Choosing a theme for your high school graduation party helps bring the event together and highlights something unique about the graduate. With unique decorations, menus, and even guest costumes, your party will stand out from others.
Current Graduation Party Themes
From the plates to the party games, pop culture phenomena can inspire a truly unique graduation party.
A new era has begun
This theme is cool and timely, regardless of whether you’re inspired by the book, the movie, or virtual reality (VR). The book is set in the future, specifically in 2045, so you can use that theme as well.
- Instead of sending snail mail invitations, send virtual invitations.
- Players can dress up as video game characters or wear name tags with their gaming names instead of their real names.
- Allow guests to try out a VR experience.
- Serve foods from the book or movie, such as soy bacon and powdered eggs
Everything important today is posted on Instagram in a catchy photo. It is possible to create a fun event centered around pictures using the iconic Instagram logo and screen design.
- Provide guests with a DIY photo booth with props so they can create new memories.
- Set up a hashtag so people can share photos on social media during the party.
- Empty picture frames can be used to highlight individual dishes on the buffet table.
- You can get decorations and paper goods in the Instagram logo colors of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and blue.
A Guide to Finding Fantastic Teens
Harry Potter is a never-ending source of inspiration for readers and movie-goers of all ages. There are many strange and unique creatures found in the magical world in the Fantastic Beasts films.
- Decorate with mythological creatures, but replace their faces with those of your graduate and their classmates.
- Magical creatures are kept in a brown suitcase by the main character in the films. If you want to add dimension to the buffet table, you can use antique suitcases of all sizes to house plates and cups.
- Invite guests to dress as their favorite Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts character.
- Serve foods and drinks found in the franchise such as butterbeer or strudel.
I killed it because you did
The zombie is a popular theme in almost all media, including TV and video games. Make your party zany with a “You Killed It” theme.
- Dress guests as zombies.
- In honor of zombies, serve dishes that resemble brains, such as pasta or a brain jello mold.
- Decorations should look disheveled and torn like zombie clothes.
The world is ruled by technology, so why not let it rule your party as well? You should celebrate your high school success in the hope that you can “copy & paste” that success into a successful college career or adult life.
- Serve food and drinks that look like exact copies, but have different flavors. The color of strawberry lemonade and raspberry soda is similar, for example.
- Dress as twins and ask guests to choose a partner.
- You can decorate your room with the “Ctrl” and “V” keys of a keyboard or images of them.
What a strange world
Netflix’s popular series works well for grad parties because it features the real world and another dimension, symbolizing high school and adult life.
- In an iconic scene from the show, spell out “Congratulations” using colored Christmas lights.
- To enter the next dimension, guests must push through a gap in the middle of the doorway in separate rooms of the venue.
- As the show is set in the 1980s, use popular items from that era.
- You can serve Eggo waffles, the iconic food eaten by Eleven, as well as tater tots, Coca-Cola, and tuna noodle casserole.
There is a music festival
For one last night of fun with high school friends, create your own Coachella in the backyard.
- Set up distinct food areas such as a coffee shop and Asian section or hire a few food trucks for the event.
- Get a live band to play the party or, if possible, lineup several bands throughout the night.
- Set up fun art activities where guests can throw paint-filled balloons at a white sheet or something similar to create a memorable keepsake for the graduate.
Funny Graduation Party Themes
If your graduate has a great sense of humor, try out a funny party theme.
As you move from high school senior to college freshman, you’ll be “changing hats.”
- Invite guests to wear different kinds of hats.
- Serve chips and dips in upside-down plastic hats.
- Decorate with coat racks or hooks around the event and hang different types of hats on them.
See Into the Future
Take a glimpse into your future with a psychic graduation party.
- Hire a psychic or two to give free readings to guests.
- Give out graduation year sunglasses to show that your “future is bright.”
- Decorate with light, see-through fabrics reminiscent of a psychic’s crystal ball table.
- Use snow globes as centerpieces to mimic crystal balls.
You survived high school by being an extreme survivalist. Plan your party around shows like “Survivor” or “Naked and Afraid” (minus the naked part).
- Choose an outdoor venue in or near the woods or another extreme landscape.
- Serve classic camping foods like S’mores cooked over a live fire or dehydrated and freeze-dried food options like survivalists use.
- Use shades of brown and green for your color scheme.
You Glow Girl/Boy
Host a nighttime graduation party filled with glow-in-the-dark decor.
- Hand out glow necklaces and bracelets to guests and ask them to wear reflective clothing.
- Use LED candles under colored plastic cups to help light up the food table.
- Get wireless speakers that feature lights to add visual effects.
