Unique Graduation Party Ideas
and 8 Creative Graduation Party Themes
Unique graduation party ideas begin by taking the symbols of graduation and taking them further than a bunch of black paper cut outs and a few tassels. Knowing how to plan a graduation party is all about celebrating the moment of graduation, the work your graduate put into this accomplishment, and all of his or her adventures ahead.
Keep in mind that the somber ceremony has already happened... now is the time for having tons of fun with friends and family!
You'll find lots of fun and unique graduation party ideas here, including creative graduation party theme ideas and tips on how to plan a graduation party your guests will love. But I've got more graduation party planning ideas right here at Divine Dinner Party. So when you're done here, check out:
Planning a Fun and Creative Graduation Party
The truth is, everybody knows how to plan a graduation party the "traditional" way. That's why mortarboard-shaped invitations and diploma stamps have become tired symbols of graduation.
Fortunately, you can come up with great unique graduation party ideas of your own simply by looking at every element of your party with a critical eye.
Creative Graduation Party Invitation Ideas
The tone of your graduation party will begin with the invitation... so have fun with it! Sure, the invitation can be formal if you like. But it can also be written like a multiple choice test, a detention slip, or rolled up like a diploma. You can also buy pretty,
personalized graduation party invitations,
complete with silly photos of the graduate.
Either way, it will be easier to choose from a bunch of different graduation party invitation ideas if you know whether your party is formal or casual, and if you assign your party a theme.
Graduation Cake Ideas
A graduation cake can be shaped like a boring mortarboard... but don't forget to apply any unique graduation party ideas to your cake, too! Your grad cake could also have, say, the graduate's favorite sports and hobbies drawn on top. Or be shaped like a book of his life with a book mark part of the way through. The cake could even be a blue sky and a pair of wings to represent freedom.
You'll find lots of ideas for and photos of graduation cakes on the following pages:
Graduation Party Decorations, Fun, and Food
Of course, the best unique graduation party ideas add an element of fun to every part of the party. So if you need inspiration for decorations for a graduation party
or graduation food
try brainstorming words you associate with school or education and then see if they can be applied to your party.
School-Themed Decorations. You can decorate with cardboard cut-outs of different letter grades: A+, F, C-. Or temporarily "graffiti" the walls and tables with the sorts of messages you'll find written on school desks or in school bathroom stalls. Or you could make each area of the party space into a different school subject. The food area could be "Chemistry," the game area "P.E.," and the bathroom "Biology." You get the picture. Have fun with it!
"Wishes for the Future" Graduation Activity. The future should also be included in your unique graduation party ideas just as much as the graduate's years in school. If you're looking for a graduation party game to play, consider adding some way for family and friends to give advice on the grad's life to come. These pieces of advice can be messages in a bottle, leaves on a wire tree (just give each guest a piece of paper and a pen), notes in a Passport for the Future or just sticky notes in fun shapes on a poster. Most of these also double as decorations, too.
8 Creative Graduation Party Theme Ideas
If you're looking for unique graduation party ideas that go together and make your party a cohesive whole, a theme will really help. Graduation party themes will tie together all the elements of the party and guide your decisions on everything from cake to decorations to entertainment. A safari theme, for instance, will suggest an animal print on the invitations, hunting games, wild stories, and rustic food.
You'll find a ton of inspiration in these eight unique graduation party themes!
1. Recess Themed Graduation Party
This is such a fun and unique graduation party idea: a party that is all about recess.
Ideas for this Party: Guests can play kickball or four square and tell stories about the graduate or the school she attended. You can serve kid favorites as your party food, such as peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches, pizza, etc.
A recess party is even more fun if you revive children's games like jumping rope or hopscotch. Give sidewalk chalk as a party favor. Have a hoola-hooping contest! Update these old games with new rhymes (or raps) or make different games into contests by using trivia questions to assign points.
This graduation party theme is a great way to let your grad be a kid again before going off to be a grown-up.
2. A Night of Tapas and Dancing
I love this graduation party theme idea for a grad who has a taste for style.
