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Last Minute Tips for Your Child’s Graduation Open House


The time has finally come – your days of class trips, school sports, shows, and dances are all coming to an end. Your child is graduating from high school and it is time to throw them their open house party. Open houses are a great way to celebrate all of your child’s accomplishments, but it is also a celebration of sending them off into the next part of their journey. By now you have probably finished all of the difficult planning and decisions that had to be made for your party, but are looking for some last minute help to complete your planning. Here are a few last minute tips to make your child’s graduation open house a success.

Guest List

Make sure that you have a finalized guest list that includes a rough number of guests that will be attending. Double check with family to see if they are coming and if you need to provide any accommodations for them. It is also important to remember that your child’s friends from school will most likely show up without an invite. Therefore, always plan on a little more food and drinks for this bunch!

Party Supplies

Once you have your guest list finalized, it is imperative that you make sure you have the right amount of party supplies. Make sure you have plenty of plates, cups, silverware, and napkins. It is also important to consider how many tables and chairs you will need for your guests, and to get tablecloths to fit over those. If your guest list grew in size, order more chairs and another table if necessary. Also, if you rented a tent you should call and check that it will be delivered and set up in time for the party.

Finish decorations and displays that will be on show during the open house. Make sure your scrapbooks, photo albums, picture boards, and slideshows are complete. If you are having balloons, call to check if your order is in and when it will be ready for pick up. Finish off any table center-pieces and organize the awards, trophies, or other recognizable accomplishments that your child has made throughout the year that will be on display at the open house.

Designate an area for cards and presents. Typically at graduation open houses, guests will bring cards and/or presents. Set up a table where guests can place these items for your grad. A great idea is to have a unique card box where your guests can place their card. Having a card box and present table also helps your grad send thank-you cards back to those who gave them money or gifts. Place a guest book or photo on the table as well so that guests can sign it to congratulate and wish the grad luck on their next adventure.

Organize games for your guests that will keep them entertained and having fun. Corn hole, lawn jenga, and ladder golf are all great game ideas for an open house party. If your party goes later into the night, plan a bonfire where guests can relax and talk.

Food and Drinks

Create an overall shopping list for the food and drinks that you will be serving. Now is a great time to look for deals on food that you can purchase ahead of time to save some money. Buy pop, water, tea, and snacks now that won’t go bad.

If you are having a buffet at the open house, remember that not all guests are going to eat at the same time, so make sure that the food you serve will be continuously warm and/or cold.

If you ordered caterers, meet with them one last time. Give them a final number of people attending so they can bring the appropriate amount of food and drinks for your guests.

Make sure that you have dessert for your guests! Whether you ordered a graduation cake, cupcakes, or pie, call and check that your order is in place.                 

Prepare Your Home

Now is the time to start cleaning and preparing your home for the party. Make your house presentable for your guests by tidying up your yard and shrubs. Planting flowers are a great touch for open houses, as well as touching up any paint work that might need updated. Lastly, if you are having family stay at your house, try to de-clutter and clean up the inside as well.

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