A graduation party is a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone in a loved one’s life. Whether it’s for preschool, high school, college, or a postgraduate degree, getting a diploma and wearing a cap and gown is just the beginning of the festivities.

Gather friends and family for a rollicking celebration to show your special graduate how proud everyone is of their academic achievements. We’ve rounded up seven graduation party ideas to make the day more fun and memorable.

graduation party ideas flowers balloons

Great ideas for graduation party decorations

Let your graduate know how proud you are of them by decking out your party space with plenty of grad-themed party dècor. Graduations don’t happen every day, so why not make the most of the cap and gown theme. Decorate with rolled diplomas, school color streamers and balloons, and lots of photos of the guest of honor. For an elegant touch, consider a classy black, gold, and silver theme, which you can quickly achieve with a ready-to-go graduation party kit.

Create a truly personalized experience with custom decorations. These classic bunting banners can be made with the message of your choosing in your choice of fonts and colors. Then, take it one step further with photo banners that can include your choice of photos, which guests will love looking through. Finally, make it easy for guests to figure out where the party is with a heavy-duty vinyl graduation banner that you can hang on a garage door or the porch.

Food

Of course, every great party begins with a delicious menu. Since graduations typically occur in the spring and summer, opting for a casual, outdoor party can offer a laid-back way to offer plenty of meal options without having to spend time in the kitchen and away from guests. Create a tempting grazing buffet with a Backyard Dinner Party package, or make grilling easy with pre-made chicken kabobs, beef favorites, and bison franks

Create stacks of snacks indoors or out for guests to enjoy at their leisure. Make use of vertical space with shelves and boxes, and set out a variety of finger foods, such as cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, and dips.

If you’re serving up dishes family style, don’t overlook decking out your food stations. Spread confetti and streamers around in school colors. These decorations will really pop if contrasted with white serving plates of different sizes and shapes. 

Beverages

Keep the casual vibes going with grab and go drinks that let guests partake as they please. Load cans and bottles of sparkling water and other drinks into a personalized galvanized iron beverage tub. Use beverage dispensers for lemonade (the adult kind) or fruity punches to create an elegant display. Another fun option is to offer a “boba bar” with a DIY bubble tea kit. Finish the offerings with plenty of craft beverage garnishes, such as fresh herbs, eatable flowers, and fruit slices.

graduation party ideas cookies

Create a cute cake centerpiece

A custom cake is often the centerpiece of a party table. For a graduation celebration, there are many ways to make it unique. You can easily decorate a homemade cake with school colors or create a custom cake inspired by the guest of honor’s area of study. A stethoscope-shaped cake, for instance, for a nurse graduate or a cake in the shape of a tool for a recent trade school grad make for thoughtful graduation party ideas.

Not into sugary sweets for a centerpiece? How about a Way To Go Grad! fruit arrangement that features mouthwatering favorites like cantaloupe, orange slices, and honeydew melon balls. With fruit sliced in the shape of the graduating year, it’s sure to be an attention-grabbing table addition.

Desserts

There are, thankfully, plenty of graduation-themed desserts to choose from, so why not offer a full “diploma dessert bar?” Outfit it with plenty of fun varieties, such as frosted cap and gown cookies, “Class of” rice krispie treats, Belgian chocolate OREO® cookies topped with candy graduation caps, graduation cake pops, and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Capture those milestone memories

A photo backdrop is an absolute must for making sure no one gets left out of the picture taking. A personalized backdrop customized to the grad’s school colors is perfect for decking out with balloons and other party decor.

Looking for a great photo or video op idea? Introduce the Simply Chocolate Pretzel Pizza to the proceedings. This ingenious product is designed to be busted apart with the accompanying mallet, and will allow the grad to blow off a little steam after working so hard all semester.

graduation party ideas explosion box

For something a little less dramatic, capture your grad being surprised by a kaleidoscope of butterflies (yes, that’s what a group of the winged creatures is called). The Graduation Sparkling White Explosion Cake Box creates such a moment with multiple “butterflies” fluttering away when the graduation cap box is opened (also revealing a sweet treat inside!).

Piñatas are cute, but a piñata decked out in a graduation cap is downright adorable. Gathering around to bust one open to get the tasty treats inside can be the perfect graduation party finale.

Give them something to cherish

Graduations signal the start of a new phase in life. During this time of transition, it’s especially thoughtful to give them something that allows them to remember this milestone event. A personalized graduation blanket, for instance, is a keepsake your grads can take with them that will serve as a constant reminder of the journey they’ve been on. A personalized graduation card box is an elegant and understated way to allow guests to drop off cards for the graduate. It can also be a wonderful way for the guest of honor to store mementos from their time in school once the party is over.


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Author

Jackie Rupp is a longtime writer and editor who enjoys covering home, family, and lifestyle topics. She usually writes with at least one cat by her side and juggles fostering kittens with dabbling in handmade crafts. A connoisseur of pancakes, you can find her brunching when not writing or working on home renovation projects.

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