Planning this Party: Throw open the doors and serve small bites of food known in Spanish as "tapas." They don't necessarily have to be Spanish foods... any kind of finger food can be a tapa! Some good foods to serve for this party might be:
Lots of light snacks are the order of the day with this unique graduation party idea. Graduates shouldn't fill up too much before hitting the dance floor!
3. Vegas Casino Themed Graduation Party
Playing cards against friends and family can definitely teach you about life and provide a few laughs too! This is a great idea for a fun graduation party, because it can be geared towards a large party, or a smaller, more intimate one.
Adapting this Party for You: For a large party, look for casino party decorations online, and have a variety of casino-themed games for your guests to play. For a smaller, more intimate party, plan a night of snacks, drinks, and a great game of poker.
4. Night at the Red Carpet
A night of glamour can be such a fun way to celebrate a special night... it's a great way to make your graduate the "star!"
Planning this Party: Have all your guests --especially the graduates!-- dress in their best, and make your graduate the guest of honor. Then screen one your grad's favorite movies in your home (even better, rent a projector and play it in the back yard!). Don't want to have all of your guests sitting around watching a movie? Put movies on in the background ("The Graduate" is a good choice, of course!), sip champagne, nibble on tasty finger foods and hang out at your posh party. It's a lot of fun!
5. "Prom Night Repeat" Graduation Party Theme
I love this unique graduation party idea, especially for a college graduation party, where that high school prom is already years behind them.
Planning this Party: Just as with the Red Carpet theme above, have all of your guests dress in their best (or you can tell them to dress in their old prom clothes if they still have them). Then give them a second prom! Play music from their high school years, assign somebody walk around and (jokingly) tell couples to dance further apart, crown a King and Queen with silly crowns, and don't forget to spike the punch.
6. "Celebrate the Future" High School or College Graduation Theme
If your graduate is headed for college or a career, a fun and unique graduation party idea is to base your theme on the school or city your grad will be venturing into as he or she moves forward.
High School Version: For high school graduates moving on to college, design your decorations around the university he or she will be attending: red and blue for the school colors, tiger striped napkins for the mascot, etc.
College Grad Version: For college graduates, you'll want to base your decorations, etc., around their future career. College graduates are often moving out into the job market so consider using want ads as placemats or table decorations. If a certain graduate has a major in chemistry your punch could include a little dry ice and your theme could be mad scientist. Make it personal, and make it all about you grad's future.
7. Old fashioned Slumber Party
This is an especially good graduation party theme for a smaller, more intimate graduation party. Graduates have worked hard staying up studying... now set up a fun time for them to stay up all night playing favorite video games or board games, talking, watching movies, or singing karaoke.
Planning this party: Have all the guests bring a sleeping bag and pajamas, and, if they're over 21, their favorite cocktail. Then spend the night chatting and celebrating the future before moving on to live that future. This is an especially fun unique graduation party idea for girl grads, but also fun for boy or co-ed parties (though these will tend to be rowdier).
8. Time Travel/Time Capsule Graduation Party
This is one of my favorite unique graduation party ideas, and one of the easiest to have ton of fun with: centering your graduation party theme around the idea of a time capsule!
How to get started: Tell all of your guests to bring something that symbolizes the current year that they should place in the time capsule. Create an activity where everybody writes down what they think the graduate will be doing 10 years from now. Set up a digital camera and photo printer, and have people take silly photos to put into the time capsule.
If you want to make this theme really fun, make it a "Time Travel" theme, too. Decorate the party space with silver foil, historical pictures, and futuristic newspaper headlines (these are fun to make at home). Have your guests dress as their favorite time period, or in a costume from the future. Serve a combination of old fashioned foods and futuristic ones: Medieval turkey legs, astronaut ice cream, etc.
How to Plan a Graduation Party Successfully
Sure, planning a fabulous graduation party involves coming up with great decorations, themes, activities, foods, and all the rest. You want to keep everybody entertained and involved... this is a celebration, after all!
But remember, even the most unique graduation party ideas must include space and time for the graduates to simply talk and enjoy the company of friends. Because that's what this party is all about: celebrating an important moment with the people you love... and spending time with them before going off to live the new life you've worked so hard for.
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