School Celebrations

Help graduates have fun and stay safe by planning an all-night graduation party.

Many schools organize an all-night class party or “lock-in” to help graduates celebrate in a safe environment where there is no risk of drinking and driving. An all-night graduation party also has the benefit of being an inclusive event where no graduates end up feeling left out on their special day.

All-night parties usually start 60 to 90 minutes after the ceremony so that graduates can take photos and change into casual clothes. Transportation is provided when the graduation party takes place at a location other than the school.

Make it happen: parent volunteers

An event of this size takes a tremendous amount of volunteer effort and coordination. Most school graduation parties are hosted by volunteer parent committees. In many towns, parents of all seniors are expected to participate in the graduation party in some way. Key roles include:

  • Event Chairpeople: Responsible for overseeing the entire event.
  • Treasurer: Develops budgets, processes ticket revenue, pays bills, provides a budget summary once the graduation party is over.
  • Secretary: Handles communications, notes on progress, and provides a summary for the next year’s team.
  • Team Captains and Members: Responsible for decorations, selling tickets, soliciting donations.
  • Set-up Crew: Decorates the space, gets food and drinks in place.
  • Chaperones: Welcome attendees, run games, serve food, introduce entertainment, hand out prizes.
  • Safety and Security: Patrol “off limits” areas, including parking lots and restrooms. A parent who is a medical professional should be recruited to be on hand in case of a need for first aid or emergency care.
  • Clean-up Crew:  Take down decorations, dispose of trash, clean space.

Activity and entertainment ideas

An all-night graduation party works best when there are several different activities. Depending on your school’s budget and whether or not your party has a particular theme, you can schedule different events throughout the evening. Possible ideas include:

  • Hypnotist.
  • Comedian.
  • Slide show of photos of graduates and photos that tell the class’s stories.
  • Karaoke.
  • Handwriting analyst.
  • A dance with a DJ or band.
  • Photo booth or photography studio.
  • Carnival games.
  • Movies.
  • Basketball, volleyball, or other gymnasium sports.
  • A baby picture contest.