40th birthday party ideas

40th Birthday Party Ideas you will love – 26 ways to celebrate your 40th!

If you are looking for 40th birthday party ideas, then look no further! Whether you celebrate every birthday or never do, there are certain milestone ages that should be celebrated. And turning 40 is definitely one of them! There are so many fun party themes and ideas for a 40th Birthday, read on for our faves. 

the best 40th party ideas

This is the start of a new decade and a time to reflect on all that you have accomplished thus far and to get excited for what’s to come!  If you or someone you know is turning the big 4-0 soon, here are some 40th birthday party ideas to ensure it is a fun and fabulous time! And be sure to check out our 40th Birthday Gift Guide here.

The Best 40th Birthday Party Themes

1980’s Theme

40th birthday party ideas

If you are turning 40 in 2024, you were born in 1984, so why not make the 80s your party theme?  Dress up like Madonna and rock out to music by Michael Jackson and Tiffany while you dine on popular 80s food like Sloppy Joes. It will be fun to kick it old school! This is a classic party theme and a great 40th party theme that everyone loves!

Potluck Party

potluck party for 40th birthday

Generally speaking, potlucks are often an awesome party idea.  Not only does it eliminate the stress of “what do I make?” but it allows everyone to try new things.  Add a twist by assigning guests a different type of cuisine to bring like Italian or Mexican to make it an international potluck.

Similarly, pick a letter in the alphabet or a theme and have everyone bring an item related to that. And assign guests with a sweet or savory dish so that you have the whole meal covered!    

40th Birthday High Tea

40th birthday ideas

One of the classiest 40th birthday party ideas is by attending high tea at a local hotel or tea room. So, put on your prettiest dress and fascinator and enjoy cups of tea and tiny sandwiches with your ladies.  You could also host a high tea in your own garden and serve tea in vintage cups and saucers.  Or add champagne for a real celebration! Pinkies up everyone!      

1990’s Theme

Reminisce about your teenage years by throwing a 1990’s themed party.  Take inspiration from your favorite shows like 90210 or movies like Clueless when it comes to your outfit.  Serve fun foods like Fruit by the Foot and Bagel Bites while dancing to your favorite rap music or Boy Band. It will surely be a blast from the past!

Host A Games Night

games night party ideas

Another 40th birthday party idea is to host a game night!  Party games like Charades or Pictionary are always a hit or stick to board games if it is a more intimate affair. Finally, order pizza, and you are all set for a low-key night of fun!

Host A 40th Fancy Dress Party

great gatsby party ideas

Everyone loves a fancy dress party. And it is a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday! Go classic with Great Gatsby, or James Bond. Or go more modern with Celebrities or Harry Potter.

Go On A 40th Birthday Bar Crawl

A bar crawl is a classic way to celebrate a milestone for some. Hit up a few local spots or join a pre-organized pub crawl.  Either way, you will experience different locations, drinks and meet new people.  Ensure you have a safe ride home and enjoy!

Have A Luau Party

hawaiian party for 40th birthday

A luau party is also an enjoyable idea.  Grass skirts, leis, coconuts, and a pig roast will add to this theme.  Furthermore, throw in a hula lesson, a few Hawaiian shirts, and a limbo competition and you have yourself a 40th birthday party to remember!

Have A Sleepover

Sleepovers are not just for kids!  A sleepover with your best gal pals will be a memorably way to celebrate your 40th birthday.  Rock cozy PJs while you sip on wine and chat.  In addition, play some classic sleepover board games like Girl Talk or watch some old-school chick flicks.  Don’t forget the snacks!

Throw A 40th Birthday Fiesta

taco bout a baby shower decor
Photo credit Bloom Events

Fiesta means celebration so it is the perfect idea to celebrate this milestone birthday!  Serve Mexican food like a delicious taco bar and margaritas as well as play mariachi music so your guests can dance the night away.   

Click here to see our top 30 adult party themes for a guaranteed good time!

Murder Mystery Party

murder mystery party for 40th birthday

A Murder Mystery Party is another awesome way to have a good time!  Order a game online and give your selected guests their character bio beforehand.  Have everyone come as their characters and try and solve the mystery!  

40th Birthday Rave

rave party

Overall, there is nothing like a good old fashion rave!  If you are looking for a good 40th birthday party theme, then this is it! This event can be held easily inside or out.  Glowsticks, neon clothing and 90s music would make this dance party rock! Blast out some old-school tunes and rave the night away.

Host An Indoor Picnic

Love the picnic idea but you’re a winter baby? No problem!  An indoor picnic can be just as fun as an outdoor one. To start, think of the theme you want and then use items from around your home to create a cozy setting.  Bonus, it can be held rain or shine and there are way fewer bugs!

