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From graduation themed snacks to the cutest party decorations, these graduation party ideas are sure to be a huge hit at your celebration.

graduation party ideas

Graduating high school or college is such a huge milestone and it definitely deserves to be celebrated! 

While graduating was bittersweet, I remember being more excited than anything to plan my graduation party. I have always been the “mom” of the friend group that goes above and beyond when throwing parties for my friends, and my graduation party wasn’t going to be any different. I literally spent hours on Pinterest searching for decorations, snacks, and games to play to ensure my party was the one everyone wanted to be at. 

So if you're anything like me, you're also looking for super fun and unique ideas to plan a party of your own. The good news is you don't need to look any further because these are hands down the best graduation party ideas to use in 2024!

This post is all about the best graduation party ideas for 2024.


1. Have A Cards & Gifts Table

graduation party cards

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If there's one thing I learned after attending multiple graduation parties and throwing one of my own, it's that you definitely want a designated area for gifts and cards! Almost every guest brings cards or graduation gifts for the graduate, so having a table and card basket for guests to put them in is a great idea!

You can also set out a mini polaroid and a notebook for guests to take pictures and sign, which makes for a super cute and personalized guestbook.

2. Wooden Pallet Board Photo Display

grad party ideas

This is a graduation party idea that absolutely anyone can use at their high school or college graduation party!

If you’re willing to get a little crafty, building a wooden pallet board is a cute and easy way to display a bunch of the graduate's photos!

3. Graduation Cap Cake Pops

graduation party snacks

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How cute are these graduation-themed cake pops?! You can either have these made or DIY them yourself using this cake pop recipe and some black glitter paper!

4. "Taco Bout A Future"

graduation party buffet ideas

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If you're looking for graduation party themes, this one is definitely one to consider!

Create this super fun “taco bout a future” bar with these balloons, colorful streamers, and a cactus garland. Then set out all the ingredients for guests to make their own tacos!

5. Champagne Popsicle Bar

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A popsicle champagne bar is one of the best college graduation party ideas for adults to enjoy! Fill glasses with champagne, stick a popsicle in, and have matching drink tassels set out so guests can remember which drink is theirs.

6. Rent A Food Truck

graduation party games

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Don’t feel like cooking? No problem! Rent a food truck to serve food to all your party guests.

A ton of my friends pitched in to rent a food truck for their joint graduation party and it was surprisingly super affordable! So definitely check with your local food truck restaurants to see if they can cater your party.

7. Mini Charcuterie Boards

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How adorable are these mini charcuterie boards?!

When throwing your graduation party, one thing to keep in mind is that many of your guests have probably already been to other graduation parties or are going to more after, so they may not want a huge meal.

Having small snacks like these are the perfect way to go when planning what graduation party food to serve.

8. Custom Graduation Cookies

graduation party desserts

Credit: @p.s.sweets

You can never go wrong with custom cookies! You can either make some of your own or have these custom made for the graduate by a local baker.

There are tons of bakers in my hometown so I see these at tons of graduation parties, and everyone always lovesss them!

9. Slushy Drink Station

graduation party decorating ideas

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Did you know you can rent slushy machines? I didn’t, but dang, my high school senior self would have loved to have this at my graduation party lol.

This is such a fun and unique drink to serve that you can guarantee almost no one else will have!

10. Mini Margaritas

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If you’re a fan of margaritas, this is hands down going to be one of your favorite college graduation party ideas.

You can find these mini tequila glasses on Etsy, but if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can also DIY some of your own with clear labels and these mini glasses from Amazon!

11. Have Guests Write Their "Key To Success"

unique graduation party ideas

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While graduating high school or college is super exciting, it can also be a bit intimidating stepping into the next big chapter of your life.

Make the transition a little easier with this super cute way for guests to give advice to the graduate!

12. Host An Outdoor Graduation Party

outdoor graduation party ideas

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Graduation season is usually right around May or June, which means the weather is perfect for hosting an outdoor graduation party!

Set up a tent and cover plastic tables with tablecloths to create a super chic venue for all your party guests. If you want to go the extra mile, hang streamers and banners from the top and cover the tent “walls” with photos of the graduate!

13. Serve Veggies & Dip In Cups

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Looking for easy graduation party food ideas? This is just about as easy as it gets! Fill plastic cups with your favorite dip and pre-cut veggies for guests to grab and go.

14. Display The Graduate's Gown

graduation party table

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Whether you're looking for college or high school graduation party ideas, this is the perfect inspiration for a graduation party display of your own. You can recreate this indoors or outdoors with a fun backdrop, balloon garland, and school memorabilia.

To top it off, display the graduate's gown, cap, and cords on a mannequin to show off all their hard work!

15. Waffle Bar

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If you are having your graduation party in the morning or even early afternoon, this buffet idea is such a great food option for guests.

Set out waffles, fill glasses with different toppings, and set out different flavored syrup for guests to make their very own waffle! 

16. Hang Photos On Fairy Lights

college graduation party ideas for adults

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Fairy lights are a cute and inexpensive way to hang pictures absolutely anywhere!

This pack of lights from Amazon comes with clips on them, so all you have to do is attach the pictures, and you're good to go!

17. Give These DIY Wine Bottles As Graduation Gifts

graduation party favors

Looking for a DIY gift to give the graduate? If they are over 21, make them custom wine bottles! All you need is a bottle of the graduate's favorite wine and some labels, which you can find the full tutorial for here!

You could even do this with mini wine bottles to make party favors for guests! 

18. Display The Graduate's Cap

graduation party decorations

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This shadow box display is not only a great addition to graduation party decor, but it also makes a great graduation gift for him or her!

19. Decorate Your Front Yard

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This display is seriously one of the best when it comes to planning outdoor graduation party ideas!

