When people are in their early twenties, they're often still working on growing up and many of them are doing their best to forget about childish fun. By the time they hit their 40th birthday, though, a lot of people are missing childhood pursuits and would love to have a party that is filled with silliness and fun. Try one of these ideas for a fortieth birthday party that is filled with laughter and memories.

Ice Cream Birthday Party

In my area, there are a lot of independent dairy farms that sell homemade ice cream. Several of them also offer birthday packages. Having an ice cream sundae party is great for little girls or boys, but it is also a lot of fun for grownups. Throw a "just us girls" ice cream sundae party on location for someone who is turning forty or ask the dairy to bring out the ice cream truck as part of a 40th birthday party celebration for a guy. (For someone who is lactose intolerant or just hates ice cream, try a wine tasting party.)

Forget Over the Hill Birthday Themes When Planning a 40th Birthday PartyChinese Zodiac Birthday Party

For something different, why not throw a Chinese Zodiac party that celebrates the year the birthday boy or girl was born. Look up the animal for that year and build the party around it. (Admittedly, the Year of the Rat can be a tough party to plan, but the Year of the Dragon really is a fun and easy fortieth birthday party theme.)

Four Again Birthday Party

A four again birthday party can really be a lot of fun for everyone. Research the year the birthday boy or girl was four so you know what toys, foods, bands and fashions were hot. Encourage people to come dressed in clothing from that era and have a few of the best movies from that year playing in the background. Set up a karaoke stage or give a band a list of songs that were hot that year.

A variation on this theme is to pick a decade instead. For example, currently, the 80's are having a bit of a revival. Have everyone come in 80's attire - off the shoulder sweatshirts, slouch socks and parachute pants. Decorate with movie posters from the 80's or, if you are lucky enough to find them, the cards video stores used to hold a spot for upcoming new releases. Clear out the dance floor and hire someone to give everyone a refresher course on all those goofy dances that seemed so cool at the time.

Throwing a 40th birthday party without falling back on the "over the hill" theme everyone else seems to use will help you make it a party to remember.

Photo: SXC