Host A 40th Retro Movie Night

If you are a movie buff, consider hosting a 40th birthday retro movie night.  All you need to do is pick classic flicks from your youth and then serve retro snacks. Following that, cozy up for a night of nostalgia!  If the weather is nice, host it outside for a drive-in feel.

Outdoor 40th Birthday Party Ideas

Birthday Glamp Out

party ideas for 40th

Like the outdoors but not roughing it? Host a birthday glamp out!   Fill your tent with pillows and cozy blankets, then laugh the night away under the stars with your besties.  The comfort of a campfire, coupled with smore making, will be extra enjoyable! Set this up yourself or look at spending the weekend away at a glamping destination.

Have A Weekend Away

weekend away for 40th birthday

A change of scenery is always a great choice when it comes to celebrating your birthday!  Whether you chose to enjoy the great outdoors camping, relax in a luxurious hotel or explore a new city, a weekend away will be full of memories! One of the more extravagant 40th birthday party ideas, but definitely worth it!

Host A Boho Backyard Picnic

When the weather is nice, think about hosting a Boho backyard picnic.  All you need for the Boho vibes is blankets, pillows, pallets to be used as tables, and fresh flowers. In fact, have guests make flower crowns to add to their Boho-chic looks!

Serve pretty grazing platters and bubbles and enjoy!

Summer Games Party

Another one of our 40th birthday party ideas is a summer games party.  Before starting, get into teams. Then play games like cricket, baseball, volleyball or bocce.  No matter who wins, everyone will have fun in the sun!   

Activity Based 40th Birthday Ideas

Wine Tasting

fortieth birthday party ideas

Whether visiting a local vineyard or sampling at home, wine tasting can be a lovely way to celebrate your birthday!  Add a charcuterie board and your gal pals and you will for sure have a splendid time together!    

Hire A Private Chef

chef for 40th birthday

If you want a delicious meal for your birthday, you don’t need to go to a restaurant for one. How? Hire a private chef of course! They can cook up something for you and your guests. Basically, you will have delicious food made and served in the comfort of your own home and you don’t have to put on shoes! Maybe you will get a cooking lesson to boot!

Host A Casino Night

card games for 40th birthday

BlackJack, Poker, as well as Roulette, are just some of the games you can play celebrating your 40th birthday during a Casino Night!  Turn your home into Vegas with bright lights, giant dice and a “Welcome to Vegas” sign. Everyone will have fun testing their luck!

Have A Karaoke 40th Birthday Party

karaoke party

There is nothing like a karaoke party to celebrate your 40th birthday! Belt out tunes from your youth and cheer on your pals when they perform.  Host at home or head to a local karaoke bar and sing your heart out, because girls just want to have fun right!?

Throw A 40th Craft Party

pottery party ideas

DIY and crafting have become extra popular, especially over the last year during the pandemic.  Host a craft party with your closest pals. From jewelry to pottery to sign making, the ideas are endless!  Plus, the craft makes an awesome party favor!

Go To The Spa

spa day for 40th birthday

It’s your birthday so why not get pampered at a spa? Firstly, get a massage.  Secondly, have a rejuvenating facial. Thirdly, a manicure and pedicure.  You will be entering a new decade feeling both relaxed and fabulous! Plus your friends will love you for the treat!

Host A Mixology Party

40th birthday mixology party

In short, a mixology party is a great way for you and your guests to get creative!  Have guests create signature cocktails of their own or using a specific ingredient.  Have the guest of honor pick the best one. You could also invite a mixologist over to give a lesson!      

Clothes Swap

clothes swap party

Both fun and environmentally friendly, host a clothes swap in honor of your 40th birthday.  Have your fashionista pals bring clothes they no longer enjoy and “shop” together in your living room. You get the chance to clear out your wardrobe plus fill it back up for free! Later, put on a fashion show!

Go to a Concert

For another fun way to celebrate a 40th birthday, why not get a group of friends together to see a concert. Live music always brings good vibes, and whether it’s a big Taylor Swift event or a local band, it’s a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday.

Go to a sporting event

If you and your friends are sports fans then why not celebrate your 40th with a trip to see a match. Make a day of it with drinks and food and cheer on your team.

40th Birthday Celebration Ideas Final Note

In conclusion, any of these 40th birthday party themes will allow you to have an amazing time celebrating your birthday!  Turning 40 is a big milestone and you should be honored!  At the end of the day, do what speaks to you and have a fun and fabulous time!  For more party inspiration, click here. Happy 40th and cheers to the new decade ahead!

About Author

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Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mom of three. She started Darling Celebrations back in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating the special events in life.

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