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Prom & Graduation

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Create a memorable prom weekend

After months of planning and anticipation, many soon-to-be graduates would no doubt prefer prom night to last for more than one evening. Some students extend the revelry for a few days, turning prom into a full weekend of activities rather than a single night.

According to Visa's 2014 Prom Spending Survey, the average prom-goer spent close to $1000 on prom-related expenses in 2014. Tacking on a weekend's worth of activities can further inflate that price tag, but the added fun may be worth spending a few more dollars.

Students who want to turn prom into a weekend-long affair can consider the following ways to do just that.

• Attend an after-party. Many schools host and/or sponsor safe after-prom parties that give students a chance to enjoy themselves once the formal dance and dinner has ended. After-parties can be a great way to continue dancing and mingling a little later into the night.

• Book some action-packed fun. If the closing scenes of "Grease," with its Ferris wheels and carnival games, inspires you, consider a post-prom amusement park adventure. Parks are large enough to accommodate large parties, and students can pool their resources to rent a party bus to get them there and back safe and sound. Amusement parks may offer special discounts for large groups, thereby helping graduates save even more.

• Embrace the great outdoors. Camping remains one of the most affordable options for people traveling on limited budgets. Students can bond around a campfire, sharing conversation and enjoying low-cost activities, such as roasting marshmallows.

• Go out for karaoke. Students who spent prom night dancing and singing along to their favorite tunes can extend the musical theme by organizing a karaoke night. Invite some friends over and use popular karaoke apps that can be downloaded to smartphones or tablets.

• Try bowling in formalwear. After prom, head to the nearest bowling alley in your prom night finest and play a few frames. Engage in some lighthearted competition, such as guys versus gals.

• Plan a city excursion. If you live close to a major city, plan a sight-seeing or cultural excursion the afternoon after prom. Do a museum crawl or dine out at a ritzy restaurant. Take advantage of all the tourist attractions you may have overlooked during past visits.

Students who want to create lasting prom memories can extend their celebrations into the weekend.

Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press