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40th Birthday Party Ideas

Category Birthday
Be sure to choose a theme that relates to the celebrant's interests for this landmark birthday celebration. This page contains 40th birthday party ideas.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 19, 20110 found this helpful

I am throwing a 40th birthday party and am looking for funny prize ideas for game winners. For example, dinner for two (then you give them a box of mac and cheese, that serves two), a chance to win $100,000 (then give them a lottery ticket), or a new car (winner gets a match box car).

By Karen


May 23, 20110 found this helpful

A new designer outfit = a yard of fabric, spool of thread and hand needles; new mixer for the kitchen = wooden spoon; bouquet of flowers = dead roses or just stems (? not great but all I could think of); set of living room furniture (bed room, dining room) = miniatures from the craft store for dollhouses; washer and dryer = metal washer and a kitchen towel; a box of diamonds = a box of cards with only suits of diamonds; portrait of a US President = $1 bill; a $100 bill = an invoice/bill for $100 for services rendered; exercise equipment = a square block with instructions to place on floor, walk around it 6 times [thereby having walked around the block 6 times], a large rubber band for stretches, a cotton swap tinted black for a dumbell/barbell weight.


Please post what you do come up with since this is a great idea.

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May 3, 20110 found this helpful

I'm having my 40th birthday party in July and my theme is a Runway Diva/or just a Diva. Any ideas on centerpieces or decorating?

By Wanda


May 5, 20110 found this helpful

The Dolly Mamas are a lot of fun. Here is a link to their site and you will fall in love with them in a heartbeat.

Another site if the mama's are a bit too old is this one

Both are too cute!
Happy Birthday!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2009

I am planning a 40th birthday party for my mom, and need help with ideas. I want it to be a dressy occasion, something fun and very memorable. I have a color scheme (teal and purple, her favorite colors).


I've hired a DJ, and have a location with a dance floor, tables and chairs, but I'm not sure what else to do, such as games, and how to make sure everyone has fun and stays interested. I'm obviously not 40, so I'm not sure what would be especially appealing to this age group. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

By Holli from Portland, OR


April 23, 20090 found this helpful

Depending on the time of day, there are a lot of things you can do food-wise without spending a bundle. Chips and dip, tortilla chips and salsa, etc. A gal I know heats cocktail wieners with BBQ sauce, then skewers them on toothpicks. Not expensive, but adds a touch of class.

For music, the "oldies" like the Eagles, BeeGees, Fleetwood Mac (I confess, I liked Barry Manilow). whatever music your mom likes...


on a borrowed stereo or CD player.
Gifts? Again, when I was young and newly-married and broke, I used a small notepad and colorful pen and wrote a coupon book for those little favors my first hubby liked. Maybe your mom would appreciate coupons for you to take her out to dinner, or come in to cook for her, or clean the fridge. Even a home manicure-pedicure might be appreciated, if your mom's fashion-conscious.

btw. I think your mom's lucky to have a thoughtful kid like you!

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March 4, 2011

I made this cake for a very good friend. It's a chocolate cake decorated with black and red fondant. It was her 40th birthday so I wanted something simple but spectacular! Everyone at the party loved it!


Source: My own cooking and imagination

By Orquidea Pires

40th Birthday Cake

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

This page is about 40th birthday party centerpiece ideas. A party for this landmark birthday deserves unique table decorations.

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April 20, 20160 found this helpful

This is a page about 40th birthday posters and photos. A fun visual display can be created with a collection of life photos for this monumental birthday celebration.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 19, 20090 found this helpful

My husband will be turning 40 in March and I am in desperate need of celebration ideas. It doesn't necessarily have to be a party, but I can't let this big event go by unnoticed. I stay home with our two year old and don't work so I don't have a huge amount of cash at my disposal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks


GRL611 from Philadelphia


40th Birthday Party Ideas

Can you get someone to watch your 2-year old for a few hours, either as a favor or a tradeoff. Is there someplace local that he really likes to go? Do you get together with other people a lot socially? Perhaps you could plan a potluck surprise party, with a couple of people he doesn't see often but would like to. Maybe a movie with coffee and dessert out afterward. (01/15/2009)

By susan winship

40th Birthday Party Ideas

This is a great idea for any birthday of importance, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, etc. and it's free! I like to write a list called "40 things I love about you". ( or 50 things if they are turning 50, or 70 things if they are turning 70) I write fond memories I have of the birthday person. You can list qualities you admire about the person or sweet memories you have about the person.

