40 Unique 40th Birthday Present Ideas (2024)

Peerspace is the nation’s leading event venue rental provider. As such, we think experiences and venues are some of the nicest 40th birthday present ideas around! You can take your friend to a spa, book a party cruise, or take them on a glamping trip in the mountains. If you’ve come for ideas on how to make a 40th birthday party truly memorable, we’re here to help! 

1. Book a cruise party

delta king boat sacramento
Source: Pixabay

One of our favorite 40th birthday party ideas is to combine partying and travel with a cruise party! Cruises are floating resorts that leave most major coastal cities for Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean year-round!

2. Enjoy a birthday brunch

brunch spread for party
Source: Unsplash

Enjoy brunch with your favorite people during a 40th birthday party. Brunch combines the best of breakfast and lunch so there will be something to please everyone on the menu. Who doesn’t like sandwiches, waffles, omelets, and mimosas?!

3. Throw a costume party

Classic 80s Dance Club located on Fulham Road
Source: Peerspace

One truly unique 40th birthday party idea is to make it a costume event! Create a theme for the night like comic book superheroes or 80s night for extra fun.

4. Rent a party hall for a cocktail party

Downstairs Private Bar Perfect for Events
Source: Peerspace

Get out some nice clothes and enjoy cocktails with friends at a nice bar. Cocktail parties are a relaxing way to socialize and celebrate a 40th birthday party in style. Especially with a private cocktail bar, like this downstairs space in San Francisco!

5. Host a backyard barbecue 

Bamboo Garden Lounge - 2 Outdoor Grills
Source: Peerspace

If you’d rather stay close to home, invite everyone over for a backyard barbecue. All you need is a slow cooker or barbecue grill plus yard games, beer, pork, and whatever else people enjoy eating!

6. Go on vacation! 

gorgeous resort like home and pool
Source: Peerspace

40th birthdays are a chance to explore beyond your home city with an amazing vacation! Get tickets to a major city for big metro amenities. Or you can take a road trip to small towns in your state for bargain hunting, hiking, or historical exploration.

7. Enjoy a tasting class with friends

Gorgeous Downtown Tasting Room
Source: Peerspace

Wine, beer, and whiskey tastings include expert sommeliers to school you on the fine points of each beverage and traditional pairings for the drink. You’ll get to try drinks you might never have even heard of!

8. Movie night in a private screening room

Source: Peerspace

Movie theaters don’t always play what you want to see. Why not book a private screening room for your friends instead? Peerspace has hundreds of screening rooms to explore, with hourly rental terms that are far more flexible than an Airbnb. For example, this multipurpose event space in Queens, with its stage, LED lights, and sound system, can accommodate any birthday or gathering!

9. Charter a fishing boat 

Lake Photoshoot Ideas
Source: Peerspace

Chartered fishing boats are a sure way to land tuna, marlin, and other game fish. Expert anglers run them and they know exactly where to fish and at what season! 

10. Go sailing

sailing party boat on the sea
Source: Unsplash

If fishing isn’t your thing but you want to spend time on the water, think about a sailboat rental. You can take a sailing class in any city by the water. Or you can simply enjoy a day on the water while someone else does the sailing.

Planning a party on a budget? Don’t you worry! You just need these creative 40th birthday party ideas on a budget to pull it off with style.

11. Enjoy afternoon tea

tea party spread
Source: Unsplash

Afternoon tea isn’t just an English tradition; you can find tea parlors that have been running for over a century in the United States. Enjoy high tea in an elegant tea parlor, paired with traditional finger sandwiches, scones, and other light snacks.

12. Check out a wine bar

Downtown Wine Bar and Lounge with a Modern and Minimalist Design
Source: Peerspace

If tea, coffee, beer, and whiskey aren’t to your liking, that only leaves wine! Wine bars offer comfort food and choice wines in a well-decorated space. True wine aficionados should check out local wineries for tours and tasting events as a 40th birthday present idea! 

13. Go glamping

Photo Prop Ideas
Source: Peerspace

Glamping takes camping up a notch by helping people enjoy the outdoors without giving up on the comforts of home. You can enjoy hiking, swimming, and other outdoor pursuits at a glamping spot like this geodesic dome in upstate NY!

14. Break out of an escape room

Escape Room with a Private Lounge
Source: Peerspace

Break free of an escape room in an hour or less during a 40th birthday outing! Escape rooms are all about gathering clues, solving puzzles, and finding the exit in a themed space. From comedy to murder mystery, escape rooms come in all sizes and skill levels.  

