Best Graduation Party Ideas, Themes, Tips, & Food

If you need graduation party ideas, look no further. We’re sharing ideas for graduation parties including themes, tips, food, and DIY’s. Here’s everything you need to celebrate the graduate whether it’s high school or college. And to round out the graduation party menu, incorporate one of these summer side dish recipes that are proven winners.

Graduation party ideas

How to plan a graduation party at home

It’s time to round up some of my favorite tips and suggestions for hosting a graduation party at home. Around here most people celebrate graduation in one of three ways:

  1. They go to a restaurant for a small intimate gathering with family.
  2. They host a small family dinner party.
  3. Or they create a fun and festive mid-size party for family and friends.

You can apply the ideas here to options two and three. There are food suggestions that can feed a small crowd, and graduation themes that are perfect for girls or boys looking ahead to the future.

Most of these ideas can be applied to high school or college graduation. You can always tweak something to suit your needs, and you can always customize the party with school colors and personal photos.

Where to host a graduation party

Depending on where you live there are a variety of option for you as a host.

  • Check your neighborhood community center if you have one. Of course a rental fee will likely apply.
  • Some churches may offer space to hold your graduation party.
  • You can set up a party in your own back yard. This is usually the most desirable choice since it’s free and you can set up at a leisurely pace. Of course this also brings on the need for folding tables and chairs, and a party tent so guests can get out of the sun.
  • I’ve also been to graduation parties that are set up in the garage. This is usually due to rain when the party was planned for the back yard.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have the space, you can host the party in your home. A clean basement is also a great option if you have it.
Ideas for graduation parties

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You can host a graduation party in a similar way that you would host a birthday party. Make the graduate the central focus and you can include some of their favorite things like food, music, a photo collage, etc.
  • Most graduation ceremonies take place in the middle of the day. They start in late morning and last a couple of hours. Guests will be famished by the time it’s over so schedule the party soon after.
  • The party will likely last about two hours. This gives everyone ample time to eat, drink, chat, and offer congratulations.
  • Host the party ‘open-house” style. There may be other parties that guests need to attend. And don’t forget, the graduate will probably want to hang out with their friends later on to celebrate together.

Best Graduation Party Ideas

Host a party for the graduate! Celebrate their accomplishment and follow any of these ideas for a budget friendly party at home. We've got fun themes and projects that you can do your self. Plus there's food and decor ideas to inspire.

Add Personalized Cookies

Set your party apart by serving these custom cookie designs in the graduate's likeness. These whimsical cookies can be served as dessert or handed out as party favors.

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  1. Love the idea of “keys to success” advice from loved ones. I’m getting it together now-thanks-I think it will be interesting to see what people write down.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Pamela. Best of luck. I’m sure it will be fantastic!

    1. Hi,
      I love this idea … trying to follow this theme for my daughter’s graduation party. I am having a heck of a time finding a white 2-tier cake stand for the dessert table. Can you tell me where you got yours?

      1. Kelly, that is 2 cake stands – the smaller one sitting on top of the larger one. I think Target has them in 2 sizes you could use. Also, World Market, or other stores with a housewares department should have them.
        Good luck!

        1. We had the grad party this past weekend and everything was such a hit!! Everyone LOVED the theme and decorations. I had a blast making everything and putting it all together. All of our guests went on and on about it and I was happy to give you all the credit. I told everyone, I am definitely not very creative but I am a pretty good copy-cat. 🙂 You made this very special occasion work so perfectly. Thank you so much! I have some pictures of the party I would love to share with you…can I tag you on FB or email them to you? 🙂


  2. What a great theme idea for a more “grown-up” grad party! I also have to agree with many of the commenters here – love the chocolate diploma rolls!

  3. The keys to success idea is perfect, and different from anything I’ve seen. Love the chocolate rolled diplomas too!

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