The Backyard Graduation Party

Fète your favorite college graduate with a little home-spun nostalgia. String paper lanterns overhead, using backyard trees to anchor them and cover picnic tables with sherbet-colored tablecloths. Create s’more-centric centerpieces for each picnic table by skewering marshmallows standing them in a small sand bucket and surrounding it with little pots filled with chocolate, Nutella, strawberries and graham crackers.  The scene is set.

Welcome guests with Mason jar cocktails. Garnish each one with fresh seasonal fruit and candy-striped straws that displays the grad’s school colors.  Some of our favorite cool combinations include: mojitos with choose-your-own, in-season, muddled fruit, summer melon-vodka coolers, and peach-basil iced tea.

When entertaining out-of-doors, convenience and ease are key – for both the guests and the host. Easy and portable finger foods are a can’t-go-wrong choice, and they’re an Entertaining Company favorite.

We  love filling savory cones with anything ­– from beef tenderloin with horseradish to lick-able chocolate mousse – because guests can easily eat them in two eager  bites.

Also in the hand-held category a playful favorite for the college-aged set is a full Lolly-palooza (get it?) station that boasts hors d’oeuvres on a stick.  Run the gamut  from goat cheese with arugula pesto pops to tiramisu cake pops.  Guests  love them because they’re easy and fun to eat!

In a town like Chicago, home of Garrett’s Popcorn, we take our popcorn seriously. We  like it straight up, cheesy, or spicy because  it pairs as well with a stiff cocktail as it does with a fruit soda pop. Put it out in a big bin with a scoop and allow guests to fill their own paper cones that read: “Congratulations Graduate!”

Close out the evening by giving guests sparklers with which to spell their names in the air.