Ideas for a Backyard Graduation Fiesta

Posted in Food and Fun

May and June will soon be upon us, and for many students, this means only one thing: graduation! After putting in years of work at high school, college, or some other educational institution, it will be time to look back on your accomplishments and celebrate how far you’ve come. And nothing quite says “celebration” like a Tex-Mex themed party with all of your friends and loved ones.

So whether you’re throwing a bash for yourself and your fellow graduates or just planning an event in honor of someone else, here are our suggestions for an incredible backyard fiesta:


These cardboard and paper contraptions are commonly seen at children’s’ birthday parties, so it might seem a bit odd to bring one to a graduation celebration. But the truth is, piñatas can be fun for folks of all ages. Teenagers will enjoy egging each other on, and even older adults will stop worrying about looking silly if everyone else participates! Candy is the traditional prize to stuff inside of piñatas, but you can also toss in small trinkets (like glow sticks, whistles, and stickers or temporary tattoos) for variety. If you’re celebrating a high school graduation, consider filling the piñata with items that match the school colors of the university that the graduate will be attending in the fall.

One small suggestion: if the guests at your party are going to vary widely in age, consider getting multiple piñatas and splitting people into groups for this event. That way, your seven-year-old niece won’t be competing with her 18-year-old cousin and 65-year-old grandpa for the same prizes. You can also adjust the difficulty of the challenge based on the players’ age (or sobriety).


Of course, piñatas are far from your only option when it comes to outdoor entertainment. If you have a pool in your yard, Marco Polo is a popular choice, and water balloon dodgeball may appeal to those with a more competitive streak. Other lawn games include Giant Jenga, cornhole, and horseshoes. And if any of these ideas seem “old-fashioned” or boring to your younger guests, see if you can get your resident tech wizard to hook up a gaming system to an outdoor projector. Playing Mario Kart on a big-screen TV is fun, but playing Mario Kart on the exterior of your house or garage door is even MORE fun.

Festive Drinks

Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Any party worth its salt will have drinks freely available for guests; be sure to leave them in a conspicuous area so that folks don’t have to ask the hosts for help. Individual cans/bottles of soda, beer, and water can be kept in a cooler filled with ice, though some hosts may prefer to offer beer kegs and two-liters of soda with enough individual cups to go around. Either way, it would probably be helpful to also lay out permanent markers so partygoers can customize their drink vessels. This is a neat, easy way to avoid the “Whose cup is this?” / “I think someone threw away my can!” / “Dude, you’re drinking MY beer!” mix-up that often happens when people start mingling.

If you to evoke a Tex-Mex “vibe” with your drinks, one of the best ways to do so is to whip up some homemade margaritas. And don’t worry if you (or your guests) aren’t fans of the traditional recipe, as we’ve got an entire post all about the best twists on margaritas that you can refer to. Whether your guests crave spicy, fruity, or even non-alcoholic beverages, there’s a margarita to suit any palate.

Great Food

A selection of Tex-Mex entrées and side dishes will really sell the “fiesta” theme for your shindig, but cooking enough for all of your guests can be tricky. It’ll also be a bit harder to enjoy your party when you have to spend a substantial amount of time planning, preparing, and serving the food. So instead of trying to handle these things yourself, why not make arrangements to have your party catered by Mattito’s? We’ll provide enough yummy fare to keep your guests satisfied, as well as disposable plates and utensils to cut back on cleanup duties. For added convenience, we’ll deliver your order right to your door. With no need to cook or even pick up the food, you can focus on what’s truly important: entertaining your guests and making memories!


At Mattito’s, we never need much of an excuse to have fun, as Tex-Mex is pretty darn festive on its own. But graduation is definitely an occasion worth getting excited about. And when you combine one of the world’s best party cuisines with one of the world’s best reasons to throw a party…the end result is something pretty spectacular. It’s also something we’d really, really love to play a part in.

Here’s a parting message to any prospective graduates reading this post: you’re almost there! Keep at it! We believe in you, and we can’t wait to celebrate when your big day finally arrives!


Caution: if you’re celebrating a high school graduation, please do not use the party atmosphere as an excuse to serve alcohol to underage guests. Doing so can land you—and the minor in question—in a heap of trouble. And even if you limit alcoholic beverages to your adult guests, be prepared to confiscate the car keys of anyone who drinks too much and shouldn’t drive home. Whether you choose to call them a cab or simply let the person sleep on your couch for the night is up to you.