Planning your next office party, school function, or charity event and looking for somewhere to host it? We have put together a list of 10 utterly cool and unique Austin Event Spaces. So, if you are looking for something different to help create your event of the year…
This historic train station moved to East Austin in the 1980’s. Recently, the station was renovated and in the summer of 2016, it was opened to the public as an event venue, a one of a kind space to host parties of all sorts. In addition, they in the process of adding the Pine Street Station building to Springdale Station. Moved from 5th and Waller downtown, this historic building will soon be part of the event venue complex – look for it to be ready when you plan your event!
The ground floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin hosts a beautiful convertible event space for groups of all sizes. Located in the heart of downtown and backing to the beautiful Ladybird Lake and Hike and Bike Trail, this beautiful venue would be perfect for weddings and fundraisers alike.
This space is about 800 square feet and is bright and open with a rolling front shutter open to a front terrace which can be used during events. The walls are covered in fine art rock-n-roll photography and art including some great shots of the early Austin music scene. It would be a really cool private party venue!
While most people who have been in Austin for a while know of the South Congress Hotel, many of us don’t think of it as an event venue but seriously, what’s cooler and more Austin-y than a party on South Congress? This indoor/outdoor event venue can provide an amazing event space for up to 450 guests. Designed with a flexible room configuration, this space can work for almost any event!
Located in the historic Goodall Wooten House just minutes from downtown and the State Capitol building, this venue is in the heart of Austin. This Greek revival style mansion offers indoor and outdoor spaces which provide the perfect backdrop for any social event.
Built in the early 1900’s, this multi-purpose event space sits directly on Waller Creek and 6th Street. The main ballroom showcases the original brick, hand-scraped hardwood floors and a balcony overlooking the water and can accommodate up to 270 guests for a standing reception.
OK, so it’s not technically in Austin but just 15 miles south in Kyle, TX lives this amazing event center. An ex-motion picture studio, this property has been reborn as the peaceful and versatile event center it is today.
Nestled on a secluded hilltop just minutes from downtown Austin, the historic structure and beautiful gardens can accommodate up to 200 guests. The hall was originally built in 1904 in Mercury, Texas and moved to its current location in 1997 where it has laid home to a wide variety of events. One of our favorite things about Mercury Hall? They try to keep things in the South Austin mindset; laid-back!
Another gem on Waller Creek. Built in 2012 overlooking Lady Bird Lake, downtown Austin, and Congress Avenue Bridge, this boathouse is a partnership between the City of Austin Parks and Rec Department and Austin Rowing Club. It is a short walk from the Convention Center, local hotels, and many restaurants and can accommodate up to 600 guests for a wide range of events.
Gather boasts both indoor and outdoor customizable spaces that they use to help make your event come to life. They have 2 unique venues:
I guess that’s really 11 if you are being pedantic, and there are so many others as well. If you don’t see what you are looking for on this list, check out Peerspace or Unique Venues to find a unique, creative space that meets your needs!
So, what are you waiting for? Book your venue today and get planning! And, remember, check out loanables for all your event rental needs!
If you are throwing a wedding, housewarming party, 40th birthday party, or any other big bash, you may be wondering how much alcohol you need to buy. If you read our How Many Glasses Do You Need? blog, you may be searching for some additional information on how much alcohol to actually buy to go in those glasses.
As you may know, you should plan on one drink per guest for each hour of your function. This should ensure you have enough alcohol for your party (unless you are having a college fraternity party – then you may have to rethink your calculations). So, you can use the following formula:
# of guests x hours of party time
Let’s assume you are throwing a 4 hour party for 250 guests. In other words, you will need 250 guests x 4 hours = 1000 drinks.
Now, let’s assume you will serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks.
BEER: How Much Do You Need?
40% of all party drinks are beer. So you will need to use:
# of total drinks x 40%
1000 x 40% = 400 beers
We recommend bottled beer but if you are having a keg, you need to make sure you can serve 400 beers. (NOTE: Most kegs contain 15.5 gallons of beer or 165 12-oz servings.)
