Entertaining Ideas
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40th birthday party

My SIL is turning 40 this year.  What kind of theme is appropriate?

It will be a backyard party so nothing too fancy.  But I do want it to be special for her, so no over the hill kind of thing.  Thoughts?

Re: 40th birthday party

  • It's difficult to suggest a theme not knowing anything about your SIL.  Does she like boating?  Do a nautical theme.  Does she like beer?  Have a bunch of different craft beers and Guiness flavored cake.  Does she like the color pink?  Have pink decorations and drinks.  If you mention a couple things she likes, I'm sure the people on this board could come up with some great ideas for you!  

  • Hi!  I'll be turning 40 this year... and would die if anyone threw me an "over the hill" type part.  Good for you for not going that route...


    BTW - I agree with Adjudi-Kate re: her favorite things. :)

  • Having helped with quite a few 40th & 50th birthdays, you can always go a couple different route.  Route 1:  Theme Party.  Example - An 80's party.  Or something tied into one of her favorite hobbies or activities. If she's a fan of butterflies or gardening, there's some great backyard decorating options.  If there is something locally important (a favorite place, a favorite sports team, etc.), use that for a spring board.  You can tie together the invitations, decorations, tableware, & favors in a coordinated way.

    Route 2:  Pick a festive generic adult milestone "party decoration" theme - there's a bunch of different options at the party supply store, and some of the online places have a bunch of options.

    One of our best events was a "My Favorite XXXX Story" where XXXX is the guest of honor's name.  You have everyone bring something that tells a story or recalls a memory of the guest of honor.  A photo of the guest of honor, a personal story with memories of the guest of written, a trinket or item that reminds that person of the guest of honor.  Everyone brings the item, and places it on a table, and sometime during the event, you have everyone who brought something stand-up and share with the group what they brought.  The guest of honor takes all the items home.  In our experience, they love this better than any gifts.

    Some other things we've seen:  You can do a "Sex and the City / Pink Cosmo" type party which is great for a spring / summer outdoor event.  Here's some other decoration themes for a 40th birthday.

  • it depends...on what type of person she? You can always go for a theme based on her liking. :)
  • I threw my brother a "Rockin' 40" party last year. He rocks 40 and we were going to rock it with a damn fun party as well....and it was!  We played his favorite songs from the last 40 years which was fun for all the ages there (babies to our 85 year old grandmother).
    Why ask why, when you know you're going to get a smart-ass answer
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