Family Programs Assistant at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and mom of three, Megan Polcaro knows a thing or two about hosting family-type events. And what’s more of a family event than a baby shower? But forget about those dreary afternoons spent oohing and ahhing over one adorable outfit after another. Today’s baby showers are as hip and chic as the soon-to-be mom they celebrate. If you’re up to plan a baby shower anytime soon, try these tips for hosting one in Boston.
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
The days of 30 or 40 friends and family crammed in your sister’s living room are long gone. More and more hosts are opting to hold baby showers outside their homes. There are a lot of good reasons to hire a hall rather than do it at home. Venues usually have catering services, which also makes food a breeze, and, most importantly, they pick up the mess when the guests leave. Another great reason to find a venue is the photo opportunities. With many people choosing to hire a professional photographer for the shower and to have it documented similarly to their weddings, nothing beats a knock-out location for top-notch pictures.
It’s not enough to just hang some pink or blue streamers around and call it a baby shower. People expect to be entertained at this party. If you have a big budget, you might consider hiring live music. If you have a more modest expenditure for this party, find a guitar-playing friend or plan some kind of baby-themed party games to play. Ask each guest to bring in one of their own baby photos and then spend some time trying to match the baby to the grown adult. It always brings some laughs and you’ll be amazed at how some people have changed, or haven’t changed, over the years.
Baby showers aren’t just about helping parents-to-be fill their nursery. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate a new life and create lasting memories for years to come. Some fun memory-making activities for baby showers include things like handing each guest a piece of pretty paper and asking them to write a bit of advice for the mom to be. These can be collected into a lovely scrapbook after the shower. Or in the invitation, ask each guest to bring a special book for baby or to bring a scrap of fabric that will later be turned into a quilt.
Baby showers can get expensive. Between the food, the decorations, the favors and everything else, it’s easy to go over budget. A great way to save some money is to use plants. Potted flowers, in the colors of the shower theme, are relatively inexpensive and serve double duty. Use them as both decorations at the party and as favors for the guests to take home.
You know you have to feed the guests at a shower, but if you haven’t attended one recently yourself, you may not realize that baby shower cakes are getting to be as expected as a cake at a wedding. Cupcakes, professional bakery cakes or a homemade one are all fine but the guests want cake. One word to the wise — don’t try to get too clever with the cake. Keep it simple and tasteful.
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.