At some point, almost everyone moves away. Sad but true. In their life, the average person moves nearly a dozen times. Forty million people in the US – 13% of the population – move each year. But only a small percentage of them get the chance to participate in a going-away party.
Whether it’s a loved one moving out of state or a co-worker moving to greener pastures, you can’t let them get away without throwing them a fabulous and memorable soiree. One last farewell utilizing amazing going-away party ideas will make them not want to leave, and isn’t that the point?
Anyone can just throw a going away party. A few people in your house, some snacks, some drinks and a start time and you have a party, right? Sure, if you want your soon-to-depart loved one to want to go away even faster. But with these incredible going away party ideas, some help and a little ingenuity, they’ll never, ever forget their time with you and the rest of their loved ones.
Have fun with a theme when thinking of going-away party ideas
To make their going away a memorable last dance, step up your farewell game with these going away party ideas.
Theme parties aren’t just for toddlers’ birthdays. Use a fun and exciting theme to throw a going away party that will make them want to cancel their travel plans and stay home.
Backyard movie party
It’s a movie marathon in the great outdoors. Digital projectors are fairly affordable and connect to your favorite streaming service or on-demand. Set up in the backyard or on your patio, and project movies onto an outdoor screen (or sheet or canvas), a blow-up movie screen or even project right onto the side of your house. Set up some chairs and pop some corn for an outdoor movie night.
Keep the theme rolling with moving-related movies like Toy Story 3, Cheaper By The Dozen, Richard Pryor’s Moving or even The Watcher. And if you’re farewelling in chilly weather, gather around a set of outdoor heat lamps and feel the warmth.
Bon voyage party
Whether or not your loved one is moving overseas, everyone loves a cruise. Throw them a bon voyage party by replicating that classic moment when the ship pulls away from the port.
Decorate with boat-themed items like crafted sails and anchors. Give guests life vests and arm them with streamers and plastic bottle poppers to toss on cue. Play shuffleboard and bingo. Soundtrack it with the Titanic theme, Come Sail Away by Styx and Enya’s Orinoco Flow.
Houseplant adoption party
Is your guest-of-honor an anthophile? They may not be able to take all of their houseplants on their journey. Throw a party where attendees and friends adopt the plants that can’t be moved. Make it a game and the winner gets the first pick of plants. Or run it like a white elephant steal-a-plant activity.
Photo memory party
Ask attendees to email you pictures of the soon-to-leave loved one and create a slideshow to view at the party. Set it to music from their favorite singers. For an old-school vibe, print the pictures out, and let guests put them into an actual photo album at the party. That will make a great gift for the moving-away’er.
Who says a farewell has to end before bedtime? Make their party an overnight success. Invite everyone to stay over with sleeping bags and pajamas. Stay up late with pizza and swap stories about your loved one before they (and their bed) move away.
College colors party
If the nearly-departed is heading to college (or to a famous college town), theme the party in college colors. Orange for Syracuse, Carolina blue for UNC or Alabama crimson, there are tons of options. Have guests dress in those colors, or come in sweats and tees from their own alma mater. Play some backyard football, set up a Nerf basketball hoop and serve cheap beer in red Solo cups.
American pride party
Is the mover heading overseas for work or school? Joining the military? Give Uncle Sam a big salute with a red, white and blue-themed going away party. Have attendees dress in their finest American apparel. Decorate with flags and bunting. Serve hotdogs and apple pie. Live somewhere you can set off fireworks? Do it!
A whole family moving away? Keep your party family-friendly, or at least kid-friendly. Play games, serve kid food and RSVP an early start time. Create your party based on the expected kid-to-adult ratio.
If your going away loved one is of the charitable sort, throw a fundraising party. Have each attendee bring a donation to the guest-of-honor’s favorite charity. Or choose a charity or two in their soon-to-be-home city like a food bank or local agency that helps that city’s unhoused.
It may be a little sad for you, but helpful for them. Throw a packing party to help pack up all those boxes. It might make their packing experience a little less lonely, and speed up the boxing. Equip everyone with tape, markers and labels, and assign rooms. Play Suitcase Tetris and see who packs the best. Make sure to have plenty of adult beverages and pizza to go around.
Stuff your face with these going-away party ideas
Speaking of pizza, what better going-away party ideas than those revolving around food? Nothing brings people together like a tasty spread. And you can show your loved one or co-worker that you appreciate them by surrounding them with their favorite foods and a great epicureal experience.
