Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (2023)

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It won’t be long now… soon enough your grad will be walking down the aisle in their cap and gown, (the years sure do fly by, don’t they?), which means it’s time to start planning a graduation party to celebrate all their amazing accomplishments! For a no-stress graduation party your graduate and guests will flip over, check out these best outdoor graduation party ideas! BUT FIRST… my FREEgift to you! If you’d like to download the rest of myFREE Graduation Party Bundle(new floral designs!) packed with everything you need to host a fab grad party, visit myFREE Resource Library Page! Color-Themed Decorations Make a Big Impact Casual Country Buffet Easy to Recreate Rustic Floral Arrangement The Perfect Outdoor Lighting Sets the Mood Create a Rustic Cupcake Display Make Use of Multiple Levels Country Girl’s Grad Party Lit Graduation Sign Inflatable Tabletop Cooler Keeps Food and Drinks Cold Festive Outdoor Dessert Table Metal Bins For Storing Drinks Add a Photo Backdrop Backyard S’Mores Decor That Won’t Break the Bank Let’s Get This Party Poppin’ Popcorn Bar Inviting Rustic Drink Station A Tent with Balloons Sets the Stage Burgers and Brats Buffet Choose a Festive Color Theme Creative Photo Display Easy Mason Jar Vase with Burlap Mix Up Traditional Tables with High-Top Tables Add Glow to Your Gala Creative Cookie Display Transform Everyday Items Casual Elegance At Its Best Paper Lanterns and Tassels Add a Festive Flair Simple Lighting Makes a Big Impact Casual and Easy Drink Table Balloon Photo Booth Makes a WOW Statement Wheelbarrow for Gifts Lawn Games Add To The Fun Don’t Forget the Sunscreen & Bug Spray Other Graduation Party Planning Posts You May Enjoy Reading! 33 Genius Graduation Party Food Ideas 25 Killer Ideas to Throw an Amazing Graduation Party 36 Graduation Party Desserts That Will Wow Your Guests 33 Graduation Cake Ideas Your Grad Will Love 6 “Don’t Forget” Details to Make Your Grad Party a Total Standout FAQs Videos

This post offers the best outdoor graduation party ideas your guests will love / Post updated 3/2022

It won’t be long now… soon enough your grad will be walking down the aisle in their cap and gown, (the years sure do fly by, don’t they?), which means it’s time to start planning a graduation party to celebrate all their amazing accomplishments!

If you’re planning an outdoor graduation party, we’ve rounded up the best of the best outdoor graduation party ideas to make your party planning easy and fun! From simple ideas for casual family gatherings to festive and fun ideas for big backyard bashes, we’ve got it all!

For a no-stress graduation party your graduate and guests will flip over, check out these best outdoor graduation party ideas!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (1)

BUT FIRST… my FREEgift to you!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (2)
Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (3)

Download thisFREE Printable“Surround Yourself with the Dreamers” graduation sign! It’s perfect for framing and using as decor for your grad party.

For the black and white sign clickHERE! For the floral sign clickHERE!

If you’d like to download the rest of myFREE Graduation Party Bundle(new floral designs!) packed with everything you need to host a fab grad party, visit myFREE Resource Library Page!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (4)

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (5)

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Color-Themed Decorations Make a Big Impact

Who says throwing a graduation party has to be expensive? Simple, color-themed decorations that match your grad’s college colors can make a BIG impact without breaking the bank.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (6)Image: Catch My Party

Casual Country Buffet

So much to love about this buffet! The varied heights of the serveware, the bright colors with touches of fresh flowers, the pretty lanterns and the simplicity of it all is so inviting! Plus, the idea of backing up a country truck and using the flatbed is a genius idea!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (7)

Image: Pinterest

Easy to Recreate Rustic Floral Arrangement

This easy-to-recreate floral arrangement couldn’t be any cuter. A simple mason jar filled with fresh flowers and adorned with special touches to make it unique is an inexpensive way to turn any floral arrangement from ordinary to extraordinary.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (8)

(Video) Graduation Party Ideas | 5 Tips + Tricks

Image: Pinterest

The Perfect Outdoor Lighting Sets the Mood

Grab hold of a few strings of white lights and hang them from the trees to create an ambiance that’s both festive and elegant.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (9)