15. Book a first class airline ticket

Private Jet Realistic Luxury Set
Source: Peerspace

We all have to travel now and again. For a 40th birthday party, why not do it in style? Buy first-class tickets and treat yourself to drinks, cozier seats, and even beds on long-haul international flights!

16. Enjoy a spa day with friends

Beach Hotel nyc
Source: Peerspace

40th birthday present ideas can be relaxing rather than a high-energy outing. Head to the spa and get an exfoliating scrub, a eucalyptus steam bath, and a full body massage. Hotel resorts have spas that are just steps away from luxury bedrooms, restaurants, and more!

17. Go sightseeing

times square advertisements
Source: Unsplash / @_samuellopes

Act like a tourist for the day and see all of the things locals know about but rarely experience. That might mean pictures at Golden Gate State Park, walking around Times Square, a day at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, or something else. Be a tourist on your 40th birthday because why not?

18. Have an art and wine night

maker space kirkland
Source: Peerspace

Wine goes with friends, food…And art! Art and wine events like Wine & Canvas in Minneapolis are a chance to take a class while enjoying a few drinks!

19. Book a cooking class

elegant event space with cafe and commercial kitchen
Source: Peerspace

Cooking classes are a chance to improve your kitchen skills under the guidance of a trained chef. Get your friend celebrating their 40th birthday a spot in an Indian curry, baking 101, or classic Southern cooking class. Whichever best matches their favorite cuisine!

20. Host a dinner party

charming rustic loft in little italy
Source: Peerspace

Dinner parties are a time-honored classic for many reasons. You can bring your favorite people together under one roof for food and socializing. Plus you can include dancing, cocktails, games, gift exchanges, and more during a dinner party.

21. Rent a private party mansion

Fairytale castle near Philly
Source: Peerspace

Instead of partying around the public, make your 40th birthday a unique event with a private venue. Mansions like this fairytale castle near Philadelphia offer a far more luxurious experience than any home or Airbnb rental, with swimming pools, dance floors, screening rooms, and other amenities. You can also book mansions by the hour through Peerspace for a truly flexible party rental!

22. Board game night

Tabletop Game Store for a Unique Meeting Space
Source: Peerspace

For a low-key 40th birthday party, think about board games with friends! Dust off Settlers of Catan, LIFE, and Monopoly, then pick out plenty of drinks and snacks for a competitive night indoors.

23. Take them shopping

1970s Vintage Space Age Clothing Store Bright Flower Wallpaper
Source: Peerspace

Shopping trips are fun for everyone and birthday parties mean hunting for gifts. Take your friend bargain hunting in vintage stores downtown or hit the mall for unlimited shopping opportunities!

24. Go paddle boarding or canoeing

canoe rowing on a lake
Source: Pixabay

If you like 40th birthday present ideas that take place outside, why not rent paddle boards or canoes for a few hours? Cities with rivers flowing through them like Minneapolis, Boston, and San Antonio are fun places to spend a birthday outdoors with friends!

25. Take a candy or chocolate factory tour

Chocolate Factory los angeles rental
Source: Peerspace

40th birthday celebrants with a sweet tooth should check out a tour of their local candy-making facility. Candy factory tours let you see how your favorite treats get made, start to finish, and almost always include samples at the end! For an even better candy-themed outing, check out Pennsylvania’s Hershey Park!

26. Get tickets for a food tour

food truck in LA for rent
Source: Peerspace

Food tours are the best way to sample the best dishes from multiple restaurants at once. Some are walking tours through downtown or an iconic neighborhood while other companies will drive you to each place. Food tours in cities with a rich culinary culture like Boston and Los Angeles may even focus on a single neighborhood known for particular cuisines!

27. Plan a bar crawl

Downtown Detroit speakeasy cocktail bar with original bank vault
Source: Peerspace

Drink, laugh, and dance during a bar crawl! If you’re a local then you likely already know where the best party spots are. But even lifelong locals can appreciate the expertise of bar crawl party planners. Not to mention the drink specials and faster venue access these agencies can offer for birthday party bar crawls.

28. Plan a birthday beach picnic

Modern Beach House on the Sand
Source: Peerspace

Enjoy the sun, wind, surf, and sand at the beach for your next 40th birthday celebration! Beach activities like swimming and volleyball are made better with a picnic lunch. Make sandwiches and snacks, and bring some wine for a day no one will soon forget!

