7 40th Birthday Party Themes

Lordy, lordy, someone’s forty! The BIG four-oh! What a time to celebrate! If you’re throwing a 40th birthday party and are looking for a great theme, you’ve landed in the right place. The options for throwing a great 40th birthday party are endless. The key is making it special and specific to your honoree. 

1. 80’s Themed

Can you believe 1980 was 40 years ago? There are so many options for an 80’s-themed 40th birthday party. You can mix all the themes below together and make it one big 80’s-themed party or select one of the themes and dive deep into that specifically, the choice is yours!

80’s Hair Style Theme – The mullet, tall mohawk, jheri curls, flattops, hi-top fades, puffed-up styles, permanent waves, large hair-do’s – they were all the rage back in the 80’s. Just think hairspray and the options are limitless!

80’s Music Theme – I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Livin’ On A Prayer, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Beat It, and the list goes on! Some of the greatest songs and artists came out of the 80’s. Add a twist by encouraging guests to dress as their favorite artist or band! 

80’s Outfit Themed – Spandex, ripped knee jeans, leg warmers, high-waisted jeans (those have come back!), neon colors, shoulder pads…yikes! I know you’d rather forget, but what fun it will be to remember for a day!

2. Fabulous 40’s

All things glamorous here. Ladies, go for a vintage dress (check your local thrift stores), some gloves, and some pearls. Hair and makeup are key too - women in the 40’s were always well put together. Think big barrel curls and red lips. Here is a makeup tutorial. For the dapper men, a suit, tie, and hat will fit the part. Decorations could include vintage military and pin-up girl posters. 

3. Floral 40’s

For the lady that loves all things floral, gather some stems of your favorite flowers and style your space around all varieties of flowers. Invite each guest to bring a flower that they feel represents the honoree and give them an opportunity to tell the honoree why. Of course, each guest would leave with a small variety of the honoree’s favorite flower as a party favor.

4. Wine and Cheese Tasting

You can do this in a home or take it to a restaurant. At home, grab a variety of wines and cheeses from your local store and spend the evening sipping and tasting. Don’t know what kind of wine your guests would like? Have your guests bring their favorite bottle of wine and cheese to share with the party. This would be great for a smaller, more intimate birthday party. 

If you are hosting the party in a restaurant, look for a winery or restaurant that does wine tastings. A lot of times they will offer a deal to host your party and serve wine and cheese that often pair well together. Educating your guests while celebrating a birthday milestone is a fun takeaway for the honoree and their guests.

5. Classic Cars

What gentlemen doesn’t love cars?! Decorate your house with model cars, large and small. Get a car-shaped cake and hey, maybe the 40th birthday honoree even needs a new car! 

6. Casino

Take a gamble with a casino-themed 40th birthday party. There are so many fun ways to execute this. Companies specializing in this can supply the tables you choose (Blackjack, Russian Roulette, etc.). Dealers are supplied and no money changes hands. Winners get tokens or necklaces to trade for prizes when done. The dealers also teach the ins and outs to those who have never played, which is a fun way for guests to learn how to play. Cocktails and drinks typically seen in a casino can be served.  

7. Camo

All things camo – hunting, fishing, you decide! Hunting and fishing equipment could be incorporated into fun games, maybe using the less seen and known equipment. This would be a great party for an outdoor location, and of course, dinner could be BBQ or burgers/hot dogs. Add skeet shooting or ax throwing and your guests might pitch a tent and stay the night. Have guests wear their best camo and have a contest to see who can camouflage themselves in the most camo.

The most important thing when selecting a theme for a 40th birthday party is to remember that this is a milestone in the birthday world so select something that caters to the honoree. A theme gives your party a focused direction and your guests will love honoring that theme with their attire and gift ideas! Who doesn’t like celebrating someone else’s 40th?