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Hello Everyone. I need some affordable suggestions for a baby shower location in Gainesville. I'm due July 8th, and since we are also moving that month, I have a TON of things I'm trying to get done before the baby comes. We were planning on my baby shower being June 4th or 5th because weddings/guests being out of town are interfering with other weekends around that time.
We originally planned to have it at the club house in my friend's community, but it is already booked! My best friend is coordinating the event, but she lives three hours away and has three little ones of her own. She is also throwing another baby shower for me the following weekend in Melbourne for family and friends back home. I'm trying to help her as much as possible.
I'm probably expecting around 20-40 people, but my house can't accommodate that many! I don't know where else in town we could have a baby shower that is AFFORDABLE and fit for that kind of event.
Does anyone have any ideas?
The Thomas Center is pretty reasonable for an event that size...if you can get it. You can bring your own food or hire the caterer of your choice.
The city used to rent out the Boulware Springs Waterworks building for events. That place seats 100. Haile Homestead is also rentable, and a neat place to visit. The Hippodrome has several spaces that it rents out very reasonably. The Art Gallery space would be nice.
Kazbor's on 39th has a sizeable room you can request, but you'll have to have them provide the food. Leonardo's 706 has a room off to the side, as does Napolatano's, and Conestoga's in Alachua. Ivy House in Alachua would be lovely for a baby shower. Just a few ideas. If a luncheon is too pricey, I've been to events that were dessert only. Good luck!
We actually got married in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and it is certainly too pricey for the baby shower (although it is beautiful). I'm going to look into the hippodrome...I didn't realize they had space for rent!
Since I work with a lot of men (most of which have new babies a year or under), I'm probably going to do a co-ed baby shower for the one here in Gainesville. What do you all think about a "Baby-Q"? Figured it might be something a little more guy friendly, and certainly less expensive if we can find the right place.
If we did something like that, I would like to find a park with a grill and a nice open space (or pavilion!). Do any of you have suggestions for a park in the area that might work?
The Gainesville City Parks are nice, but you have to stake out the picnic pavillions early in the am. I like Cofrin because it is smaller. It has a trail and a playground. The Bouleware Springs Park on the east side of town is also one of my favorites. It has a picnic area, the waterworks, a nature trail, lots of parking, and is the start of the Hawthorne trail. Westside and Kanapaha parks are local favorites, but get crowded quickly.
I was at Dudley Farm in Jonesville for the first time recently. It would a lovely place for a Baby-Q. They have a picnic area with some tables and a few grills. There's a museum, bathrooms, gift shop, and your guests can tour the homestead. So, they'd have an option to get out of the heat. The children will love the animals on the farm. Admission is $5 per car.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is is a bit farther out, but it is also an excellent site. The park area is just outside the homestead on the water. The park is owned by the county, so I don't think there is a charge for using it. There is a large playground, nice bathrooms, and picnic facilities, some covered (I think). I don't remember if they have grills, but you could probably bring one. For a $5 per car admission, your guests could tour the orange farm, which has chickens and ducks. For another $3 per adult, they could take the guided tour of the house. I just recommend going there. It is so cool, and I am amazed that so many Gainesville folks have never been there.
O'Leno park in High Springs is farther out of Gainesville. They have really nice picnic facilities with grills and covered pavillions, playgrounds, trails. Unfortunately, it is knows for ticks, although I have never gotten a tick there.
I'm in the same boat and was excited to find this thread. Thanks everyone for the good ideas! I'll pass them along to my shower organizers. FYI -- the City of Gainesville no longer rents out the pump house at Boulware Springs, but the picnic facilities are still available there.
Thanks, Stephanie! Yes, I found the thread while Googling for good baby shower venues in Gainesville. Gotta love the internet! So where did you end up having your shower?
The Harn Museum just started doing rentals. I don't know the rates but you can call and talk to Vicki Tyson.