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Grad Party Outdoor Ideas

pavilion graduation photo

Our grad party outdoor ideas will help you plan and create the perfect outdoor party celebration. Everything is always better al fresco especially with nature as your backdrop.

Grad Party outdoor ideas

It’s time to celebrate!

Whether you’re planning a college graduation party or a high school graduation, we have lots of ways to make it special. 

First thing that you need to figure out is how many people you plan on hosting. 

Once you know how many people you would like to have at your grad party, you can start getting into the details.

Figure out an approximate budget, the largest costs will be for the setting and food. Deciding on a location first will help you plan the rest of the party’s expenses.

grad party ideas

Grad Party outdoor location ideas

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Some questions to help you decide on your grad party location options.

  1. Are you able to or would you like to have this party at your place? 
  2. Do you have the space for the party? If yes, you will also need to find or rent tables, chairs & table cloths

       There are many affordable tents available if you would like to have your food and guests under cover. 

  1.  Does your space have a bathroom available for guests to use? Some people don’t want their private bathrooms used if you are planning for a large number of guests.
  2.  Does your space have enough parking for your event?

Another great option would be to rent a pavilion from a local park or lake. These are usually very affordable and set in attractive settings. Public bathrooms and plentiful parking are also usually available if you decide to go that route.. 

Try finding available parks and pavilions by checking county and state park websites. 

Larger budgets could also look into renting outdoor spaces at country clubs or restaurants. If you rent these places, your food and drink options will be catered by them. This will obviously cost more, but they will take care of the majority of the details for you.

Whereas you will be able to bring your own food and drinks (although probably not alcohol) if you rent from local or state parks.

Check out some mobile bars that may be able to take care of the liquor permits for you. They may also have location ideas for you. There are many fun options from converted horse trailers to van conversions.

 A quick Google search of “mobile bars near me” will show you some local options. 

grad party outdoor decorations

Graduation party outdoor decoration ideas


By far the most flexible decorations I have ever purchased are paper lanterns. They can create the basis for many different party themes. They are easy to place from tree branches, pavilions or outdoor structures. 

Another perfect decoration is balloon garland. They are easy to set up and cost effective. There are also so many color combinations to choose from to match your theme. 

Add some in season flowers from your local Costco or grocery market for some inexpensive centerpieces. We created some centerpieces by spray painting branches white and hung paper lanterns from the branches. These created a large visual that looked great on the large banquet tables.

For very large tables we used simple white table cloths with a burlap runner in the photos above. We chose that for the flexibility of being able to use it for future parties also.

For ease of clean up, we used disposable plates, napkins and silverware.

We created a collage of memories and added them to a foam core board. Your guests will love to reminisce. With you over all the great times shared together.

Another idea is to print out a quarter size school logo, print out on matte double sided paper, it’s a good thickness) cut each logo out and glue to wooden toothpicks. These can be set in the cupcakes or any other dessert to celebrate where they came from or where they are going!

outdoor graduation party food ideas

Grad party outdoor food ideas

We chose foods that are easy to walk around with and don’t need to be kept warm. We created charcuterie boards of meat & cheese and veggies with dips. The key to charcuterie boards is to place ingredients on the board in different shapes. 

outdoor grad party charcuterie boards

By having a variety of boards, guests can either graze or make sandwiches for something more substantial. .Mini desserts are also easy to eat while socializing!

Backyard Bar Ideas

grad party drink ideas

Having a sangria bar is the perfect drink for outdoor graduation parties. We have recipes that are delicious and can be tweaked for your personal taste. 

Use mason jars with different cut up fruits for your guests to add to their own glasses.

Sangria Bar Tips for parties

More Drink Station Ideas

Grad party outdoor games

The great thing about having an outdoor grad party, is that you can have plenty of room for some really fun  games. From cornhole to yard darts there are so many to choose from for all ages.

Conclusion Grad Party Outdoor Ideas

Hopefully we are able to give you some ideas to create your own fabulous outdoor grad party. Take some inspiration from our photos of an outdoor grad party, especially our charcuterie boards! They look fantastic and taste even better.



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