Iowa City Moms’ Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower

Event Checklist

Baby showers can be a lot of work, but we’re helping you break down your checklist to create a fun and stress free celebration for mom-to-be!


By investing in a beautiful venue, you can save yourself the work of coming up with excessive decorations. Instead, you can focus on the details that enhance your event.  Here are a few of our personal favorite local venues:

Little Lights on Main

Our team has hosted so many events at Little Lights Events, we cannot even count! Located on Historic Main Street in West Branch, this spot is absolutely PERFECT for small to mid-size gatherings, and as you can see from the photos, there is no need to bring decorations because it is already gorgeous!  Check out their website for more details and availability.

Little Lights on the Lane

If you’re looking for a larger space, head down the road a few minutes to the beautiful new Little Lights on the Lane, located at Cedars Edge Golf Course.  This incredible event venue offers seating for up to 300 people, and also offers a number of options to incorporate both indoor and outdoor spaces in your event. Check them out here!

Palmer House Stables

If you have attended our Glamping or Tailgate events for moms, you know exactly why Palmer House Stables is the perfect spot to host a baby shower!  With its rustic charm and cozy feel, this space is ideal for a small to mid-size event, and also has a beautiful outdoor space (with fire pit!). Check out their website for more information and available dates.

Celebration Farm

We have loved hosting our Moms Morning Out at the Celebration Farm the past few years, and this spot would be lovely for a baby shower! The Timber Frame boasts a beautiful balcony, as well as a deck out back if the weather’s nice! Check out all of the options at Celebration Farm here.


After you’ve found your venue, you’ll want to focus on picking a theme. Themes are endless and can often be hard to narrow down when planning a shower. We suggest considering special pieces of décor mom-to-be loves to build the theme around. Do the parents have special interests? Do they love books? Travel? Specific food? These are all great places to start.

For example, for book lovers you can ask guests to bring a book instead of a card to build baby’s library. Additionally, you can provide materials to decorate bookmarks instead of playing shower games. The key is to personalize it according to the guest of honor.

To see some trending baby shower themes, check out the adorable cookie sets below, all from our girl Michele at Vanilla Beans and Daydreams:

Cookies & Cakes

As Julia Childs once said, “A party without cake is just a meeting”.

We say cake OR cookies will do, and we have so many amazing places to choose from in our community!  Here are a few of our faves:

Vanilla Beans & Daydreams

Our ICM Events Coordinator also happens to be the talented owner of Vanilla Beans & Daydreams! Give her a theme, and she will nail it every time! Check out her Instagram for the latest creations!

The Pink Umbrella Bakery

If you’ve ever attended our annual Easter Egg Hunt, chances are you have enjoyed the delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cookies from The Pink Umbrella Bakery! Owner Heather makes the classic sugar cookie that we all know and love, and we can’t get enough!  Check out her website here.

Deluxe Cakes & Pastries 

A long-time staple for delicious homemade cakes and pastries, Deluxe is located downtown Iowa City and offers up a wide variety of sweets daily.  Check out their website for more information!

Bread Garden Market

Another downtown staple, Bread Garden Market makes their goodies from scratch daily, and there are so many to choose from that you won’t be able to choose just one! The perfect addition to your baby shower; check out their website here!

Shopping List & Registry

We know it’s easy to hop on Target, Walmart, or other large box stores and set up a registry. However, we highly recommend checking out some of the amazing LOCAL options and giving them a shot! We promise you won’t be disappointed! Find something unique and beautiful, and support a local business at the same time? Win, win!

The Purple Wagon

We absolutely LOVE the adorable handmade accessories from the girls at The Purple Wagon! Check them out; we guarantee you’ll find something you love for the new little bundle of joy!

The Lovely Baby Co.

Another local mama creating BEAUTIFUL gifts for babies AND their mamas! From natural teething necklaces to adorable mama totes, be sure to check out The Lovely Baby Co.!

Cielo Goods

If the mama-to-be does not own anything from Cielo Goods yet, look no further for the perfect gift for her as she becomes a mama! Monica’s moon warmers are a STAPLE for any mom (or any woman!) in their self care routine. In fact, we dare you to buy one for her and NOT buy one for yourself too!  To check out the latest moon warmers in stock, and her other gorgeous inventory, click here!

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store

If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, you know our love for the Safety Store.  What an incredible resource in our community! Not only do they have the kindest staff, and the latest products for all things safety in your household, but they now have a REGISTRY option! Check out their website here for more information!


The internet can provide endless lists of baby shower games and while many games may be hilarious to some guests but make other guests uncomfortable. Make sure you take time to consider your guests lists when deciding on games. Here are a few safe options that are stress free and fun for any crowd!

Guess the baby photo – Asks guests to bring along a baby photo of themselves. Display the photos on a wall or table with numbers and ask guests to match names to the numbered photo.

Picasso Baby – Print out a photo of mom and dad for each guest. Give guests each photo, a piece of paper, scissors, and glue. Let them piece together features from each parent to see what baby will look like.

Baby Predictions and Advice – We’ve created this FREE print-out for guests with their best predictions and advice for the parents-to-be. Enjoy!

Enjoy Yourself!

Our final, and most important, tip: ENJOY THE DAY.  This goes especially for the mom-to-be, but also for the rest of you grandmas/aunts/cousins/friends to be too! This is a celebration of a new life coming into your family or your friend group…soak it in and enjoy it!!

Iowa City Moms Blog
At Iowa City Moms Blog we’re a group of local moms who are passionate about connecting other moms to one another and to our community! Whether you’re an experienced mom, a newbie, expecting, or aspiring to be a mom someday, this blog is for you! Join us as we navigate this journey that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!


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