Activity ideas for seventeenth birthdays

Written by kristen moutria
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Activity ideas for seventeenth birthdays
A bonfire is a fun birthday party idea for 17-year-olds. (Bonfire image by Ryan LeBaron from

A 17th birthday is special in that it is one year away from the rite of passage into adulthood. Parents and their teens may be stumped on an idea for a party that is not too juvenile but is entertaining enough for young people who have adult tastes. Fortunately, there are several ways to make a 17th birthday party thrilling and memorable for everyone.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to bring teens together through teamwork, but also add in some enjoyable competition at a birthday party. Split guests up into groups of three or four, and have them either drive around town looking for hints or walk around a mall for a more small-scale hunt. Leave hints that ultimately lead to a reward at the end of the scavenger hunt --- whether it is pizza before anyone else, gifts for all the winners, or a cake to dig into!


A bonfire is a casual and cool way for a 17-year-old to meet and hang out with friends. Create a fire pit that is far away from any overhanging trees or anything else that may cause a fire hazard; gather logs and kindling and form a tepee structure. Make sure to provide chocolate bars, crackers and marshmallows for s'mores and soda for refreshments. Set up lawn chairs and make sure upbeat music is playing nearby. This is the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable evening around a bonfire. You can also provide blankets if it is an especially chilly night or if people want to lie out on the grass.

Opposite-Season Celebration

Having an opposite-season celebration is a fun way to allow people to dress up and laugh at other people's costumes. If the birthday is in the winter, call for a Hawaiian party; grass skirts, leis and the hula dance encouraged! Play tropical music, set up a tropical scene in the living room and make sure a movie of the beach is playing on the TV. If the birthday is in the summer, call for a Christmas party; Christmas sweaters, mittens and boots are the style. Make sure to provide hot chocolate, holiday music and Christmas lights so everyone can get in the Christmas spirit.

Talent Show

Host a talent show! Teens are full of abilities and gifts, and most seventeen year olds are passionate about something they would like to share. Create a fun environment at a home or auditorium depending on how many guests you plan on having. Make sure to find out in advance who is interested in performing so that you can create a program with all the numbers and acts. This is a great way for people to discover other's hidden talents and abilities, as well as have the opportunity to shine in front of peers.

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