Graduation Party and Food Ideas | Tasty Catering Skip to main content

Graduation Party and Food Ideas

The new Tasty Catering Graduation Menu is now available online for all of the upcoming summer Chicagoland graduation parties.

In honor of the graduation party menu launch, we have compiled a list of graduation party tips for any of those individuals celebrating a graduate this year, including event hosting ideas and graduation party menu ideas. Ease your party planning stress by using some of these tips and tricks below.

High School Graduation Party Ideas

Graduation parties happen in numbers.  The same year you are throwing a graduation party for your graduate, it always seems like you and your circle of friends will also be invited to a half dozen other high school graduation parties.

One of the ways to help your graduation party stand out amongst the others is by incorporating something unique, and we have a list of creative graduation party ideas—mixed, of course, amongst some of the more standard ideas that most people love—that will help create a fun, memorable graduation celebration.



Graduation Party Ideas:

1. Set it up right.

  • Rent/borrow a tent with flaps that can close in the event of inclement weather
  • String photos of the grad as a kid throughout the inside of the tent
  • Make a sign to put out front directing people to the party’s location

2. Create an easy theme.

  • Center the theme around the high school’s or future college’s school colors
  • Decorate a cake with his/her future college’s colors or emblems

3. Give the kids something to do.

  • Have a photo booth
  • Provide a bonfire later in the evening

High School Graduation Party Menu

A graduation party is not complete without a delicious, crowd-pleasing graduation party menu.  Since most high school graduation parties around here are hosted in the comforts of family backyards, most of these food ideas have been selected because they are accommodating for those types of venues.  There are a few larger-scaled ideas, however, and those ideas are better suited for a forest preserve or another outdoor space.

Italian beefFried Chicken

Graduation Party Menu Ideas:

1. The classic three-dish combination:

  • Italian beef with sweet peppers and giardiniera
  • Golden fried chicken
  • Penne pasta with marinara sauce

2. Sandwiches and salads:

  • Mini wraps
  • Giant subs
  • Zesty pasta or American-style potato salad
  • Macaroni and sweet potato salad

3. Make-your-own-tacos buffet

  • Ground beef
  • Shredded chicken
  • Refried beans and Mexicali rice
  • All the taco fixings

4. Greek feast buffet:

  • Sliced gyro meat
  • Chicken souvlaki skewers
  • Athenian veggies (and more)

5. Picnic buffet:

  • Jumbo hot dogs
  • Black Angus burgers
  • Pasta and potato salad
  • All the condiments and fixings

College Graduation Party Ideas

Whether it is your first, middle or last child’s college graduation, the accomplishment deserves tons of recognition and celebration.

College graduation parties are similar to high school graduation parties in many ways, but with the older age (and that 21st birthday milestone as a thing of the past), your grad (or you, if you are planning your own celebration) might expect a more “grown-up” celebration.

There is room for more flexibility, creativity and entertainment at a college graduation party; the sky is truly the limit.

Forest Preservesweets table

Graduation Party Ideas:

1. Consider hosting at a venue other than your home, such as a:

  • Forest preserve
  • Rented hall or estate
  • Conservatory or local museum
  • Local gallery
  • Park district facility

2. Make dessert a big deal.

  • Have a sweets table and let guests fill bags for take-home treats
  • Decorate the cake in the style of the grad’s future profession
  • Put your grad’s face on M&Ms

3. Make it memorable for the grad.

  • Have a guest book for people to sign
  • Provide a jar for guests to write down their favorite college memories with the grad
  • Ask guests to write their well wishes for the grad’s future on slips of paper and place them in a large bowl

College Graduation Party Menu

College graduation party menus might take on slightly more mature flavors than a high school graduation party, though no one would be upset if you served the classics (Italian beef and mostaccioli).

Nonetheless, here are a few college graduation party menu ideas.

stuffed peppersUntitled

Graduation Party Menu Ideas:

1. Appetizers:

  • Sweet potato puffs
  • Petite caprese skewers
  • Shrimp cocktail

2. Entrees:

  • Stuffed peppers
  • Salmon filets
  • Stuffed pork chops

3. Desserts:

  • Cheesecake bars
  • Blueberry and lemon tarts
  • Over-sized cookies or desserts

More articles you may be interested in:


Related Articles