked at me with a questioning face so I told him that she is going on a surprise trip. He smiles at her and asks her what state the surprise is in. She again answers that she doesn’t know. This time he looks at me with an unhappy face and then asks her very sternly who I am. She tells him that my name is Kendra and I am taking her on a trip. So then he asks her who I am to her. She smiles shyly and answers in the tiniest voice, “She is my mommy.” This is when I tell the guard that I have her birth certificate if he wants to see it. His supervisor told him to just let us go.

Be prepared. They told me after that they just wanted to be sure that I was not taking her out of state without permission and I totally understand safety.

As we were getting ready to board the plane she asked me hundreds of questions about where we were going and who we would see. I answered every question with a lie until I had no lies left and I finally told her DISNEYWORLD! And that she would see some of her cousins, and aunts and uncles, and 1 set of grandparents while we were there. She was very excited but I think she was completely overwhelmed as well.


*Just remember when you surprise your kids make sure that they like surprises. If I had done this with my boys they probably would have refused to get on the plane because they would have been overwhelmed.