16 Lovely Graduation Present Ideas For Your New Grad (2024)

Graduations are a time to get family and friends together to celebrate one of adulthood’s most important milestones! Part of that celebration is the chance to offer gifts to the graduating student. But what kinds of graduation present ideas are best? 

As lovers of bringing people together for special memories, we at Peerspace think experiences and spaces have a lot to offer. That’s why we’ve put together this list of lovely graduation present ideas that includes everything from memorabilia to vacations! Which idea here is your favorite?

1. Take a party trip to celebrate

los angeles home with hollywood sign views
Source: Peerspace

New graduates should celebrate this life milestone with something major! One of our favorite graduation present ideas is to take them on a trip somewhere. Party trips are best held in places with big city amenities, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, etc. You’ll have resort hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, sightseeing, and more to explore. Being fully customizable, party trips can be as rowdy or laid back as you like. Just make sure your itinerary has something for everyone to do! 

2. Hire a photographer for a photoshoot

The Etherea Loft: Dreamy Multi-Set Studio with Natural Light in DTLA | 719 Studios
Source: Peerspace

One way to celebrate any major life milestone is by hiring a photographer for a photoshoot. High-quality images will let anyone look back on the moment for decades to come. They can tap right back into the joy and excitement they felt during that snapshot, making it a gift that only gets better with time. 

Photoshoots should be held in a venue with the right props and lighting to capture the mood you’re after. That means working with a photo studio venue provider like Peerspace! We have hundreds of photo studio spaces near you, with props, multiple sets, off-camera lights, and more to explore.

3. Buy them a lesson package

astoria ice sculpting factory
Source: Peerspace

Graduating from high school or college doesn’t mean the end of all learning opportunities. Lovers of learning can explore more with a thoughtful gift like this! Lesson packages can be purchased from any company that teaches a new skill. Think about indoor rock climbing gyms, cooking, languages, painting, sculpting, photography, gardening, martial arts, wine tasting…Anything your new grad has an interest in or might be willing to learn about, you’ll find lesson packages available as a graduation gift!

4. Game time at a video game arcade

Retro 70s arcade lounge
Source: Peerspace

Give your graduating friend, kid, or partner a break from all the books with some game time at an arcade near you! Video game arcades have only gotten better with age as the more time goes by, the larger the potential collection of games becomes. You’ll find vintage standup arcade classics alongside more modern console games here. Many arcades offer free-to-play with entry, eliminating pocketfuls of quarters. Check out arcade bars to enjoy a modern drinking and dining experience alongside your retro gaming one!

Want to center their party on gaming? Then you need to check out these creative video game party ideas to make it happen with ease!

5. A map of their study abroad country or college city

Japanese style sushi bar / restaurant
Source: Peerspace

High school graduates heading to college in a new city or country will be super excited to learn about their new destination. One thoughtful graduation present idea is to buy them a large, detailed map of where they’re going. Something artistic that would look good hung on a wall. Maps of the college campus or their hometown are also fun yet nostalgic gifts for graduating students! 

6. A high-end dinner at a top restaurant 

Restaurants will always be prime places for a life milestone celebration! You have food, friends, and fun under a single roof. The venue can be laid out in a way that’s elegant, casual, or artistic, depending on your taste. For a graduation celebration, think about a high-end dining experience; something that they won’t likely try again for some time. Any major city will have fancy restaurants to explore; have you seen the Michelin Star guide? As one of the most respected restaurant and hotel guides in the world, the dining options listed here are sure to impress!

7. Plan a themed graduation party

homemade tacos
Source: Pexels

Graduation parties don’t have to follow a traditional format; they can be anything you like! Why not make the next graduation event a themed party? Themes can include the colors of the high school or university, favorite food choices like tacos or cake, travel, superheroes, a future career choice…There are endless options to explore! Just make sure everyone coming is on board so they can bring gifts, decor, and outfits that keep the theme going!

Looking for more suggestions? Then explore these creative graduation party themes to delight your grad!

