40th Birthday Ideas

40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40

If you have the big 40 coming up, make sure to mark the milestone with something special that you’ll look fondly back on!

When it comes to celebrating a 40th birthday, everyone has their own style. It's a milestone worth celebrating, and for many, that means going all out with a weekend of group activities or even an extravagant vacation. Whether you're into adventure, relaxation, or something in between, there are plenty of unique ways to make your 40th birthday one to remember. If you're in need of some inspiration, look no further! We've compiled a list of 40th birthday ideas, offering 40 ways to celebrate turning 40. With so many options to choose from, we're sure you'll find something that piques your interest!

1. Go to Your Favourite Restaurant

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to celebrate without missing out, your absolute favourite restaurant is a must. It doesn’t have to be somewhere fancy, just order your favourite dishes with your loved ones to mark the occasion.

2. Invest Time in Learning a New Skill

There is never a bad time to dive into a new hobby when you have spare time. Whether it be rock climbing, knitting or anything in between it’s a great way to keep your mind active and keep learning.

3. Buy Yourself Something Nice

More often than not we push aside things we want to spend money on more responsible, practical things. Your 40th birthday bash is the perfect time to splash the cash on an item you’ve always dreamed of.

4. Life Drawing Party

Taking place at a private city centre venue, this cheeky and exciting class gives you and your mates the chance to unleash your creative sides whilst learning how to draw a fully nude model. Art supplies and tutor are also provided for you on the day.

5. A Spa Day

Everyone deserves a pamper everyone once and a while – but especially for a birthday! If you’re looking for a way to remember turning 40 without all the balloons and booze, a spa retreat might be the perfect experience. Relax and spend a care-free day/weekend rejuvenating as you hit the special mark of 40.

Learn more on spa days.

6. Re-Connect with Family

It just so happens that when you turn 40, it can be a time of self-reflection. This might be the ideal time to reach out to estranged family members and strengthen relationships.

7. Go Skydiving

It might be a cliché, but lots of people use their 40th birthday as an opportunity to do something crazy... and what’s crazier than jumping out of a plane?!

8. Cocktail Making

Make your way to a lively and exciting city centre bar and learn how to mix, shake, stir and pour your favourite tipples. Taught by an experienced bartender, this makes for the perfect way to celebrate your 40th!

Learn more on cocktail making

9. Find a Fitness Hobby

Getting fit at 40 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking to become your best self when you hit that age then a fitness hobby might be a great start. Try Zumba, start running or even just join a hiking club.

10. Have a Big Night In

Simple yet effective, a girls (or boys) night in might be exactly what you need to ring in the first 40 years of your life. Grab your favourite booze, a big takeaway and all of your mates for a house party, just like when you were a teenager!

11. A Theatre Visit

A theatre visit is the perfect three things for a special birthday – exciting, unique and classy! Without being too pricey, you can dress up to go and see an iconic play in the likes of The London Palladium or The Globe Theatre.

12. Visit Somewhere New

Hop on a plane or take a road trip to somewhere that’s always piqued your interest, whether that be a day trip or a week away.

13. Go on a Cruise

There’s no more epic way to spend your 40th birthday than a cruise! Sail the seas in true luxury and make memories on-board.

14. Go to a Concert

You’re never too old to enjoy some riveting live music. Feel the bass in your chest and find a musical concert that excites you.

15. Go to Las Vegas

One of the most popular ways to celebrate a 40th birthday party is to jet off to Vegas and try to win a small fortune in between all the fun and folly of this iconic city.

16. Buy a Pet

Who doesn’t love a furry companion? If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a pet, mark your 40’s as the best decade with your new friend.

17. Make a Bucket List

Making a bucket list is both easy and exciting. Once you hit 40, think about all the experiences you might want to do and places you want to visit, write them down and make them happen!

18. Embrace your Hobbies

Whether its painting, reading, gardening, cycling or anything in between, re-connecting with some of your favourite hobbies that might have gone neglected in recent years is a wonderful way to celebrate your 40th birthday and welcome in this new chapter of your life.

19. Plan a Party!

Sometimes, the simplest celebrations are the best. Whether you host at home or decide on hiring a local venue, hosting a proper party for your 40th birthday is a fun and memorable way to celebrate this milestone in life.

20. Full Monty Strip Show

Make it a day to remember by bringing yourselves along to one of the most infamous male strip shows in the country!

40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40 Gallery

21. Book an Experience

We have a lot of experience with experiences! In the UK alone, we have over 80 group activities ranging from the weird to the wonderful!

