9. Plan a potluck
Make things incredibly easy on yourself and ask everyone to chip in. You provide the location, ambience and time, and everyone else brings the food. (Just make sure somebody’s on birthday cake duty, OK?)
10. Book a private room at your favorite restaurant
It’s your fav joint for a reason—the food’s consistently delicious, the service is great and the prices don’t break the bank. You go there at least once a week with just your partner or fam, so why not give them the business on your birthday, too? And if they know you as a frequent customer, chances are they’ll throw in some things to wet your whistle.
11. Or order in from your favorite restaurant
OK, so said favorite restaurant is 300 square feet with only counter service. In that case, bring your favorite restaurant to you. Order family-style and set up a buffet in your kitchen for a low-key but yummy night in with a few friends.
12. Tour a brewery
If you’ve always wanted to see how the sausage is made—but way less bloody—visit a local brewery. It doesn’t have to be Budweiser or Coors Light; often, the smaller the brewery, the better the beer. Bonus: Many taprooms feature outdoor tastings, a great option for folks who aren’t comfortable with indoor celebrations right now. And chances are there will be some great menus to go along with those great beer flights.
13. Go wine tasting
There’s nothing quite like sipping on the juice of the Gods at a winery or vineyard, and many are still offering tastings. That said, it’s typically by appointment only to keep things Covid safe, so call before you hop in the car and make the trip. Alternatively, you can explore virtual wine tasting options for a cozy, at-home experience that goes down just as easy.
14. Roast your own coffee
You couldn’t live without your morning—and 3 p.m.—caffeine boost. And now that you’re turning 40, isn’t it a good time to actually learn how this stuff is made? Yep, many of us are on the hunt for a new hobby these days, and taking a coffee roasting class at your local coffee shop will not only be highly informative but super fun.
15. Make sourdough
As we get older, we tend to start to appreciate the finer, simple things—like a beautifully baked loaf of sourdough, for example. But if you missed out on the sourdough baking frenzy early on in the pandemic, don’t fret. You can still learn how to bake the perfect loaf by signing up for a sourdough baking class—there are multiple virtual options out there. It’s more complicated and interesting than you’d think, and you’ll be rewarded with a fresh loaf to slice in the morning for breakfast.