In August, I worked with a friend to pull together a baby shower for our pal Joanna, who was expecting her first child in early September. She requested a bowling shower -- yes, you read that correctly! -- and was generally delighted by all things woodland and gender-neutral. So I set out planning a shower that would be easy to coordinate without necessarily reserving the bowling alley, and therefore tangling ourselves up in their catering nonsense. On the day of, I wooed the managers-on-duty with favors of their very own so they'd be extra accommodating and friendly, and we made sure everyone served themselves beer and snacks from the snack bar.
After snacks and before presents, we feasted on s'mores cupcakes which I made the morning of the party, with chocolate cake bases, and marshmallow buttercream with graham cracker crumbles on top. For favors, I dipped marshmallows into melted chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs for mushrooms, and Hershey's Kisses were "glued" atop Nutter Butter bites for acorns. I packaged them up together in a clear cellophane bag and tied them off with some raffia and a hand-painted heart clip in our baby shower color palette - pink, orange, yellow, blue and brown.
We decided to keep the party game light and simple, perfect for a party filled with mostly introverts. We had folks Build a Crib for Baby using marshmallows and toothpicks. The baby was a candy bar. There were some pretty hilarious contributions to the contest, including a baby crib/cage with a hinged door for easy access to the infant. The top three cribs were award sheriff stars in glittery gold, silver and bronze. The guests also sat down and worked on Wishes for Baby cards that I set up with a variety of colored pencils. Each card had a different woodland creature in the top corner for them to color, and various fill in the blank sections with the option to write in loving or sarcastically hilarious advice.
The decorations were simple - paper button garland, balloons, brightly colored tablecloths and a simple bunting to welcome the guests. Everyone had an incredibly fun time at the party and I'm pretty sure they also appreciated the unorthodox format as well. If you're looking for a great co-ed party format that's easy to set-up and take down, I highly recommend the Bowling for Baby format. Even the mama-to-be got a strike! Now that baby Owen has arrived, I'm sure he's already jonesing for his first pair of bowling shoes, and you can guarantee I'll be the one to get them.