29. Get an indoor rock climbing gym membership

Rent by Day Climb by Night
Source: Peerspace

Rock climbing is a full-body workout with the opportunity to join all kinds of community events! A gift membership to a rock gym or even a set of introductory classes can spark a lifelong passion in your lucky friend.

30. Head to a drive-in movie theater

birthday ideas during covid drive-in
Source: Peerspace

Drive-in movie theaters are a decidedly retro way to celebrate a special event. But there’s a reason they are still around. Drive-in theaters have better menus than regular movie theaters – plus you can BYOB and bring food from nearby restaurants!

Check out these great movie birthday party ideas to enjoy more cinematic celebratory inspiration as you plan the party for the big 4-0!

31. Game night at a video game arcade

1980s Video Game Arcade Lounge
Source: Peerspace

Interested in a more competitive 40th birthday present idea? Buy your friend tickets to a video game arcade! Many have entry passes that get you unlimited play for retro classics like Donkey Kong, modern games like Dance Dance Revolution, bowling, laser tag, and more. Arcade bars take it up a notch by including drinks and food under the same fun-filled roof! 

32. Throw a backyard camping party

Suburban Neighborhood, House, Safari Tent
Source: Peerspace

Camping doesn’t have to be at a far-flung destination. Pitch tents in the backyard or at a local park for a night or three. You’ll have the comforts of home close at hand and can barbecue, drink, and play games with those closest to you!

33. Have a lucky 40 birthday bash

Casino Theme Party Ideas For Adults
Source: Peerspace

Themed birthday parties offer endless opportunities for a memorable affair. What about making the theme about “luck?” The party can include games of chance like dice and 40th birthday present ideas like lottery tickets or presents hidden around the house.

34. Plan a potluck dinner night

Fully Draped Midtown Lounge & Dinner Party Room
Source: Peerspace

One fun way to make dinner a collaborative affair is by making it a potluck! Everyone gets to make something wonderful to share with the group. Make sure you have a sign-up sheet so no one doubles up on a dish or the drinks and dessert get skipped!

35. Hire a private chef to cook

Clubhouse with Skyline View at Theo
Source: Peerspace

If you want a birthday dinner but don’t want to do the dishes, think about hiring a private chef to handle the details! The chef can deal with the meal so long as you have a venue with a professional kitchen for them to work in. Affordable bookings for dinner venues like this clubhouse with skyline views in Denver are what Peerspace does best!

36. Take a hiking trip

January Birthday Ideas
Source: Peerspace

Birthdays don’t have to be indoor affairs. You can give your friend or partner the gift of the outdoors by planning a hiking trip for them. Map out the most scenic parts of the state and how to reach them on foot with an adventure birthday trip! Apps like Alltrails make it easier than ever to survey the best scenic trails well in advance!

37. Enjoy a garden party with friends

Outdoor Cider Garden with Covered Tent
Source: Peerspace

The classic appeal of garden parties in good weather is a relaxed, tasteful way to celebrate a 40th birthday party. Set up some tables, include a spread with beverages, and add entertainment like live music, dancing, and lawn games for a surefire-hit birthday celebration.

38. Get tickets to a sports game

Amazing Private Basketball Gym
Source: Peerspace

Fans of basketball, hockey, football, soccer, and MMA all have one thing in common: they have birthday parties and love tickets to games and events! You can make their 40th birthday feel even more special with a VIP party room booking or buying them the chance to meet their favorite athlete after the game.

39. Throw a party with an international theme

A Taste of Paris….French Café with a tasteful decor
Source: Peerspace

Themed birthday parties add flavor to an already exciting affair. Have you thought about making the theme international, like French, Chinese, Mexican, or Canadian? From food to outfits, celebrate a new (or old) culture during the celebration!

40. Go skating at the ice rink

Ice Skating Rink and Swiss Chalet Restaurant Available for Private Event
Source: Peerspace

Ice skating is an active 40th birthday party idea that costs little. It’s especially fun for partners looking for some romantic time with just the two of you. Skate rentals are inexpensive or free at most places. You’ll find both indoor (year-round) and seasonal outdoor ice skating rinks across the USA!

40th birthday present ideas: conclusion

birthday party decorations
Source: Pexels

Planning a 40th birthday party can be as much fun as it is having the party! We hope our efforts have helped narrow down the list of possibilities for the day. If you’re still looking for birthday present ideas as a venue or experience, check out some of the hundreds of party spaces Peerspace curates and see if inspiration strikes!

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