Your guest-of-honor will love if everyone comes to wish them farewell with a potluck dinner dish – cooked or purchased – in hand. Your going away party will have plenty of food and variety. Bring a favorite dish of yours or of the nearly departed. They’ll appreciate the personal touch either way.
Destination cooking parties
And whether your party is potluck, catered or cooked, step it up to the next level by theming the food for the move. Serve dishes popular in the city you’re in or the one that’s being moved to. Are they moving away from Philly? Cater the party with their favorite cheesesteaks. If they are on their way to Dallas or Houston, stock up on the Tex-Mex.
Backyard cookout party
If the weather is warm (or at least not cold), throw a farewell barbecue. Nothing says home like hotdogs, burgers or steaks on the grill served on paper plates in the backyard. Throw in cookout games like wiffleball or cornhole.
Food truck party
Want to have a going away party at home but without the cooking and cleaning? Rent a food truck to come to your house to serve food right from their window.
Ice cream and dessert party
Dinner is great, but everyone comes to the party for dessert. Show the one you’ll miss how much you love them with an ice cream and dessert party. Give everyone some ice cream and point them towards a toppings station you set up in the living room or work conference room. Have everyone potluck their favorite cakes and pies for a la mode. Or take the party out to your favorite self-serve soft serve or froyo joint.
Coffee shop party
Sure, your guest-of-honor’s new city will have Starbucks, too. But what it won’t have is you and their friends. Caffeine up your going away by throwing a coffee shop party. Brew a big carafe and let attendees hit sweetener, creamer and syrup station in your home or office kitchen. Set out café games like gin rummy or checkers. Or bring the crew to the mover’s favorite local café and grab that big table in the middle.
Private restaurant party
Coffee shops are great, but what about the full meal experience before going away? Find out what your departing love one’s favorite restaurant is, and bring the whole crew there for one big last meal (but make sure it’s a local spot, not a chain they can patronize in any city). You can either make reservations for a family-style table or rent out a private party room. Heck, you can even rent out the whole place.
Raise a glass and make a toast with these beverage-themed party ideas
We’re all adults here. So why not wish your loved one or co-worker a fond farewell with a few adult beverages? Let loose and get your drink on to say adios with these fermented going-away party ideas.
Craft brewery tour party
Your departing friend or family member can grab a Miller or Bud anywhere. But only your city serves their own beers. Craft breweries are popular in many cities from Colorado Springs to Grand Rapids to Asheville. Take the gang for a craft brewery and beer tasting tour at one of your city’s beloved spots.
Be sure to grab six-packs for them to take with to their new city and show off to new neighbors.
Pub crawl happy hour party
Nothing says last hurrah like hitting the town to imbibe refreshments with friends. Grab the gang and head to an after-work happy hour. Then another happy hour, and another. Visit all the on-the-move’ers favorite spots. But just one drink per location before moving on. Ensure everyone gets on public transportation or has a designated driver.
Paint and sip party
But for a more chill time, check out a paint-and-sip, one of the trendiest ideas in out-of-home parties. Take your loved one and all their loved ones to a local paint and sip shop and enjoy some day drinking while creating a work of art. Or at least creating a going away present.
At-home cocktail party
Maybe drinking in public isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. No problem! Throw a farewell cocktail party at home. Make it fancy by hiring a professional mixologist. Or keep it chill with a selection of beers and pre-mixed cocktails. There’s no wrong answer as long as you toast the honoree multiple times.
Opt for a day out on the town with these ideas
No farewell party has to be confined to your living room, or even indoors. Make it a full day of fond farewell going away party ideas that the departing loved one will never forget.
Escape room party
Everyone loves a good escape room. What better way to cooperate one last time before someone leaves for good. Escape rooms are a great bonding experience that will make for a great Instagram story, too. And hey, if they can’t escape, they can’t leave town!
Spa and massage day party
Moving can be super stressful. Help your dearly-departing de-stress with a going away self-care day. Take a few close friends or officemates to the day spa for a much-needed spa soak, Swedish massage or steam room schvitz.
Murder mystery party
Who dunnit? Well that’s a mystery for your going away party to solve. Many local theaters and restaurants offer murder mysteries, so why not catch a killer before moving day. Going away parties? You’re killing it.
Karaoke and dance party
If you’re looking for a party with a little more pep, grab the gang and step up to the mic. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not, everyone can karaoke. Spend the night singing your favorite tunes. Or if you want someone else to do the vocal work, go out dancing and shake it out all night long.
Hot air balloon party
Before your friend or family member takes off for greener pastures, why not see what your hometown pastures look like… from 2,000 feet above? Rent out a hot air balloon and let them take a last gaze at their old town from a new angle before taking off for their new one.