Be specific and write details, it makes it more meaningful. I've done this for lots of different people in my family and they were all deeply touched by the time, effort, and kind words. It's always been a huge success! It does take some time. I would recommend you write 10 a day rather than sit down and try to come up with all 40 or 50 at once. It's much easier to do it in small doses. Have fun. Be creative. Make them laugh. Make them cry. You will enjoy it too! Lee in FL (01/16/2009)

By Lee Taylor

40th Birthday Party Ideas

Every time one of my siblings has turned 40, we have had a sit down meal with my parents and all the spouses. I am one of five, so we had about 12 adults. We had no kids at the meal. We cooked a nice meal and had a cake. It always turned out nice and it is great getting together with my brothers and sisters. You could do the same for you husband and his family. This was not very expensive, since it was just a meal and I always got food on sale.

I think time spent with loved ones is the most important thing. Now my oldest sister is coming up on 50 and we will probably start it all over again! Hope this helps. (01/27/2009)

By Linda

40th Birthday Party Ideas

My mom had a surprise birthday party and she didn't have a clue. Except, you are more creative than my dad, so anyway. We had kabobs and a ballroom dancer cake (with Barbie) because she ballroom dances. We had a picnic. Don't plan any games, just invite tons of friends. (02/03/2009)

By Ava

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January 13, 20090 found this helpful

I really need ideas for my sister's 40th birthday, she's not very adventurous so that rules a fair bit out, but I'd like it to be memorable and special. All ideas are welcome. :)

Jojo from Australia


40th Birthday Party Ideas

The funniest game I ever saw. Get a blindfold, a metal spatula, a big metal mixing bowl and a large bag of cotton or faux cotton balls.

Scatter the cotton balls on the floor. Blindfold the participant. They have two minutes, or whatever, to pick up as many cotton balls with the spatula and put them in the bowl as they can. Try this out before the party. You'll see what I mean.

We once surprised a friend by having the party at his place. I lived next door; had lifted a key. I took him out to dinner while everyone else was getting his place ready for the party. Every time I started to go home he kept looking around, because he was expecting a surprise. He looked all over the restaurant, even checked out the men's room. Finally, we went home. Boy was he surprised! He even got his place cleaned. Not a bad deal. (09/08/2005)

By Carrie

40th Birthday Party Ideas

I just had my 40th birthday and my sister and daughter got together and told everyone they knew to send me 40 "items" in the mail. This started like 2 weeks before my birthday. I got everything from cotton balls, to pennies and stamps. It was a lot of fun. Took me a couple packages in the mail before I figured it out though. (09/09/2005)

By Nancy

40th Birthday Party Ideas

I just came from a 50th party where the birthday boy's wife had this very creative poem hand lettered on a big poster board using candy bars taped to the board in the appropriate places. The sweet treats are in ALL CAPS in the "poem."

Do you hear SNICKERS from those around you?
Do you feel your bones CRUNCH?
Are you getting ZERO sleep?
Is your memory gone because your head's full of ROCKS?
Do you have trouble remembering WHATCHAMACALLIT?
Is all your ENERGY NOW gone?
Well, some may say you're at that age beTWIX youth and senility!
Don't be a crybaby at turning 50!
Now that you're getting CHUNKY, you may not TAKE 5 and have MOUNDS of fun.
The MOMENTOS that you get will remind you of your age.
So INDULGE yourself and get GOOD-N-PLENTY drunk and SKOR lot of laughs.
After all, you're still aM-AZING and worth 100,000 GRAND.
So, grab a BIG CUP and have a few CHUCKLES and party your BUNS off and have an EXTRA Happy 50th birthday!

By Julie

40th Birthday Party Ideas

People seem to want to do party themes on the era someone was born, but it would be so much fun to do something on the era someone was a teenager, whether 70's or 80's. A 70's disco or 80's Dynasty style party would be fun. Everyone could dress the part and have food and music from that era. Since our teenage years are usually pretty memorable, it would be fun to have a party that would be memorable, too. After all, the over the hill parties are done way too often. (01/10/2006)

By Nancy

40th Birthday Party Ideas

A fun 40th birthday party is a 70's theme. Your party will certainly be remembered when everyone has to come in their bell-bottoms! The 70's are definitely "in" now with lots of interest in the dress and fads.

You can decorate with an informal gathering of bean bag chairs and disco bead curtains at the door entryways. Play clips from 70's TV shows or movies and competing teams guess first what movie/show the song was from. 70's theme parties are really popular and go over well with guests of all ages.

Dee (01/20/2006)

By Dee

40th Birthday Party Ideas

A Casino style party is fun. I went to one for my friend's 30th birthday. The hostess rented the tables with the dealers. We played with chips and the person with the most chips at the end of the night won a prize.

You can get lots of other ideas from this web site:

By Marta

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