Graduation Party Ideas


With graduation season here, I thought it might be good to pull together some tips for graduation parties.

My biggest tip of the day is to not plan a family gathering for the same time a school-sponsored party is being held. Your graduate won’t appreciate missing one to attend the other. They’ve worked hard to get to where they are at, so let them celebrate all they can!

Start by thinking about the type of celebration you want to host. Will it be a low-key backyard barbecue or a formal gathering at a local restaurant?

  • Backyard Bash – everything about this celebration is casual. Have the grill-meister at your house cook up hotdogs and hamburgers. If you have room to plan a bonfire, you can keep the party going into the evening. Make sure you have the makings for S’mores.
  • Picnic – again a more casual feel, but no mess at your house to clean up. Maybe you and a couple of parents want to go together to host a joint celebration. Plan on easy to eat finger-type foods such as sandwiches or fried chicken. Make sure you take plenty of garbage bags, wet wipes for cleaning up messy fingers or spills, and a good supply of games. Play pin the mustache on a teacher by blowing up a photo from year book and cutting mustaches out of black construction paper. You could also print names of teachers on sticky labels and put on the backs of those attending. Those wearing the tags will have to ask others for descriptions, trying to guess who they are. An idea I just llove is having a memory box for each student. Offer an assortment of note papers (you could cut scrapbook paper into different sizes) and pens and ask students to write notes or share memories with each other. Give each student a box or envelope to collect the memories.
  • Restaurant or banquet facility – if you want a little more upscale celebration and don’t want to have to worry about the food, reserve a room at a local restaurant or conference center. This again may be something you do jointly with other parents, or it could be a small private celebration with close family members. Decide before hand on your budget and stick to it. Most conference centers with catering departments will work with you to choose selections that fit into your budget.

Once you know what type of party your want to host, send out some fun invitations. There are hundreds of paper selections you can choose from, you can send electronic invitations or you could even include a simple invitation with the graduation announcement. Let your grad help in deciding the type of theme and atmosphere they envision for their party.

If you are looking for some gift ideas for grads, here’s a list:

  • Luggage – I know I got a set for my high school graduation. It wasn’t the most exciting gift I received, but it was one I used for years and years.
  • Gift Cards – particularly to office supply stores or stores where they can pick up things for their new home (be it dorm or first apartment) like bedding, etc.
  • Digital camera¬† – fantastic for grads who are taking a trip with family or friends before they embark on their next adventure in life.
  • Netbook computer – these are smaller and lighter than laptops, but get the job done.
  • Dorm basket – for the high school grad who will be heading off to college, fill a laundry basket with some essentials like rolls of quarters, laundry supplies, a robe and slippers, an alarm clock, etc.

If you are feeling particularly crafty or creative, make a special little keepsake for each party attendee (or at least the grads and any kids in attendance).

Who wouldn’t love these fun graduation cap treats from Bakerella? Love, love this idea!

She Who Needs to Get Shopping for a Grad Gift

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