22. Go to the Beach

A classic British celebration is going to the beach. This is an especially good idea if your 40th birthday bash falls in the summer months.

23. Dine at a Michelin-star Restaurant

Turning 40 is as good a time as any to branch out in the way of cuisine. There’s plenty of 3-star Michelin restaurants around the UK to sink your teeth into.

24. Get a Tattoo

This might be some people’s idea of hell! However, a meaningful tattoo is a long-term way of remembering your 40th birthday.

25. Re-live Your Childhood Memories

With 40 years of experience behind you, it can be nice to celebrate your 40th birthday by re-living your childhood memories like photos, videos or experiences like an school sports day with your friends & family!

26. Take a Road Trip

You don’t even need to make a plan for this one. Hop in the car with a few days off and see where the road takes you around the UK or abroad.

27. Go on a Shopping Spree

If buying one designer item isn’t special enough, go all out with a huge shopping spree. We suggest heading to shopping centre’s to get the most out of your spree.

28. Karaoke!

When the clock strikes 40, radiate with confidence and sing your heart out to your favourite tunes!

29. Make Memories with Your Kids

If you’re blessed with a big family – make sure those kiddos are involved! No matter what age, you can easily incorporate all the family with a party, holiday, trip to the zoo and more.

30. Try Professional Yoga at Home

Channel your inner peace and bring about some much-needed relaxation by taking a professional yoga class at home with your friends and family.

Learn more on yoga at home

31. A Day at the Races

If you’re looking to get your glad rags on, a day at the races is the perfect celebration. We’re based in Chester and see thousands of people in heels, dresses and fascinators heading to the races each year!

32. A 40’s Themed Party

This concept is simple, but best organised by someone else but yourself to avoid the stress before your birthday shenanigans.

33. Buy Something Designer

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while! Mark the end of your 30s with a designer item that you’ve been craving, whether it be a designer shirt, handbag, a pair of shoes etc.

34. Put Together a Memory Scrapbook

This is more of an idea for friends and family to do for you. Get everyone together and go through some of your favourite pictures to stick in a scrapbook as a memento.

35. Go on a Hot Air Balloon

Looking for an experience to remember? Try a breathetaking hot air balloon ride with a loved one.

36. Visit a Vineyard

We don’t know about you, but we’ve always associated vineyards with older, classier ladies. Your 40th might be the perfect chance to broaden your wine horizons and get a bit tipsy in Italy.

37. Go for a Makeover

On a similar vein to pampering, a makeover is also a great way to celebrate your milestone birthday. Get the girls together or just spend some quality alone time getting your hair and make-up done, even if it’s not for a particular occasion.

38. Buy Yourself Flowers

Self-care is one of the most important things in life to keep us happy. Especially on your 40th birthday, why not make your own dreams come true with a bunch of your favourite flowers?

39. Hire a Naked Butler or Stripper!

Sure to give your party guests a surprise, treat yourself to some eye candy for the celebrations with a naked butler or stripper. After all, your forties are meant to be about taking it easy and enjoying yourself... so why not start straight away?

Learn more on butlers in the buff

40. Do Something Creative

One of the best ways to make memories is to get your creative juices flowing with a crafty workshop! We have it on good authority that birthdays are a hoot when you add something creative, and we have many ideas to make this happen.

See all our Creative Activities here »

The Best 40th Birthday Decorations & Accessories

They key to making the most out of your 40th birthday celebrations are some great decorations and accessories. Including 40th birthday decorations and accessories into your special day will help memories last longer for all those involved, make the birthday girl/boy feel extra special and provide an epic backdrop for photos!


40th birthday balloons are a super easy way of sprucing up a birthday party! They make a big bold statement and look amazing in photographs. You can even deflate them at the end and keep them as a memento if you fancy it!

Shit I'm 40 Balloon - £2.52

Shit I'm 40 Balloon - GlitterBalloons

Rose Gold Balloons Hello 40 - £3.23

Rose Gold 40th Birthday Balloons - PartyTouchesUK

Blue 40th Birthday Balloons - £2.42

Blue 40th Birthday Balloons - PartyTouchesUK

Cake Toppers

There’s no birthday party without a birthday cake right? So, make sure you bag yourself a 40th cake topper to make your cake the best it can be. 40th birthday cake toppers come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, meaning there’s something for everyone.

40th Birthday Checklist

Simply save the image below or screenshot it to have everything you need for your 40th birthday party celebrations all in one place! Use it as a checklist or send to your family and friends so they don't forget anything!

40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40 Full List


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