Graduation Party Tips and Ideas

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
And can anyone give me hints on how to cook for a boat load of people?

I was looking online for slsh this morning, and wondered whether it might be a good idea to start a thread for Graduation Party ideas here on Watercooler. To start us off, here are three sites I liked. Please add your thoughts and ideas, too.

Congratulations to all our Graduates!


This one has music and activity suggestions. One of them is: Each adult attending the party writes what they did the year after they graduated. There are food suggestions and recipes, too.

This one walks us through preparation, and reminds us . I love Fly Lady.

This one has some nice ideas, too.



Well-Known Member
A taco bar perhaps. Pizzas from lil ceasers not too expensive. Chips dips, pigs in a blanket, pop corn , Teenagers will eat anything.


Well-Known Member
Food for 200. We've done funeral teas that big.

Do not get into anything complicated, and keep your number of items low. You don't need anything fussy. You need a short list of snacks, something filling enough to count as a meal, and some desserts. And then... make sure you have LOTS of each. For example:

Snacks: Nuts, chips and dip, crackers and cheese.

Sound simple? It is... unless you want 5 kinds of chips and 8 kinds of crackers and some complicated combination of cheeses. Keep things to "max of threes". Three kinds of chips. Three kinds of crackers. Three kinds of cheese. It makes it easy to remember what goes where when you are refilling. In any combination, consider the tastes of all age groups present. Kids don't tend to like aged smoked cheddar... adults get tired of brick.

Keep your "meal" stuff more finger-based. Pizza. Hamburgers (but they can be messy). Tacos. Chicken wings / drums. Smokies on a bun. And no, you don't need three complete meal types... but again, consider the ages and tastes present.

And yes, the rule of three applies to dessert too. Example: Cake and ice cream, cookies, and fruit salad. OR, Ice cream, with fruit salad and two other toppings, and cookies or squares on the side.


Well-Known Member
How you do the party depends on the amount of people attending. Jumper's party was huge. Our house wasnt. A friend's parents offered to have it at their house and they had an in ground pool, rare in Wisconsin. A lot of friends brpught food they cooked so we had everything. Her bff baked the cake. She did not get the DJ she wanted as the kids had many parties that night so there were none left!
The kids mostly revolved around the pool snd went back and forth for food. And many kids were going from one party to another. Eventually jumper left her own party to visit!
My advice is to take your kid into consideration. All my other kids had smaller mostly family parties. Jumper was the only really outgoing kid who knew everyone at school. Even teachers of hers and coaches showed up. We knew from the start that wed need more tor her party. The other kids really wanted small, no fuss. Each got his/her own personality party.


Active Member
I did the photo board thing. It was a HUGE hit! Not too much work, and it was enjoyable as heck. My local pharmacy had a digital-to-print kiosk and that worked very nicely. (OH - this was party for PC25, GFG31 never graduated....) People loved wandering around and studying the boards. PC25 was big into sports, and Mom took LOTS of pics. Friends and parents had a lot of fun picking themselves out in the various shots.

I also framed his Kindergarten graduation certificate and had that sitting out. I did 5 or 6 photo boards, 8 or 9 framed pics set in various spots.

I made Italian Beef waaaay ahead of time, a big batch at a time over several weekends, and froze it in ziplock freezer bags. Night before the party I took the bags outta the freezer and into the fridge. Morning of the party I emptied the bags into a Nesco Roaster. Perfect!

Local grocery store made the sheet cake. Also I got a half-barrel of Root Beer ~ that was a big hit, too! I had a cooler with water bottles and coke & 7-up also. I don't remember what all we had for snacks. Probably a couple kinds of chips, and a veggie tray. I don't recall what we did for music.

We set all this up with various patio tables in our garage. The boards went up all over the front, stuck to the outer doors of the storage cabinets on the front wall. We had a manageable turnout and a really nice time. DEX gave PC25 a sweet Toyota Tacoma truck for Graduation! That was a very good day.

(GFG31 never showed up, sadly. He said he had no transportation but I suspect there were other reasons)


so ready to live

Well-Known Member
Hi all. I think taco bar's a great idea. We went to one where they did pulled pork, all cooked ahead and then put in roaster with barbecue sauce. No matter what, roasters and crockpots are a wonderful help. good to just go with what the grad wants in way of large party or just family thing. One thing we found so helpful is friends who offered to "man the food table" They helped us set up and then refilled as needed, so we were free to visit with guests. We reciprocated when their daughter graduated.