At the end of each year, the tinkling sound of red and gold jingle bells can be heard in the far distance as Santa embarks on his annual journey. With this comes the start of the “silly season”, a month-long extravaganza that helps us celebrate the year that was.
A highlight of seasonal festivities for many is the Christmas party. It’s the “night-of-nights”, whether your event is designed to celebrate with office colleagues, friends or family. But finding the perfect place to sip on bubbles, indulge on nibbles or dance you heart out can be challenging, and stressful.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a Christmas party venue, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great Christmas party venue?
Choosing the right Christmas party venue means considering the atmosphere you want, the type of food and drink that best suits, the location and more.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a Christmas venue.
- Food and drinks. Whether you want to pop the bubbles and indulge in a lively party vibe, or sip wine in a more intimate atmosphere, you’ll want great food and drinks for your guests at Christmas. Do your research and ask venues what packages they offer. Some dish up a la carte and others a set menu. Some Christmas venues offer canapes and others a full meal. The beverage line-up can vary also, so check Christmas venues online or give them a call.
- Christmas atmosphere. Ask if the venue makes a special effort to decorate for the season. Many go all out with Christmas trees, festive lights, and even Christmas tunes.
- Location, location, location. The best Christmas venues have a location that will make your party memorable. Some have views, fabulous décor or a central location. Some Christmas venues have indoor areas only and some outdoors. Think about convenience and whether the venue is easy to get too. Check if it’s within walking distance, easily accessible by public transport or a quick taxi ride.
- Smiling service. You want your guests to be well taken care of so ask the venue about their special Christmas service. Some have dedicated events teams ready and waiting to host your event. You’ll want staff who are friendly, attentive and skilled.
- Right price. Many venues offer convenient and well-priced food and beverage packages at Christmas time. Set a budget and stick to it. Ask about any extra or hidden charges so you’re not caught off guard when it comes to paying the bill.
The best Christmas party venues in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
The Boardwalk Bar & Nightclub is Belconnen’s premier nightspot with a friendly neighbourhood vibe and waterfront views of picturesque Lake Ginninderra. Signature cocktails include The Boardwalk, Waterfront Breeze and Bourbon Smash. Bar snacks include antipasto and cheese platters.
Regular weekly and monthly events keep guests entertained and feature trivia, karaoke, comedy nights and live music. With a modern and unique design, The Boardwalk Bar & Nightclub has three function areas—main bar area, Mezzanine level and a separate self-contained Rotunda overlooking the lake with views.
Flexible function packages are available. The Boardwalk Bar & Nightclub caters for up to 200 people, and customises functions for any occasion, including Christmas.
Michael McRoberts wrote on Google, “… nice live music, drinks reasonably prices and the fit out has cool little features …”
Kokomo’s have earnt an enviable reputation for their trans-pacific cuisine, crafty cocktails, and lush island interiors. Set in the heart of Canberra City, this venue spans two stories, offering a choice of spaces for your next Christmas party event.
Whether you are looking for an intimate sit-down dinner for 7, or larger canape style event for 400+ Kokomo’s has it covered. For a fresh island feel and seriously good food, Kokomo’s is the one for you.
Paige Goodman wrote on Google, “We had our very first Christmas Party as a newly incorporated Company at Kokomo's on the weekend. Our experience was beyond 5 stars …”
Home to quirky-cool, QT Canberra provides an indulgent and opulent backdrop for intimate and bold events alike. Boasting a myriad of glorious spaces for party groups of 10 to 700, you will find all your dining, drinking, and dancing needs covered.
With events hosted in the award-winning Lucky’s Speakeasy Bar, to the QT Lounge, or Capitol Bar and Grill, this sumptuous venue has it all. For a unique and indulgent event with merry delights designed within look to QT Canberra.
On Google, Anthony Smith wrote, “Modern and Uber cool retro all in the one package. Definitely not dull and drab like so many other hotel chains."
Assembly boasts an industrial-luxe vibe, with dark and moody interiors cleverly juxtaposed against a bright beer garden rolling green lawn. With a mixture of functional spaces, each can cater to between 40 and 120 guests a piece. The people’s pub offers an extensive array of Christmas party options, for lunch, afternoon, or evening events. With everything from share, buffet, canapes, to just drinks, this venue is hard to beat. For a casually cool and quintessentially Australian vibe look to Assembly.
Ian Esplin wrote on Google, “A vibrant atmosphere with the capacity to cater to large numbers both inside and outside in the leafy courtyard. The bar and food service is very friendly, quick and efficient with a wide range of beers on tap and a good selection of main courses and snacks.”
This modern-hawker style venue encapsulates some the best Asian-fusion dining available in the Canberra region. Home to many tasty morsels, extensive sake list, and a raw bar this venue has character in spades.
Perfect for a Christmas party with a twist, Akiba caters wonderfully to groups across two function spaces accommodating between 70 to 250 guests. They offer enticing food packages, along with extras like a sake bar or whisky station. For a hip Asian vibe and festival for the palette look to Akiba.
Cameron Bell wrote on Google, “Decided to host our first work Christmas party here this year and we were not disappointed …”
If you’re looking for more information on work Christmas party venues in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best cocktail bars, the best wine bars, the best catering services, the best function venues, or the best fine dining Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with Christmas party venues in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the work Christmas party venues listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you announce a Christmas party?
Most Christmas party invitations are announced in two phases, firstly via a save the date and secondly with full details and RSVP requirements. The full invitation should include the party date, start and end times, venue, dress code, and any travel instructions. Digital invitations with RSVP and add to calendar enabled functions are also worth adding if possible.
How much time should be given for a Christmas party RSVP?
Ideally, for larger events save the date notices should be issued four weeks in advance, with RSVP’s due two weeks in advance. For smaller groups, a week or two’s notice may be more than enough. Always consider your event location and party size, along with venue requirements to determine the best dates.
What are some fun Christmas party themes?
The best themes will suit both your industry, the team, and even the party venue. Moreover, for the highest adoption rates consider themes which are easy to execute. Some ideas are colour-based themes like white or red; era themes like the 20’s or 50’s; or destination themes like Havana Nights or Las Vegas to name a few!
What is the best food to serve at a Christmas party?
To a large extent this will depend on your group size and the venue. If seated, anything from share plates to a set menu would work well. If planning for a larger group, consider the use of stations such as antipasto, or a selection of canapes. Generally, a blend of warm and cold canape options in small to substantial sizes will do the trick. Consult your venue for available options for your group size.
What etiquette should be observed at an office Christmas party?
While a fun time is the aim of the game, etiquette should never stray at an office Christmas party. Ensure you dress appropriately for the occasion; enter and exit at the right times; eat and drink in moderation; embrace small talk; engage and be involved. If every in doubt err on the side of conservative! Finally, a thank you to organisers or leaders is always appreciated too.