A baby shower with a lotta people for a little money
October 8, 2010 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Where can I throw a baby shower in Pittsburgh?

Hi, fellow Pittsburgh Mefites, I'm knocked up!

A friend of mine has been very gracious as to throw a baby shower for me and my husband in early November. However, I have a very large, very local family and that's made finding a space very difficult as none of our houses can really fit more than 15 people at a time comfortably.

I don't want this to cost a lot of money, but we're running out of time to just pick something. I would totally be happy with a space in a church basement or a firehall with card tables and folding chairs, but we don't even know who to call.

Does anyone have any ideas? I just need a space that won't cost more than a few hundred dollars to rent, will hold at least 50 people, and will have inexpensive catering or allow us to bring in our own food. Ideally, there would be a little natural light and I would be able to bring in some cocktails (I believe everyone needs a drink at a baby shower! Except me. For now.), but I would be okay with doing without those things.
posted by Alison to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
Try a park building, though some of them sell out early. Our wedding was at North Park's Lodge building, which was gorgeous in late October and comfortably held 60- or 70-some people; it's the largest of NP's buildings and the most expensive—a whopping $300 for the entire day, pretty much sunup to midnight, plus $50 for an alcohol permit. We had our own catering—Have Smoke Will Travel, who were fabulous—and brought our own beer and wine (we did have to get a separate noise permit for the band, though; I think this was about $50 as well).
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:59 AM on October 8, 2010


My wife is part of a Mom's group that has had events at the Waldorf School (in their auditorium -- very affordable and a nice space) and the Union Project.

I also think the Schenley Park Visitor Center is a very nice medium-sized space.
posted by alb at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2010


Let me think on this a little bit, but based on your "firehall" comment - there's the Sokol Club in the South Side. It's across from South Side Works - we notice the signs congratulating people whenever we drive past on Carson.

But let me think a little more... I'm sure there are a lot of other options...
posted by librarianamy at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2010

Hey Alison! Don't know if you'd be interested in the South Hills, but I can certainly recommend a few spots in the area. Holy Cross Banquet Hall is across from the Galleria on 19S, and has a nice area with windows looking at the opposing tree-covered hillside. We had our wedding reception there. Phaturo's catering is good eats.

Franco's on W. Liberty Ave has a banquet room downstairs that is lovely, and the food is excellent. We recently had my son's christening after-party there.

Going with a non-standard option, which, somewhat knowing the two of you might be a better fit, maybe try Dave & Buster's at the Waterfront and invite husbands. Let the boys (and any girls that don't want to sit through endless opening) play while you handle the shower necessity. The table set-up will also get you out of the "everyone sit and stare at the mom-to-be opening stuff" situation.

Make sure you speak with the managers -- in the current economy, a lot of them will design a menu to fit a specific budget per head, and slash the price on what individual entrees would normally cost.
posted by bfranklin at 7:39 AM on October 8, 2010

Piggybacking on BFranklin's idea of Dave & Buster's - how about Games N'at?

We went to a 30th birthday party there for a friend and they have two private rooms, and allow you to bring your own booze. She's a vegetarian and they had no problem with her bringing in her own food and cake.
posted by librarianamy at 8:21 AM on October 8, 2010

From 2008, but a similar question on the Pittsburgh LJ community that has some interesting suggestions. Slightly more current (2010) question about a small reception that might be applicable.
posted by librarianamy at 12:51 PM on October 8, 2010

In line with the church basement option: you could contact Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, which is hurting for money and is usually quite happy to rent out space to non-members.
posted by kataclysm at 1:13 PM on October 8, 2010

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