17th birthday bash themes & ideas

Written by sara gentry
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17th birthday bash themes & ideas
Choose your 17th birthday party theme carefully. (birthday cup image by David G from Fotolia.com)

Celebrate the bliss of continued irresponsibility with a special 17th birthday party. As you or your loved one is still not quite 18, revel in remaining safely in childhood with a fun, themed birthday party. If hosting a friend or relative's 17th birthday party, choose a theme that is appropriate without being too immature.

Favourite Color Party

If your teen is passionate about a favourite colour, make that colour your theme. For example, if your daughter loves turquoise, decorate in varying shades of that colour. Instruct all the guests to dress in turquoise clothing and accessories, and tint your food and drinks with food colouring. Suggest that guests wrap their gifts in monochromatic paper and ribbon combinations.

Book Party

Delight a book lover with a book-themed party. Either centre the party on literature in general, requesting that guests give gifts of books or bookstore gift cards, or base the party theme on a particular title or author. Take it to the extreme, inviting those attending to dress up as specific characters and decorating the party location to resemble the setting of the story. Base your food and drink selections on foods mentioned in the book or serve foods appropriate to the story's time and location.

International Themes

If your guest of honour loves a particular country's cuisine or culture, plan a Mexican fiesta, hibachi cookout or sushi celebration. For an Asian-themed party, hang up paper lanterns, buy a few bamboo plants and play music from your chosen country. If China is the theme, make sure to stock up on plenty of fortune cookies or even have a cake made in the shape of one. For an English-themed party, fry up some fish and chips, try out your best accents and play croquet on the lawn.

Outdoor Movie Night

Rent the equipment necessary to turn your backyard into a drive-in movie from an audiovisual dealer or meeting equipment company. All you really need is a projector and, if you don't have a wall to use, a screen. Choose a movie or two, or let the teens pick, and enjoy a warm evening outside. A backyard movie is double the fun if you have a swimming pool, but blankets spread on the grass allow for comfortable movie watching.

Dinner Party

Invite your teen's friends over for a dinner party, complete with formal place settings and grown-up party games. Indicate on the invitation (which should be a little elegant) that the event will be a little dressier than normal teen birthday parties. Have the meal catered or choose a menu with some gourmet twists, then plate the food in an upscale fashion. Once you've had dinner and dessert, head to the living room for charades, card games and nonalcoholic after-dinner drinks.

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