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Step by Step Guide to a Backyard Graduation Party

Let Windy City Novelties help you plan your backyard graduation party with these helpful tips

Party Decorating & Planning Ideas Special Occasion Party Ideas Graduation Party Ideas

Step by Step Guide to a Backyard Graduation Party

April 23, 2013

When the time comes to celebrate your child’s graduation-whether it’s from middle school, high school, or college-you don’t need to break the bank renting a reception hall.  You can throw a backyard bash that will thrill the kids and celebrate their accomplishments!  As long as you have a good-sized yard, a little imagination, and the right party supplies, you’ll have no problem planning the perfect backyard graduation party, and we’re here to help every step of the way! 

Step 1:  Graduation Party Invitations

The first thing you need to do is get the word out about your party with personalized graduation invitations. Don’t forget to order enough for the graduate to pass out to their friends as well!  Since the kids will have plenty of parties they’ll need to attend on graduation weekend, an open house is ideal, allowing kids and their parents to drop in when they’re able to and allowing guests to attend multiple parties on what’s sure to be a busy party weekend!  A 4-to-5 hour block of time is best for your graduation open house.  Include all the important details on the invitation, as well as a map to your home so everyone can find it easily.  On the day of the party, hang a personalized graduation banner outside your home.  Not only will this be a great way to congratulate the graduate, but it also lets everyone know where the party is! 


Step 2:  Get some Graduation Decorations

You’ll want to be sure your yard is festive and party-ready, so be sure to mow the lawn, take care of any weeds or problem areas in the yard, and clean up the lawn furniture so there’s plenty of seating for everyone.  If needed, borrow card tables and extra chairs from friends or neighbors to handle the crowd, or just toss blankets on the grass with some throw pillows for guests to recline on.  Add a little color to your yard decor by decorating with colorful graduation dot fan decorations hanging from the trees and graduation dot swirls hung from the porch or deck railing.  Or, for an easy, quick decorating solution, order an all-in-one multicolor graduation decorating kit with streamers, banners, and buntings to make your backyard fun and festive in a snap! 

If your party will be lasting long past sundown-and with kids, that’s highly likely-you’ll want to keep your yard well lit so stocking up on pretty graduation lanterns and plenty of glow products to keep the kids amused is a necessity.  Graduation Lumitons in the graduate’s school color will be a hit with kids and adults alike, while a graduation cap LED necklace will make it easy to find the guest of honor as the lights go down.

Step 3:  Have a Backup Plan

Keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days before the party to make sure Mother Nature isn’t going to rain on the big day, and, if necessary, have a backup plan to either move the party indoors or under tents in case the skies open up.  But, with a little luck, you’ll be able to proceed as planned with your outdoor graduation party! 

Step 4:  Food and Drink Planning

With an open house-style party a buffet table stocked with plenty of finger foods is the best plan for your graduation party menu.  Not only does it keep you from being chained to the grill or kitchen, leaving you free to mingle with guests, but it also allows guests to grab food as they come and go, whether they’ve just eaten at the last party they’ve been to or are hitting your party first and are famished!  Party standards like chips and dip, cheese and crackers, meatballs, chicken wings, cocktail wieners,  mini eggrolls, taco dip, vegetable platters, brownie bites, cookies, cupcakes, and chocolate covered strawberries are surefire crowd pleasers and are easily restocked as supplies start to run low.  Fabric food covers will keep bugs and other uninvited pests away.  Keep colorful inflatable graduation coolers well stocked with soda, bottled water, and beer so guests stay refreshed in the heat. 

Stock your buffet table with plenty of festive graduation paper goods to handle those tasty treats and top the table with a colorful centerpiece, like a customized graduation centerpiece featuring a photo of the guest of honor! 

Last and Most Importantly:  Have Fun!

A backyard graduation party, surrounded by friends and family, is the perfect way to show your child just how proud you are of their accomplishments, and, as long as Mother Nature cooperates and the skies remain sunny, everyone is sure to have a good time relaxing and enjoying your cheerful decorations, delicious food, and relaxed party atmosphere! 

For tips, questions, help planning an event or for recipe and craft ideas, email our party experts at for your personal party planner!