WINE: How Much Do You Need?
Wine accounts for 60% of all remaining drinks. So you can use the formula:
(Total # of Drinks – Beers) x 60%
(1000 – 400) x 60% = 360 glasses of wine
A standard bottle of wine (750ml) serves approximately 6 glasses, but unless you are really careful about how much you are pouring, you may not get the full 6. I like to use 5 glasses per bottle for my calculations, then you are sure to have enough. To figure out how many bottles you will need, you can simply divide the total number of glasses you need by 5. In this case: 360 glasses of wine / 5 glasses per bottle = 72 bottles of wine needed.
Now you need to decide how many bottles of red, white, and sparkling wine you need. In order to do this, you should consider whether the event is an indoor/fall, winter, spring event or an outdoor/summer event. In case of an indoor/fall, winter, spring event people will drink more red wine so you should plan for 50% of the bottles being red, 25% white, and 25% sparkling. In our example, this would mean you need 36 bottles of red, 18 bottles of white, and 18 bottles of sparkling. If you are planning an outdoor/summer event, you can split the bottles evenly between red, white and sparkling. Using our numbers, this would mean you needed 24 bottles of each red, white, and sparkling.
When buying multiple bottles of wine, you will definitely want to buy it by the case. I always round up to the next case. Having a few extra bottles ensures that you will not run out and maybe you will have a few bottles left over for hostess gifts or to drink while you wind down!
SPIRITS: How Much Do You Need for Mixed Drinks?
Any drinks that are not wine or beer will fall into the mixed drink category. You can calculate this as:
Total # of Drinks – Beer – Wine = # of Mixed Drinks
Calculating what you need to buy for this category is WAY trickier and depends entirely on the types of mixed drinks you will be serving. Limiting the choices to one or two “signature cocktails” can help you decipher how much alcohol and mixers you will need to purchase.
The average cocktail uses:
For example, if you are making mojito which contains rum, lime juice, and club soda, you can assume you need 1.5 oz rum, 1/4 oz lime juice, and 4-6 oz club soda. You just need to figure out how many ounces your bottle of rum contains, and divide that by 1.5 to know how many cocktails you can make with that bottle and then do the same with your accent juices and mixers.
If you are serving champagne for a champagne toast, you will need one bottle of champagne for every 8 guests. This should give you enough champagne to have 1/2 glass for each guest for the toast. In our example, this would be 250 guests/8 = 31.25 bottles of champagne (rounding up, you need 32 bottles).
Don’t Forget the Water
In all the discussion about how much alcohol to buy, don’t forget that all guests will need water at some point in the event. Make sure you have plenty! You can estimate that guests will drink about 12 ounces every 1/2 hour – hour during the party. We recommend tap water where possible to help preserve the environment. Did you know that only 8% of plastic water bottles are actually recycled? That leaves a lot of water bottles filling up our landfills! If serving tap water you need to account for 4 12-oz glasses per person or 1000 glasses of water.
If you keep these tips in mind, you can rest assured that you will have everything you need (drink-wise) for your big event. If you need glasses, tables, chairs, etc. check out loanables.com to find, compare, and rent.
When it comes to office parties, one size definitely does not fit all. Depending on Company age, lifecycle stage, culture, age of employees, etc., a great office party can mean very different things. In addition, a great office party may mean different things as a Company evolves. For example, a small, relatively young company may love beer pong and Karaoke while a more mature family business may like an outdoor barbecue with food and games for the whole family. Whether its outdoor games and cotton candy or pizza, beer, and singing office parties can play an important part in a Company’s culture, creating social networks, and ultimately retaining their employees – after all, employees who have a personal connection to their co-workers are less likely to go somewhere else!
Throughout my career, I have been responsible for and involved in office party planning and I have seen great parties where people come, stay, and talk about them the next day, and I have seen horrible parties with low attendance and zero posts to Social Media. The key to this is know the Company, the employees and the best time to throw the party – the middle of a big deadline is never a good time!
