Birthday Party Ideas

17th Birthday Party Ideas

Posted By Kate Degen

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17 is such a prime age. Throw a bash your teen won’t forget with one of our fun 17th birthday party ideas!

Birthday Brunch Party
Waffles, bacon, eggs— who doesn’t love brunch?! Throw this sophisticated affair for your 17 year old. Hold the party on Sunday morning and decorate with signs in frames like “Babes who Brunch” and “But first, Brunch.” Go with monochromatic decor and let the brunch goodies speak for themselves. Get a black and white striped tablecloth and use white serving trays and pedestals. Surround it with white balloons and add fresh flowers to drink vases for a chic spin. Instead of a cake, get a cake stand and arrange doughnuts on it to resemble a tiered cake! Serve chicken on mini waffle sandwiches, bacon, fresh fruit, and muffins. Set up a coffee bar as well as a “mockmosa” station with fruit juices, sparkling grape juice, and fresh berries for garnishes. Play a game of brunch trivia— ask the birthday boy or girl questions about their favorite foods and drinks and have everyone try and guess the answers. As favors, give everyone a gift set of waffle mix and maple syrup to bring the brunch home!

Karaoke Party
Does the birthday boy or girl have a solid set of pipes? A karaoke party is sure to hit a high note! Create a tablescape with a black tablecloth, paper stars, and glitter confetti. Forgo the cake for microphone cake cones! Bake chocolate cupcakes in a bright colored cake cone. Frost them with chocolate frosting and add silver sprinkles on top. Don’t forget rock candy and guitar-shaped sugar cookies! For the karaoke stage, use metallic garland to create a backdrop. Use a black roll of paper to create the stage and a small runway. Before the party, create a list of your child’s favorite songs for everyone to sing! Have a box of rockstar accessories by the stage with feather boas, sunglasses, and wigs! Let everyone take a turn singing their favorite hit! As favors, give out iTunes gift cards— they can download some music and keep the party going at home!

Bonfire Party
Heat up year 17 with this bonfire bash! Invite everyone over on a Saturday night before sundown. Before everyone arrives, build a fire-pit in your backyard. For cozy seating, surround the fire with hay bales covered in blankets. Make sure the party is safe by keeping the fire in a contained space and removing all fire hazards. As everyone arrives, have a safety station and make sure everyone uses bug spray and offer hair ties for girls. Set up a treat table with a red checkered tablecloth. Serve snacks like trail mix, popcorn, and a s’mores bar! Include graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and peanut butter cups if you want to shake it up! For easier snacking, serve chocolate cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting with pretzel sticks on top to look like marshmallow roasting sticks. Have enough sticks for everyone and sit around the fire to roast their marshmallows. Next, tell scary stories! In the invitation, tell everyone to come prepared with their favorite scary story to spookthe group with. For favors, give out boxes of s’mores supplies for a tasty treat at home!

Mexican Fiesta Party
Ole! Celebrate 17 with some Mexican flare. Give everyone a sombrero as they arrive. Decorate with bright streamers and use an Aztec print tablecloth. Get green balloons and use green markers to draw spikes to look like cacti. Set up a tasty taco bar with soft and hard shells and tons of toppings— don’t forget the guac! Make individual seven layer dip cups and serve with tortilla chips. Refresh with green tea or green Kool Aid (aka: cactus juice). Instead of a traditional birthday cake, serve a tres leches sheet cake. Accompany it with churros and Mexican hot chocolate cookies. Play a classic but festive party game— pin the tail on the donkey! Hire a mariachi band and have everyone hit the dance floor. End with a piñata shaped like a donkey or taco. Send everyone home with a jar of gourmet salsa. Taco ’bout a party!

Pajama Party
Girls just wanna have fun! Throw the ultimate sleepover fete with this 17th birthday Pajama Party! Tell everyone to arrive in their favorite pair of PJs and hand out fuzzy slippers in all different colors. Set up a pastel treat table with a light pink tablecloth and mint green and light blue pedestals to serve the food. Hang a pastel paper garland banner across the front of the table and balloons with feathers attached to the strings behind the table. Get a sign in an ornate white frame that says “Keep Calm Get Your Jammies On!” Serve late night favorites like pigs in a blanket and mini bagel pizzas. Bake pink cupcakes with whipped frosting, and accompany them with pink frosted doughnuts and chocolate chip cookies with milk. Give everyone a pillow and have an ultimate pillow fight! Have everyone sleep over and arrange the sleeping bags under a canopy in the living room. Hang a sheer canopy from the ceiling and attach it to the wall, toward the top, to make it look like a tent. Send everyone home with a pair of funky socks and a fluffy eye mask.

