5 Graduation Party Ideas for Your Teen’s Celebration

In need of some high school graduation party ideas? Here are five themes to consider for your grad's party.

Do you have a graduate at your house? Then it’s time to party!

High school graduation parties bring together not just your teen’s school friends but also a mix of family, neighbors, teachers and others who want to celebrate this important milestone. Yet with such a diverse crowd it can be a challenge to find a graduation party idea that appeals to everyone.

The best party themes? Those that revolve around your graduate’s next big steps, along with a few classic ideas that are sure to please. Go through these themes with your grad and decide together on the best fit for her grad bash.

Theme: Grad Faves

How it works: Quiz your teen about some of his favorite things like colors, foods, activities, classes and more. Use these faves to drive the party. For example, if his favorite color is green decorate with green-colored balloons and streamers. And if he’s a big hot dog fan, have a brat bar like this one from Chloe Bleu where guests can add fixings like mustard, ketchup, relish – and maybe a few fun toppings like Froot Loops, chili and crumbled bacon. Maybe one of his favorite activities is shooting hoops, so make sure to have basketballs and a hoop on hand so guests can play.

Theme: College Days

How it works: Make your grad’s college choice the focus of her party. Order banners from her new school to place all around your house or yard – or wherever your bash is taking place. Is she’s going to the University of Michigan? Then what about these flags from the M Den? Make appetizers, sweets and other goodies that are traditional at her college. You can also serve up college-type foods like Top Ramen, cold pizza and candy. Plenty of candy.

Theme: Luau

How it works: Capture the beach by dressing up your party with tiki torches, beach balls, grass huts and blow-up palm trees. You can order unusual finds like party lanterns, inflatable flamingos and tropical décor from Oriental Trading. Have a buffet of beach treats like fresh cut up pineapple and mangos, shredded pork, coconut smoothies and tropical-marinated, grilled chicken kebabs. Blast beach music during your party and have activities like the limbo and hula dances. Have extra grass skirts on hand to pass out to partygoers!

Take on the World

How it works: Your grad is moving on! She’s going to be taking on the world. So wish her well by holding a party all about saying “bon voyage.” Use world maps to decorate the walls and string globe lights all around the party room. For food, put out tables with street food from across the globe – and place flags next to each like crepes from France, fish and chips from England, hummus and pita chips from the Middle East and jerk chicken from the Caribbean. As party favors, what about these world map boxes from Party City?


How it works: Pinatas aren’t just for young kids. The teens at your grad’s party will have a blast trying to get the goodies. Plus, pinatas come in classic designs like this bull from Party Cheap, to more modern ones. Have a DIY taco table so guests can pile shredded chicken, cheese, chopped tomatoes and more into crisped corn shells. Put out chips and salsa, limeade and churros, too. Create a photo booth with silly props like a sombrero, cactuses and other South of the Border finds.


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