Unexpected party venues?
January 24, 2014 5:24 AM   Subscribe

What off the wall venues have you been to for parties? I am looking for crazy ideas so throw everything you've got but especially interested in something accommodating at least 150 people. (And if there are any Indianapolis mefites out there, please recommend some places around here)
posted by xicana63 to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have been to parties in: many lofts; a garage; an airplane hanger (with planes); several museums; an aircraft carrier; a Carnival cruise ship in port; an astronomical observatory; multiple rooftops (not all at once!); a marquee with the bar in a bus parked adjoining; two zoos; a circus big top; and an aquarium.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:30 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

In Indy...
Zoo Parties
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on January 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I really want an excuse to throw a party in one of the Central Library's spaces downtown. The IMA and the Children's Museum would also be fun, though not totally off the wall unique. You could probably rent a gallery on Mass Ave or in Fountain Square.
posted by cessair at 5:38 AM on January 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is there an aquarium?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:42 AM on January 24, 2014

I don't know if there are any caves or caverns around there but those places sometimes host unique parties
posted by cacao at 5:48 AM on January 24, 2014

I don't know Indy, but science museums, children's museums, etc (museums about things other than art) make excellent party venues. Have fun!
posted by hungrybruno at 6:17 AM on January 24, 2014

Finkl Steel Mill in Chicago. Closed or closing I believe, although they did have events in late 2013.
posted by true at 6:23 AM on January 24, 2014

Some folks I know in Chicago were living in a warehouse industrial space several years back. The place got condemned and was scheduled to be torn down, so the people who lived there threw a last hurrah party. This included sledgehammers and spraypaint.

I...did not go to this party but several of my friends did. Reports were that it was indeed pretty off the wall and crazy.
posted by phunniemee at 6:32 AM on January 24, 2014

An old, shut down art deco power plant.
posted by fontophilic at 6:33 AM on January 24, 2014

My uncle was married at the Griffith Park observatory in LA.
posted by brujita at 7:31 AM on January 24, 2014

My old employers had a new years eve party in a parking garage a few years back. The best part of setting it up was hanging up sheets to make it into a weird disco maze that lead to the indoor moon bounce.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:53 AM on January 24, 2014

A roller-skating rink rented out for the night. Themed costume party on skates. Live band set up in the middle of the rink to skate around.
posted by zyxwvut at 8:39 AM on January 24, 2014

I've gone to parties at a secure-storage facility, a wine cellar, an airport terminal, several race tracks, a pedestrian bridge, and a railway roundhouse.
posted by evoque at 9:05 AM on January 24, 2014

Seconding Thorzdad's recommendation of the Indianapolis Zoo—I've actually been to a corporate-type event for a group of about your size. In our case, it involved lunch and a group scavenger hunt type thing which, I believe, was arranged by the zoo and required us to find things throughout the zoo, so it worked well to allow us to see much of the zoo.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:38 AM on January 24, 2014

My friends had their wedding at the Buskirk-Chumley movie theater in Bloomington, Indiana. Too far?
posted by Llamadog-dad at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2014

The New York City Subway System.

No, really. Is it in Indianapolis, though? No.

More useful for you:

Everyone above who has mentioned museums is right. If you have money to throw at the problem, definitely call up the local museum, whether it focuses on art, history, or science. A children's museum might be a strange venue for a grownups' party, though. Aquariums also definitely host parties like this.

My local hackerspace rents space for events, which could be parties, I suppose.

I love the idea of buying out a place that would typically host children's birthday parties, like a roller rink, arcade, minigolf, or go karts.

I once went to a wedding at a Unitarian Universalist church were the reception was in the church sanctuary immediately following the ceremony.
posted by Sara C. at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

An abandoned bank vault. An abandoned underground supermarket. Somebody's loft (literally - we were balanced on the rafters holding glasses of wine). Underneath a giant mechanical spider. In a geodesic dome. On a boat, in a fetish club, or in a weird underground vault/cave system, all hired for the occasion. On the Thames foreshore - a strange little beach which only exists for a few hours every day. In loads of converted Art Deco cinemas. I almost got to party in a disused tube station, but it was cancelled at the last minute.
posted by doop at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2014

How about the City Market Catacombs?
posted by meindee at 3:39 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Catacombs seem like your best bet for something few people have been to that you might have a decent shot of renting.

The Artcraft Theatre in Franklin is available for parties. I've got some movie buff friends who all love the place.

Historic Artcraft Theatre

Hannah House does rentals but I think your party would need to be on the sedate side. Still a haunted house that use to be part of the underground railroad is cool.

Sites you might be able to rent but not a sure thing

FantaSuites always seemed like it would be a fun site for a party with all the crazy theme rooms. Hotels are touch and go on parties but if you could rent a block of rooms, especially on a slow weekend, it might be a go.


Dark Armies' underground city (paint ball place) would be a lot of fun but I don't know how they'd feel about renting it out for parties. They will do paint ball groups if you have enough people at anytime day or night. I did a midnight paintball game there once that was a lot of fun.
posted by stray thoughts at 2:36 AM on January 25, 2014

A Children's museum can be AWESOME for a grown-up party. My husbands cousin had her wedding at the Franklin Institute (science museum geared more towards kids in Philadelphia) and my brother just had his wedding at the Please Touch museum in Philadelphia (a museum for little children). I'm still mad at myself for not making it onto the merry-go-round during the last wedding.

Museums are awesome, but can be expensive, and aren't necessarily too "off the wall" for parties. Unless you have a place like the Mutter Museum. That would be a weird place for a party.
posted by kellygrape at 6:57 AM on January 25, 2014

Our company did a Christmas party in one of the hotels attached by skybridge to the City Center Mall, after the meal we went to the adult chuck e cheese (can't remember the name) on the 4th floor of the mall and then did a photo scavenger hunt inside the mall. Lots of fun!! There also used to be a historical mansion directly behind the children's museum that is good for parties.
posted by lilyfern at 6:55 AM on January 27, 2014

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