Table of Contents
*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Barn Party Venue
Finding a party venue is one of the most important steps to planning your bar or bat mitzvah.
Fitting your budget – When all extra fees are added on (rentals, parking, security, etc.) it has to make sense financially
Aesthetically pleasing – You should like the look of it, otherwise you may end up spending a lot of money with rentals, lighting, draping, etc., to transform the space
Conveniently located – You may find that guests won’t want to attend your event if it is too far away from the temple or the school
Responsive staff – If they don’t respond to your email and phone inquiries, chances are their communication will not get better once you are booked.
Bad communication can lead to let downs on the day of the event.
Good Reviews – You may not want to book a venue that has very bad reviews on sites like Yelp and Event Wire
Includes what you need – such as tables, chairs, dance floor, a kitchen for an outside caterer, access food trucks, etc.
Here are some places you may not have considered that could be a great spot for you and your guests; these options can also work great for weddings, birthday parties, and beyond:
Arcades / Go cart / Bowling facilities
Many of these places have nice party rooms or the option to reserve the entire space for your event
Ballrooms & Banquet Halls
Country Clubs – Even if you are not a member, many times they will let non-members into their facilities for a private event.
Parks and Gardens – These may have open spaces or covered areas that you can reserve for a party
Libraries, Museums, and Zoos
Quite often, these types of places will allow events to take place in their facilities after they close to the public
Even if the restaurant does not list private events on their website, it is worth the phone call asking what the buyout would be for a private event.
While it is a completely blank space, sound stages are great for events because you can create whatever you want and usually have complete control over catering, bar, rentals, and décor
Sports Complexes, Arenas, gymnasiums
If your temple is booked or not appealing for your event (or perhaps, you don’t have a “home” temple), you may consider other temples in the area. Sometimes they will rent out their party rooms for a fee to non-members.
Theaters and concert venues
Smaller theaters may not be booked every weekend, giving you an opportunity to reserve for your private event
Warehouses – While these are typically located in industrial parts of town, warehouses can have a cool, clubby vibe that you can transform into any design you want
What To Ask When Touring A Venue For A Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Visiting a venue is an important step in the planning process. It can be overwhelming, so here is a guide for the questions to ask when you are on your tour. If you are using a planner, be sure to bring them with you and include the in the process.
Have you had a bar/bat mitzvah before?
Do they understand what it’s like to host a young adult party? Are they comfortable with kids potentially running around their facility?
Do you require security?
With all the kids, what is their plan to make sure they are not wandering into restricted areas, the parking lot, etc?Dance Club Party Venue club lighting
Do you allow open flame?
Are there any limitations to your décor?
When can vendors get in for setup? When must everyone be gone?
Will you need to pay extra for a quick installation from your vendors? Sometimes venues will allow you to deliver rentals and décor the day before which can save you a lot of money. On the other hand, a very quick setup window requires extra labor from your décor teams, which can cost you more.
Do we have access to refrigeration?
If you are bringing in a specialty dessert (cake, ice cream), will you have a place to store it?
Do we have access to a kitchen?
If you are using an outside caterer, will they have access? It can cost you thousands to build a kitchen if there is not one available on site for you to use. If you are using a Kosher caterer, they may need to Kosher the kitchen prior to cooking, which may have some added expenses you should understand before booking.
Can I see the kitchen?
Some kitchens are very dirty and/or have broken equipment. It’s important for you to understand if there will be additional expenses for cleaning or repairing equipment – or perhaps, will there be a problem with my menu if the oven, for example, does not work well? Check the floor and around the space – do you see mice or bug traps? You may want your caterer to inspect the kitchen if they are unfamiliar of the space.
Do you require us to use any specific vendors?
Some venues require you to work with specific planners, designers, caterers, valet, or rental companies. Those companies can come at a cost, so you should get a quote with them before signing with the venue so that you know the full price of the booking.
Do you book other events on the same day?
Sometimes events can run long – so what happens if the lunchtime event runs long and your setup is shortened for your evening event? Will space be clean for you? You need to understand these logistics before you make a commitment.
Who from the venue will be there on the day of the event?
Sometimes on the day of the event, the person you have been talking with the entire time will not be there. This is not always a bad thing, but you need to be sure the transition is smooth. This is really where an experienced planner or coordinator is a huge help.
Do you have insurance requirements from us or my vendors?
There are added costs to some vendors for requiring insurance, and some vendors don’t even carry insurance. You should have a clear understanding of all the vendor rules so that you don’t get stuck with a vendor who is not allowed on the property.
Do you require a day-of coordinator?
While it’s always a good idea to have a 3rd party day of coordinator, there is a cost factor to consider.
Do you allow confetti or haze?
A lot of DJ and entertainment companies will want to add confetti and haze to enhance the fun dancing experience. You just don’t want to get stuck with a cleaning fee afterward!
What is the cancellation policy?
What happens if your plans change and you need to cancel the event or change venues? It is also very important to understand if the venue is allowed to cancel on YOU. If so, how far in advance are they allowed to cancel and for what reasons? This is usually hidden in fine print, and it’s an important one!
Can I see a sample final bill?
What are the hidden costs and fees? What are all the extra services that I may need to pull off the event? This is very helpful for budget planning, and it is good to have this in writing so they can’t change their prices.
A FEW TIPS ABOUT NEGOTIATING: Put simply – DO IT. You should always negotiate, as even a $100 savings can add up if you save $100 from every vendor. However, if you push too hard in your negotiations, it may backfire. The venue may try to add fees or up the prices for other things to accommodate the lowered booking price. It also may put a bad taste in the venue’s mouth, and they may be less flexible during the planning process if the relationship starts out with some tension. We always recommend having your planner handle the negotiations. They have a bit more leverage because they could potentially book many more events at the venue, and they should have a sense as to what is an appropriate amount for a discount without overstepping.