Whenever graduation season comes, students obviously look forward to the final exam, as well as the graduation ceremony. But after heaving those sighs of relief, it’s time to celebrate! Whether you are going to host a high school or graduate open house, we have the best 60 graduation party ideas to make your party unique.
It’s hard enough to solidify a day into the busy summer calendar, especially with everyone else scrambling to pick a date too, but that’s just the beginning of planning your graduation or graduation party. Should you go the traditional open house route or rent a local space? Do you want to use a specific theme or decorate with the latest trends? And even after the bigger components like location and food, there are so many extra details that it may seem small, but have a huge impact!
But don’t worry – we’ve rounded up unique graduation party ideas (like video guestbooks, balloon arches, karaoke, food trucks, and more!) And graduation party themes (like a white-out, the roaring 20s, a luau, and more!) that will make your graduation get-together better than you can imagine.
You’ve worked so hard and now it’s time to celebrate – check out the best graduation party ideas!
60 graduation party ideas
1. Host in your backyard
This traditional, tried and true open house graduation party typically takes place on the family property.
2. Present a custom vinyl record guest book
Order a custom vinyl record with class year or class song and provide markers to sign names and messages everywhere.
3. Gather on the beach
A great opportunity for an all ages get-together to celebrate the laid-back graduate by swimming, walking along the coast or making art on the sand during the meeting.
4. Have a sky lantern sent
It can be tricky to schedule an open house without overlapping party times with other friends, but opting for a nightly event should make that component easier. And even more memorable.
5. Bring a food truck
From tacos to s’mores, pizza to burgers and everything in between, having a food truck at your high school or graduation party is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Related: 50 Best Graduation Gifts
6. Meeting in a park
The various shaded areas and the fun play facilities make this location convenient for families and large parties.
7. Play movies on a projector
You can play a loop of your childhood videos and photos or play your all-time favorite movies to share with your guests as they mingle.
8. Rent your favorite restaurant
If you don’t want to worry too much about space or major cleaning and want some really good food, this is a great graduation party idea to consider.
9. Use a Polaroid photo album as a guest book
Set up a table in your open house with a Polaroid camera, permanent markers, and a photo album in which to paste photos and their messages for a unique graduation party guest book option.
10. Get food served
Keep the celebration in the comfort of your own home, but don’t stress out about the kitchen!
11. Features a balloon arch
You can find many examples of balloon decorations, such as trendy balloon arches, on Instagram for party inspiration.
12. Throw a pool party
Whether you have your own pool or rent a local one, your bachelor party will get along just fine smooth.
13. Show a background of large letters
Features “GRAD” with large stacked blocks, extra large wooden signage or gold balloon letters, etc. for a display that looks straight out of a Pinterest board.
14. Rent a photo booth
This addition will totally make your graduation party picturesque.
15. Suggest books instead of cards
This has become popular for baby showers to start a baby library, but it’s a brilliant idea for graduates who would like to grow their own book collection!
Related: 150 graduate quotes
16. Serve the personalized French Macarons
You can head to the area or order from a bakery that offers nationwide shipping for these custom Parisian treats.
17. Plan a picnic
Arrange the blankets with picnic baskets already filled with snacks and everyone will love this cute and quaint setting.
18. Hang up a custom banner
Choose between a personal approach with your name and photo or a large message to congratulate the entire class.
19. Use a slush machine
Sip this creative drink (and if it’s for a graduation, you might even make some margaritas!).
20. Throw a blank party
On the invitation, ask everyone to arrive in white dresses from head to toe and then also decorate with all white for a get-together that will be as special as it is photo-friendly!
21. Create an epic charcuterie board
These tasty spreads have completely taken over the table trends these days!
22. Put together a Potluck
Ask everyone to bring a plate to pass and focus less on the presentation and more on gathering important people in your community!
23. Customize the Serveware
Why use traditional napkins and mugs when you could get some graduation year marks or even go a step further by including personal fun facts?
24. Use a retro popcorn machine
Give your open house a little extra pop with this vintage car.
