Last Updated: 24 September, 2020
As my birthday is between both my children’s birthdays and Christmas it is often a low key event. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t the case for my 40th birthday. I wanted to do something I would remember.
40th Birthday Ideas
I started thinking about ideas about 18 months before my birthday, and started saving some money each month so I could pay for an activity with joy instead of guilt or worry about the cost.
I started collecting ideas of things I’d enjoyed at other people’s parties and from searching the internet.
- house party
- party in local hall
- party in restaurant
- spa visit
- add others from blog post
The thing is none of them felt right. The one that took my interest the most was going away. We spend all our holidays in Dorset and I thought it would be lovely to go somewhere with the children like EuroDisney or Centre Parks, particularly as it would be so close to Christmas. But timing and cost was a concern as I hadn’t saved that much.
I thought about what would give me the most pleasure. And I decided on two things spending time with friends and doing something I don’t normally do. This meant the spa visit was probably out and I didn’t want to have a party where I was so busy looking after everyone I didn’t get a chance to talk to people.
I did four different things, two of which I organised, one was a birthday gift and one was a coincidence.
Cluedupp murder mystery walk
A group of me and eight friends along with seven children met in Oxford to solve a murder. We spent the afternoon walking around Oxford “talking” to virtual witnesses through a map on the CluedUpp mobile app. It was a beautiful day so enjoyable walking around the streets of Oxford. However, it was a cold day so we needed to stop to warm up at the Sheldonian Cafe, which seriously impacted on our completion time! It was great fun and I’d love to do it again on a warmer day in fancy dress.
Blenheim Christmas lights
The day after my birthday we were invited to see the Blenheim Christmas Lights. This was the first time I’ve seen them, and wow what an experience.
Consisdering you have a ticket for a specific time slot the queue was unexpected (and frustrating with children) but I understand it is there to reduce the number of people on the trail at the same time so you can enjoy the lights properly. The rest of the walk was amazing. I visited Blackpool Illuminations many times as a child so thought I knew what good seasonal lights were like, but no, these took it to another level. The arrangements and the music were just incredible and I have to admit that I enjoyed it as much as my children. I felt completely Christmasy when I left.
One of my presents was to go to a London show. My husband had organised with my manager for me to have a half days leave so we could wander around London and see the Christmas sights.
We went to Hamleys (my first visit) and then Winter Wonderland, which I left feeling completely Christmasy. We then saw Wicked the musical, which I’ve wanted to see for many years. A brilliant day.
This is the second year I’ve been to London to see a show in London (last year I went in a group with my daughter’s dance school to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and I’m now convinced this should be an annual tradition. So I’d love your recommendations on more shows to see
Started a new role
Coincidentally on my 40th birthday I started a new role at work. It was an interim role until they were ready to recruit into the position, and I’m pleased to say it gave me enough experience to apply and get the role.
What feels particularly good about this role is the salary is higher than I was on when I was made redundant. So it has taken me two years to get back to an equivalent position after making a career change from environmental consultancy to marketing, and has given me a huge boost in confidence.
Spa visit still to happen
I have one more birthday treat to happen. One of my presents was an overnight stay at a Champneys spa. Now I need to decide who to take with me and actually arrange a date (yes even though I’m getting close to my 41st birthday).
Although going to a spa was on my list of possible things to do for my 40th, I feel a bit nervous about going as I’ve never been to one and don’t know what to expect. Plus I’m concerned I may not like any of the food. What are your spa tips?
My initial thought was to do one big thing to celebrate my birthday, but I love that I did a variety of smaller things because I’ve got more things to remember. Plus some of them may start new family traditions especially a theatre trip to London and seeing Christmas lights.
What did you do for your last big birthday? What would you like to do for your next one? Which London shows do you recommend? What are your spa tips?