40th Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas
40th Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas

40th Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas

The Definitive Guide to Entertainment Ideas for your 40th Birthday Party.

Are you looking for some amazing 40th birthday party entertainment ideas? If you’re reading this, then there’s a high chance that you’re celebrating your upcoming 40th birthday party. It’s a big deal. Alternatively, you might be looking for some ideas for your friend’s 40th birthday. Either way, it’s a big milestone them, and one of the most important birthdays that people celebrate.

At the age of 40, you’ve probably got a really close group of friends that you’ve accumulated over your life. At 30, you may have been a bit young, not had the disposable income to celebrate in style, with a big gathering. 

But now at 40, you’ve probably got a good level of income, and a good-sized group of friends to be able to celebrate in style so time to go for it!

So, who’s celebrating their 40th birthday party? Well, if you were born in the mid to late 80’s, and potentially the start of the 90’s, there’s a high chance this article is for you. If you’re putting on the best birthday bash of your life, then you want to have some great entertainment booked in. With so many different entertainment ideas available I wanted to create a definitive list of some of those ideas to help you choose the right 40th birthday party entertainment for you.

It All Starts With The Music!

80s music, 90s music and the genres that are so iconic. It’s the soundtrack to our lives and if we’re turning 40 then its the music and the fun and entertainment that accompanies the music really sets the party off. As a professional magician, I’ve attended hundreds of 40th birthday parties, both as a guest and more often as a professional magician and mind-reader, but we’ll get to that later.

For now, those people who have been born in the 80s or early 90s would have experienced those iconic music artists such as sting in the Police, Wham, Kool and the Gang, Oasis blur and maybe if you’re reading this a few years from now, Britney Spears. So, it’s always good to start by getting your playlist sorted out and choosing a DJ or a band who will support your favoured music choice.

Not everybody wants to hear or play Depeche Mode or Michael Jackson, so, it’s important to choose your band or DJ with care. Now this could be a tribute act, or equally, it could be a DJ or alternatively you could just have a playlist and get everybody to submit their top two or three tracks because my guess is your friends and family may also be from a similar era: certainly, your friends if they were born at a similar time.

Why All good 40th Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas Starts With The Music:

There’s nothing more enjoyable than getting everybody up on the dance floor to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller or showcase the dance moves of Macarena, or Tragedy by steps. Whatever you choose, choose a DJ or playlist or music to complement this big 40th birthday party you could even go one step further and organize a karaoke sing song as a 40th birthday party entertainment idea. You can get some microphones in and everybody sings to their heart’s content with some of the iconic tunes that were the soundtrack to your life. So, what do you need for a karaoke setup?

Well, you’ll need to get a music / word prompter to give you the words You might have a video screen with some of the iconic dances, and you’ll have the melody playing in the background. Before all of this it’s important to find a venue that won’t have sound limitations if you’re going to be singing loudly and it’s also important to consider the venue and its location.

Can the carpark hold enough cars? Can the venue hold the number of guests that you’re inviting?

It’s also important to consider that the hall or the venue isn’t too big, because if it’s too big, and you don’t have as many friends or family members to fill that venue, then it can feel a little bit empty. It’s far better to get the balance right of the number of guests that you invite, and the size of the venue that you book. 

Get Dressed Up and Theme Your 40th Birthday:

The next 40th Birthday entertainment idea is to make it a fancy dress party. There is no era more or more iconic than the 80s or the 90s. So, encourage your friends and family to dress in their favourite iconic styles in the 80s or 90s. This could be Michael Jackson or it could even be Ricky Martin or could be Michael Jackson. It could be the Spice Girls, Steps or Bewitched. But encourage everybody to get involved to make your party feel extra special.

