This is an article all about trendy graduation party ideas.
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Graduation season is coming up very soon, which means that it’s time to start planning your long-awaited graduation party!
Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, making it all the way to graduation is a huge accomplishment, and you should feel so, incredibly proud of yourself!
Your journey to graduation is unique and worth celebrating, so your graduation party should feel equally unique and specific to you.
If you want your graduation party to be one to remember, we’ve got you covered!
We’ve rounded up 22 of our favorite trendy graduation party ideas for 2024, giving you all the inspiration you need to throw a graduation party that does justice to this momentous milestone.
Here are 22 Trendy Graduation Party Ideas for Graduation Season
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Trendy Graduation Party Ideas
1. Chalkboard Photo Op
If you’re looking for a cute photo opportunity for your graduation party, try posing with a decorated chalkboard!
Using chalk paint and a small or medium-sized chalkboard, you can write a funny joke, inspirational quote, or any other message that you can think of that captures this special moment.
2. School Color Scheme
Theming your graduation party decor around a school color scheme is always a smart idea.
You can choose the color scheme of the high school or university you just graduated from, or if you’re moving onto college or grad school, you can choose the color scheme of your new institution!
3. Graduation Cap Photo Op
Another super cute photo op idea is to gather up a bunch of props, like graduation caps or cardboard cutouts that you and your guests can hold up on sticks.
All throughout your party, you’ll have fun taking silly photos using these props!
4. Instagram Hashtag
If you’re looking for a convenient place to gather all the photos, videos, and memories of your graduation party, consider coining an Instagram hashtag and asking your guests to use it in all of their posts.
That way, even after the party’s over, you can scroll through memories of the good times on Instagram!
5. Balloon Arch
Balloon arches are one of our favorite, most extravagant decor elements for a graduation party photo op.
An abundant cluster of monochromatic, yet still colorful balloons will form the perfect backdrop for all of the photos you take on this day.
Graduation Party Food/Drinks
1. Root Beer Float Station
Root beer floats are a totally underrated summer treat.
For a burst of nostalgia, treat your guests to a root beer float station, where they can combine root beer with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert that screams “the start of summer.”
2. S’mores Bonfire Station
Of course, no summer party is complete without s’mores.
If you have access to a fire pit, build a bonfire as the sun goes down and provide your guests with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers so they can enjoy as many s’mores as their hearts desire.
3. Cocktail Bar
If this is a college graduation party and most of your guests are of legal drinking age, we love the idea of a cocktail bar or station at a graduation party.
Look up ideas for cocktails that you can make in big batches and put in a glass dispenser for your guests to sip on all night.
4. Charcuterie Board
Nothing says “classy graduation party” like a classic charcuterie board full of different cheeses, meats, fruit, and crackers.
Take inspiration from this charcuterie board and incorporate a variety of different shapes, textures, and flavors into your charcuterie board, to make sure that it caters to a range of different tastes!
5. Candy Buffet
If you and your guests have a sweet tooth, try setting out a graduation-themed candy buffet for them to snack on during your party.
Fill little buckets with your favorite candies, like gummy worms, lollipops, and chocolates.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can also stick signs in each bucket that have academic puns on them, like “smart cookie,” “honor roll,” or “book worms!”
6. Taco Truck
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal to feed your guests during your graduation party, you can’t go wrong with getting catering from a taco truck.
This iconic street food is a total crowd pleaser that your guests are sure to enjoy. Looking for more taco-inspired graduation party ideas? Here’s how to throw a taco-themed graduation party.
Trendy Graduation Party Decor
1. Graduation Memory Poster
Celebrate yourself, your journey to graduation, and the accomplishments you’ve achieved along the way with a graduation memory poster.
You can print out photos of your favorite memories from high school or college and collage them on a giant poster so that you and your loved ones can reminisce on the ups and downs of your academic journey!
2. Graduation Year Balloons
Of course, no graduation party is complete without some giant mylar balloons that spell out your graduation year.
These provide the perfect centerpiece of any graduation party decor, and as an added bonus, you and your guests can pose with them in photos!
3. Photo Centerpieces
To decorate the tables at your graduation party, try making these DIY photo centerpieces.
Each centerpiece contains a graduation photo of you, surrounded by sprigs of flowers and greenery, all contained in a cute and rustic mason jar.
4. Inspiration Quote Chalkboards
If your graduation party has got you feeling a little sentimental, try decorating your event space with chalkboards that have your favorite inspirational quotes on them.
Do you have a special song lyric, poem, or quote from a book that got you through high school or college?
This is the perfect opportunity to share those words with your loved ones on your special day!
5. Lawn Signs
If you’re hosting your graduation party at your house, you can’t go wrong with a classic celebratory lawn sign.
Placing a sign like this on your front lawn lets everyone in the neighborhood know about your huge accomplishment! Why not brag a little?
Grad Party Activities
1. Polaroid Cameras
To add a personal touch to your graduation party, hand out Polaroid cameras to your guests and encourage them to take photos of themselves as they celebrate.
You can even compile all the photos in a scrapbook so you have a physical reminder of this special day.
2. Advice Jar
Another of our favorite graduation party ideas for 2024 is an advice jar.
Ask your guests to write down their best life advice on little slips of paper and put them in a mason jar for you to read later.
3. Memory Book
For this grad party idea, all you need is a notebook and pens.
Ask your guests to sign the book with their fondest memories of your time together, so you can carry them with you as you enter the next chapter of your life!
4. Future Plans Map/Globe
A future plans map or globe is a quirkier take on the memory book idea.
Instead of a book, have your guests sign a world map or globe, which symbolizes the way that the world is wide open for you after graduation!
5. Lawn Games
If your graduation party is a backyard party, you’ve got to furnish your guests with some lawn games, like bocce, giant Jenga, and cornhole.
These classic games are a great way to entertain your guests and help them form new connections as they gather to celebrate you!
6. Lantern Release
To close out your party, you and your guests can release a sky lantern, a beautiful way to finish off a night full of celebration!
Just make sure you check that sky lanterns are allowed in your area—because they’re made with real fire, they might pose a hazard in some climates.
Graduating from high school or college is one of the most significant milestones in your life, so why not throw a party that’s equally as significant to celebrate?
From the decor to the food to the activities, these trendy graduation party ideas will ensure that your graduation party is one for the books, no pun intended!
And check out our ultimate guide to graduation party planning for many more ideas!