April 17, 2024

38. Organize a Field Day

This one’s all about nostalgia. Tap into those elementary school memories by organizing a 50-yard dash, game of capture the flag, long jump, kickball and more. You bring the equipment and some unbiased referees (hey, it’s OK to ask for some birthday leniency), and your family and friends can bring healthy competitive attitudes. Heads up though: Grilling in the park is basically mandatory to help everyone replete their energy afterwards.

39. Run a Race

You’ve been getting into shape and now you’re ready to run that 3K! How exciting! Why not invite your fellow runner friends to join in? Especially if the run is for a good cause, you’d be surprised by how many of your friends and family members would jump on board for a little birthday celebration exercise.

40. Throw a Surprise Party…for Your Friends

This is some next level hostessing, but here’s the crux: You invite friends, one at a time, to what they think is a boring-ish event (say, dinner to talk through the PTA proposal). Then, when they get there…Surprise! It’s your blowout 40th birthday party! Just make sure it’s casual enough that guests won’t be caught off-guard by attire, and be sure they have a safe way to get home afterwards.

41. Host a Black-Tie Soirée

Between the kids’ activities, work and visits to the vet (Fido got into the candy drawer again), when’s the last time you threw on a fancy dress and your favorite pair of (comfortable) heels? So to ring in the start of your fifth decade, why not host a black-tie soirée à la Truman Capote? Think Audrey-Hepburn inspired gowns, tuxes (with cummerbunds), bow ties, pearls and opera gloves.

42. Book a Cruise

If it’s in the budget, yes, you should totally book a cruise (kid-free with your besties) to the Caribbean or in Europe. You can also, however, do this on a smaller—and more affordable—scale if you happen to live near a body of water. Check out options for dinner cruises and yacht rentals at a nearby marina. We can already picture it: sunset on a boat with lots of champagne and light bites.

43. Have an Escape Room Party

Escape rooms are a teamwork-oriented, interactive experience that will stimulate and engage every guest. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a better icebreaker if you are inviting friends from different social circles. Plus, most escape room venues allow food and drink during or after the main event and there are plenty of virtual escape rooms, too, if you’re looking for a birthday experience that includes longtime friends who live far away.

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