Luau Graduation Party Ideas


What better place to relax and celebrate than the beach! Every graduate dreams of those beautiful summer days spent cavorting and playing in the sand and water. Find your nearest beach—whether at the local park, the Oceanside, the lake—or your backyard, and get ready to surf your way to a great graduation party at the beach. If you want to make this kind of party a rousing success, I have one word for you; Luau!

Graduation luau Invitations

Don’t forget to check out Party411’s personalized graduation invitations, which are an easy and fun way to get the party started.  You can always choose the personalized luau graduation invite as well.
Another fun option is a luau boarding pass invitation or a photo ticket invitation (featuring a photo of the grad on the beach) inviting everyone to head to the beach to celebrate their big day.

Invite your guests to dress for the beach and/or to dress as a "tourist." This always proves to be entertaining as people arrive. You might get them started by sending them this hula skirt and lei set as part of their invitation. With that kind of an invitation, no one will send regrets!

Try using Ziplock bags filled with sand, tropical beach confetti, and a strand of Class of 2013 beads with a piece of paper describing all the party details. Then glue a festive graduation bow to the top corner of the bag.

Graduation Luau Decorations and Party Supplies
Set the stage for your guests from the minute they arrive at your party. If located at an actual beach, you might have signs welcoming them to the party or festively decorated tables and chairs. If at home, line the driveway and yard with palm trees, a Tiki hutTiki torches and use your doorway as the entrance to a big sandcastle. There are also light up palm trees that range from 6' to 9' tall. How's that for a WOW factor!?

Make the doorway the entrance to a big sandcastle. Build sandcastles out of cardboard and spray paint them with faux-sand, available at craft stores. Make flags out of lightweight cloth to fly from the castle top and attach them to small wooden rods, also available at a craft store. Write your custom message on the flags, like "Welcome" or "Bob's Graduation Beach Bash." Consider making enough to line the driveway or sidewalk with your sandcastle flags. Use the colors of your grad's school (either past or future).

As your guests enter, offer them a flower lei and a tropical flower lei or a shell necklace. They will wear them all night long at your luau.

Throughout the house or venue, carry the beach theme. If you are so bold, get sand and dump it on your patio or kitchen floor (if you're really adventurous). Hang beach balls from the ceiling and in doorways. You might hang b-lights (the small Christmas lights) and string plastic sand shovels on them, too. Imagine what your grad would like to have at the beach and use those ideas to personalize the overall decorations of your party place.

If you're having seating, then add a fun touch to your seating cards. Sunglasses make great seating cards! No need for Oakleys, you can get inexpensive glasses by the dozen. Or what about goggles? Guests will get a kick out of goggles with their names on them.

Graduation Table Decorations and Menu
Set out Grad Flamingos paper goods, they are too funny and are perfect for this theme and best of all - no dishes to wash! Everyone will get a kick out of the flamingos on the beach wearing graduation caps.

Remember when we made sand castles as children, in the little plastic castle molds? Follow your theme with sandcastle centerpieces. Either build a castle out of cardboard, paint it with glue, and roll it in sand, or build an actual sandcastle. This might prove to be a little more challenging and time consuming. This time, instead of just filling them with wet sand, buy bags of dry sand at the hardware store and mix your sand with a glue/water mixture. This way they won't fall apart when the sand dries. Use mini flags as you did at the doorway.

Another thought is to attach luau theme balloons to the inside bottom of plastic pails. Use sun shaped balloons along with Mylar or latex ones in the colors of your grad's past or future school. Fill the pails with loose sand and maybe even a few sea shells and a plastic shovel. Sprinkle luau themed confetti around the base.

Add zest to the table top by using shell necklaces around cutlery wrapped in napkins. Since you’ll be having all of those tropical drinks serve them in coconut cups. And don’t forget, to add Tiki tabletop candles, and a raffia table skirt.

A fun way to combine table decorations, party favors, and making memories is to set a few personalized graduation cameras on your tables or even personalized luau cameras. Your guests will have a great time snapping shots at the party, and you can get a graduation or luau design to match your decor!

Start your beach party graduation off with a cold soup such as cucumber soup. The next course can be a selection of salads - pastas, vegetables, grains, etc. My favorite EASY, yet classy salad is a mixture of greens such as arugula, radicchio, Belgian endive and curly endive, with a homemade vinaigrette (1 part red wine or balsamic vinegar to 3 parts olive oil, salt and pepper to taste). BBQ ANYTHING is the perfect main course. A selection of fresh fruit, lemon bars, coconut bars, and other finger desserts is a great finish to this fun fresh meal. Of course, don't forget the graduate's "Congratulations" cake.
Your guests will get thirsty, this is a luau after all. Serve bottled water wrapped in a personalized luau water bottle label. It is sure to make your guests smile as they quench their thirst.

If you really want to go traditional, check out these popular luau recipes.

Luau Graduation Games and Activities
If you're at the beach, then you're all set with activities for your luau. The sun, sand and surf will provide plenty of entertainment. Add a steel drum band or DJ who plays island, reggae and beach music, and your friends will have a fabulous time! Guaranteed.

And of course you can not have a luau graduation without a good game of limbo! If you're having a band or DJ, make sure they play plenty of tropical songs during the contest. If you're not, set up a CD with tropical music. Be sure to have fun prizes for your limbo contest.

Luau Graduation Party Favors

We always recommend edible party favors because everyone likes candy.  Here are a few of our favorite edible party favors great for your luau graduation:

And don't forget to give your grad a favor from the party as well! A signature graduation cap for all of your guests to sign is a wonderful memento.