40th Birthday Party Ideas

Fun And Fabulous 40th Birthday Party Ideas
To Help You Create Non-Stop Milestone Party Fun!

Planning a 40th birthday celebration can certainly qualify as quite a substantial gift for the honoree. It's a great way to let that special someone know how much you care. There are lots of great options and fun themes from which to select for this milestone birthday.

For example, you could focus on creating a 40th birthday party with an emphasis on the number 40. Another way to come up with a theme idea is to think about the birthday person's likes and/or interests and to let that be the focus of the party.

If nothing comes to mind on that front you can always just opt to throw a fun birthday theme party. Here are several Adult Birthday Party Ideas for you to consider, which includes Over The Hill Party Ideas and a This Is Your Life Party. You will also find theme parties ranging from a beach party, a black and white party that is patterned after the infamous Truman Capote black and white party, or perhaps you might like an international party and go with a fiesta theme or a Hawaiian theme. There are also other fun party ideas like a redneck party or a casino party just to name a couple.

If you are more interested in focusing on the number 40 or the birthday person's likes and interests, then you will want to stay right where you are and read on for some 40th birthday party ideas.


40th birthday party image
Here are a few 40th birthday party ideas for invites that you might consider:

40TH B-DAY INVITES - Make a decorative "40" on the computer, print it out onto card stock, cut it out in such a way that the "4" and "0" remain attached. Write all your party details on the back and jazz up the front with some glitter, stick-on jewels, etc.

TICKET INVITES - Make the invites in the shape of event tickets and use the number 40 to represent seat and/or row numbers. You can also place numerous 40's around the entire edge of the ticket.

40th Birthday Invitation Ideas

PHOTO INVITES - Center the invite on a baby picture, childhood photo or a current photo of the birthday person. You can either opt to print it out in black and white style or full-color. Either way, it can certainly become a keepsake.

MAGAZINE INVITE - Turn this monumental occasion into headline news. Use a current photo to go under the title of the magazine. You can also add fun story lines to coincide with whatever magazine you select.


red roses image
This is an age that offers the opportunity to go in a few different directions when it comes to a gift. You can opt for the heart-strings and go with something like a collage or photo album, which will take them down memory lane. However, for some who are turning 4-0, they want to feel alive and want to do something wild and crazy. Still others are feeling "old" and are looking for an overhaul to help rev up their engines. Whatever the category, here are a few 40th birthday party ideas to help get your gift thinking going:

COLLAGE - Select 40 photos of the birthday honoree, selecting from baby pictures, school photos, special events in a person's life, marriage, birth of children, etc. Blow up the pictures, create a poster-sized collage, and frame accordingly.

PHOTO ALBUM - Once again, select 40 photos from the categories noted above. Arrange the photos in a chronological order, add some fun quips and phrases by each photo, and present it gift in a nice keepsake type of album.

A DAY AT THE SPA - I haven't met too many women who are unwilling to succumb to an all-out day of pampering. A woman turning 40 is sure to enjoy the works. Start at the top of her head and work down to her toes. Cut and color, facial, massage, manicure, and pedicure gift certificate is sure to make her day.

40th Birthday Gift Ideas

MANLY-MAN GIFTS - If you've got an avid golfer on your hands, giving him a gift certificate for a round of golf at a high-end course will certainly bring a smile. If he tends to prefer to be a spectator, opt to give him tickets to see his favorite team play.

PLAY, CONCERT, OR SPORTING EVENT - For a gift of a lifetime, either buy tickets to a special play, concert or sporting event that you know the birthday person is sure to enjoy. Arrange for a limo to pick them up and take them to the event, along with returning them back home. You can also add a nice dinner to the mix if you desire. To cut down on the costs, you could host the dinner at your home and drive them to the event.

WILD & CRAZY - For the adventurous family or friend who is turning 40 and would like to do something cra-zzy, give them a gift certificate for a sky diving or bungee jump. My sister-in-law celebrated her 50th birthday with a sky diving jump and loved it. Other options might be a hot air balloon ride, race car driving, climbing Mount Everest, or any other wild and crazy adventure you can conjure up. So you see, there are those among us who look for ways to take their breath away as they celebrate those milestone birthdays.