Image: Domestic Fashionista

Create a Rustic Cupcake Display

Cupcakes are quickly taking the place of traditional grad cakes (although having a grad cake is still a perfectly fab idea). For an idea that’s unique and fun, this rustic cupcake display will definitely get your guests talking!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (10)

Image: CrazyForUs

Make Use of Multiple Levels

There’s nothing worse than an overcrowded grad party where everyone is shoulder to shoulder. Instead, open up the party to varying levels in your home (if you have them) and create different gathering spots so guests can relax and enjoy quiet conversations.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (11)Image: Neighborhood Grad Party

Country Girl’s Grad Party

This image is proof that your grad’s party is only limited by your imagination. For the girl who’s gone country, this outdoor tribute to the grad is boot-kickin’ awesome!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (12)

Image: Pinterest

Lit Graduation Sign

An easy way to decorate your yard and add subtle lighting is by adding white twinkle lights to a graduation year sign. Make your own with cardboard or to purchase, check out Shindigz!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (13)

Image: Queenie Eileenie

Inflatable Tabletop Cooler Keeps Food and Drinks Cold

This inexpensive inflatable tabletop cooler is such a great way to keep food and drinks cold.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (14)

Image: BuzzFeed

Festive Outdoor Dessert Table

A simple round table decorated with a felt banner makes this dessert table a total standout. Add various candy, cookies, cupcakes or a graduation cake and your guests may never leave.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (15)

Image: Pinterest

Metal Bins For Storing Drinks

Metal bins are great for storing water, soda or beer. Add burlap ribbon or jute twine to the handles of the bins and separate the bins with pots of flowers for an easy and festive drink table that’s inviting and pretty.

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Image: Pinterest

Add a Photo Backdrop

A couple of wooden pallets and balloons are the perfect backdrop for all those pictures you’ll want to take of the grad and their guests. Add in a bucket of photo props to make it really fun.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (17)

Image: Graduation15.katzehund.com

Backyard S’Mores

The fun part about graduation parties is that everyone does their own thing… they are no rules! And, this backyard s’mores bar is different, fun, festive and looks amazing – plus, it’s easy to replicate!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (18)

Image: Aufloria55

Decor That Won’t Break the Bank

When the decorations budget is tight, opt for a few well-placed balloons with fresh flowers. A simple burlap runner gives the tables that final, festive touch.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (19)

Image: Tavernierspa

Let’s Get This Party Poppin’ Popcorn Bar

When your guests arrive at your child’s grad party, chances are they’ll be hitting more than one grad party that day, which is exactly why it’s not necessary to have a “full spread” of food if you don’t want to. Opt, instead, to scale back a bit and have a fun popcorn or snack bar so guests can graze on snacks while they mingle.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (20)

Image: Emma Loves Weddings

Inviting Rustic Drink Station

This drink station offers the perfect blend of rustic and elegance. It’s casually inviting and yet the pretty drink dispensers add a touch of classic elegance that will wow your guests for sure!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (21)Image: Hajar Fresh

A Tent with Balloons Sets the Stage

If you’re planning a big grad bash, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead in the event the weather doesn’t cooperate. A large tent will keep everyone dry (and out of the sun) and offers a great way to display colorful, helium-filled balloons.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (22)

Image: Party Savvy

Burgers and Brats Buffet

For a smaller grad party, there’s nothing like a backyard BBQ to celebrate your grad’s accomplishments.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (23)Image: Savvy Mom

Choose a Festive Color Theme

It’s amazing what a splash of color will do when decorating for your grad’s outdoor graduation party. Whether you choose their college colors or your grad’s favorite colors, be sure to choose a color theme and carry it throughout all your decor for a statement that really wows!

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Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (24)

Image: Pinterest

Creative Photo Display

Celebrate all your grad’s accomplishments by showcasing photos of them at their grad party. This photo display is super creative and makes it easy for guests to view the photos while relaxing and eating.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (25)

Image: Twins Dish

Easy Mason Jar Vase with Burlap

This adorable floral arrangement is so easy to recreate. Plus, it’s inexpensive! (I made my daughter’s graduation mason jar vases using a little hot glue to attach the burlap to the vase).

