So, your senior is graduating.  You hope all of your lectures, threats and expressions of love will carry them through the next phase of their life.  Before they head out the door to adulthood, you’ll need to celebrate their biggest accomplishment to date – graduation.

Your child will only graduate from high school once, so you want the day to be special with many memories made.  Whether you clean out the garage for the big bash, have a backyard soiree or meet at the community hall, you’ll want the perfect decorations and food.

Decorations set the mood for the party.  Honor your high school graduate with photo boards, trophies, mementos from their childhood and even a video slideshow.  Kizoa lets you combine photos, video and music to create a really cool graduation video. Movie Maker is also a free download and is easy to use.

To decorate the outside of your house, you can fill patio pots and hanging baskets with flowers in your graduate's school colors.  Most garden centers will have colors that match pretty well.

You’ll want napkins, plates, cups and tablecloths in the school’s colors.  Every party needs some balloons.  Remember, the dollar store is a great place to get balloons for really cheap.  We have many party supply stores right here in Sioux Falls that are fully stocked with the items and colors you need.

Here’s a few party supply stores in Sioux Falls:

Partyland is located at 5231 West 26th Street.

Party America is located at 1116 West 41st Street.

Hobby Lobby is located at Lake Lorraine.

Now, on to the best part – the food!  You don’t want to make a big ‘Sunday dinner’ like roast beef and mashed potatoes for your teen’s graduation party.  Think finger foods.  Here are some quick and easy ideas for food:

Fruit Bouquet
Alexander Kolomietz/Thinkstock


Relish tray with dressing.  Make your own with different colored vegetables from the produce department or order one from your favorite grocery store.
Christy Denney,
Christy Denney,

Everyone loves meat and cheese trays.   You can make your own with ham, turkey, salami, cheddar and provolone cheese.  Don't forget to pick up cocktail buns.

For dessert:  mortar board cupcakes, candy cup caps, graduation cake pops, colorful candy bar, root beer floats or a sundae bar and more!

Oh My Cupcakes, in the Bridges at 57th and Western, can decorate your cupcakes in your school colors.

File: Oh My Cupcakes
Melissa Johnson, Oh My Cupcakes

Not only could bowls of M&M’s in school colors (and even with your grad's face on them) serve as a snack, they can double as decoration.  Hy-Vee at 49th and Louise has multi-colored M&M's available in bulk.

If you really want to be the cool parents on the block, do something really unique.  Did you know you can rent ‘treat’ machines?  Here’s what I found at Ideal Wedding and Events on Carolyn Avenue.  You’d be surprised how cheap these are to rent.

Chocolate fountains are the 'in' thing.  Check out really cool food ideas for your chocolate fountain here and then rent the fountain from Ideal.  Other unique ideas for your party that can be rented include a cotton candy machine, popcorn machine and even a snow cone machine.

Try to do a lot of the work in advance so you can enjoy the day along with your graduate, your family and friends.

If you want to give some good advice to your kids, have them listen to Baz Luhrmann’s, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).”  It’s a song set to an essay written as a potential commencement speech by Mary Schmich published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.

Congratulations Class of 2018!

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