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It’s the time of year when Pomp and Circumstance (The Graduation March) will be the processional tune in many school gymnasiums, auditoriums and arenas.  Graduation day is a very special day for graduates from middle school, high school or college.  Since I have hosted graduation parties for my three children, I asked Dianne if I could share some of my simple graduation party ideas with you.

graduation party ideas - books

Graduation Party Ideas for Middle School

When my son and two daughters each graduated from eighth grade, I hosted graduation parties for family.  My kids also invited a few close friends from their 8th grade class.

  • Decorate the house in the school colors of the high school the graduate will be attending in the fall.  I decorated our house with green and white streamers, balloons and table cloths.
  • Make a poster decorated with photos from when the graduate was little to the present day.
  • Place out memorable artwork they made during the grade school years, along with any awards or certificates they received while in middle school.
  • Since I invited a small number of guests, I was able to make pans of baked mostaccioli and lasagna.  I also had salad and bread sticks.



Graduation Party Ideas for High School

When my son graduated from high school last year,  I hosted a larger party for this occasion than his middle school graduation.

  • Decorate the house with the school colors of the college or university your graduate will be attending.   I decorated the house in black and yellow as my son chose to attend the University of Iowa.
  • For table centerpieces, I placed yellow flowers in small bud vases and tied black ribbon around the vases.  I displayed a University of Iowa flag outside the front of our house and a garden flag in the backyard.
  • Encourage your graduate invite his or her teammates, fellow club members or theater friends.
  • Invite close families from the neighborhood that your child grew up with.
  • Create a DVD slide show set to meaningful music.  Your guests will enjoy watching the memories.  You can make a DVD using pictures you have saved on your home computer.  If you have an Apple computer, this will be very easy to do using the iDVD program.  Also, many stores such as Costco and Walgreens offer this photo service.
  • Have food catered from your graduate’s favorite restaurant.  Since this party had quite a few guests, it was nice not having to spend so much time in the kitchen!   It was a casual backyard party complete with a bean bag toss game set up for guests to play.
  • Set up a fire pit for your graduate and their friends to use later in the evening.  I provided them with the ingredients to make smores!

graduation party ideas - flowers

graduation party ideas - flag

Graduation Party Ideas for College

I still have three years until I have to begin thinking about planning for a college graduation party!  I am pretty sure that I will want to keep it simple.

  • Since college grads are older, and friends drift apart as they attend different colleges, some parents choose to have a small get together at a local restaurant with close family.  This will be more intimate and possibly a cost savings.
  • Have a party with a theme to celebrate his or her career choice.  This is a meaningful way to salute the grad’s accomplishments.  A book themed party would be cute for a school teacher or journalism major.  A movie theme would be perfect for a film major.
  • Place a blank book on a table and ask guests to write any advice they have for the new graduate for post college life.


  • As they now face a professional future, some grads may not want a formal party.  They may prefer a weekend getaway trip to relax and celebrate in a lighthearted way before beginning a new job.


I hope I have given you some useful graduation party ideas!  Whatever you choose to do will be perfect for your graduate’s special day!  Don’t forget, ChristmasOrnaments.com has unique graduation gifts and great career ornaments for college grads!

Congratulations to you and your graduate!