Even as restrictions start to loosen around the country, it’s unlikely that this year’s birthday will feel “normal.” But that doesn’t mean it can’t be loads of fun! From virtual cocktail parties and bike parades to road trips and camping adventures, we’ve rounded up the ultimate list of 40th birthday quarantine ideas that are actually fun. Let’s celebrate!
Make a giant birthday to-do list
A simple, but beautiful way to enter your 40th year. Think about all the things that make you happy, focusing on the little pleasures of life. Write them down. For example, quiet morning coffee, a fresh towel after a hot shower, talking with your kids, and longs walks at sunset. Make a big to-do list on a roll of parchment or an old piece of cardboard. Throughout the day, make your priority checking off each item. A to-list you’re actually excited to do!
Go on a birthday bike parade
Birthday parades have become the new normal birthday celebration. And for good reason — they’re celebratory and a great way to see family and friends on your special day. This idea is in the same vein, but instead of others driving by your house, you ride to them. On your bike! It’s best to organize the parade within your neighborhood so you’re not having to bike too far. “Guests” can be out in their yards with signs and drinks, putting you in the spotlight on your special day. Just send a rough itinerary to guests beforehand so they know when you’ll be rolling by!
Take a mini-vacation
Roadtrip! One of our favorite 40th birthday quarantine ideas. Spend the day on an adventure close to home. During the normal hustle and bustle, we lose sight of the beauty in our backyards. Taking a close-to-home journey will allow you to see your environment in a new way, with an open mind and sense of adventure. Pop a destination into your GPS or turn off the map completely! A great way to stumble across unique landmarks. Pack your own food and drinks to avoid any unnecessary social contact. And don’t forget the perfect playlist to set the celebratory mood.
Have a luxury happy hour with an expert mixologist
Virtual happy hours have become the norm. But not all virtual happy hours are created equal. We’re a little biased, but Avital’s Virtual Mixologist is one of the best, most fun and upscale virtual happy hours. Invite your friends to this exclusive, private event, just for you. Include ingredient delivery for a lux, inclusive experience — everything you need is delivered right to each guests’ door. On the event day, you’ll log in to the private video party where you’re greeted by your culinary host and expert bartender. Start shaking a craft cocktail right away as you learn tips and tricks for your mixologist. There are fun stories woven throughout the experience, plus birthday-specific games. A luxury, and super fun way to celebrate 40!
Join the Public Virtual Mixologist experience! Every Thursday from 6-7 PM ET / 3-4 PM PT
Camp in your backyard
Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or have never camped in your life, a backyard camping night can be loads of fun. It’s easy to prepare for (everything you need is literally steps inside your house), yet it’s a great way to mix up the monotony of everyday quarantine life. Set up a tent (if you don’t already have one, here’s a great guide) and get a fire going. If you’re with family or your partner, you could also do a gift opening around the campfire. And, of course, don’t forget campfire cuisine. Make something as simple as hot dogs or elevate the experience with steaks cooked on castiron over the flames.
Treat yo self at the spa
Some spas and salons are starting to open by appointment only. If you feel comfortable, consider making an appointment for a relaxing day of pampered bliss. Get your hair and nails done, have a tranquil massage, or sweat out the stress in a steam room. If going to the salon doesn’t feel quite right for you yet, bring the salon to you. There are many mobile salon options, like Oasis Traveling Spa serving the Bay Area. They bring everything you need, including linens, equipment, music, and a relaxing ambiance. Let the stress melt away on your special day.
Have a social distancing bbq
Sometimes food and friends are all you need for a fabulous day. And although the standard bbq might not be an option, you can still enjoy the day with grilled delights and friends…from a distance. Set chairs up in a way that every group/couple/family can have 6 feet of space. Make it a potluck, but instead of bringing a dish to share, everyone brings their own dish to eat, plus recipe cards to pass around. This way people aren’t sharing germs of a communal dish, but you’re still able to “share” the dish with friends. You can do the same with drinks too! A relaxing, familiar, yet inventive way to spend your 40th birthday.
Spend the day tasting wines
Travel through the world of fortified wines with your closest friends for a fun afternoon or evening. As an expert walks you through the tasting for a virtual apertif hour, you’ll learn everything you need to know about fortified wines. Then, you’ll get to craft your own special blend of vermouth with all the ingredients provided straight to your home. Party gifts? Taken care of. It’ll be a tasty reminder of your 40th birthday— for as long as you can make it last!
