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40th birthday party ideas: The ultimate guide

Haven’t you heard? 40 is the new 30. So it’s only right that you see in this milestone with a bang!

Whether you’re looking for 40th birthday celebration ideas for yourself, for your Mum, your Dad or your second cousin twice removed, we’ve put together the definitive list of how to throw the ultimate 40th birthday party below!

40th birthday party ideas for small groups

Destination Party Time: Yes, yes, very extravagant we know - but take a second to think about it… What better way to celebrate your 4th decade on planet Earth than to travel it with your nearest and dearest! Whether you’ve been dreaming of walks in the Lake District or putting it all on red in Las Vegas, marking your 40th birthday with a holiday is a memory that will last forever.

Supper Club Soiree: If you’re forever the host and want to throw an unforgettable evening for your guests, why not hire a supper club for your intimate 40th birthday party? Bursting at the seams with incredible food and great company, supper clubs are a foodie’s party dreams come true in your own home (plus you don’t need to book a tipsy Uber back to your place at the end of the night)!


For a supper club stalwart, look no further than Dinner Ladies. With tailor-made menus including delicious dishes such as their Asian-spiced beef cheeks with potato & carrot 'crabmeat', stir-fried pak choi and five spice jus, there is no way you can go wrong. It doesn’t get much more ‘special occasion’ than that, does it?

West End Calling: If you've been waiting patiently for Hamilton tickets in the ballot, or you’ve always fancied sitting in the stalls to watch Jean Val Jean belt out ‘Bring Him Home’, surely your 40th birthday is the time to get it booked in the diary. Get yourself some tickets in the front row, pre order that bottle of Bolli for the interval and jolly well book that table for the post-theatre meal of your dreams too!


40th birthday party ideas for large groups

Go Go Garden Birthday Party: Your guest list is huge (we get it, you’re popular!), so why not get the whole gang round for a knees up in your very own back garden? Spend the money you’ve saved on a venue on decor, drinks and a dancefloor. For a quirky twist, hire a food truck near you to pull up to your kerb and serve some burritos for your guests? After all, they say life begins at 40 and you need to let the people know you’ll be fiesta-ing not siesta-ing for the foreseeable!

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Check out our top 24 food trucks to hire for birthday parties.

Tribute Band Bonanza: You’ve been told many times that your music choice is questionable but this is your birthday and you can do what you want to! Whether your favourite album is ABBA Gold, you’re into Ska, Stormzy is secretly your private bop or you love a bit of chilled acoustic, there’s no better way to ensure everyone gets up on their feet to dance than hiring some live music. Plus if you give the performer a tip, they might give you a birthday shout out!

Prop Til You Drop: We all love a gimmick. If you’re setting a theme for your birthday, why not go the whole hog and equip your venue with the best props in the game! A sure fire hit is always the classic photo booth - you might have a battle to keep your Uncle John out of it, but the pictures you get from it will serve as lifelong memories of your 40th birthday party (and of what a cracking host you are!) Side note: Feather boas are retro now and pretty down with the kids we’ll have you know.

40th birthday party ideas for women

Champagne Supernova: Did you say bubbles, daaaahling? Service please! Bottomless brunches are not just for 20-somethings; the subtle flavours that exist within the heavenly nectar of the gods is wasted on them! Get your best girls together and raise a toast to your 40th. Whether you head to the best brunch in town or hire a mobile bar to keep the good stuff flowing all night at your party, bubbles are a girl’s best friend.

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Spa Day Delights: You are an independent woman who deserves to treat yourself. Put down that filofax and slap on your Out Of Office - you’re getting yourself seaweed wrap with Indian head massages on tap. Your birthday only comes round once a year so if you can’t splurge on a bit of self love now, when can you?

Women Who Wine: Grab your party people, put on your finery, prepare that palate and head to the winery! Wine tasting is a great way to let your hair down and celebrate - plus, now you’re another year wiser, see as a grape-based bit of education! Up and down the UK, there are some amazing wine tastings and tours you can take part in with family and friends to celebrate - whether you’re looking for something a little more personal, or as part of a larger group. Naked Wines host an incredible series of tasting events, regularly hitting the road with some of the country’s best winemakers - and you only deserve the best. Remember: if you’re not laughing (and drinking), you’re learning (and drinking).


40th birthday party ideas for men

Roll the Dice: If you haven’t got the dollar to hop across the pond to Vegas, bring Vegas to you! Get the lads over to yours for a ‘no phones allowed’ casino night and let the games begin. To really set the tone, you can go all out and hire a casino table or two and dealing machine for the party to really raise the stakes!


Boys, Beers, Cheers: No matter what age you are, there’s nothing quite like cracking open a cold one with the boys. It’s your 40th though, so we need to think a bit bigger than a 20-pack of Carlsberg - what you need Sir, is a Beermobile. The Hop Stuff Brewery can pull up at your birthday venue in their ex-MOD Land Rover Defender with not one, not two, but eight beer taps affixed to the side! Imagine that; eight kegs of cold, delicious beer - now that’s a party.

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Paintball Pandemonium: There’s life in the old dog yet. Fancy an activity based birthday bash? Reclaim your youth, strap on your ammo and go big in a paintball arena with your guests! There’s something quite cathartic about entering a new decade of your life by absolutely pelting your closest mates with paint.

Want some more foodie 40th birthday celebration ideas?

Check out our blog here on the perfect 40th birthday party food that will satisfy any theme you've got in mood!