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As the birthday between two milestone birthdays, a 17th birthday party can sometimes get overlooked when it comes to making plans, but not anymore!
If your teen is determined to celebrate their 17th birthday in style then don't worry, we have birthday party ideas to suit all sorts of celebrations. From cute 17th birthday ideas for small gatherings to the ultimate epic 17th birthday party, we are pretty sure we've covered it all.
So if you're stuck on 17th birthday celebration ideas, and don't know how to bridge the gap between sweet 16 and the all-important 18th, we can help. And if teens are determined not to have a party, that's fine too, we've got some low-key ideas for small groups of friends and even some fun for just the family. Make your teen's 17th a year to remember with these birthday ideas that totally take the cake.
For more, check out our take on [travel for teens] or have a look at our guide to [parenting today's teens] if you're feeling lost in today's crazy technological world.
17th Birthday Ideas For Winter
Winter birthdays can be tricky to plan for, but these 17th birthday party ideas for winter will make you glad your teen was born in the colder months of the year.
1. Host the most sophisticated foodie teen party by inviting guests to celebrate with a 17th birthday dinner party. Depending on your budget you could hire a private chef for the evening, or get together as a family to cook up a fancy feast. Guests will love dressing in their finest evening wear and drinking fancy mocktails, and your teen will enjoy planning a grown-up evening in the house. Why not theme the meal with your teen's favorite cuisine, and ask all guests to bring a party trick or game that relates to your theme. To take the stress out of cooking, it's also fully acceptable to ask kids to bring a dish each to the party for a more low-key event.
2. We love the idea of a mall scavenger hunt if you don't want to have a party at home during the winter months. Just create a list of things for teens to find (you can download one online to save time) and set them off with a timer and a place to meet at the end. The beauty of this game is that it's all in the planning, you can make an original hunt that suits the personalities and interests of your teen's best friends. Split larger groups into teams and give them a budget to buy weird party supplies or small gifts for the birthday host to add some extra excitement. There's no need to come home after the party either, teens can finish their hunt with fast food and a trip to the movies for a totally chill winter birthday treat.
3. Nothing beats a slumber party with your best friends, which is why it's one of the perfect birthday parties for winter. Choose a spa theme with face masks and treatments or cater to the foodies by planning an ice-cream sundae bar and pizza-making class. Games like "who knows the birthday boy/girl best?" and truth or dare will make this 17th birthday party feel like a special event. Decorate your front room with fairy lights and sophisticated themed balloons (think rose gold and glitter-filled, or matte black and silver) for a glam sleepover look. Provide teens with a karaoke machine if you dare, and let the madness ensue. Finish the night with a seriously scary movie and tons of popcorn and teens will have a blast.
17th Birthday Ideas For Summer
Summertime 17th parties are some of the best because we've got the whole of the great outdoors to incorporate into our plans. Get outside and celebrate in summer style with this list of easy 17th birthday ideas that will make the most of the sunshine.
4. An outdoor BBQ party is the perfect summer event for a 17th birthday. Teens can have enough space from the adults to hang out with their friends, while the whole family can still get involved and join in on the fun. Strike up a bonfire as the sun goes down, and serve up burgers, steaks, and any other party food you fancy and the vibes are sure to be high.
5. One of our favorite summer birthday party theme ideas is a picnic in the park. Throw down a blanket and create an instagrammable feast with cupcakes, mini sandwiches, and wooden boards filled with yummy nibbles. Make it feel a bit more grown-up with mocktails and add a color scheme to the mix to really shake up the vibe. Give teens disposable cameras as a party gift, so they can take turns at photoshoots to capture the scene. If you want to make the picnic feel even more grown-up for your 17th party, why not make it an outdoor dinner party, complete with fairy lights and candles to set the scene, for a magical evening of birthday fun.
6. If you have access to a pool, it's hard not to mention a pool party when we're thinking of 17th birthday party ideas! We find it best to have some activities planned for a 17th birthday party, as an easy way to get everyone involved and having fun. Get all of your guests involved in some hands-on games like Greasy Watermelon ( where you throw an oiled-up melon into the pool and have two teens try to grab it and take it back to their team). Don't forget cannonball contests and volleyball too, there are so many pool party games that will entertain teens for hours.
7. Get your sporty teen outside in the park by planning some fun sports and games to celebrate in a high-energy style. This is one of our favorite 17th birthday ideas for guys and girls because everyone can get involved and enjoy taking part in sports. Plan some silly sports day activities like wheelbarrow races, three-legged races, and relays and watch teens feel like kids for the afternoon. Finish off this themed party with pizzas and hotdogs in the park as the sun sets, and this 17th birthday party will be one for the books.
