A graduation home party lets your graduate know that all of his/her hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. And because graduation happens in the spring, the natural place to host the party is outdoors by the barbecue grill. But springtime also brings rain, and that can put a serious damper on your party plans.
If there's rain in the forecast, you already know there's a risk that everything might not go as planned. So instead of hoping for a stroke of good luck, prepare for the worst and be ready to move the graduation party indoor at a moment's notice.
Prep the Graduation Home Party Area Indoors
While you're setting up the graduation party outdoors, it's smart to get the indoor area party-ready, too. That way, you won't have to scramble to find space for everything if the clouds roll in and the sky opens up. While you're at it, duplicate some the outdoor party decor inside to carry the theme through. (Read: Creating a Kitchen for Entertaining)
Be sure countertops are clear, there's room in the fridge, and plenty of space for party goers to mingle in the kitchen and adjoining rooms as people always tend to cluster near the food. Make space for party items to land in case you have to bring everything inside quickly, as it could also start raining half-way through the party. The more you prep ahead of time, the easier it will be to move everyone indoors if need be.
Have Baskets & Trays Handy at the Home Party
If rain happens, you'll need to act fast. So instead of carrying in one thing at a time, keep several baskets or trays ready to load up similar items and carry them into the house together. Fewer trips mean fewer people get soaking wet.
For example, one basket could be used to bring in paper plates, napkins, cups and other non-breakables. Another basket or serving tray could carry condiments and food that's in containers, such as salads. The right baskets or trays can be helpful even if you're not planning a graduation home party. They're useful to prepare what you need in the kitchen, and carry everything to the backyard or the family room.
Hot dogs and hamburgers might taste better cooked on the grill, but it's not mandatory for a great graduation barbecue. You can cook most of the food indoors and get similar flavor, as long as you use the right method.
ABC News recommends cooking burgers and dogs on a baking sheet in a convection oven, if you have one. If you don't have a convection oven, you can still cook in a regular oven. Food.com has some terrific recipes, including one for these oven roasted hot dogs (click hot dog for recipe).
Assign Everyone a Job for the Home Graduation Party
To prevent all of the work landing on one or two people, give everyone a job to do in case the party has to move indoors. One person can bring in chairs, another can load up food into baskets, and someone else can carry in the big “Congratulations Graduate!” cake.
Assigning jobs on the front end helps the indoor move go a lot more smoothly. More people will help, fewer people will stand around not knowing what to do, and that beautiful cake will have less of a chance to melt in the rain.
Create Indoor Graduation Home Party Games
An indoor party doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be a sad substitute. Instead of standing at the windows looking out at the rain, you'll need some indoor party-friendly games to keep everyone occupied.
If you have a game room, that's a natural place for people to gather for darts, pool or anything else you have available. If you don't, set up tables with different board and card games and turn on some music to keep the atmosphere festive. Board games are also perfect in case the rain brings along lightning. (Read: Summer Fun and Safety for Everyone)
A graduation home party doesn't have to fall flat just because it moves indoors. You can still have all of the same great food. And with good planning ahead of time, you won't have to worry about where to put everyone and how to entertain them.
Do you have any tried and true tips on successfully moving an outdoor party indoors? We wish your graduate much success, a wonderful graduation home party and many more outdoor gatherings over the summer.