Life goes on, and major life events don’t stop happening. Graduation is, for many, one of the major defining moments of their early lives, transitioning from education into the workforce, seeing many friends for the last time. It’s cause for a party, for a celebration, and for something unique.
There is a wide range of possible events and venues to visit around the Dallas and Fort Worth area, you just need to know where to look.
Here are some options to get you started!
Does your new grad enjoy fast cars, powerful motorcycles, and exotic vehicles? Would they like a party surrounded by these, themed art, customizable electronics, games, and more? One venue might catch your eye on the northwest corner of downtown Dallas.
Crashed Toys is an event center dedicated to the art of motorcycles, power sport vehicles, and exotic cars. There’s art, there are cool displays of interesting vehicles, and there’s catering available for gatherings of up to 200-300 people in two of their three venues, or from 450-600 in the third. Use the motorsports theme as décor for a traditional party, or go all-in with games, themed food, and anything else you can imagine. The technology, the furniture, the catering; it’s all available for planning events of nearly any size after graduation.
Woodhaven country club is a golf course and club with a variety of facilities on the grounds, capable of housing parties and gatherings ranging from 25 people to 250.
They regularly host game nights and a variety of other events, so a graduation party is no different. Though it’s in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it’s surrounded by hills and serves as an oasis of green in the midst of the city. You can also work with their on-staff chefs and event planners to put together a memorable evening for your new grad, to celebrate this important transition from one phase of life to the next.
Graduations happen a few times, and while a grade school graduation isn’t much, high school graduations are a perfect blend between the lingering energy of childhood and the upcoming pressures of adulthood. It’s the perfect time to get the gang back together for one last hurrah before everyone goes off their separate ways, to trades and colleges and careers.
Andretti Karting and Games is a franchise of indoor event centers with go kart tracks, arcades, and other entertainment available. There are three in Texas; one in San Antonio, one in Katy, and one right by Dallas in The Colony. The location in The Colony has a kart track, arcade, VR games, laser tag arena, ropes course, and bowling, along with customizable attractions and restaurant options for your graduation party.
Not everyone is a fan of motorsports or go karting. Some people prefer a more subdued, natural setting for their events, and the BRIT is a great option. Centered in the Fort Worth Cultural District, the BRIT has seven different spaces of varying sizes, as well as two outdoor spaces that are flexible for just about any kind of party you want to host.
Among their venues, the Atrium is a great open hall full of natural light and is one of the bigger indoor spaces. The Commons is an adjustable, flexible indoor space that can combine with the Exhibit Hall for a larger space if necessary. The classroom is, of course, a classroom, while the conference room has large tables and a great balcony overlooking the prairie. And, of course, the prairie itself is available for up to 200 people.
While Main Event might not be the most exotic venue, it’s a go-to source for parties of all stripes for a reason. Between the climbing wall, the VR room, the arcade, and the karaoke, there’s something there for pretty much everyone.
Main Event is able to host pretty much any kind of event, and they’re veterans at planning events of all stripes, including graduation parties. They can customize the available games, rooms, catering, and even what’s playing on the TVs throughout the venue for as long as your party lasts. The venue is best suited for mid-to-large sized parties, though, with 50,000 square feet of space across different entertainment zones.
Not a lot of people think of a zoo as a place to rent for a private event, but most zoos have some flexible options for parties, even weddings. While they don’t allow you to hop into any of the exhibits for obvious reasons, getting a graduation party together has a few benefits. In addition to giving everyone a taste of nature after a long school year, groups of 15 or more have access to discounted admission tickets and can access certain private rooms for the center of the event, including catering. They can host from 75 to 1,200 guests, though of course, those larger parties can be a lot to fill out with a graduation event.
The Bomb Factory is not actually a factory, nor does it manufacture bombs. Rather, it’s a live music venue and party hall that is both extremely flexible and quite modern. The venue itself can be flexed and rearranged to suit groups ranging from 150 people to as many as 4,300 for larger shows.
Events hosted at the Bomb Factory get event production, event management, access to their professional sound production team and equipment, bartenders, security, and even talent procurement if you want to go the whole nine yards and book a band or other live entertainment for the party. It’s very flexible and a lot of fun.
