Top 5 NYC Graduation Party Themes & Venues | Cocoon Flex Spaces

Apr 21, 2023

“There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Orrin Hatch

students seated at outdoor graduation venue
With only two months until Summer, it is officially time to start thinking about graduation party ideas.  Your graduation celebration deserves to go beyond just the ceremony – gathering with your family and friends at a post-ceremony graduation party means more hugs, more love, more laughs, and more memories to hold dear as you enter the next great level of life.

And every party should come with a theme – they are immediate conversation-starters and a creative way to include all your guests in the celebration. Not to mention, themes always make for the best (and most shared) social media photos.


Here are 5 of our favorite 2023 graduation party themes and the perfect NYC graduation event venue to impress your guests and set the tone for great things to come.

1. Hawaiian Luau Party

We know, you’ve seen this one before, but when it comes to backyard party ideas, it’s the backyard that really makes the party. Fun fact, Hawaii is the only U.S. state with jungles, better known as rainforests. While NYC doesn’t have native jungles, we definitely have lush outdoor venues to immerse you in that peaceful yet vivacious Hawaiian vibe and make your backyard party one to remember.
hawaiian luau theme graduation party ideas

Photo by Lee Vue 

casa olympia outdoor graduation party venue
Casa Olympia | Private Backyard with Elevated Platform
A 4,200 sf designer triplex with 2,100 sf of majestic green outdoor space. Olympia’s private backyard also features an elevated stage area, perfect for a DJ, live music performances, or guests who just want to say a few kind words.

Deep forest greens and bamboo-like wood elements complement the vibrant colors of Hawiian leis and grass skirts, and while the space is bursting with natural light during the day, tiki lights are just as beautiful against the starry NYC night. Learn More
party venue with bar and catwalk
Casa FM | Grand Bar in Evening Light
Overflowing with natural light and beautiful plant greenery, Casa FM enchants guests from entry to exit. Much like the breathtaking sights and sounds of native Hawaii, Casa FM captures guests with its mesmerizing natural scenery and alluring features including high acoustical ceilings with huge skylights, eclectic textiles and design finishes, stage area, and much much more.

This 7,200 sq/ft space provides two floor levels and a variety of seating and table options, so you and your guests have ample space to connect and celebrate. FM also offers an outdoor area for both an indoor and outdoor luau experience. Learn More

Not what you’re looking for? Explore more spaces! 

2. Major-Themed Parties

For the recent college grad or the ambitious high school graduate, major-themed parties are a unique way to show your guests that you are one step closer to realizing your dreams and ready to take up space in new environments. Whether you aspire to be a sports agent or an art historian, a CEO or an entrepreneur, consider choosing a graduation party venue that reflects your career goals.
casa umami brooklyn event space for rent with kitchen and restaurant seating

Casa Umami | Private Restaurant with Chef Counter Seating

Looking to start a career as a chef or nutritionist? Host a graduation party dinner at Casa Umami in cultured Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Umami is a sleek 1,300 sq/ft storefront chef’s kitchen featuring a spacious open layout. 

The fully-stocked storefront kitchen revolves around a U-shaped area that sits 15 plus four industrial stoves, two fridges, a double sink, tasteful shelving, plenty of exposed and hidden storage, and clear tile backsplash for a perfect image backdrop. Umami also offers a range of restaurant-style table and seating options so you can immerse your guests in the full restaurant experience designed by you. Learn More

casa andres creative event space for rent in tribeca

Casa San Andres | Main Seating Area in Artist Loft 

Becoming a full-time artist or musician? Casa San Andres is an expansive artist loft in the heart of Tribeca, Manhattan. Owned by the visionary Italian-born architect, Roberto Brambilla, Casa San Andres is a 4200 sq/ft colorful cultural artifact from New York’s legendary golden era of creativity. This lavish 4,200 sq/ft space fully preserves the eccentricity and creative magic of Tribeca in the iconic 1970s. 

The poetic beauty of Casa San Andres makes it the perfect graduation party venue to embrace your creativity and let your passion run free. Learn More

Not what you’re looking for? Explore more spaces! 

3. 80s, 90s, or 2000s Themed Parties

Every school-aged pop culture movie from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s had one thing in common – a memorable house party scene. With various rooms and indoor/outdoor space, house parties were the perfect backdrop to our favorite old school movie moments. 

With that being said, not just any house will do. You need one with character, charm, and of course, tons of space to accommodate friends and family. Whether your guests are donning leg warmers for the 80s, acid wash jeans for the 90s, or cargo pants for the 2000s, choose a home with enough space and enthusiasm to entertain your guests and keep them engaged.

