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Graduation Party Ideas

May 6th, 2014 - 3:16 PM

Host an Awesome Graduation Celebration

If you have an upcoming graduation for a friend, child, or other family member to attend, you might want to throw a graduation party! Whether they’re graduating from kindergarten, high school, college, or anything in between, you can throw a great graduation party with these ideas. You’ll want to celebrate the occasion before your graduate moves up in school, or moves to college. Since graduation season is already upon us, it’s time to get planning! Let’s talk invites, theme, and food.

Graduation Party Invitations

The guest list will determine a lot of things for your party. Do you want just family and close friends to be there, or do you want to invite all of your grad’s friends and throw a huge shindig? If you opt for a small family gathering, you could throw the party immediately after graduation. However, if you want all their friends there, you may want to choose a time several days before or after graduation to give you plenty of prep time. If you’re hosting a small get-together, consider holding the graduation party at your house. But if you have a big soiree in mind, you’ll probably need to go to a different venue, like a restaurant’s party room or even your church’s fellowship hall. Determining the guest list for your graduation party will help you figure out some of these details.

Once you know who to invite, you’ll need to send out graduation party invitations! There are so many options out there, from custom invites showcasing senior photos to simple printables – pick one that fits the theme and feel of your party. If you want some free graduation party printables, check out these classic designs from Catch My Party. They have printable invitations along with banners, thank you cards, water bottle labels, and more!

Graduation party printable invitations

Themes for your Grad Party

The theme possibilities for your party are endless—it’s your pick! You could go with something random (like a luau), or you could be a little more specific to your graduate’s taste.

  • If your grad plays a sport, try using that for theme inspiration. You could serve tailgate-type finger foods and decorate with sports memorabilia (display their jersey, prized game ball, etc.).
  • Does your graduate play an instrument, sing, or perform? Throw them a “star studded affair”complete with a red carpet! You can serve star-shaped foods, and ask guests to dress like they are going to an awards show.
  • Another fun party theme is “One Last Night to Be a Kid.” For this party, you could serve fun childhood snacks (think popsicles, Goldfish crackers, and juice boxes) and set up games.--everyone would love to play foursquare again! You could even buy some water guns and let everyone battle it out in the backyard.
  • If your grad has tons of school spirit, you may want to theme the party around their school colors (or maybe their future college colors for high school graduates!).  You could serve foods in those colors and ask guests to wear shirts from the school.
  • If you’re feeling nostalgic, choose the popular graduation party idea “A Walk Down Memory Lane” and decorate with lots of photos from the graduate’s life. Serve their favorite foods from years past (did 4 year old Johnny only eat chicken nuggets?) and reminisce over their favorite memories at the party.

Graduation Party Food Ideas

No matter what theme you decide on, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to need some yummy food! No graduation party is complete without the grub. Here are some cute graduation ideas to incorporate into the food at your party.

You can serve whatever drinks your grad likes, or make them super fun with these simple graduation caps! These graduation party drinks from Be Different, Act Normal are a great way to spruce up bottled drinks. I love the idea of using sodas in a color to fit your theme, too—Jones Soda makes drinks in lots of fun colors!

Graduation party drinks with graduation cap

Here’s another grad cap idea: try this sweet version from Bakerella.  Using peanut butter cups, a square of chocolate, and a little frosting, you can create a fun treat. These are great on a skewer, or you could even use them to top cupcakes (talk about easy!). Just take some store-bought cupcakes and add these precious chocolate graduation caps for a sugary, customized spread.

Graduation cake pops using peanut butter cups

Create diplomas you can eat with this simple idea from Frog Prince Paperie. Just take cylindrical cookies (found in most grocery store cookie aisles) and tie a sour candy straw around them!

Graduation party food cookie diplomas

If you’re looking for more generic party food, dip is always a crowd favorite. The Six Sisters’ Stuff blog has some awesome dip recipes like buffalo chicken dip, bean and cheese dip, and the amazing creamy Nutella dip. (I’ve tried it out and can almost guarantee the sweet Nutella dip will be the hit of your party!)

Creamy Nutella dip will please the crowd at your grad party

Other Graduation Party Ideas

Don’t forget favors for your guests! A super clever idea is to fill light bulbs with candy. Try  attaching a note that says “Thank you for celebrating Johnny’s bright future!” and be sure to use candy in your school colors, too. Look how cute the ones from Frog Prince Paperie turned out!

Graduation favors with candy and light bulbs

One last suggestion—you might want to have a guest book at the party as well.  Why not create a memorable keepsake by having guests sign a keepsake book for the grad? Take a cue from That’s Country Living and have people sign a fun book, like Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” Your grad can keep the book with all the special notes. What a special reminder of such a big occasion!

Dr. Seuss graduation gift and guest book in one!

With these tips, you’re sure to throw an awesome graduation celebration! Do you have other graduation party ideas? We would love to hear them – just leave a comment below.