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Hip Places to Hold Your Next Event in the Midwest

Hip Places to Hold Your Next Event in the Midwest

The Midwest can sometimes suffer from a branding problem. We all know that the coastal cities are hip and cool, but the Midwest often gets a bad rap. In truth, it is much more than “Flyover Country.” There are amazing places to check out in Middle America, and more Millennials are moving to the Midwest or staying put there for a very simple reason: it is much more affordable. A studio apartment in NYC could cost as much in rent a month as a four bedroom house in Bloomington, IN.

In addition to that, the Midwest is home to a thriving art scene. Some of the best writing in the world comes out of Iowa City and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. There are museums everywhere and more musical festivals in the summer than you can count. And who can forget about the Big Ten and its stellar education standards and rich tradition in the NCAA? As college football is about to start, the rivalries in the Big Ten are bound to heat up. In short, the Midwest is a highly livable part of the country where there is always something going on.

If you’re organizing an event in the Midwest in the very near future, there is no shortage of event places to choose from. Here are a few of our favorite hip venues:


Although he was born in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln started his career in politics in Springfield, IL. Springfield, IL is the state capitol of Illinois and the home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Whether you’re planning an educational trip for students, a corporate conference, or even a wedding, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum is available for rent. The venue features nine meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 500 people. Make history by choosing this venue in Springfield, IL here.


The Palais Royale at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend is a few minutes away from the University of Notre Dame. It is also conveniently located nearby many downtown hotels for overnight guests. We love the Palais Royale because of its elegant design. It underwent a major restoration project to fully showcase its graceful 1920s design. The Palais Royale is perfect for ballrooms, corporate fundraising events, wedding receptions, dinners, and more. Learn more about this beautiful event venue in Northern Indiana here.


The Iowa State Center is located in Ames, Iowa, and it is about a half hour away from Des Moines, IA. The complex contains three different buildings and features a unique blend of indoor and outdoor space for many different event types. Those facilities include a performing arts auditorium, a large theater, and a conference center. There are 25 conference rooms available in the conference center alone. The Iowa State Center could be used for an industry conference, business meeting or social event, reunion, wedding ceremony, and more. Check it out here.


Located in Olathe, KS, the AMC Studio 28 is the perfect venue to facilitate your next corporate event. Whether you want to rent an auditorium for a corporate teambuilding event where you watch your favorite film, or you rent the entire venue for the ultimate meeting space, AMC Studio 28 can ensure it goes off without a hitch. There are 28 available meeting rooms available, and the largest theater can hold more than 500 people. Discover movie magic at the AMC Studio 28 in Kansas here.


Take your guests’ and attendees’ breath away with this gorgeous art-deco theater in Royal Oak, MI. The Royal Oak Music Theater is about 20 minutes away from Detroit, so it is conveniently located nearby Detroit Metro Airport, downtown hotels, and more. The Royal Oak Music Theater is perfect for a wedding reception, fundraising dinner, ballroom dance, and more. It can accommodate up to 2,000 guests overall. Learn more about this stunning theater that will create a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience here.


If City Slickers is one of your favorite movies or you’re just looking for a peaceful venue in Missouri, the Lodge at Buffalo Ranch might be the perfect venue for you. The Lodge at Buffalo Ranch is located in the Ozarks, and it is a real working cattle ranch. It can accommodate up to 28 guests, and the property is close to Mark Twain National Forest. Here, your guests can engage in a number of outdoor activities and take in its picturesque views. Learn more about its packages for business and social events here.


If you’re planning an event in the Cornhusker State, we would suggest you check out the Lied Lodge and Conference Center. The venue is located on the 260-acre Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, NE. It recently underwent a $9 million renovation to ensure guests enjoy the best experience possible. The Lied Lodge and Conference Center is perfect for corporate meetings, retreats, reunions, and more. It is located roughly 50 miles from Omaha, NE and Lincoln, NE. Learn more about this stunning, idyllic venue here.


Howl at the Moon in Cincinnati, OH is a great place if you’re looking for a venue that is all about fun. With luxury bowling lanes, full-service bar, in-house catering, and indoor/outdoor seating, Howl at the Moon can facilitate all of your event’s needs. The Cincinnati venue can accommodate up to 800 guests, making it the perfect venue for a wide variety of different events. Howl at the Moon can cater a show specifically to your needs. Check out this entertainment-filled venue here.


The Wayland Academy is a world-renowned boarding school located in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It is actually the oldest coeducational boarding school in the country. The Wayland Academy is ideally suited for wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate meetings and celebrations, reunions, and more. Most of the buildings feature best-in-class AV technology, and the campus can accommodate more than 250 overnight guests. Learn more about this beautiful and different venue for corporate and social events here
During this global pandemic, the team at Unique Venues has been working to serve our industry planners and venues with free resources including roundtables, webinars, and workshops. You can visit our COVID-19 Resources page to learn about our upcoming programs this month and next that you may be interested in registering for. Be sure to follow Unique Venues on Facebook (@uniquevenues) and be on the lookout for Facebook Live sessions from Unique Venues CEO, Chuck Salem who will be providing tips and trends for weathering the storm.