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Photo by Dale de Vera

cocoon adria prop kitchen island

Casa Adria | Large Loft with Commercial Kitchen

Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Adria provides a unique railroad-style loft layout with 2500 sq/ft of wide open space. Rent a photobooth to capture the themed nostalgia of the day or set up a game area where guests can play all their favorite old school games like Twister. There is enough space for it all. Adria also features a commercial kitchen with a range of cooking utensils so you can cook up your fave foods from back in the day. Plus, with a projector and screen on site, you can show all the hit films of the decade. Learn More

diamond cocoon red armchairs

Casa Diamond | Colorful Living Room

Casa Diamond is a vivacious Bohemian 4-story brownstone in beautiful Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Effortlessly bold, this 2,800 sq./ft. home has a lively spirit and offers a bright and clean design with thoughtful pops of color and texture – reminiscent of the wild and playful hues of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. 

Not only does the location look good from the front with its picturesque brownstone façade, but it also features a 1,000 sq./ft outdoor area in the back. The outdoor space provides additional seating and table options as well as an elevated stage area, ideal for 80s-90s karaoke or performing your favorite 2000s dance moves with your friends. Learn More

Not what you’re looking for? Explore more spaces! 

4. Movie Themed Parties

If you’re a cinema or movie lover, then turning your graduation party into one big movie night probably doesn’t sound too far-fetched. From comedies to sci-fi and romcoms, there’s so many great films to choose from. Send your guests invites to your movie showing, flood the venue with movie props, and get the popcorn and candy ready. All you need is the perfect space to accommodate.

graduation party venue with a movie theme

Photo by Myke Simon

casa janka event space with custom furniture, large windows, and natural light in chinatown manhattan

Casa Janka | Versatile Downtown Studio Space

Fully stocked with a kitchenette, state-of-the-art sound system, Apple TVs, and AV projector, Casa Janka has everything you need to ensure your guests feel like they are actually in the movie theater. Casa Janka offers four design-focused studios for rent, each with their own setting and ample seating options. Learn More

casa avedon photo shoot studio with cyclorama in flatiron manhattan

Casa Avedon | Professional Studio Loft 

A movie-themed graduation party at a professional production studio – sounds like the perfect match! Casa Avedon is a 3,000 sq/ft studio space in Flatiron, Manhattan and features 15-ft tall ceilings, large windows with blackout options, and an open floor plan for optimal guest seating. The wow factor in the space is the 24-ft wide cyclorama plus an AV projector and TV on site so guests get the full movie experience. Avedon also features a full kitchen so you can prepare a custom screening dinner or serve your favorite movie snacks. Learn More

Not what you’re looking for? Explore more spaces! 

5. Night Luxe Theme

If you follow TikTok trends, then you are probably already familiar with the Night Luxe aesthetic. According to Seventeen, Night Luxe is characterized by velvety fabrics, glittery colors, plenty of bling, and lots of silk, sequins, and leather. Maximalism is the general idea. In other words, night luxe is a blinged-out, flash-photography-only kind of vibe, and the best part is it all takes place at night after work (or school hours). It’s living your best life after the sun goes down.

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Casa Caeli 30

Casa Caeli | Rooftop Overlooking Manhattan Skyline

If you’re thinking about throwing a Night Luxe-themed graduation party, the venue has to be the picture of extravagant indulgence. Caeli Rooftop checks all the boxes – panoramic views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines, rooftop terrace, high end finishes, and a living room that opens up directly to a second terrace. Imagine toasting to your hard work and future success against the NYC skyline lit up against the night. This 3,000 sq/ft penthouse loft in Greenpoint exudes an elevated elegance, ideal for Night-Luxe themed graduation parties. Learn More


Casa Estrella | Grand Room with Mezzanine

Having hosted queens and US presidents to rockstars and Hollywood celebrities, Casa Estrella gives off a glamorous yet dramatic experience through its oversized windows, regal ornate ceilings, and 25 feet wide floor plan. This 3,400 sq/ft architectural marvel epitomizes luxe with 24-ft high ceilings, crystal chandelier, and a grand piano. At night, take your party to the private outdoor terrace where you can view the stars and sip sparkling cider or champagne. Learn More

Not what you’re looking for? Explore more spaces! 

Regardless of the theme you choose for your graduation party, the most important thing to remember is it’s a celebration of you! Along with unique space rental, Cocoon also provides onsite support and optional concierge event planning service. 

Need custom leis made for your Hawaiian-themed party? Cocoon can handle that. Need special snacks or beverages for your 90s theme party? Food and beverage is one of our specialties. Need more bling for your Night-Luxe theme? We specialize in decor. Our goal is always to save you time so that you can focus more on your family, friends, and of course, graduation party fun.

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