A baby shower is the latest time-honored tradition to get a more modern makeover. Gone are the days of watered-down punch and boring games—nowadays, showers are full-on celebrations that are fun for everyone. Take a cue or two from these creative ladies when it comes time for your own shindig:

Thinking Outside the (Pizza) Box

Jennifer King (Alabama), mom to Penelope Grace

Jennifer’s mom and sister were opting for a traditional event until a relative’s bridal shower featured a make-your-own pizza party. “I loved the idea!” Jennifer says. “I thought it wasn’t something many women have done before and would give guests something to do. I worried about people being bored, especially if there’s too much time sitting around, just watching the mom-to-be opening gifts.”

Upon arrival at the pizza parlour baby shower, guests were given salad, bread and a meatball appetizer as they mingled. Jennifer made her pizza first so she could eat a few slices and get to work opening gifts. Friends and family were able to work on their own pies, including sliding their creations into the brick oven. Assorted flavored cupcakes from a beloved local bakery topped it off.

“It was such a memorable party and a great way to celebrate my daughter’s impending arrival,” Jennifer says. “I heard from a lot of people that it was one of the most creative showers they’d ever been to! It meant a lot to us that everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Co-Ed Celebration

Rebekka Lucas (Oklahoma), mom to Lucille Evelyn

When Rebekka was pregnant with daughter Lucy, she decided to ditch the ladies-only luncheon vibe in favor of a more laid-back baby shower for guys and gals. “We both have large, very tight-knit families and wanted everyone to feel included,” she explains. “It wouldn’t have felt like my baby shower if my dad wasn’t there. We had plenty of fun stuff to keep everyone busy—kids and men included!”

Skipping a shower registry, Bekka opted for something more tangible: “I asked everyone to pick their favorite storybook instead and sign it with a note to her,” she says. Books have become so important to Lucy, too, as she was diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss after being born premature. “The number-one thing you can do to improve listening and spoken language is to read,” Rebekka says, “and now we have plenty of material!”

Rebekka chose her favorite mini lemon Nothing Bundt cakes boxed up as a takeaway gift for her baby shower. “Most people don’t eat cake at weddings and showers, so I thought they could enjoy them at home,” she explains. “I think that may have been everyone’s favorite!”

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