The next idea for your 40th birthday party might be to include a photo booth. Here, everybody can get dressed up in fancy dress and you can include some of the iconic accessories from the 1980s and 1990s. This might be Lego, it might be Barbie dolls; It might be Action Man or He-man, bum bags, or retro baseball caps or Rubik’s Cubes or even 3D glasses. Capture the memories of your big 40th birthday party through the lens of a vintage photo booth and find a photo booth supplier who is able to bring all of the accessories that you want, or include your own.

So, what else do you need for 40th birthday party? 

What About Some Other 40th Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas?

Well, a few more ideas could be to include a caricaturist. If you’ve had a caricature done when you were younger, another caricature when you’re 40 and perhaps when you’re 50 years old, is a great way to remember what you look like and what you may look like in the future. A caracturist could mix and mingle in between your guests and be a nice addition to any 40th birthday party. 

Hire A Magician As An Amazing 40th Birthday Party Entertainment Idea:

Other suggestions include stilt walkers of fire act, and my personal favourite, which I am slightly biased on is hiring a magician or a mind reader. Let’s start with the magician.

If you’ve landed on this page, you may know by now that I’m a professional magician. I’ve been performing magic our 40th birthday parties for well over 15 years. My magic is perfect for all ages. Whether you’re 40 years old and have a young family or you’re 40 years old, and have an older family. My magic is always tailored to the audience, and guaranteed to make your 40th birthday party extra special and memorable. I’ll show you things you’ve never seen before and certainly things you’ll never see again and guaranteed to leave your guests laughing in amazement and having fun and congratulate you on an amazing party. 

Watch Duncan's 40th Birthday Party Cabaret Showreel Below:

Hire A Mindreader To Entertain Your Guests:

But let’s talk about the mind reading. Now this isn’t anything weird or sinister, but something fun, interactive and something that if you’ve been to birthday parties in the past 99% of people would never have experienced before.

This could be a knocking people’s mobile phones telling their star sign telling their bank pin, or simply telling them the name of their children their first kiss, or pulling thoughts out of their head. This is fun, interactive, and takes magic to an even more unbelievable level. It’s perfect for all ages, highly visual, highly interactive and if it’s your first time organizing a party, where your friends and family may not know one another, it’s a perfect icebreaker to encourage people to talk to one another.

I also offer a show, this is perfect. If you’re wanting a different style of 40th birthday party, I can perform a 40-to-45-minute mind reading cabaret Act which you can watch above, which is fun for the whole family. It’s really interactive, really good fun, and can be broken down into modules of just five minutes each.

But, you don’t have to have the full 40-to-45-minute influence and persuasion. Mind reading experience, you can shorten it down to a five minute while piece 20 minutes half an hour, the choice is yours. But whatever you choose, I customize my act for your special 40th birthday party.

It’s family-friendly, so nothing blew and really, really makes your 40th birthday party extra special and memorable. But you may not just be the kind of person who wants to hire village hall or a nice flash venue, bringing the entertainment through the DJ a magician, a caricature artist for your 40th birthday party, you may have other things in mind.

Suggestions of Where To Have Your 40th Birthday Party

The first is you could simply host a dinner party at your own home, you could bring in an external caterer who could cook you some amazing food for your big 40th birthday party. This is a great entertainment idea, because it really gets people experiencing some fine cuisine from a professional chef in the comfort of your own home. So, you can have everything at hand you can provide the alcohol, you can provide some of the ingredients you can provide the party games after the chef was left and hosting a 40th birthday party or your own home is a great way to bring everybody together.

You could have background music playing, invite a live musician, a string quartet, or even bringing a magician to perform a slightly smaller cabaret show or mix and mingle between your guests around the dinner table or with people dining separately in rooms around your house. Another great way to utilize a professional magician such as myself is to have a close-up corner. So, a sign a small corner of the house or a individual room for me to sit at a table here I can entertain small groups for five or 10 minutes, performing miracles and wonder having intimate close up mind reading and magic performances to small groups makes this a really unique and special event.

Equally so if you’re thinking about using a part of your house for a different birthday party entertainment, you could hire a barman or a cocktail maker. They could set up their mobile bar or cocktail bar and they could make cocktails for your guests throughout the night.

