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20 Easy Backyard Graduation Party Ideas

A backyard graduation party is a great way to celebrate the end of school or college.

Graduating from college or high school is very important in one’s life and the end party is a great way to relax and celebrate after years of hard work finally paid off!

You’ll see your friends, maybe for the last time – and you can get really wild before the serious hard work begins.

However, when it comes to planning a graduation party, it’s not always simple and when you have a lot of guests, it’s often best to move the party outside to the backyard.

But you’ll need to make it amazing and make it relatively cheap.

If you’re looking for some of the easiest and best backyard graduation party ideas – you’re in the right place. Here are our picks!

Backyard Graduation Party Themes

Sometimes, one of the easiest ways to plan a graduation party and save money (and hassle) is to make it a theme party.

To keep costs down even more with a graduation party theme, try to choose a theme that isn’t too expensive to decorate or pick out clothes for.

For example, you can choose a scary theme and put up your Halloween decorations and wear your scary clothes that you probably still have somewhere!

If this is your theme, you can set up an apple bobbing station and put some spooky tunes on the speakers!

Depending on the weather, you can host a summer themed party and everyone will come in their summer attire, and you’ll include classic summer songs!

Maybe you prefer to have a graduation party with a Hawaii theme? It’s pretty easy to make and relatively cheap to buy Hawaiian style items.

You can also go for a school colors theme where you will definitely have a lot of things. It’s also a great excuse to get rid of your old stuff!

Whichever theme you decide to go with, make sure you can make the whole place look amazing. When graduation season is around the corner, you want to make it the best!

Back String Lights

When it comes to outdoor graduation party ideas, you can’t go wrong with choosing some outdoor lights.

The party will certainly continue into the dark hours of the evening and night, so having plenty of lights is essential.

Moreover, it gives you a cool vibe and atmosphere that everyone will feel at home.

If you go to a party store, you can get these types of lights for very little cost and some do not require electricity from the mains to be powered.

Ticketed Event

If you are looking for an absolutely crazy and fun graduation party, the best way to do it is by investing in it.

Now, we all know that students aren’t exactly rich, but here’s what you do. Make some cheap tickets at home with your printer and sell them to your prospective guests for five bucks a pop.

Once you’ve sold enough, all your tickets are better off – you can use this money as an investment for lighting, music, activities, food and drinks.

But remember, if people are paying for the party – they will expect something good, so don’t disappoint!

You’d be wise to plan exactly what you’re going to do, because many party goers want to know what to expect by paying.

Photo Banners And Stations

Having a photo station is the best way to preserve memories from your backyard graduation party! It’s also simple to do.

All you need to have is a piece of cardboard with painted words like “class of x” on it or the name of your college or high school.

The people being photographed will hold it and they will be photographed.

If you do it with a digital camera, you can create a collage that can become a photo banner – and let’s not forget, you can put all these photos on social media to preserve the memories for the future year.

Epic Graduation Centerpiece

When you’re in a backyard with a lot of people, you’ll want to have something eye-catching for everyone to come together and socialize in one place.

It’s also a great place to meet up with someone again if you lost them when they went to the bathroom!

Some ideas are a homemade wooden mascot, a large ice sculpture or you could have lots of flowers and a graduation banner.

Any college graduate will tell you that these things are fantastic photo opportunities and make for some perfect memories from your graduation party.

Graduation Party Games

Party Games

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a grad party without party games! Some classic party games can turn a gathering into a real party.

One of the most favored is beer pong – simply rack up a triangular target of red cups on either side of a long table and throw the ping pong ball into the cup when you’re in a set of two teams, or an effort of single. .

Whoever has a ping pong ball thrown in their cup needs to drink it!

Arm wrestling is also fun, especially when you set up a league table. Automatically enter your guests into the league and have everyone face each other. The person with the most wins… wins.

Yard golf is another cheap and fun game for parties too. You can use an empty cup with a ping pong ball or golf ball and place the cup in very difficult spots around the yard. The person who gets the pot wins.

Remember, avoid things that break!

Card games are always fun too. You can play ring of fire, poker, blackjack or any card game you can think of! Don’t just do it for the money!


One of the unique ways to host a grad party is to have a karaoke set up. Karaoke should be enjoyed in between real, recorded music (otherwise your guests might get bored of it!).

We all love to sing, so a karaoke set up in your backyard, preferably on a small stage will get your guests bouncing, and the party will go down in epic history.

Rap battle

Similar to the previous idea, rap battles don’t happen very often at a grad party – but everyone loves to see them.

If you have a mic system, set the crowd up to face some rap battles. The crowd will decide who wins each match!

It’s easier than you think to set it up, and it’s not that expensive either.

You can use your computer to download free software, use some large speakers that you can source cheaply from a music store if you have them for rent, and a microphone.

If you have a talented DJ friend – they’ll know what to do for the tunes!

Graduation Party Tunes, tunes, tunes!

Let’s not forget that every backyard graduation party will need music and music will make or break the party. If you choose a theme party, the music choices will be simple and everyone will know what to expect.

However, if you went for something different – ​​you’ll need to play music that fits the vibe of the night.

Always pay attention to how the crowd is going and if they are getting tired of your music choices.

Sometimes, changing things to something more vibrant or even golden oldies is a great way to freshen things up.

Just be careful not to change things too soon or at the wrong time, because it will clean up the yard and ruin your grad party.

Balloon Darts

It’s very cheap to buy personalized balloons and some fun games can be played with them and darts.

You can put pictures of subjects or things you don’t like on the balloons and challenge your friends to throw darts at them.

Bursting the most balloons wins the game! Just be careful while playing and don’t stand behind the balloons.

Dessert Stand

Everyone likes dessert right? Why not sweeten the deal by making a whole stand with desserts all over it!

You can have ice cream, cake, chocolate – the whole thing! Of course, be aware of the climate for things that melt and unwanted bugs. Check out our post for how to make an amazing dessert table yourself.

Hot Tub Or Pool

Okay, so it’s not the cheapest option but if you have the means – make sure you use it. Hot tubs and pools can make a party extra awesome, especially in the warmer months. Plus they are great fun for a backyard graduation party.

Get your friends to bring appropriate clothes for the evening and enjoy these things. It’s smart to keep a towel station nearby though!

Backyard Graduation Party Ideas – Final Thoughts

Grad parties are amazing, and they’re so important to get right.

When you plan them for your backyard, you will be limited in costs and activities. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be epic! Good luck planning your graduation party!

I use affiliate links on several blog posts. If you click and buy, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

About the Author

Photo by Author

Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mother of three. She started Darling Celebrations in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating life’s special events.

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