25. Set up yard games
From beanbag tossing to garden pong, cornhole to badminton, there are plenty of activities to choose from.
Related: Best High School Graduation Gift Ideas
26. Get advice
Pack some glass jars and ask guests to write down their best postgraduate tips and tricks.
27. Create a shimmering wall
Build and hang a sequin wall that will be the perfect photo backdrop.
28. Book game tables
Set aside some space for board games and card games for guests to play.
29. Rent a rebound house
You may be graduated now, but you can always stay young at heart!
30. Offer food and drinks only starting with your initial
For example, if your name is Kimberly, you can serve kiwifruit, Kit Kats, Kool-Aid, etc.
31. Features a custom cake display
Decorate a tiered cake or individual cupcakes with a touch of graduation.
32. Show signs for large construction sites
Give your guests the ultimate welcome with large graduation-themed displays and messages on your lawn.
33. Repeat your school colors
Decorate with the colors of your high school or college and also ask friends and family to show up in the school spirit.
34. Set aside a space for karaoke
Have some laughs as guests pass around the microphone.
35. Serve your childhood favorites
Take a trip down memory lane with staples like cereals, SpaghettiOs, and peanut butter sandwiches.
Related: Graduation Gift Ideas for Friends
36. Create a coffee station
Whether it’s drip coffee with an assortment of creams, a connected espresso machine to make latte macchiato or a ready-to-use jug of cold brew, friends and family will appreciate the caffeine boost.
37. Create photo boards
From your missing teeth to holiday destinations to hilarious Halloween costumes, showcase some photos that share your life story so far.
38. Have a video guest book
Get someone to film the clips or set up a designated station for the sweet tributes to be documented this way.
39. Submit instructions for a TikTok Dance
Your band could go viral with a choreographed clip!
40. Set creation angles
Entertain the little ones or ask for help decorating a guest book to give busy hands a fun project.
41. Make it a Luau
Present everyone with a wreath, serve up fruity umbrella drinks, and party in a tropical style.
42. Name your beverage options
Label your drinks with a menu of creative and fun names chosen by you.
43. Hire a face painter
We guarantee that kids won’t be the only ones sporting a design!
44. Serve the present guilty pleasures
Give your guests the chance to fall in love with the things they always crave, like sushi, smoothies or ramen!
45. Create the party destination theme
Do you go to a big city after graduation? Maybe another country? Have your party focused on your upcoming ranking.
Related: 40 personalized graduation gifts
46. Throw a bonfire
Continue the celebration until late in the evening, relaxing around the glow of the fire.
47. Use 1920s inspiration
From music to headbands to drinks, throw a festive graduation party a flapper would be eager to attend.
48. Ask for black tie attire
Get all imaginative and ready to take on the world, graduate!
49. Incorporate your year of birth
Go back asking the guests at the graduation party to dress in the style of your birth year and play popular music from that period.
50. Offer an open microphone
It’s up to you to ask for a fun roast (if you’re feeling brave) or sentimental memories to share with loved ones.
51. Turn up the string lights
Give your celebratory space a special touch by adding a perfect atmosphere.
52. Rent a roof
Nothing says “reaching new heights” like celebrating on top of a building.
53. Create a playlist
Make sure you have the right mood by approving every song that will play during the event.
54. Go for a car parade
If you’re not really a fan of the parties held in your honor, consider a car show where you’ll still be celebrated, but without all the chatter.
55. Visit a theme park
Get your gathering on the go by spending a day on some fun rides – after all, life itself is a roller coaster!
Related: 40 Parents High School Graduation Gifts
56. Hire live music
Whether you add a dance floor or not, a live band will make your party stand out.
57. Host the Ultimate Pizza Party
Let’s face it, your high school and / or college years were probably filled with pizza parties, so why not lean on that at your graduation party?
58. Serve dessert only
It’s your special day, so go all-in with tasty treats!
59. Use framed photos as centerpieces
Guests will love seeing your favorite photos wherever they are.
60. Offer comfortable and unique seating
Set up sofas, loveseats, recliners and more and instantly transform the outdoors into an extra-chic landscape.
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