If you're looking for some Women Birthday Gift Ideas or some Male Birthday Gift Ideas then here are some options to check out.


Here are a few 40th birthday party ideas for decorating to help get you started planning your party room decor:

  • Let everyone know the party's location with fun 40 yard signs.

  • Another way to let everyone know "here's the party", would be to tie balloon bouquets to cars, trees, mailbox, etc.

  • Be sure to use lots of balloons and balloon clusters throughout the room to give it an instant facelift.

  • If you use mini balloons, you could create clusters of 40 balloons to accent corners nicely.

  • Another inexpensive must-have are twisted streamers to frame doorways, windows, mantels, etc. They also work great to create a dramatic effect on the ceiling and walls. Start early, like a day or two ahead of time, and cover an entire wall or the ceiling with streamers.

  • Cut out large 40's from poster board and hang them on the walls or smaller ones could be attached to fishing line and hung from the ceiling.

  • Create an interesting birthday banner and hang it on the main party wall or perhaps over the food table.

  • Accent tables for a woman with a feminine centerpiece consisting of flowers, Mylar's and perhaps a teddy bear or other fun "toy". For men, opt for one that has a more masculine look by using a cool model car, Mylar's, picks with sport balls, etc.
40th Birthday Party Ideas For 40th Birthday Decorations

  • Be sure to use coordinating cloth table coverings to accent the serving tables. For example, use a pink tablecloth and a yellow runner.

  • Toss some fun confetti on the tabletops to give them that little kick.

  • If you want to make the party atmosphere have a more casual feel, opt for a checkered tablecloth instead.

  • Hang lanterns along the ceiling line to add a fun light option, which will also double as a decoration.

  • To create mood lighting, add strands of white lights around the ceiling edge, window frames, doorways, etc.

  • Intertwine strands of white lights into any artificial trees you might have.

  • Use floating candles throughout the room as is appropriate and safe.

  • Cover chairs with fabric that coordinates with your party colors and tie them off with large contrasting bows.

  • Create a collage of the birthday honoree and hang it in a prominent place for all to see.

  • Leave disposable cameras around the room for guests to take pictures.


playing cards image
Here are a few 40th birthday party ideas to consider playing at your upcoming 40th birthday party:

HAVE YOU EVER... - This is a great ice breaker and can be lots of fun when you have a lot of people attending a party. As guests arrive, have them each write down on separate pieces of paper 5 things that they have done, possess an unusual skill, or had something happen to them. For example, done bungee jumping, fell in the mud, speaks Chinese, etc. Place papers into a bowl.

When it's time to play the game, have everyone sit in a circle with one person standing in the center. He/she will pick a piece of paper out of the bowl, read it aloud, and everyone who has done what is read shall get up and switch seats. Whoever is left standing shall be in the center and read the next paper.

DECADE TRIVIA - Since the 70's could be considered a significant era in a 40-year-old's life, you might want to play a Trivial Pursuit (70's Edition). This is a great option for a large group of people and can easily be played in teams.

KARAOKE - All you need is a fun DJ to keep things moving, plenty of music for guests to sing their lungs out to, and of course, karaoke equipment. Once again, you might want to focus on the all-important 70's, but any music selections are bound to be a hoot as people cut loose with their 15 minutes of fame.

BIRTHDAY ROAST - Invite guests to share a funny or serious story about the birthday person. Include this request in the invitation and follow it up with a reminder email a few days before the party.

40th Birthday Party Ideas For 40th Birthday Party Games

BALLOON POP - Split your guests into teams of 4-5 people. For each you will need 40 balloons of one color. For example 3 teams equals 40 red, 40 white and 40 blue balloons. Have all the balloons blown up and ready to go before the party. When it's time to play the game toss all the balloons throughout the room and have everyone scramble to grab the balloons that pertain to their team color and begin to pop them by sitting on them. The first team to pop all their balloons will be the winners.