Here are a few ideas for Office Parties which may help get your party brainstorming juices flowing:
The Start Up – usually filled with young, energetic people who don’t mind spending their evenings hanging out in the office with work colleagues (after all, they are there working until early morning hours anyway). Loanables.com has a great Ultimate Office Party bundle for start up companies in Austin. It includes everything you need for:
You can even add a bounce house, dunk tank, other giant games, tug of war, or whatever else you can dream up…and, for $100 they will deliver it straight to your office. Add some pizza and drinks and the party is basically done!
Small Sized Family Owned Business – These business tend to have close
personal relationships among employees (often related to each other in some way). Why not treat this as a backyard family barbecue – large or small? You can order some Barbecue, sodas, and beer and organize a few games/activities like:
Loanables.com even has a Backyard BBQ Party Bundle which includes
They can also supply all the tables, chairs, and linens you need…and, they have a delivery option!
Young – Mature Medium to Large Sized Family Oriented Companies – Employees often want to spend their time outside of work with their families and friends so why not throw a daytime family oriented party – think “Office Carnival”. You can rent:
Or any other big carnival things you can dream up – remember if Loanables doesn’t have something, they will find it for you – just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For food and drink, you can hire some good food trucks Pizza, Sno-cones, Corn Dogs on a Stick, etc – they drive up and do all of the food service for you! Then, you can set up a bar and hire a bar tender, rent some tables and chairs from Loanables and you are done!
Other – what kind of Company do you work for? Let the team at loanables.com help plan your next office party and find everything you need to rent to make it a huge success.
I admit it. I am not a camper. I love bathrooms, showers, my own big comfy bed, and most of all, 8 kid free hours every night after they all fall fast asleep. To me, all I can think of when I think about camping is depriving myself of some of these simple pleasures. That being said, I know that with 4 outdoors-y kids, an occasional camping trip is inevitable.
Since this month’s loanables giveaway is a camping trip (click here for details), I have decided to put on my optimist hat and consider all the positive aspects to camping. So, here’s what I came up with:
And just like that, I am kind of excited about the prospect of a camping trip – talk about the art of positive thinking. So, I guess I will have to overlook comfort and take some time to truly enjoy the things I have listed above, and, of course, my family. I’m off to enter the giveaway!
I love parties (and planning them) but there just aren’t enough days in the year to plan and throw all the parties I want to. This week, I decided to focus on a party that won’t take up too much precious party planning time – an ice cream party!
With an ice cream party, the food and entertainment collide making it an easy party to plan or even to throw together at the last minute. All you need is the tools and ingredients to make the ice cream, some bowls to serve it in, and the accompaniments to make sundaes and banana splits galore! Loanables.com has a great Ice Cream Party Bundle for rent which includes everything you need for your party. It includes an ice cream maker, Ben and Jerry’s book of recipes, an Ice cream scoop, and a waffle cone maker. There is even an option to purchase an Ultimate Toppings Kit which makes throwing a party super easy!
On top of the bundle, you may want to do Invitations, decorations, and a game (to play during any waiting time or when the guests are done eating their ice cream). Below are some easy ideas (if you are ambitious you can do even more – I have seen some pretty over the top ice cream parties!):
In today’s world, most people use Evite, Paperless Post, etc. to invite guests and luckily these sites have loads of online Ice Cream party invite options – check these out! But, if you just love a paper invite, there are lots of options for that as well. Check out these really cute printables. Or, if you are feeling really crafty, you can make your own – how cute are these? or these? And there are plenty more great ideas on Pinterest so browse away … but don’t forget, the invites are not the fun part of the party.
I think of colorful paper goods when I think of Ice Cream parties. There are a million ideas on Pinterest for decorating for the cutest party ever. Here are just a few. I say keep it simple and let the toppings act as part of the decor.
Some staples that will make your party cute without breaking the bank and creating extra waste are:
The options are endless – you can stick with the ice cream theme or just pick games you love to play. Here are some ideas:
Or, why not combine your ice cream party with some fantastic outdoor games by renting the Birthday Party Picnic Bundle or the Outdoor Movie Bundle from loanables.com? The Birthday Party Picnic bundle even comes with an egg and spoon race game – wouldn’t it be fun (and a lot less messy) to substitute cherries for the eggs?
