Summer is officially settling in. The days are getting longer and the kids will soon be free from school, but first, we get to get enjoy graduation party season! Starting now, we can all look forward to piles of cake, afternoons in the sun, pounds of pulled pork and celebrating the end of a great school year.
If you’re planning a party yourself, use our guide to creating a day you, your graduate and your guests will never forget (and not only because there will be plenty of photographic evidence!). We carefully thought of several out-of-the-box ideas that will make your event unique and fun.
1. Order Food Truck Catering
When you think of Omaha party stand-bys, you probably think of delicious Hy-Vee catering, homemade Mexican dishes from Jacobo’s Grocery and, of course, pulled pork. If you want to venture outside those classics, reserve a local truck to enjoy some food and fun on wheels! We already rounded up our Top Food Trucks in Omaha, but here are a few of our party favorites serving meals your guests will be talking about for months.
Photo courtesy of Attitude on Food and Chris Ruhaak of Heartland Photos & Design
Attitude on Food is an award-winning catering company serving Omaha and Lincoln. Their newest addition is a state-of-the-art food truck! So you can get the same delicious and creative foods you’ve come to expect served food truck style. Menus can be customized to suit your event needs and because they are fully self-contained and use only biodegradable, disposable wares, there’s no mess for you to clean up!
Photo courtesy of 402 BBQ
If you want food truck flare, but still crave that classic grad party BBQ, reserve 402 BBQ for your event. They serve real deal home-cooking, lip-smacking comfort food with four different homemade sauces and five side items — including Smoked Mac & Cheese and Bison Chili.
Photos courtesy of The Churro Truck
Nothing says party like a bouquet of churros! Get one of each flavor — traditional, Bavarian cream and Oreo — and you’ll want The Churro Truck to cater every party for the rest of your life. Feel free to start with dessert, but don’t skip the street-style tacos, burritos and tamales!
2. Bring Mouth-watering Desserts
No party is complete without dessert, which means every graduation party you go to will have something sweet. And it’s probably a cake with someone’s face on it. Try something outside the box — cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, you name it! These local Omaha establishments have the perfect addition.
Photo courtesy of Coneflower Creamery and Daniel Muller
If you really want to stand out, stock up on ice cream from Omaha’s newest ice cream parlor, Cornflower Creamery, and make an ice cream bar! Their handmade, farm to cone ice cream will have the guests reminiscing about your party forever. Archetype Coffee, Blackstone Butter Brickle and Salted Caramel are just a few of our favorite flavors.
If you have extra time, add fun, themed toppings to your ice cream bar. Tie ribbons around Pirouettes; they look just like diplomas! The guests will have a great time building their own desserts.
Photo courtesy of Jones Bros. Cupcakes
Omaha favorite Jones Bros. provides full catering for every course, but they’re famous for handmade baked goods and cupcakes. Order a few dozen in twelve different flavors — including Red Velvet, Cookie Dough and Chocolate Raspberry — and get them in mini sizes so you can taste one of each!
Eileen’s Cookies is a national franchise with locations throughout the midwest. And they’re famous colossal cookies can’t be beaten. They even have custom decorated cookies so you can fit a theme, celebrate the graduate or spread smiles all around!
3. Create a Theme
Everyone loves a theme party! And once you choose a theme, it’s easy to find the perfect party favors, activities and decorations to take it over the top.
Nobbies is a local Omaha party store and even has easy themes chosen for you! You can, of course, go all out in the Graduation section. Or, throw a decades party so the parents can get involved too (and maybe even re-live their own graduations)!
We love the idea of throwing a School Spirit party based on your high school colors or your graduate’s future college. Might we suggest a some Creighton blue and white?
For over 50 years, Mangelsen’s has been a local, family-run store for nearly every occasion. Stop by before your graduation party to find theme inspiration, decorations and craft materials. Along with invitations, thank you cards, tableware, banners and more, you can get bundles of balloons delivered right to your door!
4. Make DIY Memories
If you have a camera and a bed sheet, you already have the makings of the perfect DIY photo booth. And it’s the best way to remember the party — especially if everyone is dressed up for a theme! DIY a few props or buy them at Nobbies, Mangelsen’s or the nearest dollar store.
Invite guests to take their own photos and when they share their shots to Instagram, they can use your unique party hashtag! Later, you’ll be able to see everyone’s goofy photos to remember the day.
5. Celebrate with Game Time
Photo courtesy of Fun Services
Fun Services is a complete party package. In addition to catering, concessions and performers, they can deliver unforgettable party games and rentals. From inflatable fun and carnival rides to sports games and water activities, they have the perfect addition to any celebration. Don’t miss the opportunity to snap a photo while your graduate falls into the dunk tank — you won’t want to forget that anytime soon!
If you’re short on space, rent a few carnival games to keep everyone entertained. They have everything from prize-winning duck ponds to ski ball!
Take your party up a notch (literally) with a jumping castle or an inflatable obstacle course! Bo-Bo’s Bouncy Town in Omaha offers inflatable jumping castles, obstacle courses and even traveling laser tag! Yes, you read that right.
Traveling laser tag brings the adventure of indoor laser tag arenas to your home or venue — inside or outside! Units emit infrared signals with an outdoor range of about 400 feet. That’s a party game no one will forget!
However you decide to celebrate your graduate, remember to have fun and stay safe!