Graduation Party Ideas: How To Throw The Best Party In 2019
Are you looking to throw the best graduation party on the block? Or maybe a quiet, low key event is more your style?
Whichever your preference, you want the event to be special and memorable. After all, this is a once in a lifetime moment!
Let's go over some great ways to ensure your graduation party is the best it can be.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Graduation Party Ideas Depend On Answering One Question
And this question is what kind of graduation party do you want to have?
In a perfect world, the graduate would have some input here. But this doesn't always happen as the parents typically have the final say.
Hopefully an agreement (or compromise) can be made on the type of bash and the general amount of people that will be attending.
There is a big difference in planning a small, immediate family only affair versus an open house style party with a large chunk of the community invited to attend.
When you figure this part out, you are able to advance to the rest of the graduation party planning. Here are the steps to party success!
1. Where is the Graduation Party Location?
Many choose to have the graduation party at their own home provided they have the space. The backyard, garage or inside the house are great options for hosting and are very popular.
If your home is not preferred, you could rent a spot at a park or maybe even go together with another graduate and rent a building that hosts community events.
2. Graduation Party Invitations
Once you have the location finalized, you can get the graduation party invitations created and sent out. There are many great companies online who do a great job with graduation invites and announcements, such as Shutterfly.
Be sure to shop around to get the best price. As you may know, we are big advocates of budget friendly purchases.
Also, take advantage of technology and create a Facebook event for this special day. It's a fast way to get an approximate head count as people can accept or decline with a click.
3. Food and Drink Ideas to Make Your Party Sizzle
Now that we have the formalities out of the way, it's time to get to the "meat and potatoes" of the party. The food of course!
Backyard cookouts are a staple of the American graduation party. The smell of the food, the fresh air of the outdoors, laughter of people socializing...good memories.
What's the one thing that could ruin such a fun event? Rain! And depending on your location, the chances of rain during graduation time could be pretty high. So it is important to plan a menu which can be executed either outside or indoors. Here are some ideas.
Beverages: Punch, Sweet Tea, Coffee, Soda, Bottles of Water, Beer, etc. If there are small children attending the party, juice boxes go over well!
Appetizers: Pasta and Lettuce Salads, Assorted Fruit, Tortilla Pinwheels, Chicken Wings, Chips with Salsa or Guacamole, Taco Dip.
Main Course: Pulled Pork, Sub Sandwiches, Taco Bar, Hamburger Sliders, BBQ Chicken, Burger and Hot Dog Bar. Deli meats, cheeses and buns are also a great option for a build-your-own sandwich station.
Desserts: Cake, Graduation Cupcakes, Graduation Cap Shaped Mints, Assorted Candies (M&M's, Reese's). Or if your graduate isn't a fan of these ideas, an assortment of good old fashioned donuts may work!
4. Graduation Party Entertainment Ideas
Some guests will come to your party and leave rather quickly. Even though your party will be the best in town, they will feel obligated to make an appearance at the others.
But those who do plan on staying for the duration will likely need some entertainment. Especially if they bring their kids along! Here are some entertainment ideas that will wear the kids out and provide some laughs.
- Inflatable Bouncy House
- Rent a photo booth or make an archway to take pictures with the graduate
- Cornhole aka Bean Bag Toss Game
- Ladder Toss
- Scrapbook station for writing well-wishes to the graduate
- Pin the tail on the graduation hat & give candy prizes.
- Decorate with helium balloons. It's a great way to fill small spaces and each child can go home with one. Buy and have them filled at your local dollar store and you can get a lot for your money!
- Face Painting
I know you think face painting might be an odd idea, but have you ever seen how kids will stand still, patiently waiting in line to have their face painted?! It's crazy! But also a good distraction if you don't have a lot of space and you want to keep them behaving while their folks visit! This is also a great way to keep teenagers engaged by painting the faces of children if they are too "cool" to play the other games and maybe prevent them from saying "I'm so bored, when can we go?"
DIY Graduation Announcements & Thank You Cards
If you are creative and have the time, here are some great ideas for making your own graduation announcements and thank you cards. It's always a great idea to save money when you can!
Throw An Easy Peasy Graduation Party In 4 Easy Steps!
- Decide what kind of graduation party you want to have. Small & personal? Or an open house open to the community? Then choose an appropriate venue location that will accommodate the size of party you are throwing.
- Get the word of your graduation party out there by sending personal invitations that you can make yourself, or buy, or put an ad in the local newspaper if it is an open house. Don't forget FREE e-invite options such as via Facebook where folks can accept or decline if they are not able to attend!
- Keep the food you serve light as guests may be attending more than one graduation party that day. Beverages are a must to stay hydrated! Include kid friendly drinks such as juice boxes too. Think of food stations where guests can build their own sandwiches or a taco bar always go over well.
- Do NOT forget the entertainment! If you don't want guests standing around checking their phone in an awkward situation where they may not know everyone, then provide some form of games and activities for guests and their children. Keep decor simple by getting helium balloons filled at your local dollar store.
What do you like to see at graduation parties? I would love to hear from you!