College, High School Graduation Party Ideas: Planning A Graduation Party

Are you planning a graduation party for a college or high school grad? Use these college and high school graduation party ideas to plan a celebration that does their milestone achievement justice. We’ll cover everything from graduation open house party ideas to graduation party invitations and everything in between. Read on for everything you need to know.

Planning A Graduation Party: High School

Planning a graduation party for high school graduates can be fun and easy. High school graduation parties tend to be more on the casual side, which will allow you to opt for simple and inexpensive food and drink options like pizza and soda, and simple party entertainment, like music and board games.

As for high school graduation announcements and invitations, check out our expansive collection by following the link provided. Use the high school graduation party ideas below for more tips and inspiration on planning a graduation party for the grad in your life.

High School Graduation Open House Ideas

Holding a graduation open house party is how most people celebrate high school graduation. It is the chosen method of celebration because it’s likely other grads will be holding graduation parties at the same time as yours, so allowing guests to drop in and leave as they like allows them to attend more than one party.

A high school graduation open house party will not only allow guests to come and go as they please, but also offer the family hosting the high school graduation open house an affordable means of celebrating their grad’s success. Use the high school graduation open house ideas below to find inspiration for your nearing event.

High School Graduation Party Themes

High School Graduation Party Themes: Smart Cookie

This cute high school graduation party theme is as sweet as it is fun. Center your high school graduation party decorations, invitations, and food around a smart cookie theme. Fill you venue with a variety of cookies. Ask guests to bring their favorite cookies to share or enter into a cookie swap.

Showcase photos of the grad of honor throughout his or her academic career. Add further color with balloons, streamers, and bunting. Try setting up a chalkboard sign inscribed with your party theme and a short congratulatory to note to the grad of honor.

High School Graduation Party Themes: Travel

This high school graduation party theme is perfect for a grad who plans on traveling out of state for college. Try centering your decorations around where they plan on going. Maps, globes, and flags can be used to embellish their destination, along with balloons, bunting, and bright centerpiece.

In addition to decorations, prepare a guest book for friends and family to sign. Ask them to leave a farewell note for the grad of honor along with their contact info and any advice they have to give about life as a college student.

High School Graduation Party Themes: Outdoor BBQ, Luau, Picnic

Since most high school graduations take place in spring and summer, holding your graduation party outdoors will be a possibility. From the fresh air, extra space, and beautiful natural scenery, outdoor graduation parties offer a variety of benefits. Check out our Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas, Themes, & Invitation Wording post for outdoor graduation party ideas, theme suggestions, and more.

High School Graduation Party Ideas

High School Graduation Party Ideas: Food

Beyond including food that correlates to your high school graduation party theme, you should also include a few basic things in your spread to ensure your guests are getting a balanced meal. Try picking an entree the grad of honor loves or something simple and cheap, like pizza, will work. Provide guests with several beverage options and ensure your spread has fruits, veggies, and a dessert.

High School Graduation Party Ideas: Decorations

If you selected a theme for your high school graduation party, embellish it with your decorations. If not, simply use things like fresh cut flowers, colorful bunting, and photo boards to give your venue a festive atmosphere. Check out this College, High School Graduation Party Ideas Pinterest board for more high school graduation party decoration ideas.

High School Graduation Party Ideas: Guest Book

In addition to the traditional paper guest book, there are photo booth guest books, Polaroid guest books, Jenga guest books, and even guitar guest book alternatives.  The sky is the limit!  Check out Pinterest for more creative guest book ideas.

College, High School Graduation Party Ideas: Planning A Graduation Party
Elegant Light Blue Graduation Invitation by

Planning A Graduation Party: College

Planning for a college graduation party will be similar to planning for a high school graduation party, only the decorations, favors, and menu may be more mature.

You may choose to incorporate cocktails and other drinks into your celebration and the party in general may be larger and more formal, since college graduation is such a major achievement.

Use the college graduation open house ideas and college graduation party themes below to put together a celebration the grad of honor will never forget.

College Graduation Open House Ideas

Most people celebrate college graduation with a college graduation open house party. Again, this style of party will give your guests more flexibility as far as coming and going goes so they can attend other college graduation parties if they need to.

Unlike a high school graduation open house party, college graduation open house parties tend to be a bit more formal. Instead of pizza and soda, you should prepare a more dignified spread of appetizers and drinks. For more college graduation open house ideas, check out the college graduation party themes and college graduation party ideas listed below.

College, High School Graduation Party Ideas: Planning A Graduation Party
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College Graduation Party Themes

College Graduation Party Themes: Major or Future Career

Centering your college graduation party on the grad of honor’s major or future career is a great idea. If your graduate just received their degree in education, give their college graduation party a teaching theme. Fill dishes with red apples. Place chalkboard signs throughout your venue inscribed with a congratulatory message to the grad. If your grad recently graduated from nursing school, stretch heart garland throughout your venue, pass out first aid kits as party favors, and serve food relevant to your theme.

College Graduation Party Themes: Vineyard

Try holding your college graduation party at a vineyard. In addition to offering a formal setting, tasty spirits, and a gorgeous natural setting, most vineyards also have event space available and food onsite for celebrations like college graduation parties. Plus, holding your college graduation party outside of your home will save you tons of stress, time, and cleanup.

College Graduation Party Ideas

College Graduation Party Ideas: Decorations

Beyond bunting, banners, and signs, you can use things like potted plants and fresh cut flowers to add color and life to your celebration. Tablecloths, candles, and strings of lights are more formal graduation party decorations you use to spruce up your venue. Photo boards and photo albums will also make nice decoration and conversation pieces for your college graduation party.

College Graduation Party Ideas: Guest Book

Traditional guest books are always nice, but if you’re interested in doing something off the beaten path, you can. Try asking your guests to bring a college photo they have of themselves with the grad of honor. Have guests paste their photo into a book as they arrive and inscribe a short congratulatory note beside it.

College, High School Graduation Party Ideas: Planning A Graduation Party
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Hopefully you found these college and high school graduation party ideas, themes, and graduation open house ideas inspiring! Good luck planning for your graduation party. For more college and high school graduation party ideas, check out

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