Go camping party
Your going away party can be a getting-away-from-it-all party by taking the guest-of-honor and some close friends and family for a campout. Take the tents (or rent a cabin) to your favorite local park and let them sleep out under your town’s stars for one last time.
Beach road trip party
Whether it’s down the street or down the shore, why not give a big farewell at the beach? Grab your beach towels and flip-flops and your gang and hit the sand. Or the boardwalk. Or the beach bar. Or the casino. Or the amusement pier. The options are as plentiful as grains of beachsand.
Virtual vacation party
Can’t get away? Separated by miles? Well you can always take a virtual trip with all your friends. Try a virtual destination experience service like Woyago. You and your farewell party can visit one of the world’s great cities from the comfort of your home. Or even pre-visit your departing loved one’s new city over the internet.
Leave it all on the field with these novel going-away party ideas
Is your loved one that’s moving away a bit of a sports fan? A crazy nut that follows every team from your city? Or do they love getting out there and playing themselves? Let them experience your local sports landscape one last time with these sporty going away party ideas.
Take me out to the ballgame party
You’ve seen those “group sales” ads from the local pro sports teams your whole life. Now it’s time. Gather up the group and the guest of honor and head out to the ballpark, stadium or arena. You can all sit together with a group sales discount block of tickets for as few as 20 people in most places. Or splurge and get a luxury box for your farewell party. And you can even get your names on the giant scoreboard.
Priced out? Head to a local college game or a smaller sport like lacrosse, indoor soccer or ultimate.
Hit the links party
If your loved one who’s moving away is more of a participatory sort, a round of golf is a great last hurrah. Get a tee time and gather up a foursome or two and hit the course. Even better, take everyone to the driving range and whack some with a few beers. Or rent out a bay at Top Golf for the night and let the game come to you.
Hold your own competition party
You don’t have to go out to have a going-away style athletic adventure. Stock up the cooler, throw on the cleats and hit the park, or backyard. A pickup basketball game, two-hand touch football or softball are great last-go-round experiences. For a more chill day, head out for some pickleball or Frisbee golf.
Let the games begin with these going-away party ideas
Nothing says party like a night full of games and friendly competition. Your friend, family member or co-worker going away can leave town with their head held high, or try to live down defeat at reunions forever.
Board game party
This is old school, and especially great for childhood friends moving away. Whether it’s new adult games like Apple To Apples or Scattergories or classics like Monopoly and The Game of Life, there’s no better way to get everyone engaged.
Online game party
You don’t have to go classic. You can all gather ’round the connected television or laptops and play some incredible online games to make the party lit. Snarky realtime online gaming platforms let you answer trivia, guess drawings and improv jokes, all while using your phone as your controller. Check out incredible games for a fond farewell from Jackbox Games and Kahoot.
Trivia game party
Everyone can get in on the action with a going-away trivia party. You can create your own trivia questions based on the life of your departing loved one and see who knows the most about them! Or grab a Trivial Pursuit version from one of their favorite fandoms like Disney, Marvel, sports or ’90s trivia.
Casino night party
Do they love going all-in and can’t make it to Vegas or AC? Have an at-home farewell casino night. Set up a few tables as stations around your apartment or house. A poker table, a blackjack table and even a craps table. Let guests earn chips to trade in for prizes.
Roast the guest of honor party
Not for the faint of heart. If your friend, co-worker or family member who is bon voyaging has a good sense of humor, throw a roast party! Have every attendee jot down some light ribbing of the guest of honor and tell some embarrassing stories about them, and let them in on the laugh. Don’t forget to say nice things too!
Have a virtual going-away party if you can’t be together
Now more than ever, it can be difficult to get everyone’s friends and family in the same room. Whether just distance or pandemic caution, thankfully we live in a world where virtual get-togethers are a snap.
Tons of going away party ideas on this list can be enjoyed over Zoom. It can be entirely virtual, or a live, in-person party with those that can’t attend Skyping or Zooming in. For the hybrid party, use your Chromecast or Firestick to project the Zoom up onto the big TV in the living room or conference room so everyone can party together.
And sending going away presents over miles couldn’t be simpler with Amazon.
A great apartment for when it’s your time to go away
You’ve facilitated a fun farewell for your loved one that’s moving. But when it’s your turn for going away, or if you want to share apartment photos to a friend that’s moving, be sure to check out all the great apartments available to you on Rent. in every city in the nation. And then your friends and family can throw you a perfect farewell party.