This is really just a starting point. You could take this and create the diy party of the year or just rent the bundle once a month and have a standing ice cream party…you can’t lose because after all, EVERYONE screams for Ice Cream!!!
Recently, I have seen a lot of people throwing “Retro” Birthday parties. Being an arbitrary term, “Retro” can be something referring to a party in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s ,or 90’s…it just depends on the age of the person having the birthday (or in some cases, the age of their parents). The one thing that seems to be consistent is that “Retro” almost always means low-tech and homemade (which of course appeals to me).
My daughter is turning 4 in September and I have been busy planning her birthday party. September is the start of a new school year and since she only goes to school 2 days a week, we won’t have much of a chance to get to know her “friends” and their families prior to her birthday. So, I tried to come up with a party that facilitates talking, laughing, and playing with people you are just getting to know…sounds like the perfect opportunity for an old fashioned “retro” birthday party!
With this theme, the sky is the limit – my original idea was to have a sock hop with records, a soda fountain, poodle skirts, and dancing – there are a million cute ideas on Pinterest and I am kind of mourning not following through with it (stay tuned for future party posts – I may use this idea for another party in the future). In the end, I decided to focus on something I could easily set up at a park near my daughter’s school – something that didn’t take too much time to plan at the beginning of the busy school year and something laid back and fun – like a birthday party from my childhood.
Here’s what I decided to do:
Theme: Rainbows! my daughter would really like another Minion party. She has been obsessed with Minions since she was 18 months old but I am desperate for a change. I think Rainbows are cute and simple and perfect for preschoolers.
Invitations: I know “retro” does not usually mean online invitations but to make sure everyone gets the invitations and for attendance tracking, I think online invites are the way to go. The key here is simple and maybe a little old fashioned. I personally like this one from Punchbowl. It looks like it could be a homemade paper invite and is cute and simple. There are tons of others that you can choose from or make to fit your theme on evite, paperless post, etc.
It’s such a great deal and renting the bundle means so much of the party is done for you!
To the bundle, I am adding:
Party Games: I love games, especially the old fashioned party games, so in addition to Tug-of-war, Jenga, Potato Sack Races, and Egg and Spoon Races, we are going to play:
Piñata: In our house, “party” means “piñata” and we had pinatas at birthday party when I was a kid so they MUST be retro:) So, we will definitely have a piñata.
Decorations: I am going to go with really simple decorations because we are partying in the park. So, in addition to the piñata, I am sticking to:
Prizes: With all the games, you need some prizes for the winners. If you have ever been anywhere with a kids’ treasure chest, you know that they love cheap bracelets, plastic cameras, tops, slinkys, etc. – you can get any of that at oriental trading for very little money. I am going to go with a selection of rainbow candy – skittles, lifesavers, M&M’s, etc.
Party Favors: Personally, I like party favors you can eat so you aren’t collecting more little pieces of junk. My favorite favors are cookies from my friend Megan at Junebug & Moo. She can make anything, including cute rainbow cookies!
As you can see, throwing a Retro Birthday Party can be easy, inexpensive and a lot of fun. I would love to hear your ideas and see pictures of your parties as you put them together and create your own amazing party experiences. Happy Partying!
FOOD BARS! Try any one of these 20 Fun Food Bars To Recreate at Home! Grilled Cheese Bars, Burger Bars, and S’mores Bars all lend themselves to an Outdoor Movie Night as do several of the others listed. And, if you find that you are in need of a Crock Pot, S’mores Maker, Panini Maker, or Serving Pieces, check out loanables.com and rent some for the evening!
During the summer months, I am always looking for creative things to do with my kids that will not only keep them busy for an hour but will give them weeks of happiness and entertainment. So many of our summer craft projects end up in a pile of “completed work” or as a temporary decoration for the refrigerator so I am always excited when I find a project that doubles as a toy!