This could include even cocktail making sessions where you have a professional cocktail maker come in and show everybody how to make some fun cocktails. Of course, people will get a little bit tipsy and your 40th birthday party may become even more rowdy and even more fun, but is a great 40th birthday party entertainment idea.

Have A Casino Themed 40th Birthday Party

Other ideas can include hiring some casino tables. This is a great way for everybody to come together and gamble a little bit on a casino table casino company but in their own tables, being their own cards and poker chips, and you pay them for the evening, you can even decide on a prize for those who have collected the most poker chips at the end of the night and have an award ceremony equally so you could arrange a poker game.

For your 40th birthday party entertainment yourself, you don’t have to bring in Casino professionals, you could make the night focused around card games, and board games. In fact, board games is becoming increasingly popular for as a 40th birthday party entertainment idea. Invite all of your guests to bring a short board game with them.

This could be something as simple as charades, or it could be something more complicated. But it’s a great way for everybody to have some nibbles and some fun at the same time as playing and get a game. But you don’t have to host in a village hall or unique venue or your own house. In fact, most of the 40th birthday parties that I attend are usually in a house hide for the weekend.

This is a great addition to the party. It brings people together from all over the country because you may have some of your guests in the north or the south or the east of west of England and wanting to bring them together in a mutually central location. There are many beautiful birthday party entertainment venues around the UK, often located in the countryside. This is great if your house isn’t big enough or you can’t quite find the perfect venue to host your 40th birthday party.

Take Everyone Out To Celebrate Your 40th In Style

Other suggestions include taking everybody out to one of your favourite restaurants. Again, this could be centrally located so everybody can make it there. Choose wisely and consider other people’s tastes as well as your own.

But this is a great option for those people who want to celebrate in style, but don’t want to use a venue and have to sort out all the decorations. However, this can come become slightly expensive. If you’re paying for large groups of numbers. It can sometimes be cheaper if you hire a venue and organize external caterers to come in, rather than the premium prices of restaurant. That said, it’s important to ensure that the restaurant can accommodate a group of your size and consider if they have private dining or areas cornered off for your 40th birthday party celebration. If you’re going out to your favourite restaurant, you may also consider going out for some drinks as well or instead of you may love your alcohol and you may face a fine nothing more enjoyable than going out to a nightclub, or a lounge or a bar to have drinks with your friends.

Again, you could hire part of the bar as a private drinking area for you and your friends and have waiters to host you there. This is a great way to enjoy the music and enjoy the atmosphere of a pub in your local area or club as well. But not everybody wants to drink alcohol. You could choose to go to a fancy hotel or spa.

You can maybe head down to London and enjoy afternoon tea at the Savoy Hotel. You can go to a local hotel in the countryside which will also offer similar afternoon tea, cakes and sandwiches combined with cups of tea glasses of bubbly, and perhaps even include a spa day. A spa day is another great 40th entertainment idea, especially if you’re a group of girls is might not be so applicable, if you’re boys a spa day is a great way to get all of your girlfriends together and be pampered to make you feel fresh and excited to see in the second half of your life after turning 40.

If you’re a man, a spa day may not be the right choice for you. You may choose to take your friends Go Karting as an alternative 40th birthday party entertainment idea.

Celebrate Your 40th Birthday Abroad

You may choose to take them on a adventure day A or abseiling or you may choose to do choose to do something even more exciting, like a big trip abroad to have some summer or winter sun. Taking all of your friends away abroad can be expensive and you have to coordinate everybody together.

But doing so in small groups can be a great way to make your 40th birthday party even more special, and is a great entertainment idea. If you’re wanting to make your 40th birthday party extra special. If you book ahead of time, you may be able to find some great flight deals or all-inclusive deals to your favourite holiday destination and what better to celebrate your 40th birthday than to do it with sunshine upon your face. However, if you’re not wanting to do that, and you’re wanting to keep the cost down, you can equally do something simple, especially if you’re enjoying the British sun.

