Whether you’re in the market to host a baby shower, an adult birthday party, a retirement party, a family reunion, a graduation party, a holiday party or have another type of party planned, Champaign-Urbana can provide a multitude of solutions for your idea. We’re here to help. Below, in different sections, are options for hosting a party of varying purposes. We’ll start with baby showers and move on from there.
Related: If you’re looking to host a kids’ birthday party, go here.
Venues to host a baby shower
You can always host a baby shower in someone’s home. And that will probably be the most budget-friendly option on the table, not to mention an intimate setting for a small group of friends or family. Additional popular options are places of worship, civic center and park district buildings.
For the purposes of this list, we will be referring to places outside of someone’s home. We also list the most costly venues first, with the least expensive options further down the list.
Pear Tree Estate
An elegant spot for weddings, Pear Tree Estate has options for more casual gatherings, too. Perhaps you just want a quiet space outdoors to gather and enjoy some small bites with your group while showering the mom-to-be with gifts. Plan ahead, as this place books up quickly.
Allerton Park and Retreat Center
We are huge fans of Allerton and it seems like you are, too! Any mom-to-be would be thrilled to don her prettiest maternity dress to be the guest of honor at this stunning venue. If you want to throw your party in the mansion, it will set you back at least $250. But the food (and the clean-up) is included. In fact, the only outside food you are allowed to bring is the cake. The grounds are public property, so if you bring all of your own, well, everything — and risk the bad weather — you can plan to host your event outdoors to enjoy the splendid views.
Located on the fourth floor of the Illinois Terminal overlooking downtown Champaign, this central location with easy parking makes a great baby shower location. You can rent the entire fourth floor or just one end of the floor for your event. Food and beverage must be coordinated with the in-house caterer, DISH.
Big Grove has rooms perfect for baby showers. With three rooms to use individually or combined, the special event space at Big Grove can accommodate groups large and small. As it says on the website, “Here at Big Grove we pride ourselves on a thoughtful space that encourages guests to enjoy themselves and feel at home.” Having attended events here, we can attest to that vibe.
Broadway Food Hall
Broadway Food Hall can hold events of a large size, with up to 250 guests. Fill out this form if you want to talk about possibilities.
You can fill out a form here to get a conversation going with the restaurant related to your event. Hamilton Walker’s can host very small groups to much larger ones.
The greenhouse at Silvercreek is the most notable spot at the restaurant to host a shower — or rehearsal dinner or any occasion. A minimum food order is required. A truly beautiful space for a shower, indeed!
Sun Singer has a great room for gatherings. Call to get specifics on what will be required to reserve the room.
Jupiter’s at the Crossing
If pizza, nachos and wings are what the mom-to-be is craving, somewhere like Jupiter’s at the Crossing might be the best option for your shower. The bottom floor is the most family-friendly (kids along for the ride?) while the upstairs is a popular spot for showers. Order by the platter to make hosting a group even easier.
The Lake House at Crystal Lake Park
The Lake House at Crystal Lake Park in Urbana is available for showers, and can be a bargain for what you get. The upper/outdoor terrace spaces cost approximately twice as much but come with scenic views.
Anita Purves Nature Center
A baby shower at a nature center? Yes! Thanks to some thoughtful layout of this building, you can easily avoid the snakes and reptiles for the entire length of your visit, if you desire. You need to reserve at least two weeks in advance of your shower.
Urbana Park District also has more rooms throughout the community that you can rent.
The upstairs space at Harvest Market makes a good spot to gather with a small group. You won’t be able to bring food in, but you can order ahead of time so your group has something to enjoy while you shower or sprinkle.
CU flower house
Private events of up to 50 people (1,900 square feet) are available. All food must be catered by an outside licensed catering company. Features flowers from the famous flower house.
The Venue CU
The Venue CU offers a decidedly upscale option, especially appropriate for larger events.
Maize Mexican Grill
The downtown Champaign location has an option (minimum 20 people) with catering available.
The Urbana restaurant at Atkins Golf Club includes a private dining room (seating up to 20), a lounge (up to 50) and a banquet room (up to 150).
We hear Schnucks has a good-sized room you can rent for no room fee — you just need to order your food and/or cake from the store for the gathering.
Riggs Beer Company, Urbana
Nothing says baby shower quite like a brewery. But we hear that Riggs is a legitimate option to host an event just like a baby shower.
Lake of the Woods, Mahomet
Lake of the Woods has eight locations that are available for rentals, from pavilions to cabins to shelters to the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden.
Yellow & Co., Mahomet
Yellow & Co. offers a room for rent; details are scarce but it asks potential renters to fill out a form with details pertaining to their request.
Elks Lodge, Savoy
Elks features a “large” rental area that is suitable for an “anniversary party, wedding reception or any social gathering.” Call (217) 840-7876.
Venues for other types of parties
Based on reader recommendations
I & I Antique Tractor and Gas Building, Penfield: “The I & I building in Penfield is a decent size and cheap to rent, you can get in under $100.”
The Masonic Lodge, Ogden: “I’ve rented the Masonic Lodge in Ogden for under $100.”
First Christian Church Indoor Playground, Champaign: “You can rent the FCC playground. $100/members and $150 for non-members.” “Our twin girls 1st bday was at First Christian Church off Staley. It was terrific!.” “My experience has been that the FCC playground books months in advance … Just FYI.”
Sidney Township Hall, Sidney: “You could try the town hall. We used Sidney’s Town Hall and it was right around $100 and it could fit a lot if people. We had a circus themed party with a small bounce house, games, and popcorn and cotton candy. We had about 40 people and fit comfortably.”
Royal Community Building, “The Royal Community Building on a Sunday is only $75 I believe. It would be hard to get it on a Saturday due to weddings and such.”
Denny’s, Champaign: “Denny’s in Champaign has a room and the minimum to spend is $50, so drinks or something. We brought our own cake and there’s an arcade there.”
Homer Lake, Homer: “Homer Lake has a large room you can rent.” “I’ve been to a baby shower and a family reunion at the Salt Fork Center at Homer Lake. It was a great location for both celebrations. The location is beautiful, and it easily fit 50 people with a nice kitchen and bathrooms. We loved it.”
Jackson Ellis Community Center, Homer: “Loved this space for a graduation party. It’s located in the Village Hall, is clean, newer, had a nice size room and large kitchen, and was cheap!”