If you need going away party ideas, you likely have bittersweet feelings about the event. Whether a friend or family member is heading off to college or moving to a new town, goodbyes are never easy. While there may be some excitement over a new adventure, there may also be some sadness at having to say goodbye to someone you care about. The best going away party ideas offer an opportunity for you to celebrate their life choices and wish them well while also letting them know how much you’ll miss them.
Luckily, you can throw a grand affair with ease when you book a Peerspace venue. As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, Peerspace has thousands of goodbye party-worthy event spaces near you. And not only that, but when you rent a Peerspace, you have the venue’s dedicated local host who can provide you with catering recommendations and other helpful party-planning resources. Their help takes away a lot of the party planning stress and lets you focus on what matters — celebrating your loved one!
Take a look at these unforgettable going away party ideas to make your event as memorable as possible for your friend, colleague, or family member.
1. Have a packing party
Why not get something useful done at your friend’s going away party? Sometimes the best gift is showing up to take some of the stress out of packing for a cross-country move or long-term trip.
If your friend is leaving their home or apartment, organize for everyone to get together to assist. Help them pack the U-Haul, clean out the garage, and donate any unwanted items to charity.
After you finish packing, break out a few bottles of champagne and boxes of pizza for a low-key celebration.
2. Throw a college-themed event
If your guest-of-honor is going off to college or studying abroad, throw a going-away party that’s themed to match their new school or destination. Decorate the venue with the school’s mascot, logo, sports jerseys, and other recognizable items from their soon-to-be home. It’s a fun way to make them feel more excited about leaving while letting them know you support their choices.
Better yet, book a Peerspace venue that already sports the school colors. It’s a fun way to celebrate a friend, and there’s less clean-up for you after!
3. Host a destination-themed party
If they’re traveling overseas, base the party theme on the city or country they’re moving to instead. Serve food and drink, play music, and pass out souvenirs inspired by the destination. This is among the top going away party ideas for someone who’s joining the Peace Corps, backpacking through Europe, or going to teach English overseas.
It also shows your going away person that their loved ones are interested in their destination and is all about exploring the new culture with them — even before they depart!
Hoping to take the goodbyes poolside? Then you need to check out our 12 epic pool party ideas for adults first!
4. Choose the right venue on Peerspace
Regardless of which theme you go with, finding the right place to host your event is key. Renting a venue on Peerspace is a fun, easy, and ultra-helpful option. With Peerspace, you can find a location to suit any of these going away party ideas, and all are available to rent by the hour.
Here are a few of our favorite venue options:
- This Parisian-style apartment in Chicago (pictured above) with a chef’s kitchen, private outdoor garden, a “salon”-style lounge, and French curiosities
- This tiki bar in Silverlake with a secret “cave” and water feature and is surrounded by bamboo, making it the perfect send-off for a trip to a tropical island.
- This Swiss chalet in Glendale with a terrace, jacuzzi, a fireplace, and mid-century modern furnishings
- This swanky private club lounge in Winter Park, FL with karaoke, color-changing lights, a dance floor, dining space, and a kitchen
- This Union Square event space in NYC with high ceilings, a mezzanine, an open kitchen, color-changing lights, A/V equipment, and optional add-on amenities
- This light and airy event space in London, UK with a licensed bar, A/V system, dimmable lighting, plenty of seating, and catering packages
Whichever venue you choose, you can work with the venue’s host when you need help lining up any additional amenities, such as a professional caterer, photographer, bar staff, A/V gear, and furniture rentals. They can make it easy to carry your theme through every stage of the party.
5. Go camping
Another option is to throw an outdoor event, such as a camping trip. If your guest-of-honor loves the outdoors, surprise them with one last trip to their favorite hiking spot or campground. A group of old friends might enjoy a trip to a cozy cabin in the woods before one of them leaves town.
You can end the night by gathering around the campfire or fireplace and sharing your favorite memories about the going away person. It may be a tearjerker, but those will be cathartic, celebratory tears. Most importantly: don’t forget to bring the food and drinks for campsite noshing!
6. Make a photo album
No matter what the theme, making a photo album or guest book for your friend to take with them is a must. While you can present a slideshow of your favorite memories at the event, we think sending them off with a hard copy of photos and handwritten notes is best! For those whose love language is receiving gifts, this is one of the most thoughtful going away party ideas.
If your friend is short on luggage space, load a thumb drive with tons of thoughtful, sentimental digital photos. They can look at them on their laptop anytime they feel homesick and remember their loved ones.
