How to Host a Graduation Party, All Your Graduation Party FAQs Answered

Graduation party ideas.

From grade school through the college years, May and June are the graduation party months of the year. Whether or not it was for a nephew, niece, friend, or neighbor, chances are you’ve been invited to one. But going to a grad party and hosting one are two completely different animals. Never fear, because here is your complete guide to hosting a graduation party.

1. Most graduation parties are held in the comfort of your own home, which cuts down on cost quite a bit. The only problem is that you have to party-proof your house. Or at least the kitchen, great room and bathroom that will be made available to guests. But all that will take is a quick go around with a dust rag and a vacuum cleaner as most of your action will take place outside. Party-proofing that part of the house is a little different. You’ll want to make sure the grass is cut, the weeds are pulled and the deck is cleaned.

2. The next step is setting up the backyard for company. Based on how many guests you invite (usually many), you will need to set up a tent or two filled with long tables and chairs. Provide other seating areas in clusters to encourage mingling. Another area of the backyard should be designated the bar area so guests can refresh their drinks without having to go inside the house. The final large piece of equipment you’ll need to set up is the buffet table.

3. Graduation party foods are plentiful, and there are several staple food items that people almost always include on graduation party menus. Main dishes include: Italian beef, sausage, mostaccioli, fried chicken and cold sandwich trays. Now, as far as side dishes are concerned, you can’t go wrong with an array of salads. Fruit, taco, potato, pasta, macaroni, they’re all good. Veggie trays and corn on the cob pretty much round out the regulars. For dessert, cake is a must. In fact, why not get it professionally done with a picture of the grad on top? After all, it is his or her special day.

4. You’ve already set up a bar area, now you just need to stock it. People usually expect a full bar, or near full, when they attend grad parties, so the big three (otherwise known as beer, wine and liquor) should be plentiful. You don’t have to go crazy with diversity here, just make sure you have enough of all three, and guests will remain happy campers.

5. As far as graduation party supplies are concerned, you usually have most of those already lying around the house. For decorations, string a bunch of pictures of the graduate throughout the years around the tents and the inside of the house. Set up a few framed pictures on the dessert table, too. Then, put some mosquito-repellant candles on the tables and tiki torches around the other seating for when the sun goes down, and you’re all set.

6. Entertainment-wise, have a few games already set up and ready to play for when your guests arrive. For example, bags (or cornhole), volleyball, badminton, basketball, hillbilly golf and washers. If you have the space, there is no limit to what you can offer. If you don’t have a lot of space, set up a ping pong table in the garage. That should occupy the younger kids for most of the afternoon.

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