Best Graduation Party Ideas and Gift Guide

by Alli

This post, Best Graduation Party Ideas, contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Can you believe that graduation season is almost here? Yikes! Where does the time go? If you’re in the midst of planning a graduation party, I’ve got the best graduation party ideas and recipes.

If you’re planning a graduation party, you’ll need these tips!

  1. Determine your budget (and try your best to stick with it!)
  2. Make a guest list – Use your budget to determine how many guests to invite. 
  3. Pick a location – Your home or a different venue? 
  4. Choose a date and time for your party. 
  5. Pick a theme.
  6. Plan your menu and decorations. Once you have a theme, it will be easier to plan the menu and decor. 
  7. What about entertainment? Will you hire a DJ, and have a photo booth? 
  8. Send out invites. E-invites are perfectly fine. Don’t forget to add an RSVP so you will know how many guests to invite. 
  9. Relax and have fun! 

Each year I try to come up with a different theme. Some of my favorite graduation parties are ice cream socials, pizza parties, and ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ parties.

Ideas on how to throw the perfect graduation party complete with balloons and food


I’ve got the top decor ideas, recipes, and take-home favors. The only problem you will have is deciding which of these ideas you’ll use. Just click on the links to find all kinds of great ideas.

Best Graduation Party Ideas

Graduation Party Decor – Click the links below to find the best graduation party decor. 

  1. Oh The Places You’ll Go
  2. Giant Balloon Messages
  3. Balloon Superlatives
  4. Graduation Memory Board
  5. Graduation Cap Straws
  6. Sprinkle Graduation Year Centerpiece
  7. School Photo Props
  8. Yay Balloon Marquee
  9. Memory Wreath
  10. Graduation Hat Card Box

The Best Graduation Party Ideas

Best Food Ideas For A Graduation Party

  1. Pretzel Graduation Caps
  2. Pretzel Graduates
  3. Mini Cupcake Graduation Hats
  4. Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Diplomas
  5. Cookie Bar
  6. Graduation Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  7. Diploma Sandwiches
  8. Milk & Cookie Shooters
  9. Walking Tacos


The Best Ever Graduation Party Ideas

  1. Gumball Tube Favors
  2. Bright Future Favors
  3. Smartee Flute Favors

I usually order the tableware and decorations online and these are some of my favorites.


balloon decorations for graduation party

Photo Booths are always a big hit at parties. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Find a great backdrop, add some graduation-themed props and you’re good to go.


photo booth props for graduation party 2023

It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing a huge bash or just having a few friends over to celebrate your graduating senior, these graduation ideas will work perfectly.

Graduation Gift Ideas – Click the photos down below for more info!

  • Cash 
  • Gift Cards
  • Backpack 
  • College Merch – t-shirts, hoodies, etc. 
  • Portable Cell Phone Charger
  • New Laptop
  • TV Streaming Service
  • Headphones
  • Cookbook
  • Coffee Maker
  • Small Tool Kit 
  • luggage 


valmg @ Mom Knows It All April 9, 2018 - 5:40 am

I went to a Sweet 16 that had a photo booth and everyone had a blast in there. I’m not hosting any graduation parties for a couple more years but it’s always good to think ahead.

Amber Myers April 9, 2018 - 8:18 am

What fun ideas! I’m not sure if we’ll do a graduation party or not. I never had one. My son probably won’t care. I could see my daughter wanting one though.

candy April 9, 2018 - 8:48 am

Hard to believe that graduations are just around the corner. Time to start planning and all of your ideas are wonderful. From the food to the decorations.

Tasheena April 9, 2018 - 9:15 am

Love these graduation party ideas. The food looks so yummy and the decor ideas are so unique.

Farrah Less April 9, 2018 - 9:27 am

So many fun and great ideas to choose from perfect timing. As my sister-law and I are organizing a graduation party for my niece who is going to College. I love the traveling sort of decor, anyone could relate to it.

Terri Beavers April 9, 2018 - 10:16 am

Tyler will be graduating in a few years and I’m already on the hunt for graduation ideas. Those pretzels are just too cute. I’ve added them to my list along with a couple more ideas.

Sandy N Vyjay April 9, 2018 - 11:13 am

Graduation parties have a different aura altogether. Nice to know that you organize these in your church.These are some great ideas to make the event fun and memorable for all. The idea of a photo booth is always something which people love. Food again is an important part. Pizzas or ice-creams should win hands down.

Ashley April 9, 2018 - 2:49 pm

How cute to do the Oh the places you’ll go theme. I love that book and we read it every year when the school year ends.

Janet- shabbyfufu April 9, 2018 - 3:36 pm

Love this theme and am doing a wedding in in less than 2 weeks so I may use that balloon with the photo idea!

Heather April 9, 2018 - 4:47 pm

When I graduated high school my foster parents gave me the book by Dr. Suess, “Oh the places you’ll go”. I’ve recently given it to my son. I love that as a graduation gift.

Terri Steffes April 9, 2018 - 5:32 pm

Graduation parties are so fun! My cousin has one coming up in Florida. I wish I could go!I know it will be a blast!!

Karen Morse April 9, 2018 - 6:40 pm

Talk about a fun grad party! These are all very nice ideas and I’m pretty sure everyone will love whatever you pick. I love those little graduation hat cupcakes! They’re so adorable!

Reesa Lewandowski April 9, 2018 - 7:08 pm

These are such great ideas! I will save this for when we have our graduations next year!

Bonnie G April 9, 2018 - 7:26 pm

All my life I have walked past graduation decorations because it never pertained to me but now it finally does. I can’t wait to use some of these ideas for my daughters graduation party.

Heather April 10, 2018 - 10:00 am

I’m not sure you could have had better timing. I’m actually planning my daughter’s graduation party this week! I love the Dr. Seuss theme. It’s actually perfect!

brianne April 10, 2018 - 10:41 am

What great ideas for a graduation party! My son is going to middle school next year and this party decor is just perfect for the party we are planning for him!

Anosa Malanga April 11, 2018 - 4:00 am

Ohh I love the ideas! My cousin will soon be graduating and this is great ideas. I personally love the Mini Cupcake Graduation Hats so I guess I will make this for her.

Karen Ching May 21, 2018 - 1:16 am

All of these look awesome! I really love those graduation hat cupcakes, they look so cute! I just graduated a year ago, but I guess all of these design would be also be great on our reunion party!


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