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (26)

Image: Lush Home

Mix Up Traditional Tables with High-Top Tables

High-top tables are a perfect alternative to traditional long tables. It gives guests a chance to stand and mingle while also having a place to set their drinks and plates. As opposed to purchasing several tablecloths, (which can get expensive), check into rental costs. Add final touches to tables with a simple floral arrangement and/or balloons.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (27)

Image: Pinterest

Add Glow to Your Gala

Turning an average balloon into an eye-catching glowing decoration for your grad party is as easy as putting a glowstick in the balloon! Toss a few across the lawn, float a few in the pool or use helium to create a cluster for table decor or at the entrance of your party. For the easy how-to instructions, click HERE!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (28)

Image: Cooking Ruthie

Creative Cookie Display

When it comes to outdoor graduation party ideas, don’t be afraid to step outside the typical party decor “box” and do something a little fun and different! I love this simple idea for serving cookies! It’s easy, rustic and works perfectly for an outdoor party.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (29)

Image: The Knot

Transform Everyday Items

Turn an everyday ladder into an amazing display with a few pieces of wood and fabric. Such an awesome idea to display desserts, a tribute to the grad with pictures, or even snacks.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (30)Image: Pinterest

Casual Elegance At Its Best

If you’re looking to host a more formal outdoor gathering, this outdoor party ambiance couldn’t be any prettier. Even though it’s simple, it’s truly elegant. Plus, the “feel” of this is relatively easy to recreate!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (31)

Image: Aufloria55

Paper Lanterns and Tassels Add a Festive Flair

When it comes to graduation parties, you can never go wrong with tassels. And, these gold lanterns and tassels are perfect for guys or girls!

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Image: Eleven Gables

Simple Lighting Makes a Big Impact

Add the perfect ambiance lighting to your outdoor grad party with twinkle lights wrapped around trees.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (33)

Image: 33Decor

Casual and Easy Drink Table

When it comes to outdoor graduation party ideas, let the party show your grad’s personality. This casual drink display with the black and white checkered cloth is fun and festive without being over the top. Plus, it works great for guys or girls!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (34)

Image: Games and Celebrations

Balloon Photo Booth Makes a WOW Statement

Create the perfect photo booth with a few balloons and a makeshift stand. Add a bucket of fun photo props so your grad and all their guests can take memorable photos.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (35)

Image: Glaminati

Wheelbarrow for Gifts

As opposed to a traditional gift table, why not do something a little different? This wheelbarrow with burlap and “GIFTS” letters attached with simple clothespins is an easy and fun idea that fits perfectly with a casual outdoor theme.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (36)

Image: Pinterest

Lawn Games Add To The Fun

No outdoor grad party is complete without a couple of fun backyard games. Choose badminton, ring toss, croquet or corn hole!

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (37)

Image: Cassidy Lucille

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen & Bug Spray

Keep your guests happy by offering sunscreen and bug spray.

Best Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas | 33 Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas Your Guests Will Love - Raising Teens Today (38)

Image: KBL – Atlas

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FAQs

How do I decorate my outdoor graduation party? ›

String and clothespins is all you need to make a beautiful backyard or garden photo display for your outdoor Grad Party. String it between trees, stakes, or over tables for the ultimate table decor. Add candles, lights or any of the centerpiece ideas we talked about earlier.

How do you throw a successful graduation party? ›

Six tips for planning a successful graduation party
  1. Determine what your graduate wants. Many parents assume a graduation party is a rite of passage, a tradition. ...
  2. Create a preliminary guest list. ...
  3. Formal paper invites are king. ...
  4. Timing. ...
  5. Entertainment options. ...
  6. Two parties in one.
Jun 9, 2015

How can I spice up my graduation party? ›

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION PARTY IDEAS:
  1. Make A Photo Backdrop With Curtains. ...
  2. Use Pictures For a Simple Centerpiece. ...
  3. Display Party Entrance Signs. ...
  4. Use Large Balloons As Photo Props. ...
  5. Display Cute Paper Straws. ...
  6. Use Graduation Banners To Decorate Spaces. ...
  7. Make (Or Order) Graduation Cap Cookies. ...
  8. Make These Graduation Cap Cupcake Stands.