17th Birthday Ideas For Small Groups
Sometimes inviting a small group of friends can be easier and more fun than huge parties for a 17th birthday. Big parties can end up being stressful and these cool 17th birthday ideas let your teen just focus on having fun with their besties and enjoy their special day.
8. Organize a spa theme birthday party for a small group of friends for an easy night of pampering fun. Invest in nail gems, make homemade face masks and scrubs, and try out new hairstyles while you play some spa-themed music and drink oh-so-chic cucumber water. If your teen is looking to up the luxury even more, why not book them into a real spa with a few of their best friends to enjoy a proper pamper for the afternoon?
9. Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for your teen's 17th birthday? Why not invite one or two friends for an afternoon of indoor skydiving as a seriously epic treat. It'll surely be a birthday they remember for years to come. Not to mention it's one to tick off their bucket list, and maybe even yours too if you dare!
10. If you have a teen that loves being part of the action, a paintballing birthday party could be the ultimate fun celebration on this list. Get your teen out of the house and down to your local paintballing site with some of their best friends, and let the madness ensue.
11. Let teens spend the night on a camping trip in the local area, or if you want to keep an eye on the antics, then why not have them camp out in your backyard? They will have a great time bonding around the campfire with their closest friends. Suggest playing some classic camping games like twenty questions and truth or dare for some birthday party fun. Teens can cook their own food over the fire and take turns telling ghost stories while munching on s'mores. It's probably best to leave this party theme to more sensible teens, as it can be hard to keep track of what they are getting up to. That's why we think this is best suited to small groups of close friends rather than bigger invite lists.
12. Organize a paintings party for budding artists to have a go on the canvas. You can hire someone to lead the party or just stream a Bob Ross tutorial on a projector, and give everyone a canvas and some paints to get creative with. You'll be amazed how many hours can pass in a flash at a painting party, and the guests will have their very own masterpiece to take home at the end. We recommend using acrylics because they dry quickly and are easy to use, just in case some of your group aren't as artistic as others.
17th Birthday Ideas For Large Groups
If your teen has grand 17th birthday party ideas that involve loads of their friends, then these party theme suggestions are some of the best ways to celebrate.
13. When we think of a party, our mind immediately springs to dancing, and what better way to entertain tons of friends than to host an epic disco dance event. Hire out a local venue or transform a room at your house into a dance floor, and get your teen to make a playlist of their favorite dance tunes. Why not go all out and hire a DJ to play to get the party poppin' (though probably don't say that to your teen or you might not be cool enough to make the guest list).
14. If you live nearby a lake or the sea, you're bound to have a local party boat service, which makes for a totally fun 17th party for teens and their friends. Often the boats will have all-inclusive packages so you don't even need to plan anything for boat parties, and your teen will be bound to love this stylish celebration to end their seventeenth year.
15. For film-loving teens, why not take a movie night party the extra mile and hire out an entire movie theater for their 17th party. Play their favorite movies and serve popcorn and snacks, and invite all of their friends. You could even roll out a red carpet and ask guests to dress in their most glam outfits to give the party a movie premiere edge. Enlist a parent to take on the role of a paparazzi-style photographer at the beginning of the evening to document the best dressed, and your teen will feel like a million dollars.
17th Birthday Ideas For Families
Looking to keep things in the family for your teen's 17th birthday party? Just because the guests are all family members doesn't mean that things have to be boring, these fun ways to celebrate are the best for family occasions.
16. A games night is the perfect choice for some old-fashioned birthday family fun. Collect a range of board games to play and cook up some tasty snacks to munch on while you get stuck in. One of our favorite 17th birthday ideas at home, this simple party idea will be one that your teen will treasure once they're a little bit older. If your teen is looking for something grown-up and glamorous, then this might take some persuading, but trust us, there's something to be said for low-key family fun over a high-pressure party.
17. It might make a birthday feel even more special to skip the party altogether and book an overnight in a fancy hotel. Take a trip to NYC, and have a day of playing tourists. Teens will love a trip to the totally instagrammable Color Factory, and you can make it the ultimate fancy day trip with afternoon tea at Bergdorf Goodman's BG's and a wander through Central Park. This is bound to give your teen a 17th year to remember, and offer them a sense of maturity that a party just can't cater for.
If you found these fun 17th birthday ideas for girls and boys helpful, then why not take a look at our ideas on [how to save money for teens] and hobbies for teens that they might not have tried?
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.