Surprise 40th birthday party ideas for a loved one - Eastwood Hall
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Surprise 40th birthday party ideas for a loved one


The time has come! It’s your loved one’s 40th birthday and you want to celebrate it in style. With such a milestone reached, it’s the perfect time to go all out and show them how special they are. If they aren’t planning an event, why not surprise them with a party? It’s a great excuse to get everyone together to raise a glass and have some fun. However, if you’re planning a surprise party, it can take some additional planning, but if you can pull it off the receiver is sure to remember this surprise for years to come. Make sure you start preparing with plenty of time in advance and a plan in mind. We’ve collated our favourite surprise 40th birthday party ideas to help your night go off with a bang.

Before you start the party prep, carefully consider the individual and ensure they’d appreciate the gesture. Some people are strictly “no surprises,” so in this case, another sort of celebration is needed. However, if you can picture them being thrilled by the display, get ready to prepare a night to remember. If you want to split the load, find some of the individual’s close friends and family members and create a team. If you’re looking for party venues in Nottingham, Eastwood Hall is fantastic for birthday parties and events.
Surprise 40th birthday party ideas

Surprise 40th birthday invitation wording

It might seem daunting to plan a guest list when you don’t know who to invite. This is the stage where you need to speak to their close circle, and together create a comprehensive list of who should be invited. Consider your venue and how many people you can feasibly invite, or just keep it to a family celebration. In the planning stages, the fewer people that know the better. It can be difficult to keep a surprise at the best of times so just keeping it to a minimum whilst you plan helps keep the party a secret. When sending out the invitations, specify that the event is a surprise and no one is to mention it. Give everyone a point of contact for questions about the party.
Surprise 40th birthday invitation wording

Surprise 40th birthday ideas

Never let your loved one think you’ve forgotten their birthday! On the night of the party, invite them to go to dinner or another event with you and instead take them to the party location. Why not choose a theme for your party for a really memorable night? If guests will be dressing up, prepare an outfit for your loved one so they can change when they arrive. Bonus points if you can find a reason for the unsuspecting host to be in fancy dress, without raising suspicion! Here are some of our favourite surprise 40th birthday party ideas.

  • An era party! Theme your event around the era which your host was born. For example, if they were born in 1980, have an 80’s theme with bright colours, leg warmers and plenty of Prince and Madonna! Invite your guests to dress up as their favourite 80’s icon and bring a photo of themselves during that year to hang around the room. Check out Pinterest for loads of inspiration!
  • Film themes. If the host has a particularly obvious film or franchise they love, set this as the party theme. For example, if they’ve always loved Star Wars, turn your event space into a galaxy far far away and invite guests to wear bold costumes. When the host arrives, they will love seeing everyone dressed up as their favourite characters. This sort of theme is particularly touching as it demonstrates how well you know the host and what they like.
  • Garden Party. If you’re hosting the event at home and the sun is set to be shining, why not have a garden party during the day. Set up a gazebo outside with chairs, fold-up tables and plenty of rugs on the ground. Grab a portable speaker, some beer kegs and jugs of Pimms for a sunny afternoon celebration. This option also allows for a more subtle way to get the unsuspecting host into the party as they will believe they’re popping into your house. As the evening draws, set up fairy lights and lanterns as decorations for a whimsical transition from day to night.
Surprise 40th birthday ideas

Best 40th birthday surprises

If a big party isn’t your loved one’s thing, you can still surprise them on their birthday! Here are some of our favourite low key celebration ideas. Simply invite your loved one over and have the guests waiting to surprise them.

  • Dinner party. Invite a few close friends over and create a menu of the individual’s favourite dishes and drinks. If they love Mexican food and margaritas, they’ll be thrilled to have an evening with great company and tasting some delicious eats. Tell them that you will be going out to dinner, and when they arrive invite them in for a tailored soiree which they will love.
  • Host a games evening. If your loved one likes nothing more than sitting down and playing some board games, why not host a games night? Grab everyone’s favourites or try some news one. We love Blockbuster: The Game, which is a must if you enjoy trivia. Prepare a buffet for dinner so everyone can enjoy some finger food between games.
  • Murder mystery. Host a murder mystery party at your house! Perfect for those who love a bit of acting. There are loads of free murder mystery suggestions online, or you can buy a game set. If you’re feeling extra creative, why not try and design your own custom one?
Best 40th birthday surprises

Surprise 40th birthday party ideas conclusion

So there you have it, our favourite ways to surprise your loved one on their 40th! Which was your favourite? Throwing someone a surprise party can be a super meaningful experience for the organisers and the receiver, so why not give it a go and give everyone a night to remember. Leave a comment if you have any more ideas or tried one of our suggestions for yourself!

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