20 17th Birthday Ideas Your Teen Will Actually Love

Published January 10, 2022
Young hipster women celebrating with confetti 17th birthday

Planning a party for a teenager might seem an impossible task, but it's not rocket science. The best approach is having a conversation with your kid and making a list of potential ideas. These 17th birthday ideas will help you set the theme, and you will truly have a blast developing and bringing them to life for a special celebration.

Go Golfing

Father and Son Golfing

Playing a round of golf seems like the perfect way to celebrate a special birthday, especially if your teen enjoys golfing. And if your teen doesn't own a set of golf clubs, you can rent, borrow, or buy one as part of their birthday gift. Make sure you pack what you need, such as balls & ball markers, tees, gloves, golf towel, bug spray, sunscreen, drinks, and snacks.

Have Fun at an Amusement Park

Couple with arms raised about to begin descent on roller coaster in amusement park

A day at the amusement park can be fun yet exhausting. The good news is that your kid is old enough to join a group of friends for a few hours of thrilling rides, games, and shows without having you to chaperone. If you are joining in on the fun, you can take breaks and find a spot to sit, enjoy a snack, and watch the crowd.

Go Camping

Camping birthday idea

Does your teen love an outdoor adventure? Consider booking a cabin in the woods and invite a small group of friends for a weekend of exploring the outdoors, playing board games, gathering around the campfire, and making s'mores until it's time to tuck themselves into their sleeping bags or bunk beds.

Hit the Nearest American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

If you have a super active teen who is into sports that cultivates endurance, strength, and agility, consider a trampoline park that offers an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course as the birthday party venue. Pizza and drinks are birthday staples at trampoline parks, but you can bring your own cake and other sweet treats the teens can enjoy after they complete the obstacle course challenge.

Throw the Ultimate Pool Party

Friends enjoying a pool party

Teenagers love to hang out by the pool at any time of the day. If your teen's birthday falls in the summertime, plan the ultimate pool party when the sun is about to set so you can have the opportunity to add extra fun with a movie projector. You can assign an adult to grill burgers and hot dogs for the teens and set up a station for drinks, such as fruit punch, soda, and water.

Plan a Board Game Night

Teenage girls and boys playing board game in bedroom

Invite a small group of teens for an intimate celebration filled with board game fun. Whether you are planning to select board games that are perfect for teens or ask each guest to bring a game to share, a casual birthday in which all the guests have to do is being competitive against their own friends while enjoying delicious snacks and drinks, sounds like an incredible for a teen's birthday.

Host a Spooky Costume Party

Costume Party birthday idea

A costume party is fun for all ages. If your teen is an autumn baby, transform your place into a haunted house to throw a spooky Halloween costume party, complete with a costume contest and fun prizes for the big winners. You can plan a birthday buffet where the guests will find the spookiest appetizers, sweet treats, and drinks.

Go to a Drive-In Movie Theater

Drive-in Movie Theater birthday idea

If watching movies is your teen's favorite pastime, plan going to your nearest drive-in movie theater. Start off the celebration at home by setting up the ultimate concession stand and bring snacks with you for the movie session. Not everyone lives close to a drive-in movie theater, so be sure to plan ahead to make sure you arrive a few minutes early.

Throw a Pizza Making Party

Pizza birthday idea

Teenagers love eating pizza, so why not make them create their own at a pizza party. Invite a small group of teens for a special night of pizza creations. The guests will learn a thing or two about building their own pizza and eating it, too. To take the stress away from making your pizza dough, consider pre-made crust, set out all the fun toppings and sauces on a large table you can use as your pizza making station.

Invite Friends for a Streaming Party

Group of Friends Watching Humorous Movie

When you are a teenager, you love spending time with your close friends, no matter the time and location. If your teenager enjoys low-key celebrations, suggest a streaming party in which they can catch up with the episodes of their favorite shows. Keep the menu simple with finger foods you can prep ahead, microwavable popcorn, and bottled drinks.

Buy Tickets for a Concert

Concert birthday idea

If your teenager's favorite artist is performing near you, surprise your kid with concert tickets. If you decide to get yourself a ticket as well, no need to invite other friends. It's the perfect opportunity to bond and spend quality time with your teenager.

Host an Ice Cream Social

Ice cream cone cheers!

Is ice cream your teenager's favorite treat ever? If the answer is yes, consider organizing an ice cream social where the young adults and parents can hang out while being treated to an ice cream station where they can build their own ice cream creations.

Go to an Indoor Kart

Go-cart racer at starting line with a man waving a flag

If you are looking for thrilling activities to celebrate your teenager's birthday, an Indoor Kart facility is the perfect venue. Whether you are keeping it small or inviting a large group of teenagers to engage in an adrenaline-pumping experience, be sure to book your private group session.

Host a Murder Mystery Dinner

Set up an incredible murder mystery inspired tablescape to welcome your guests for a night of working together to solve a fictitious murder that occurs at the party. Decide on the game before you send out the invitations, as guests will have to dress the part. The invitation should include character information, costume ideas, and background for the story.

Rent a Food Truck

Renting a food truck makes a party extra special and takes the stress away from planning an entire food menu. There are various types of food trucks, so be sure to rent one that your teenager and friends will truly enjoy. Keep the celebration going with outdoor games and activities, such as volleyball, basketball, and ring toss, for instance.

Throw a Build-Your-Own Hot Dog Party

Friends cheering together with hotdogs

If your teenager is a big hot dog lover, you can plan the ultimate hot dog bar experience for their special day. If you have a large kitchen counter, you can use it as your hot dog station and set out all the hot dog toppings and condiments in small separate bowls. Plan a hot dog menu in advance to make sure you have everything you need for your bar the day of the party. If you are adding New York style hot dogs, you will need to add sauerkraut and mustard to your shopping list.

Go Indoor Skydiving

Gather a group of teenagers who love thrilling activities to do something unique, such as indoor skydiving to celebrate your kid's birthday. Look for an indoor skydiving facility that offers a safe flight experience and knowledgeable instructors who are experts at making flying fun for everyone, no matter the age.

Throw a Sushi Party

Woman carrying a sushi boat

Sushi is definitely not for everyone, but it is delightful to many. If your child is a sushi lover, consider hosting a sushi night where the teenagers can enjoy different rolls even if they have never tried sushi before. Make sure you incorporate sushi rolls that are great for beginners, such as California, Philadelphia, and Boston rolls. Keep the sashimi to a minimum if most of your guests are not very adventurous.

Go Kayaking

The thrill, action, adventure, and adrenaline rush of kayaking can make your teenager's birthday party a memorable experience they will never forget. It is incredibly important that you have adults with great kayak skills to manage the boat in rough waters.

Plan a Karaoke Night

Two friends holding microphones in a karaoke party

Crank up the karaoke machine to celebrate your teenager's special day. Whether you are keeping it simple with immediate family only or inviting a group of friends, grab extra microphones so everyone can have fun doing karaoke duets or rap battles for a chance to win awesome prizes.

17-Year-Old Birthday Party Ideas Your Teen Will Love

Planning a party requires a lot time and energy, so having an extra set of hands can make a great difference when you are trying to juggle guest list, invitations, venue, and all of the other details at the same time. Get your teenager involved and delegate a few tasks, such as picking up decorations and helping with food and drink preparations.

20 17th Birthday Ideas Your Teen Will Actually Love