PHOTO TIMELINE - Create a photo timeline of 10-15 photos, numbering each one 1-15, and hang them on one of the party walls where it is easy for guests to see. Include photos relating to major events, movies, music, etc. that occurred over the last 40 years. Give each guest an index card with numbers 1-15 and a pencil to write down the year they think a picture corresponds to. Whoever has the most right answers shall be the winner.

GUESS HOW OLD - Gather a bunch of photos of the birthday person ranging in age from birth to the present and have everyone try to guess how old he/she is in each photo. Whoever gets the most right shall be the winner. This game can be a lot of fun as everyone checks out those fun hairstyles, clothing choices, glasses, etc.

BIRTHDAY MEMORY CARDS - Create a decorative card to hand out to guests as they arrive. Have everyone fill in their favorite memory of the birthday person, and return it so they may all be wrapped up and presented to the recipient later in the party.


When you start thinking about coming up with some 40th birthday party ideas for food, you might want to consider serving up some of the fun foods of the 70's. Here's a few party food ideas to help get you started:
  • Deviled eggs

  • Stuffed celery filled with flavored cream cheese or peanut butter

  • Mini cocktail franks in a blanket

  • Chex party mix

  • Lipton's onion soup mix dip and various chips and veggies

  • Cheese and/or pepperoni pizza

  • Fondue will be a blast to the past. You can opt for cheese, oil or chocolate

  • Have your local sub shop make one of those 5' long sub sandwiches and place it down the center of the serving table, then all you need to do is cut it up into serving size pieces.

Other yummy options to consider serving that should not be excluded from your 40th birthday party ideas might be:
  • Pasta salad

  • Mini meatballs with various dipping sauces like teriyaki, sweet & sour, or bbq

  • Chicken drumettes or wings

  • Baked potato bar with all the fixins

  • Stuffed mushrooms

  • Shrimp platter with cocktail sauce

  • Mini cheesecake squares

  • Chips, salsa and guacamole


Here's some 40th birthday party ideas for cakes that might help get you thinkin' cake:

40-SHAPED CAKE - Use two cake pans. One the number 4 and the other a number 0. For casual-looking cakes, cover them with frosting and for a more formal or professional looking cake, opt for fondant.

TRADITIONAL BIRTHDAY CAKE - Make or buy a sheet cake and then top it off with 40 sparklers instead of candles. Add a few curling ribbons and tiny candies on the sides.

PHOTO CAKE - Have a bakery put a photo of the birthday person's baby picture in the center or select nine small pictures of significant events in the birthday person's life and have the bakery create a tic-tac-toe of the photos.

BIRTH CAKE - Research the birth year of the recipient and find something significant that occurred that year and center the cake around that happening.

HOBBY CAKE - Make a cake that focuses upon the birthday person's interests. For example, motorcycle, sports fan, quilting, golfing, etc.


There are many items that can be personalized to commemorate the birthday recipient's milestone birthday. Here are a few 40th birthday party ideas for favors to think about personalizing:

40th Birthday Party Favors

  • A tin of mints with a photo of the birthday recipient at a younger age.

  • Deck of playing cards with a birthday message or photo.

  • Personalized chocolate sucker.

  • Candy wrappers reflecting "Name's 40th Birthday", along with the date.

  • Personalized tea bags with a tea bag holder.

  • Mini teacup with a tea light inside.


In conclusion just remember--don't let the prospect of the Big 4-0 get you down. Instead, gather friends and family and enjoy your special day. Since 40 only comes around once in life, start planning now to shoo those blues away.

Your Super Ideas For A 40th Birthday Party

This is the place to share your creativity. If you have some super ideas for making that once in a lifetime 40th birthday extra special, then give a share!

Return To Top Of 40th Birthday Party Ideas
Return To Milestone Birthday Ideas
Return To Home Page - Birthday Party Ideas

New! Comments

Join in with your party ideas and questions! Leave your comments in the box below.
party blog

New Birthday Party Ideas

Here's A Few Fun 40th Birthday Party Ideas

40th birthday image
40 Can Be Fun & Fabulous--Since You're Only 18 With 22 Years Of Experience

balloon bouquet image
You Can Never Have Too Many Balloons--How About Bouquets Of 40?

party favor image
Let Your Party Favors Do Double Duty--Use Them As Table Decorations Too!