7. Have a fundraiser
If the going away party is for someone joining the Peace Corps or going on a humanitarian trip overseas, make it a charity fundraiser. Invite local musicians and other artists to perform, and raise money for a good cause in honor of your friend’s departure.
Find a cool space that can accommodate live music by searching on Peerspace for a venue near you. Ask the host of they can help arrange photographers, videographers, and performers to help raise those funds while putting on a good show for guests.
8. Host your own escape room game
For another themed going away party idea, put together a DIY scavenger hunt or escape room game based on your friend’s travel itinerary. Each clue should take them closer and closer to their destination, with the final discovery being (pretend) plane tickets to their new home.
There are escape rooms in every town and city across the globe, but yours will be different by making it distinct to the person you’re celebrating. To personalize it, create clues that pertain to your relationship with the going away person. That helps make it amazing on so many different levels!
9. Have a virtual going away party
Sometimes you have to say goodbye to someone who isn’t able to be there in person. Maybe a remote worker from your company is moving on, or all of your friends have already left town, and you’re the last one to officially move away. In this case, you can have a virtual going away party by scheduling a time to catch up with everyone on Google Hangouts.
Send out invites just like you would for an in-person party, letting your friends know which hours they can drop into the chatroom. Make a Spotify playlist, share old photos, and play online games! We also love the idea of booking a wildly decorative Peerspace venue and hosting the virtual going away party from there! It’s a fun way to build up positive party vibes before the sad goodbyes.
Are you rushed for planning? Don’t worry; just consult our 10 last-minute party ideas!
10. Make it kid-friendly
The idea behind a “going away party” can be hard for children to understand. Whether the whole family is moving or their favorite cousin or sibling is going away, make it easy on them by including kid-friendly activities at your event.
For example, you could have a large map to show them exactly where their big sister is moving to for college. Play a game like Ticket to Ride to learn about the train routes they could take to pay their loved one a visit. While the kid will still be sad to see their loved one leave, they will definitely be looking forward to the journey to visit them!
11. Play suitcase Tetris
Assemble a pile of clothing and other items that just barely manage to fit into a single suitcase. Everyone takes a turn trying to pack the suitcase in the shortest amount of time, and you lose points for any items that you don’t manage to fit into the suitcase!
This is definitely one of the most low-key going away party ideas, but one the guest of honor will appreciate. Less packing for them means less stress about their departure, which is a wonderful gift to give them. You can also treat the whole crew to an evening at a Peerspace arcade near you. You know, to play real Tetris and other arcade games, the old-school way!
12. Give your friend prepaid envelopes to write home
Staying in touch during a long time away can be hard. Even during the days of video chats and instant messaging, it’s easy to go our separate ways and lose touch with people we care about.
Encourage your guest-of-honor to stay in touch by sending them off with envelopes addressed to everyone who attends the party. Include stamps, so they don’t have any excuse not to write you a letter from their new home and drop it into the mailbox. Because let’s face it: everyone still loves getting snail mail from friends and family!
Does the guest of honor like to boogie? Then be sure to peruse our 8 great dance party ideas article for even more inspiration!
Bonus idea: plan your visit ahead of time
Here’s the thing: one of the most difficult aspects of leaving home is realizing you don’t know when you’ll see your loved ones again. Make this aspect a bit easier on the person leaving by using the going away party as a time to plan your first visit to their new home! This doesn’t have to be anything too extensive, just open Google Maps, enter their pending location, and search for nearby places you’d love to visit together once they’re settled in.
They’ll know how sincere you are about visiting, which will make it less stressful for them to leave when the time comes! Plus, you’ll get to scope out cool places you actually want to visit when the time comes. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Host the best going away party ideas at a Peerspace
Going away parties don’t have to be elaborate affairs. The essential component is to show your friend or family member how much you care about them while not adding any stress to their departure. You should expect to do most of the planning yourself, so they don’t have to worry about it.
Fortunately, Peerspace makes it easy to plan your event, all in one go. Our platform offers access to a variety of casual or themed event spaces to choose from. Whether you decide on a backyard party or a formal dinner, you can arrangee all of the furniture and A/V gear you need to make your unforgettable going away party ideas a reality with the venue’s host!
Check out all the amazing venues we have near you and book your favorite. Your friend will appreciate all the effort it just looks like you put in! After all, Peerspace is your not-so-secret weapon to kick off amazing new beginnings.