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The 14 Most Fun (2023) 17th Birthday Party Ideas

By Doris Tan
(updated 2023) A teenager’s 17th birthday only comes around once, so it’s important to make it special for them! However; every teen is different, so what might be the perfect teenage birthday party for one, may not be so ideal for another.

17th Birthday Ideas

To account for all that diversity, here are my fourteen 17th birthday party ideas; each one as unique as the last. You’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your situation!

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Throw A Cozy Slumber Party

This is one of those 17th birthday party ideas that’s probably best suited for teen girls, as boys aren’t usually big fans of slumber parties. Having said that, a slumber party is a great way to make sure your teen can spend their special night with their friends. In addition, there’s so many fun sleepover-related activities that you could add to the evening.

Many teens will be satisfied with a hoard of snacks, a fun movie, and some board games; but if you want to go the extra mile then you decorate their room specifically for the night. An excellent sweet 16 party idea too.

Give Everyone A Birthday Makeover

If you don’t go the amusement park route, then you’ll have to think of some other activities. And if you’re trying to think of 17th birthday ideas for a daughter, then makeovers could be a super fun one. The guests could do each other’s hair, makeup, outfits, and even nails!

If your party guests are extra excited by this idea then they could look up some 17th birthday nail ideas, birthday outfit ideas, etc. There’s plenty of inspiration pics to go off of online. You just need to have the supplies handy!

Let The Teens Have A Pizza Making Competition

Keeping a group of celebrating teenagers fed is no easy task; but out of all the birthday dinner ideas,  I think this one is one of the best because it doubles as a way to keep all the guests busy, plus there are pizzas to eat at the end of the day! Just think, everyone is making their own food when they’re creating their pizza entry; but they’ll have a blast doing it.

And at the end, the kids have their meal when they test out everyone’s submissions. The lucky winner could even be the recipient of a unique party favor.

Plan A Boy’s-Only Camping Trip

One male alternative to a slumber party would be a camping trip, and if you think your teen boy would enjoy an outdoor activity then this could be a great one. Whether it’s a campout in the backyard or a more planned out jaunt into the wilderness, this could be a chance to give your teen and their guests some fresh air.

You’ll need some tents, marshmallows, and a nice campfire; but a camping trip could make for some seriously memorable moments for a young man.

Lean Into A Teen’s Main Interest – Video Games

If you really want to say happy 17th birthday to a teen, letting them spend the day doing something love could be the key. And for a lot of teens, that could mean spending the day on their video game of choice. It might not seem like one of the more traditional 17th birthday party ideas, but that’s what makes it unique.

And another benefit of this party idea is that, since it’s virtual, it allows the teen to connect with “guests” that might live farther away and wouldn’t normally be able to be included.

Make Their Birthday A Family Night

Teenagers that have reached their 17th birthday party are a step away from adulthood, so although it might be tempting to spend that birthday with their friends, it’s important to remember that they might have limited amounts of time left to spend quality time with their family members.

So if your teen is down, then you could have a separate party during the day for their friends, but make the evening all about spending time together as a family. It could be just the blast of nostalgia your teen needs to relive some of their childhood memories.

Take The Festivities All The Way To The Beach

This depends a lot on where you live, but a beach party could be a fun idea for all teenagers. After all, we all know that there are plenty of beach themed movies where teenagers soak up the sun and enjoy the water; so any teen could feel like a star on their birthday with this idea.

Just make sure to make all the necessary preparations; for instance, you’ll need to bring plenty of sunscreen unless the birthday boy/girl wants to start their 17th year with a nasty sunburn.

Throw Their Bash At An Amusement Park

When you’re sorting through 17th birthday ideas, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the activities section. It’s hard to keep one teen entertained, and much harder when you’re planning for a group. But throwing a teen’s party at an amusement park comes with the perk of activities being included in the package.

You don’t have to worry about an unengaged party guest when they’re in a place that offers everything from games to roller coaster rides. Everyone will have the time of their life at this location.

Play A Game Of Paintball In The Backyard

One of the more physically active 17th birthday party ideas we have today is hosting a paintball match at the celebration. This is ideal for those that have plenty of outdoor space at their disposal, and teenage boys will probably be this activity’s biggest fans.

But if you like the idea and just lack the space, then depending on your location, you can always find a different place to host this activity. Because whether it’s in your backyard, a park, or a paint ballyard; it’s a great way to fit in some laughs and burn off some energy.

Get Fancy With A Themed Birthday Cake

Teenagers typically have an insatiable appetite, but out of all the food you’ll need to serve at the birthday celebration, the birthday cake is probably the most important in my opinion. So one of the most popular 17th birthday ideas we’ve listed today is to create a 17th themed birthday cake.

This could be a great way to bring everything together if you’ve chosen themed decorations as well. And the cake idea itself could be anything that your teen is interested in. But it can be a great way to make the party, and the cake, more personalized to the birthday boy or girl.

Surprise Them With A Gadget They’ve Been Eyeing

A teen’s 17th birthday gift can be just as important as the celebration itself, and although there are a lot of gifts that could make their day, they would probably get a lot of use out of an electronic of some kind. Additionally, many teens can’t afford the technology they want by themselves.

So if your teenager has been wanting a new phone, begging for an Xbox, or salivating over a fancy pair of headphones; then their birthday might be the perfect time to grant their wish. They can spend the day showing off their new gift to their friends!

Gift Them An Experience To Remember

Consider saying happy 17th birthday by gifting an experience to the teen in question, rather than simply an item. Some examples of this could be concert tickets, a planned trip/vacation for family or with friends, etc. Take your teen’s preferences into mind when choosing the experience, but most teens will be thrilled with this out of the box gift!

And if you’d like for the birthday boy or girl to have this experience on their actual birthday, then you can always tell them about their gift a little bit ahead of time. Or just surprise them on the day! This idea is excellent as a 18th birthday present too.

Freshen Up Their Wardrobe With Some New Items

When you’re thinking about all the options for a girl’s 17th birthday gift, there’s nothing wrong with going traditional. And a staple birthday present is clothing! This gift can be presented in a few different ways; you could select the items yourself if you think you’d pick something your teen will like, or you could take them on a shopping trip.

Alternatively, you could give them a gift card and let them have a shopping day with their friends; courtesy of you. If you take that route then this idea could mix with the “experience to remember” one as well!

Involve The Birthday Girl or Boy In The Planning

Surprise parties are popular for a reason, they can be a lot of fun, but by the time a teen is turning 17; they might find it fun to be a part of the planning process. And nobody knows what they want from a party better than themselves.

You can still be active, and plan the party alongside the teen; or you could give them a budget to work with and take on a more passive role while you see what they come up with. Seeing the fruits of their planning labor pay off on their big day could be a great memory all on its own.

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