Celebrate with a theme
From a totally 80s birthday to night spent in the roaring 20s, there are lots of great themes to choose from for the ultimate 40th birthday party. Whether you choose to do it virtually or keep it safe with a smaller, social distanced get together, adding a theme is fun, and makes it easier to plan. For example, travel to Spain with a Spanish-themed birthday party. Play flamenco music, cook some paella, buy some Spanish wines or imbibe in a Spanish tradition with some vermouth (or make your own). A theme helps transport you on your birthday, plus who doesn’t love dressing up?
Get quirky with a virtual water tasting
Drink the best tasting water for your birthday, because it’s your 40th birthday and you deserve only the best. A virtual water tasting is a unique 40th birthday party during quarantine, guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever done before. Your personal water sommelier will tell you the ins and outs of what makes water delicious as you taste your way through different bottles. It’s definitely not your typical 40th birthday party, and that’s what makes it so special.
Watch a movie under the stars
Whether it’s heading to the local drive-in, park or simply your backyard, turn movie night up a notch by taking it outside. Grab a blanket and cozy up to your loved ones, and invite your friends to sit six feet away. Add some popcorn, cake, maybe even a little champagne because it is your birthday after all. Just remember to specify on the invite that it’s BYOB— Bring Your Own Blanket.
Cruise around in a hot tub
Your typical boat ride? Yeah, this ain’t it. For your 40th birthday, a hot tub boat cruise helps you spoil yourself with a little bit of luxury. To keep it COVID safe, invite a small group of your friends, make a playlist, don’t forget the cake. This option in San Diego has us dreaming of warm days lounging in the sun.
Order takeout from around your hometown for a food tour
If you’re like us, then you’ve probably got a growing list of restaurants to visit. As food lovers, one of our favorite ways to spend a day is eating of course! To go on your food tour, order an appetizer from a fancy restaurant, grab some tacos from that taco truck you’ve been meaning to try, and pick out the most luxurious dessert option. Enjoy it all from home or meet your friends outdoors for a picnic. Invite them to bring a dish or two as well, and get to know your hometown in a whole new way.
Take a mezcal and tequila masterclass
Is there a better birthday spirit than tequila? Tequila is practically synonymous with celebration. Make it even better with a professional tasting of both the finest mezcal and tequila, then layer flavors in delicious cocktails. This experience promises to be a sensory journey through the heart of Mexico, which means you can travel without leaving the comfort of your home. Each ingredient holds some cultural significance, truly making it a vacation. It will undoubtedly be a lot of fun!
Learn from a professional chef
Sometimes the best meals are the ones you make yourself. Treat yourself to a professional chef for the virtual 40th birthday party idea. All the ingredients are sent to your door, and a chef will teach you how to make dishes like creamy risotto or a flavorful paella. They’ll share their tips and tricks from their time in the industry, as well as sharing insider stories. An award-winning chef for your birthday party? We said it before— you deserve only the best.
Plan a staycation
A night away from your home could be just what the doctor ordered. Book a fabulous hotel and spend the weekend touring your hometown. After a long year spending time indoors, a staycation is a good away to renew your love for your hometown. Indulge in all the hotel luxuries for your 40th birthday, and make sure to enjoy a cocktail or two at the hotel bar. You can visit that museum you’ve been dying to go to, go shopping, and meet your friends for an outdoor dinner for one of the most perfect, relaxing 40th birthday quarantine ideas. The best part? No clean up!
Enjoy a live music performance
Since the pandemic, many performers have had to take their shows online. Book a band or solo act to treat yourself to a private concert. You can pretty much find any genre of music to book for your party. There’s hidden jazz shows, calming cello concerts, and awesome DJs. Are showtunes more your style? You can book a Broadway star, too. It may be some time before we can get the full concert experience again, so for now enjoy these intimate performances for a special 40th birthday party.
Go on an intimate food tour with family and friends
And lastly, as an insider tip: San Francisco in-person culinary experiences are back! We’re so excited to bring you back to some of our favorite San Francisco institutions for a unique progressive food tour. Feel free to reach out and stay updated to be on some of our first food tours back in the city, especially if you’re looking for 40th birthday quarantine ideas! We are committed to bringing you a COVID-safe and responsible experience with general sanitary practices.
Now more than ever it’s important to appreciate what we have and celebrate the wins, however big or small. These 40th birthday quarantine ideas prove that just because things aren’t “normal” you can still have an absolutely fabulous celebration. If a high-end happy hour sounds like your idea of fun, send us an inquiry. We can’t wait to plan the perfect party for you.