8. Buy a spa day voucher

Themed Retreat w/Hot Tub, Fire Pit, & Game Room
Source: Peerspace

Graduation present ideas can be experiences as well as objects. Treat your graduating student to some well-earned relaxation time with a voucher or gift card to a spa! Spa clinics and resorts provide an unbeatable wellness experience from the instant you set foot in the door. You’ll have professional masseuses, whirlpool hot tubs, exfoliating scrubs…Everything you need to come out feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world after a day of pampering!

9. Take a road trip together

road in providence
Source: Unsplash

Take your graduating friend or relative on an adventure far from home with a road trip! The nice thing about road trips is that they can be whatever you want them to be. Whether that’s a short trip to a nearby town for the two of you or a big cross-country adventure as a group, road trips offer all kinds of possibilities. You can explore nearby small towns for historic sites or visit a big city on the other side of the country to throw a graduation party at a resort hotel. Or both, if you have the time!

10. A phone or camera upgrade

smartphone camera beach
Source: Pixabay

Technology has progressed at an incredible rate in the past few years. Making memories is easier to do than ever thanks to cameras with more resolution and speed. One fun graduation present idea is to gift them a new camera – or a phone with a better camera built in. They will be able to explore photography as an art form better and make more memories with a modern camera!

11. Buy them a new laptop or tablet

coffee table with tablet
Source: Pixabay

By the time you’re ready to graduate, the keys on your laptop might be ready to fall off after the many papers you’ve written and time spent doing research. A new laptop or tablet is a thoughtful graduation gift idea that will provide a better experience thanks to a higher resolution screen, more memory for faster processing, and more storage for files. No need for them to keep plunking away on that old-school laptop anymore!

12. Present them with a crystal or wood keepsake award

Rent Therapy Office By The Hour
Source: Peerspace

Since graduations are a life milestone it’s important to honor that. Consider a present like a crystal or wooden keepsake award. These are engraved with essential details like their name, the year of graduation, etc. And then they are kept in a prominent place, like a mantle or work desk, for future reflection.

13. Host a private dinner party

Downstairs Private Bar Perfect for Events
Source: Peerspace

Instead of sharing a dining room with the public, you can make a graduation dinner even more special by booking a private dining room. As the nation’s leading online marketplace for special events, Peerspace has hundreds of dining halls near you to explore! Have you seen this downstairs private bar in San Francisco? Besides a dining area, you’ll also have a dance floor, bar, projector, and sound system for an unforgettable graduation dinner event!

Check out some of our favorite graduation party food ideas here!

14. Get them a personalized congratulatory video with Cameo

woman on bed looking at phone and magazineac
Source: Pexels

Does your graduating friend have a favorite celebrity? You might be able to find them on Cameo and purchase a customized video from them congratulating them for graduating! Having an Olympic athlete, tech venture capitalist, or movie star wish them well is a truly unique graduation present idea to explore!

15. Give the gift of good reading

20th Birthday Photoshoot Ideas
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Learning never ends and you can make that easier for your graduating friend or relative with a subscription to a good publication. New publications all offer gift subscriptions, as does Audible if they prefer audiobooks. Audible has the added advantage of allowing them to choose their own reading material so they’ll be sure to enjoy what you make possible for them! 

16. Throw a dance party 

Cigar/Mobster Lounge Production Set
Source: Peerspace

Dance parties are an awesome way to celebrate a graduation! Live music, LED lights, a pulsing sound system, and enough space for your guest list is all that’s required. Dance clubs, bars, and rooftop lounges are one place to throw one. But sometimes the price or amenities of these venues won’t be to your liking. Maybe one of Peerspace’s dance party venues is more to your liking? 

Graduation present ideas: conclusion

Harry Potter Party Ideas For Adults
Source: Peerspace

There’s no wrong way to throw a graduation party! They can be a private dinner with close friends or part of a party vacation in Las Vegas. But what if you want something truly unique? Think about booking a party hall near you that has all of the amenities you’ve dreamed of for a graduation dinner, dance party, or themed costume ball! 

Find unique graduation party venues near you on Peerspace

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