How (and when) to Host an Effortless Grad Party

Ideas they will Actually Love

Trying to figure out what time of day to host your graduation party is no easy task. Does your graduate have a favorite type of food, are they a morning person or night person, better yet, what are you? Let’s be honest, the party may be about your graduate, but you are the one that is hosting and it’s important to make it easy and fun for yourself.

Let’s say you opt for a graduation brunch. What about a waffle or pancake bar? I mean, really?! Who doesn’t love waffles and pancakes? Get some fruit (berries, apples, bananas), spreads (think Nutella, Peanut Butter or flavored butter…MMMMM!), nuts and of course whipped cream to top it off! If the waffle or pancake bar doesn’t do it for you, consider a bagel bar. Put out a variety of flavored cream cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, avocados, red onions, dill, chives, and basil. Add some fruit and a yogurt bar and voila! You have brunch! Another idea would be to use skewers to serve your food. Have fun with it and create breakfast on a stick. Envision a skewer with mini waffle, fruit, and sausage or bacon. How well does a skewer with French toast cubes and fruit sound? Or what about a mini quiche, sausage, and fruit. You could even do chicken and waffles or salad on a stick for a twist on traditional. The added bonus is that it will look cute too! If you want to go the more traditional route, try egg sandwiches, crepes, and/or a veggie bar (go wild with the dips!). Whatever you do, don’t forget your beverages. Smoothies, iced tea, infused water, lemonade, limeade, kombucha, mimosas, and sangria would all be appropriate here.

If you opt for a party over lunch, keep your options on the lighter side. I personally like to think a bit outside the box, or in the box…what about a prepared box lunch? Not only could you fill it with yummy foods such as a sandwich or wrap (turkey & avocado, caprese, curry chicken salad, grilled veggie) pasta or green salad and a dessert (cookie with your grads face, cake pop/cupcake in the schools colors), but you can theme the décor of the box towards your grad! Or what about salads in a box? Prepared ahead of time and all the rage right now! Along the same lines, you could do a grab and go buffet. Have prepared sandwiches in wrapping, bagged chips, pasta or salads in a to-go container and a brownie to boot!
If your grad party is over the dinner hour, your options are endless. The more traditional route can take you towards burgers or sliders, pizza, tacos, hot dogs or pasta. Remember, you can always jazz those up in your own unique way with the topping choices, if you choose. Want something new and different? Think poke bowl, falafel bar, clam bake, fondue and sushi bar. YUM! You are sure to be a standout with one of those.

Not interested in serving a whole meal? Have your grad party late in the afternoon or later on in the evening. Serve snacks and/or desserts. You can have so much fun in this arena! Think sweet and salty! Try a potato chip or hot pretzel bar with all the fixings (cheese, ranch, mustard, hot sauce)! Pre-scooped or on-site ice cream, popcorn bars, and chocolate fountains never go out of style. Who can turn down a nacho bar, trail mix bar or smoothies? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Whenever and whatever you choose, make choices that allow you to serve great food and enjoy your party as well!

by Lori Greenberg