Lacrosse Party
This lacrosse party is sure to score with the birthday boy or girl. Have guests wear their favorite lacrosse jersey or t-shirt. Decorate with streamers and balloons in colors of a favorite lacrosse team. Use astroturf or a grass-like material to cover the treat table. Buy a small lacrosse goal to stand over your pedestal of chocolate lacrosse cupcakes— ice them with green grass frosting and stick a mini candy or plastic lacrosse stick in the middle. Complement them with lacrosse stick cake pops and a chips and dip display with the dip shaped like a lacrosse field! Set up a lacrosse camp outside and test everyone’s skills at scooping, passing, cradling, and shooting! Play a game of lacrosse trivia and see who knows the rules best— winner gets a new lacrosse stick! Hand out lacrosse water bottles filled with candy to take home.

Amusement Park Party
17 is a scream! Throw a thrilling celebration at your nearest amusement park. Have the birthday boy or girl pick their favorite park and make a list of all the rides they want to ride. See if the park offers group rates or special passes for VIP treatment. Keep the group somewhat small to maintain short waiting time in lines. If the park isn’t close by, rent a party bus and get the party started on the way! Give everyone their favors at the beginning of the day— amusement park survival kits! Give drawstring backpacks filled with a water bottle, band-aids, granola bars, and sunglasses with the birthday boy or girl’s name on them like “Kelly’s 17th Birthday Party!”. Spend the day riding the rides and if the park has a party space, take everyone there. Set up a table with a red and white striped tablecloth and red balloons. Serve amusement park favorites like pizza, nachos, and hot dogs. Since everyone might be a little woozy, serve light angel food cupcakes with a whipped frosting.

Paris Party
Bring the city of lights to you with this cosmopolitan celebration. Decorate with paper cutouts of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe. Create a treat table with a light gray tablecloth, a ruffled pink cake with an Eiffel Tower on top, and pink pedestals with macaroons and eclairs. Serve Parisian food like ham and cheese on baguettes, crepes, and croissants! Set up a Parisian photo booth with the city in the background and give everyone a beret. Use props like mustaches on sticks, sunglasses, and boas. Send everyone home with a bag of French kisses (Hershey kisses in pink foil). Guests will leave saying merci beaucoup!

Equestrian Party
This Equestrian Party will have everyone jumping out of their seats. Create a vintage tablescape by using a wood plank table with a burlap runner. Decorate with horse trophies, flowers in mason jars, and horseshoes hanging from the front of the table. Use metal pedestals to hold hay barrel rice crispy treats. Make cupcakes with green grass frosting and horse figurines on top. Don’t forget the trail mix, horseshoe sugar cookies, and a horse’s favorite— carrots and celery! Set up a horseshoe game outside for some friendly competition. Make this party incredible by renting a horse for rides in the backyard! Or, take the group to a nearby farm for a horseback riding lesson. After everyone’s turn on the horse, hand them a horse ribbon with their initials on it to take home. All the guests will love horsing around!

Snow Tubing Party
This Snow Tubing Party is super cool! If the birthday boy or girl has a winter birthday, bring the party to a snow tubing course for some high energy fun! Make sure everyone brings snow gear and boots. Hand out the party favors at the beginning of the day so everyone can use them on the slopes— snow tubes for everyone! After everyone is frozen solid, bring the party to the lodge and set up a table with hot chocolate, powdered doughnuts, and a tiered cake with white icing and edible glitter to resemble snow. If you prefer cupcakes, opt for icy treats made with blue velvet cake and decorated with white frosting and coconut shavings. Along with their snow tubes, send everyone home with a bag of Peppermint Patties.


Kate wants her work to impact the little but important moments in people’s lives—like birthdays, anniversaries, and family celebrations. She loves coming up with witty copy that might inspire someone to create an awesome t-shirt!

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