After a few weeks of calling Party Halls, researching online and hitting up friends for ideas... This weekend, we finally ended up booking the place for Julianna's First Birthday Party in May. It's at a local firehouse - the rental hall can seat 50+ people & it's very clean. It has a walk out slider to a huge deck with an overhang, and there are 10 picnic tables. The overhang covers the entire deck, so even if we have bad weather, everyone can mingle outdoors (or inside).
They have 2 large commercial grills outside, and a commercial kitchen inside as well. There are horseshoe pits, volleyball, a huge gazebo, a playground and a huge grassy field. We have use of the facility for the full day. It's a win/win situation! We can't wait! And the best part is, the 'donation' we pay to rent out the place is tax deductable. Works for me!
The only downside is the date we had to take was Memorial Day Monday. It's a week after Julianna's birthday but there were no other openings. Luckily everyone I talked to already said they would put it on the calendar and they would be coming. I guess we need to book much further in advance than 3 months next time. (I ran into the same thing with other places I called too!)
Now the fun part... let the planning begin!!