Someone is graduating and you want to throw a graduation party? Need a little guidance? Congrats to YOU for coming to the right place.
Follow these simple “Do and Don’t” suggestions for a graduation party and you will have everyone feeling good and doing the graduation shuffle.
DO this/NOT that:
- DO have clusters of 5-6 balloons as table centerpieces; DO NOT inhale helium and talk like a chipmunk at the party
- DO go to a dollar store and stock up on graduation banners and other supplies to decorate the party scene; DO NOT create your own banner with poster board and a Magic Marker
- DO have a grad party indoors at a house, apartment club house, country club or restaurant; DO NOT have a grad party outdoors as it could rain and be r-u-i-n-e-d. A home or clubhouse, next to a swimming pool, however, could serve double-duty.
- DO have music drifting through the party – such as a karaoke machine set up for guests to tinker with – doubling as something to listen to; or a popular music mix you put together on a CD. DO NOT plug in a boom box and listen to AM radio
- DO have distractions for guests, such as a rented photo booth, chocolate fountain, caricature artist, fortune teller, Las Vegas-style poker tables, or rented inflatable bounce house/slide; DO NOT show off your hula-dancing skills
- DO serve yummy food, set up at different tables throughout the party area; DO NOT get too fancy…it’s a graduation party, not a wedding!
GREAT GRADUATION GRUB
- Ice cream station – At one small table, set out ice cream toppings purchased from the grocery store such as squirt bottles of flavored syrups – chocolate, caramel and strawberry malt; sprinkles, crushed Oreo cookies and crushed Butterfinger candy bars. Keep the ice cream cold in a freezer or ice chest filled with dry ice.
- Pizza. Order your favorite pizza and have several arranged on a table with paper plates and napkins. Keep extra pizzas warm in the oven and roll them out as needed. Also consider serving calzone’s or stromboli.
- Giant subs. Think Jason’s Deli or Subway.
- Big casseroles. Everyone loves a big scoop of a delicious casserole, which are easy to make and easy to serve. Place casseroles in large, disposable foil pans. Offer macaroni and cheese, king ranch casserole and/or cheese and chicken enchiladas.
- Grill. If you have the time – and weather permits – grill up a few slabs of beef and chicken fajitas. The cook can grill the meat in advance, or if he’s looking for something to keep himself occupied, grill during the party. Serve with sautéd onions and red bell peppers, soft flour tortillas – plus garnishes such as sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole and pico de gallo. Also consider the old standbys, burgers and hot dogs.
- Other food – Chilled pasta salad, trays of cookies and brownies, 5-oz. plastic champagne glasses filled with Asian coleslaw, large bowl of chopped salad (kept chilled by placing the salad bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice — dressing on the side to avoid soggy salad.)
No graduation party would be complete without a cake. Make one or order a graduation-theme cake from a bakery. Alternatively, serve cupcakes with graduation decorations.
DRINKS ON THE HOUSE
- Big money: Rent a slushee machine for serving non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas;
- Little money: Ice cooler filled with various sodas
- Other beverages to include: 30 qt. coffee pot with creamer and sugar on the side placed next to the cake, along with several cases of chilled, bottled water.
- Cover tables with tablecloths (plastic is okay)
- Consider a piñata stuffed with candy as entertainment
- Limit alcohol availability to white wine spritzers or beer in the fridge and do not allow underage youths to drink alcohol – no matter what