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How to Throw (And Enjoy) an Open House Graduation Party

If you're like me, you're probably feeling a mix of excitement and overwhelm as your kid is about to graduate. Don't worry, you're not alone in this! But while it's tempting to embrace denial, it's...

If you're like me, you're probably feeling a mix of excitement and overwhelm as your kid is about to graduate. Don't worry, you're not alone in this! But while it's tempting to embrace denial, it's important to start planning a graduation party that will be memorable for your child and enjoyable for all who attend.

The Solution: A Well-Planned Graduation Open House Party

A great option for a stress-free celebration is hosting an open house party. This allows for a leisurely stretch of time where guests can come and go as they please, creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

Time and Date and Invite:

Plan a 4-hour time frame, either in the afternoon or evening, to ensure a nice flow of people coming and going. This also gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with each guest. Send out invites, either through traditional mail or online, with all the necessary details.

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock Everything you need to know about throwing an open house graduation party

The Menu:

Begin by thinking about a buffet and food that can be served at room temperature or easily cooled. Avoid dishes that require last-minute preparations, as you want to enjoy the party too. Consider the color and flavor combinations on the buffet table, ensuring there's something for everyone. Don't forget to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions or allergies.

For the Appetizers:

Instead of traditional appetizers, opt for bite-sized options that guests can enjoy at their own pace. A Make Your Own Nachos Bar or an assorted platter of crostini and bruschetta can be great crowd-pleasers. Additionally, offer dips, crackers, tortilla chips, and a colorful crudité platter to celebrate the summer season. And of course, don't forget deviled eggs, a classic party favorite!

For the Main Course:

Consider grilling burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken, or steak for more substantial food options. Grilled chicken and steak can be made ahead and served at room temperature, while burgers and hot dogs require a schedule for grill duty. If you prefer, create a Make Your Own BBQ Slider Bar, with pulled pork, barbacoa beef, and various toppings for guests to assemble their own sliders.

For the Sides:

Complement the main course with a variety of salads, including vegetarian options. Mix and match greens-based salads with heartier ones that contain grains and vegetables. This will ensure a well-rounded buffet that caters to all dietary preferences.

For the Dessert:

Consider dedicating a section of your open house to desserts or even making your open house a dessert party. Prepare easy and make-ahead recipes like chocolate chunk cookies, brownies, and oatmeal cookies. These treats require no plates, making them ideal for a casual gathering.

Make Lists to Get It All Done Smoothly:

To stay organized and ensure a smooth party planning process, create lists for everything. Categorize your shopping lists, tasks that need to be accomplished, make-ahead dishes, and a timeline for the day of the event. This will help you stay on top of things and avoid any last-minute stress.

Get the Buffet Ready:

Set up your buffet area in a shaded spot or use a tent to protect it from direct sunlight. Label all the platters and serving utensils the night before to make serving a breeze. Make sure you have enough plates, silverware, glasses, and napkins for your guests. If necessary, consider using disposable options or renting items to accommodate your guests.

The Bar:

Prepare the bar area ahead of time by setting out glasses, ice buckets, and small bowls for garnishes. Consider making a large batch cocktail, like a refreshing mango-peach cocktail, and refilling a pitcher as needed. Ensure you have a variety of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and set up a self-serve drink station to keep everyone hydrated and happy.

Feeling better? Remember to take it one step at a time, ask for help when needed, and complete as much as possible ahead of time. You've got this!

You Might Also Want to Read:

  • Graduation Party Ideas: How to Celebrate Your Senior's Big Day
  • 10 Things Not to Forget for Your Senior's Grad Party
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