You can sometimes find these letters on Etsy, but I’ll warn you, they cost a good bit. If you love this idea but not the price, you can always DIY these letters with foam core board and battery-operated lights!

It takes a little bit of work, but the outcome is definitely worth it! 

20. Hang School Shirts On Garland

graduation party display table

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Don’t want to spend a ton of money on graduation party decorations? Just use things the graduate has already!

Whether it's the school they're graduating from or the university they're headed off to, hang their school t-shirts on a string with clothespins to add that extra school spirit.

21. Outdoor Photo Display

graduation party decor ideas

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This DIY is definitely one to add to your list of graduation backyard party ideas, and I promise you don’t have to be a carpenter to build it.

You can buy wood planks like this from Home Depot, and then all you have to do is nail four wooden planks together to form a square and two in the back to make a stand.

Once you have the display nailed together, string fairy lights or string and attach photos with a clothespin!

22. Donut Wall

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A donut bar definitely makes the top of the list when it comes to graduation party ideas 2024 graduates love this year.

Etsy, Target, and Amazon all have super cute displays and other donut-themed decorations to make this table one that really stands out!

23. Outdoor String Lights & Garland

graduation backyard party ideas

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If you’re planning on having an outdoor graduation party, you won’t want to forget all the outdoor decorations! String outdoor lights and other hanging decorations from all the trees at your party.

24. DIY Photo Booth

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If there’s one thing that's guaranteed at your graduation party, it's that you’ll be taking all kinds of pictures. So, you want to make sure you have a super cute backdrop for you and your guests to take photos in front of!

And the best part is you don't have to spend a ton of money to create one.

All this graduation party idea requires is a backdrop stand, a fun banner or tassel garland, and a sheet, which you can find all on Amazon!

25. Play Graduation Party Games

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Whether you're looking for graduation party ideas for daughters or sons, party games are guaranteed to make the perfect addition to their celebration. You could even buy gift cards or other small gifts to give out to all the winners!

Amazon and Etsy have a ton of graduation party games to choose from that are sure to be a hit.

26. Pre-Package Cookies As Party Favors

graduation decoration party ideas

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Prepackage cookies and other desserts in these cute goodie bags from Amazon! This way guests can grab one as they walk in or head out the door.

27. Mimosa Bar

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Hosting a college graduation party? This mimosa bar is such a fun graduation party idea for all the adults, especially if your party is in the morning or early afternoon.

28. Charcuterie Cups

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I used to suggest to everyone to have snack boxes of cheese, crackers, and other food items, but now that I've seen this charcuterie cup idea, I'll recommend this from now on!

It's so aesthetic and easier to do than a huge charcuterie board or table, and I am sure that everyone at your party will love it!

29. Trendy Graduation Centerpieces

2022 graduation party ideas

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Add these trendy graduation-themed decorations to any of your table centerpieces, vases, and flowers. You could even set a few out by the photo booth for guests to take pictures with!

30. Classy Graduation Signs

graduation signs

If you are having a graduation party and are in need of some signs, I've got you covered!!

These signs are formatted so they can easily be printed out on your printer at home. I have seen people print them out on cards or even use them to create yard signs.

Let your creativity run wild and put these graduation signs anywhere you decide!

31. Sequin Backdrop

graduation party photo booth

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Here is a graduation party backdrop for all the trendy graduation in 2024! 

This graduation party idea is sure to be the focal point of your party that everyone will be dying to take pictures in front of. 

32. Have An Intimate Picnic Dinner With Friends

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Don’t feel like throwing a massive party? This idea is the one for you.

Level up your normal picnic setup with matching dishes, floral arrangements, candles, and floor pillows to create an intimate dinner celebration with your close friends and family that will feel even more special.

33. Graduation Themed Candy Bar

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A graduation-themed candy bar is a classic graduation party idea that is sure to be a hit every time.

Fill jars or metal buckets with an assortment of candy and DIY your own graduation-themed candy labels.


What activities do you do at a graduation party?

The main purpose of throwing a graduation party is to give the graduate an opportunity to celebrate with all their friends and family so most of the party will be spent socializing. But, you also want to have some activities planned to keep everyone engaged!

If you are having your graduation party outdoors, you can set up yard games like Spikeball and corn hole. If you are hosting an indoor graduation party, graduation-themed games such as “The Price is Right” and “Graduate Bingo” are a great way to get all your party guests involved. Some other activities might include having a fun photo booth, or hiring a DJ for guests to dance to!

How do you make a good graduation party?

The key to throwing a memorable graduation party is planning. You want to be sure you have all kinds of fun activities and games to keep guests entertained. And of course, no graduation party is complete without some super cute decorations and yummy food!

How do you throw an inexpensive graduation party?

If you are looking to throw a graduation party on a budget, consider DIY-ing most of your graduation party decorations! You can also cut down the cost by serving snack foods instead of bigger meals since most guests only want a snack anyway! 

What do you serve at a graduation party?

When planning what food to serve at your graduation party, keep in mind that many guests have been or are going to other graduation parties so you probably don’t need to make as much food as you think. Snacks like cheese, crackers, fruits, and cookies are inexpensive and easy options that won’t leave you with a ton of leftover food after the party. Finger food like mini sliders and sandwiches are also great options if you want to serve a more substantial meal. 

How much does the average graduation party cost?

On average, close to $1000 is spent when throwing a graduation party. However, you can spend much more or less depending on where the event is hosted, what activities you plan, and how many guests you invite.

How long should a graduation party last?

Graduation party season is super busy so there are more than likely going to be several other graduation parties on the same day. Plan your graduation party to last around 3-4 hours to allow plenty of time for all your guests to stop by.

This post was all about the best graduation party ideas for 2024.

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