Spring brings flowers, warmer weather, and the anticipation of graduation season. It can be exciting, stressful, and fun – and that’s just the grad party planning. To give you a head start, here’s a list of 10 fresh grad party ideas for your graduating senior.
1. Display photos through the years.
Try this old standby – with a twist. Collect the usual school pictures from all 12 grades and kindergarten, but put those photos on small yard posts and stick them in the ground along the driveway. Guests will see the grad through the years as they walk toward the party, creating a memorable entrance.
2. Create a #hashtag for the party.
Social media is such a huge part of so many events. Why not choose a hashtag for your party? #JakesGradParty or #GradGreta. Leave out signs to let your guests know to use the hashtag in photos on Instagram or in Tweets. After the party, you can go back and search the hashtag to see their pictures and messages.
3. Mini tasting parties.
With so many grad parties, some guests might not want or need a large spread with a heavy meal at each stop. Change it up with some mini treats in mini containers that make it easy to simply munch and mingle. Wrap mini hot dogs like diplomas, serve mini fruit cups, or indulge in mini cupcakes for dessert, rather than a large piece of cake.
4. Jenga memory blocks.
It’s easy to get a guest book to set out on the table at a party. Everyone’s signed those before. But here’s a different idea: Get some Jenga blocks and have guests signs those rather than that boring old paper book. Provide a bowl of Jenga blocks with colored fine-tipped Sharpies and leave a little sign to instruct guests to share their best memories of the grad.
5. Use mason jars instead of glasses.
Save the mess of so many cans or paper cups by using mason jars. Set out a bunch of jars on a table for guests to use. They can either take them home, or you can keep them and throw them right into the dishwasher. Less waste!
6. Pick a theme.
You can always use school colors, but your party can stand out by picking a different theme. How about a Dr. Seuss party? Set out various books that perhaps you can tie into what kind of food you serve. (“One Fish, Two Fish…” maybe?) Add a banner or sign that says, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”
7. Set up a school-themed photo booth.
Have an area for a photo booth for guests to use. Have some props available, like hats, fake mustaches or signs with the high school logo and tags like “best hair,” “most athletic” or “class clown.”
8. Make ice cream easier.
A common idea for parties is a root beer float or ice cream sundae bar. This can get tricky for serving purposes, since ice cream obviously can’t be out on a serving table. It will take some work ahead of time, but dish out ice cream into mason jars and place those in ice chests, coolers of portable freezers at the party.
9. Grad-themed candy.
Provide Ring Pops for class rings, Smarties candies to congratulate the grad, or serve gummy worms and call them “book worms.”
10. A unique card box.
Anybody can have a basket or plain box for guests to drop their cards for the graduate. Try to mix it up. Get an old vintage suitcase, for example, for the cards to be placed into.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.