Homeschool Graduation

Five Sweet Party Bar Ideas for a Homeschool Graduation Party

Dessert party bars are perfect for an informal, open house celebration of your homeschooler’s graduation.

With a party bar, you offer your guests a selection of toppings and add-ins so they can build their own custom desserts. 

Your homeschool graduation party menu will match the sweet tone of your homeschooler's senior year with one of these six unusual party bar ideas. Forget about a boring half-sheet cake from the local grocery. Party bars are hip, and your guests love being able to make their sweet refreshments according to their own particular tastes.

1. Cupcake Bar

Tap into your inner child with the simple birthday favorite -- cupcakes. Guests will love the options for personalizing their own mini cakes and the built in portion control.

Base Ingredients: Cupcakes

Your cupcakes can be all vanilla or a mix of chocolate and vanilla. Supply two cupcakes per guest.


  • frosting in at least two flavors
  • sprinkles, jimmies, and nonpareils
  • nuts
  • crushed candy bars or cookies
  • mini chocolate chips
  • additional frosting in piping bags with small tips for decorating

Speedy Tip: Frost the cupcakes ahead of time and let guests add the toppings.

2. Popcorn Bar

If you pop the corn yourself with an air popper, a popcorn party bar can be an incredibly frugal option! Guests layer popcorn with add-ins of their choice to make a sweet mix.

Base Ingredients: Plain, unsalted popcorn.

Supply 3 cups of popped popcorn per guest.


  • M&M candies, Reese’s pieces or other small chocolate candies
  • peanuts
  • gummy bears or other chewy candy
  • mini marshmallows
  • dried fruit
  • mini pretzels

Serving Tip: Provide paper lunch bags for your guests to assemble their popcorn mix.

3. Banana Split Bar

A classic favorite, the banana split or ice cream sundae bar offers something for everyone. For a more grown up version, provide fancy ice cream flavors such as coffee and raspberry sorbet. Use a triple slow cooker to keep sauces warm.

Base Ingredients: Vanilla ice cream and ripe bananas.

Supply 1/2 banana and 1½ cups ice cream per person. (About 2 gallons of ice cream for every 20 people.)


  • maraschino cherries
  • sprinkles or jimmies
  • chopped nuts
  • caramel sauce
  • pineapple sauce
  • hot fudge sauce
  • crushed cookies
  • mini chocolate chips
  • toffee bits
  • gummy candies
  • M&M candies
  • shredded coconut

Speedy Tip: Put toppings in mason jars with shaker lids for easy serving and fewer spills.

4. Ice Cream Floats Bar

For a funky twist on the ice cream sundae bar, switch it over to floats. Stick with a single ice cream flavor, but provide various types of soda. Be sure to offer your guests straws along with their spoons.

Base Ingredients: Vanilla ice cream

Supply 1½ cups ice cream per person. (About 2 gallons of ice cream for every 20 people.)


  • root beer
  • cola
  • orange soda
  • grape soda
  • whipped topping
  • maraschino cherries
  • sprinkles or jimmies

Speedy Tip: Dish out scoops of ice cream into jars or glasses ahead of time and keep on ice.

5. S'mores Bar

For this type of party bar, you will need a source of fire. If your party is outdoors at night, use your backyard firepit for roasting marshmallows. Or you can use a table top grill or make small fires with cans of Sterno in clay pots.

Base Ingredients: marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers


  • sliced strawberries
  • peanut butter cups or peanut butter
  • sliced bananas
  • flavored marshmallows
  • flavored graham crackers

Speedy Tip: Skewer 2-3 marshmallows ahead of time onto long wooden skewers.

No matter what kind of bar you select, the presentation will make a difference. Although you don’t have to invest in costly serving dishes, do think about keeping a uniform appearance. Use matching containers such as mason jars, washed tin cans, metal buckets, etc. Labels aren’t required, but are cute. Do use them if your guests may honestly be confused about what the ingredients are.

If you have a particular color scheme, maybe for your graduate’s cap and gown or college colors, you can choose accessories and even candy toppings to match. Use footed cake plates and tiered pie servers to add a greater vertical dimension to your party bar. 

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