Baby’s All Grown Up
Celebrate your baby growing up with a baby themed graduation party.
- Hang baby pictures of the graduate around the venue.
- Print out baby clip art and replace the cartoon faces with your teenager’s face.
- Serve drinks in baby bottles and snacks in empty baby food jars.
Welcome to the Real World
Life as an adult can be daunting with mortgages, bills, horrible bosses, and taking care of kids. Let your party serve as a humorous introduction to the “real world.”
- Give guests play money and charge high prices for everything from drinks to using the restroom.
- Serve make-your-own foods and drinks guests have to assemble on their own such as a taco bar.
- Decorate tables with mismatched tablecloths and plates since most young adults can afford elegant matching sets.
Classic Graduation Party Themes
Classic party themes feel nostalgic and sentimental. Personalize your event by choosing a classic theme that isn’t overly common.
Use old school-related items as decorations for your “old school” party that celebrates old high school ways.
- Make directional and food signs out of chalkboards.
- Decorate tables with wooden yardsticks, an abacus, and even antique school books.
- Serve classic cafeteria foods such as pizza boats, juice cups, and individual milks.
Words to Live By
Let inspirational words be the literal basis for all your party decor.
- Supply permanent markers and ask guests to write encouraging words on the tablecloths.
- Serve foods inspired by funny sayings or puns with explanatory signs such as a relish tray with the sign “I’m kind of a big dill.”
- Decorate with banners, prints, and wooden signs featuring famous inspirational quotes and sayings.
The Game of Life
The classic board game “Life” makes great inspiration for what’s to come after high school graduation.
- Ask guests to wear all pink or all blue to resemble the game pieces.
- Make each table a different spot from the game board by decorating a plain plastic tablecloth with markers.
- Use bright colors from the game like pink, blue, green, and yellow for the color scheme.
For teens who don’t have an after high school direction yet, a road sign theme perfectly captures this dilemma face by many graduates.
- Using classic road sign shapes and colors such as a red stop sign or mustard square sign to label foods and activities.
- Serve fast food options or classic diner dishes to symbolize stops you’d typically make on a road trip.
- Use maps as tablecloths or placemats at guest tables.
High school was only one chapter in the book of your life; celebrate what might come next!
- Write your name and the words “next chapter” on the cover of a blank notebook and leave it where guests can write wishes for your next chapter in life.
- Decorate with books or book pages on tables or made into hanging banners.
- Serve foods from famous book titles such as James and the Giant Peach, Fried Green Tomatoes, or The Grapes of Wrath.
Some say after graduation the world is full of open doors.
- Decorate with fairy doors, which are little wooden, clay, or ceramic doorways meant to decorate a fairy garden.
- Serve foods with the words “door,” “key,” or “lock” in their names such as key lime pie and bagels with lox.
- Ask guests to attach a note to an antique key that you can put on a large keyring as a keepsakee after the party.
In the world of teenagers, high school graduation is akin to the championship game they’ve worked their whole lives for.
- Serve foods in cup-style trophies.
- Decorate with a gold color scheme to represent the gold medal.
- Serve classic sporting event foods like hot dogs and nachos.
Go See the World
As you potentially move away from home after graduation you’ll have the chance to see other parts of the world. Start your adventure right now with your graduation party.
- Set up food stations inspired by different regions of the world like Asian, Latin, and American.
- Decorate with flag designs from countries around the world.
- Set up a photo booth with props representing styles of dress from different cultures such as a sombrero, beret, or kimono.
Simple Graduation Party Themes
If you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend planning an elaborate graduation party for your son or daughter, there are plenty of quick and easy themes to choose from.
- School Spirit – Buy paper goods in the school’s colors and include ask guests to wear school spirit gear from their Alma Mater.
- Cap & Gown – It’s easy to find decorations with the iconic graduation cap or gown on them.
- All About You – Feature pictures of your graduate from every year in their life with a focus on milestones and achievements at each age. Use monograms of the graduate’s initials for more personalization and for a funny twist ask guests to dress up like the graduate.
- Backyard Barbeque – A classic family picnic never goes out of style. Opt for red and white checkered tablecloths, ask everyone to bring a dish to share, and set up backyard games to play.
- Graduation Tailgate – Have everyone park their vehicles in the yard, parking lot, or field with their backs facing one another to create a party around everyone’s tailgate. There is a tailgate party section where each person can set up special drinks and snacks.
Celebrate In Style
Your teen’s graduation from high school is a milestone and a momentous occasion. A graduation party theme that reflects their personality and favorite things will make their achievement that much more special.