By Heather Morgan
The time is finally here—the season to celebrate all those hardworking graduates from the Class of 2021. Whether you opt for a DIY backyard party or a highly polished event with all the finishes, we've got a full range of ideas for you. Here's our tips to make your Graduation 2021 celebration one family, friends, and most importantly, your graduate, won't forget!
Create the Best Backyard Bash
Celebrate your grad at home and you'll get to let your creativity run wild. Start by choosing a theme that personifies your graduate, and the rest will fall into place. Center decorations, games, and gift bags around your theme. A great personalized touch is a guest book for friends and family to share their best wishes with the graduate.
Include funky photo backdrops for posed pictures that guests can post to social media, because we all know if it's not posted on social, it didn't happen!
Instead of spending the day cooking and serving when you cook be celebrating with your graduate, hire a local caterer to work their culinary magic like Blooming Glen Pork and Catering in Blooming Glenn, PA. This Bucks Happening List finalist offers a wide range of options on their menu–everything from picnic foods to a Caribbean holiday meal. Always a crowd pleaser is the Hawaiian Luau Pig Roast, complete with whole roasted Kalua Pig and Mango Salsa, Island Rice, and additional sides. Of coarse, they'll bring colorful Hawaiian Leis for your guests too!
A Sweet Finale
There's no better place to find a personalized graduation cake than from Montco Happening List finalist, Kriebel's Custom Bakery in Norristown, PA. You name it, Chef Colleen Kriebel can make it. Think high school mascots, college destinations, future careers, and graduation photos. Kriebel's will create a cake your graduate will love. And if you want to see Chef Colleen in action, check her out on Food Network's Cake Wars 2016!
“I'm noticing that this year people are planning early, so get your orders in soon!” says Chef Colleen.
Here are more excellent bakeries for the perfect custom cake for your graduation bash:
Fritz's Bakery, Langhorne, PA – Bucks Happening List finalist
Tiffany's Bakery, Philadelphia, PA – Philly Happening List winner
Chocolate in the Oven, Milford, NJ – Hunterdon Happening List winner
Dazzle Party Guests at a Fabulous Local Venue
Don't have the space or time to plan a party at home? No worries we got you. Host your graduation party at one of the many amazing local venues in the area. Sit back relax and enjoy your soirée and let the experts care for everything down to the smallest details.
If you're in the Ringoes, NJ area, check out The Farmstead of Ringoes. This one-of-a-kind venue combines rustic charm with modern elegance to make the perfect setting for family and friends of the graduate. The wide open spaces, lush trees, and warm fire pits make this the perfect spot to share stories and make memories for your graduate. And the stunning views provide a natural photo backdrop from every angle! It's not hard to see why The Farmstead of Ringoes is a Hunterdon Happening List winner.
For folks in Montco, check out Normandy Farm in Blue Bell, PA, a Montco Happening List nominee. Not only do they have great indoor and outdoor spots for private events, but they even have a Silos Ballroom that features a separate area at the base of the silos, perfect for a gift room or photo booth! Their catering menu includes fun specialty food bar options such as a candy bar. And they even have a florist and photographer on site to make planning a piece of cake!
Check out these other hot venue spots:
Washington Crossing Inn, Washington Crossing, PA – Bucks Happening List finalist
Knowlton Mansion, Philadelphia, PA – Philly Happening List winner
Embark on a Local Family Adventure
For the non-traditional graduation party planners, why not plan a family fun day to celebrate your graduate's accomplishments? There's no better way to honor your grad and make new memories then to set out on a local adventure! Our region has no shortage of fun options. From art to shopping, nature, history, and sports-you can find it here.
Who has a graduating artist? Plan a party at Painting with a Twist in Philadelphia, PA. This studio is a Philly Happening List winner because they provide everything you need to make a masterpiece to commemorate your grad.
Maybe you'd like to take in the sights of beautiful Bucks County by train instead? Grab the family and hop on the New Hope Railroad for a day of riding the rails. There are a few routes to chose from, and you can book a private charter for guests and hold your graduation party on board!
The options for and adventurous party are endless. Here are a few more to explore:
Ash Chase Culinary, New Britain, PA – Bucks Happening List winner
Fishing at Pier 68, Philadelphia, PA – Philly Happening List finalist
Fort Washington State Park, Fort Washington, PA – Montco Happening List winner
Bella Vista Golf Course, Gilbertsville, PA – Montco Happening List winner
Gravity Vault, Flemington, NJ – Hunterdon Happening List winner
Break Away Entertainment, Flemington, NJ – Hunterdon Happening List nominee
From Sentimental to Stunning- the Perfect Graduation Gifts
Finding the perfect graduation gift can be nerve-wracking! You want it to be practical, sentimental, personal, and over the top. If you're looking for a gift none of your graduates friends will be getting, create your own work of art by custom framing a personal item. How about their high school sports jersey, graduation program, or a family photo collage? Gather up your most sentimental items and head to Frame Fatale in Philadelphia, PA to get custom framing that will showcase these items and create an instant work of art. Frame Fatale is a Philly Happening List winner and they offer tons of frame styles, textures, and materials to chose from.
Sticking with the personalized theme, maybe your graduate would like something with a little more sparkle? Then you'll want to go to Kristopher Mark Designs in Clinton, NJ. They will custom design a piece of jewelry that will captivate your grad. One of the first jewelers to use CAD technology, Kristopher Mark is an expert in designing one-of-a-kind jewelry. This Hunterdon Happening List winner can take the design of your dreams and make it a reality for your graduate to cherish for a lifetime.
Additionally, graduation gifts that make a dorm room more like home are a big winner. Think organization furniture, throw blankets, picture frames, and a big cozy sweatshirt to represent their alma mater or favorite sports team. Here're a few more great places to shop for the perfect graduation gift:
Providence Town Center, Collegeville, PA – Montco Happening List nominee
Ambler Main Street, Ambler, PA – Montco Happening List finalist
Mercantile at Doylestown, Doylestown, PA – Bucks Happening List winner
Select Jewelers, Feasterville, PA – Bucks Happening List finalist