Home Decade Themes 40th Birthday Party Ideas – Naughty Forty, Sporty Forty…

40th Birthday Party Ideas – Naughty Forty, Sporty Forty…

40 used to be the age when you were over the hill – although a lot of people now think it’s 50 because people are living longer.

You can still have an over the hill party, or a Naughty Forty party where you celebrate your vices (daring clothing, loud music, too much chocolate…) or a Sporty Forty party which could be energetic activities or lazy spectating. See more below…

Party Ideas

You can choose a general theme from the list of party themes or try to make it a bit more specific with games like…

  • Host a sporty forty party in the park or backyard and play some games! Cricket, football, soccer and basketball are easy to set up and most people know the rules. You could also include athletics such as running races, relays, tug-of-war, and long jump.
  • Get a photo of the birthday person from each year of their life and make a poster for everyone to look at.  You’ll need the cooperation of their family for this – and it’s probably best if you don’t raise any skeletons.
  • Make a poster or list on a whiteboard of 40 things that happened in the year the birthday person was born. See who remembers them and what they remember.
  • Play 40 things. You can either get each guest to make their own list and read them out or get a whiteboard and pens to do a communal list. Try to include a mix of some silly ones for laughs and serious ones too.
    • 40 interesting things about the birthday person
    • 40 nice things about the birthday person
    • 40 favourite memories about the birthday person
    • 40 things they are glad they did before they were 30
    • 40 things they are glad they no longer have to do
    • 40 things they want to do before they are 40


  • Have a cake with 40 candles – that’s getting close to a forest fire. Or 4 cakes with 10 candles each to mark the decades.  You can have a standard shaped cake and draw a 4 and 0 on with icing, their favourite sweets or make a template using greaseproof paper and sprinkle coconut on the uncovered part.  See our cake page for a scrumptious butter cake recipe.

Decades and Milestones

Decades: | 1920s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s |
Milestones: | 30th Birthday | 40th Birthday |