You could have a barbecue, or picnic, you could go to your local country park or national park and enjoy a picnic where everybody brings their own cakes, salads, coast laws, meat if you’re not vegetarian, and enjoys a picnic all together. Alternatively, if you’ve got a big enough back garden, you could celebrate by having a barbecue. Everybody again could bring their own food. But more often than not, there is an onus upon you as the host to be supplying the food, the drink and of course, the opportunity for everybody to sit and enjoy.

If you don’t have enough chairs, you can always buy some very cheap hay bales or beanbags. Again, Duncan can perform his incredible close up magic and mind reading, barbecues, picnics, or if you’re hiring a house out of town for everybody to attend and is a perfect accompaniment to a private chef or if you’re looking for something sophisticated and classy for your party.

Watch a snippet of Duncan's 40th birthday party show Below:

Have a Themed 40th Birthday Party

Other ideas could be to include would be a murder mystery, or a themed event. I’ve mentioned before about including fancy dress for your 40th birthday party celebrations. But a murder mystery evening can be equally very good fun. Here you can have professionals come in and host the event for you.

Or you could do it yourself.

You can buy packs at local shops, which attributes everybody a role within the game and they can come in fancy dress, and play that game out. This is great fun, highly interactive, and is a great 40th Birthday entertainment idea. Another idea would be to have a cooking class. As mentioned before, people really enjoy learning something new. So, if you’re having a gin tasting session or wine tasting session or cocktail making experience, a cooking class is another great idea where people can come together and all cook some fabulous food all together.

Under the guidance of a professional chef you will have not only  a cooking class, but another great 40th birthday party entertainment idea is which may even compliment having a chocolatier come in and teach you how to make chocolate or how to make chocolate gifts. This can get messy, but it’s great fun, especially if you’re a chocoholic.

One of the things to remember with all of these 40th Birthday entertainment ideas is to capture the memories. Of course, you could employ a professional photographer to capture all the shenanigans of your 40th birthday party. But sometimes an even better way is to hire a videographer.

A videographer can mix and mingle with your guests, taking subtle videos to really capture the party. Hopefully they’ll be able to put everything together in a small montage of about two to three minutes to give you a real keepsake and memory to treasure of your 40th birthday party.

Focus On the Entertainment To Make Your Birthday Extra Special:

Above all, if you’re wanting to celebrate your 40th birthday party in style, entertainment should be your main focus. I’ve only given you a few suggestions of 40th birthday entertainment ideas, but there are many, many more. For me, the main entertainment, ideas to consider or music, who you invite the food or drink that accompanies everything and then something special to make your event extra memorable. Whether it’s wine tasting, whether it’s a silent disco, whether it’s a chocolate making course.

Whether it’s a dance off, whether it’s watching a movie together, going out bowling. Whatever you choose, make it right for you and I am going to be biased when I say a professional magician can really help make your event  extra memorable.

Just imagine remembering your birthday 20 years from now and saying I remember that day on my 40th birthday party. When that mind you told me the name of my first kiss, or unlock my mobile phone and told me he’d called me last without even touching it or plucked a thought out of my mind or, if it’s magic, change the five-pound note into a 50-pound note.

Whatever you choose, a 40th birthday party can be an amazing event and it is important to capture some of those memories so you can look back at them with nostalgia as you have done the last 40 years of your life. 

A Little Bit More About Duncan:

My name is Duncan William. I’m a professional magician and mind reader and have been for the last 15 years I travel all over the UK, performing magic people’s weddings, private parties, and of course, their 40th birthday party. If you’re looking for some amazing 40th birthday party entertainment ideas and do get in touch and see how Duncan can help shape your 40th birthday party to make it as memorable as you want. Watch my showreel below to get an idea of hiring me as a professional magician as an amazing 40th birthday party entertainment idea!

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