Billings Productions is a company that makes many of those cool, life-sized animatronics and exhibits for zoos, museums, and other organizations that want to see what prehistoric life, giant bugs, or other critters would be like. They’ve existed for nearly two decades, but it’s only in the last year or so that they’ve opened up their facility to events and parties. They now offer tours and events, which you can book by contacting them directly. If you were familiar with them in the past, by the way, they moved their facility out to Allen, on the north side of Dallas, instead of their previous location further north in McKinney.
As a last hurrah of energy and youth before careers, college, or corporate America takes over, graduating seniors often love a physical activity to bring everyone together as part of graduation. Fun on the Run is a large-scale paintball park with a variety of different courses, rented by the hour for mid and large-sized groups. Pricing is generally quite reasonable, and they offer standard paintball, low-impact paintball, and airsoft for run and gun gameplay that suits anyone’s tastes.
Make no mistake; despite catering to children and young adults, people of all ages – including college grads and their friends and families – can have hours of fun at a park like this one. Just be aware that, while you have access to picnic tables for a dining area, you’ll need to arrange catering separately.
Elegance Ballroom is a dance studio and event center located in Plano, with a large and flexible space suitable for everything from dance lessons to (of course) a graduation party. You’re not beholden to taking lessons or having a dance party in the halls, but with a full suite of entertainment equipment, a stage, and DJ services, there’s plenty of flexibility. In addition to the main ballroom, Elegance has a separate lounge and bar area for those who want a more subdued atmosphere away from the main party. If you’re looking for a more musical-themed party venue with plenty of space for activity, this one is a great option.
Firearms and alcohol don’t mix, and a rowdy graduation party is the last place you want people pulling out their weapons, but sometimes the fun of a gun just can’t be passed over. That’s where a venue like Stockyards Gunfighter comes into play.
They’re a gun-focused venue, with firing ranges with a variety of themes, but they don’t have a single live fire weapon on the range. Instead, it’s all virtual firearms, with laser technology usually reserved for military training and law enforcement. It’s cheap and easy to book a private party for your graduation group and set up a range of different themed games on the digital ranges. Alternatively, book a different venue and talk to them; they can come to you.
When was the last time you got to chuck an ax at something? If that sounds like a fun time, Stumpy’s is a great choice. They’re an ax-throwing range with wooden targets, hatchets balanced for throwing, and almost all of the fingers they started with! Stumpy’s is a franchise with locations across the United States, including venues in Waco, San Antonio, Irving, and Fort Worth.
Stumpy’s can accommodate parties of up to 140 people, and they’re accustomed to events ranging from birthday parties and corporate parties to holiday and bachelor gatherings. A graduation party is no trouble at all. Just make sure everyone is following the appropriate safety precautions and it’s safe, fun, and a great time for grads.
One of the more off-the-wall event venues in the Dallas area is The Quixotic World, a 5,000 square foot event space suitable for pretty much any kind of party, so long as they want an odd, somewhat surreal atmosphere.
They can host up to 248 people, with dining space for 200, and they have a range of amenities including a sound system, shadow dancing, projectors, and wonderful décor. You’ll make memories there if nothing else.
14. Good Eats at Paul Martin’s Grill Now Permanently Closed. Can be visited in Austin, TX.
Sometimes, all you need to make a party a success is some good, hearty food. What can be better than a good American Grill? Located north of the heart of Dallas in Austin, this American restaurant can seat up to 36 people on a private patio and can customize everything from décor to menus to suit the people you’ve invited. It might not be the largest or the most exotic of venues on this list, but sometimes you don’t need all of that, you just need a place to socialize and let the stress of school evaporate.
The Room on Main is a historic ballroom with 30-foot ceilings, antique décor, excellent views, and a classic atmosphere. It’s pretty much the gold standard for a “classic” party, with entertainment, catering, and all the accouterments you could want for a gathering. They don’t do catering themselves, but they have a partnership with CN Catering, who provides excellent service on top of everything. If you don’t want something off the wall or too activity-focused, The Room can be the perfect venue right in the heart of Dallas.
Do you have a favorite venue and accompanying event idea for the greater Dallas and Fort Worth area? Let us know in the comments where you had your party, and where you would plan one if you could plan one now. We’d love to hear it!