What is a typical graduation party? ›

Typically a graduation party will have one guest of honor with a set timeframe of 2-4 hours and specific guest list. Your guests include immediate family, the graduate's friends, friends' parents, extended family, favorite teachers or coaches from over the years, coworkers of both the parents and the graduate.

How do you throw an inexpensive graduation party? ›

Go in with your graduate's close friends and throw a joint party. You'll share expenses and duties, making it easier on you. Make sure you are all on the same page with the budget so there's no overspending! Keep It Small – One of the best ways to keep cost low is by keeping the guest list down.

How do you set up a graduation party table? ›

How to Decorate a Graduation Table : Beautiful Decoration Ideas - YouTube

What do you wear to a summer graduation party? ›

So, when thinking about what to wear to a graduation party, it's all about finding the look that's 'just right. ' Dresses, pantsuits, skirts, dress shirts, jumpsuits, and dress pants are all perfect, basic pieces that you can build your outfit around. Choose one of these to help get your outfit off to a great start.

Is $50 a good high school graduation gift? ›

Usually, between $50 and $100 is a good amount.

Remember to always stay within what you can afford, though, and know that there are many ways to celebrate the graduate, like a thoughtful card, even if money is tight.

Can I throw myself a graduation party? ›

In case you're wondering, it's perfectly fine etiquette to throw yourself a high school or college graduation party to celebrate your achievements.

What color should a graduation party be? ›

Solid color choices include blue, orange, green, red, purple, yellow, white and burgundy. Repeat the main color choice in balloons, streamers, tableware and the centerpiece. A sprinkle of confetti on the table will produce a fun, festive effect.

Should graduation party be school colors? ›

Graduation invitations and announcements in high school colors, party decorations in college colors. Your teen may also choose “neither” and might prefer to decorate with a favorite color or a totally different palate. Their choice — any color scheme that appeals to their eye is completely fine.

What colors do you use for high school graduation? ›

Gold. This is one of the most popular colors for graduation cords because it contrasts so well with a black gown. It also signifies a variety of honors.

What time should a graduation party start? ›

The most convenient time for most guests to attend is during the weekend between noon and 6 p.m., but be considerate: many of your friends will be planning their parties on these same days at the same time. While you will not please everyone with your choice of date or time, try to avoid competing for a coveted slot.

How much food do you give at a graduation party? ›

Prepare several trays of each item so that you can replenish the food as it is consumed and provide fresh appetizers at all times. If you are serving a full meal, plan to have about one and a half pounds of food per person.

Who should be invited to a graduation party? ›

If you are planning on having a large party, you can invite your classmates, family friends, teachers, friends, and family members. You can even consider asking out-of-state family members and friends to visit so they can attend the party and celebrate this exciting moment with you.

Should you open gifts at a graduation party? ›

Q – At a graduation party, when should the graduate open gifts and thank people for the gifts. Unless a guest has requested that the graduate open his or her gift in person, it's best for the graduate to spend time mingling with the guests and then open the gifts later when everyone is gone.

What is the etiquette for high school graduation gifts? ›

It is an etiquette myth that if you receive a graduation announcement you must send a gift. Announcements do not equal invitations to a graduation. You are not obligated to give a gift, although you may choose to do so. Whether or not you send a present, a card or note of congratulations is always appreciated.

How many chairs and tables should you have at a graduation party? ›

For an Open House style event, at any given time, you should always plan to have 1/3 of your guests sitting. So if you have 100 people, you should have at a minimum of 33 chairs. And that is an absolute minimum.

What time should a graduation party start? ›

The most convenient time for most guests to attend is during the weekend between noon and 6 p.m., but be considerate: many of your friends will be planning their parties on these same days at the same time. While you will not please everyone with your choice of date or time, try to avoid competing for a coveted slot.

How much food do you give at a graduation party? ›

Prepare several trays of each item so that you can replenish the food as it is consumed and provide fresh appetizers at all times. If you are serving a full meal, plan to have about one and a half pounds of food per person.

What is the difference between an open house and a graduation party? ›

A graduation open house is a party that you host during a block of time. During the open house guests can come and go as they please. This type of party helps ensure that people who have other commitments or graduation parties can still attend.

When should you host a graduation party? ›

Timing is everything when planning a high school graduation party. June is often a busy month for families, so you might consider hosting your party in May – outside of Mother's Day and Memorial Day, of course.

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