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 Christmas journey. A highlight of the season’s festivities for many is the Christmas party, celebrating with office colleagues, friends or family. But finding the perfect venue to sip on bubbles, indulge in nibbles or dance your 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?
To choose the right Christmas party venue, you need to consider many factors. Atmosphere is one. The style of food is another. You’ll also want to think about location and whether you need to style or decorate the venue.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a Christmas venue:
- Festive atmosphere. No matter which venue you choose, you’ll want a festive atmosphere. That’s whether your Christmas party is small and intimate or large and packed with energy. Besides choosing the right size of space, ask venue staff how the venue will be decorated for the season. For example, many venues go all out with Christmas trees, festive lights, and even Christmas tunes. Some are more subdued.
- Food and drink. Whether you want to pop the bubbles and enjoy a real party vibe, or sip cocktails or wine in a relaxed atmosphere, you’ll want great food and drinks at Christmas. Do your research. Ask venues what packages they offer. Remember that many create special, set menus from canapes through to full meals.
- Location, location, location. Select a venue with the right location. If it’s challenging to travel to the venue, guests might not make the effort. With an office party, for example, you may want a venue within walking distance. Also consider whether the venue is easily accessible by public transport or a quick taxi ride.
- Right price. You’ll want to let the venue know what your Christmas party budget is and ask them to stick to it. Ask about special Christmas packages that cover venue rental as well as food-and-beverage packages. Also ask for written quotes detailing all charges. This way you won’t be caught off guard when paying the bill.
- Smiling service. Ask about service levels so your guests are well taken care of at the Christmas party. Also ask whether dedicated event teams are on hand and whether staff are skilled and attentive.
The best Christmas party venues in Canberra
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When it’s time for Christmas cheer and a festive functions space, think about The Dickson Taphouse. With two function spaces to choose from, The Dickson Taphouse offers clients flexibility for Christmas parties of all styles – work parties or special gatherings with clients, family or friends.
The Lounge Room, which seats up to 50 guests, is cosy, relaxing and can easily be decorated for the holiday season. Enjoy drinks from the bar and food made fresh in-house by the chefs at The Dickson Taphouse. The second functions space is The Dining Room, which accommodates up to 30 seated, is also a special spot to enjoy a Christmas party. This private function area is perfect for intimate gatherings and, once again, delicious cuisine is on offer. Hire is free for both function spaces.
What would a Christmas party be without great food and drink? The Dickson Taphouse has a special functions menu with a wide range of tasty canapes, cheeses and desserts. Drinks packages include selected beers, wines, ciders and sparkling, light and soft drinks.
The Dickson Taphouse is a classic corner pub conveniently located in the dining precinct of Dickson, in the middle of Woolley Street, with plenty of parking in the area and easy access by way of public transport or taxi services. For functions, an online enquiry option is available. More information, including on minimum spend, is available through the website.
David Melrose wrote on Google, “Great selection of beer. Good food. Lovely staff.”
Looking for the ultimate venue to host a Christmas party or festivity? Thoroughbred Park in Canberra is the perfect place to celebrate any event any time of the year. It’s truly special for the Christmas season.
Thoroughbred Park has something for everyone. It caters to corporate, private and community groups looking to host an event. Indoor and outdoor spaces are set among green grounds with a picturesque race track front and centre.
With the tranquility of a park setting, views of the Brindabella and Majura mountain ranges, and only five minutes from the heart of Canberra, Thoroughbred Park offers versatile, light-filled function rooms and free parking.
All-inclusive packages are flexible and easily tailored to all styles of events and budgets, with menu, beverage and function offerings designed by the Executive Chef.
Thoroughbred Park spaces cover theatre style, cabaret, cocktail and buffet-style events. The Winning Post Bar, ideal for cocktail functions or buffet-style events, can handle up to 800 guests. The Black Opal Room and Silks Room – with floor-to-ceiling windows – fit up to 250 guests. The Rich Reward room has capacity for up to 150 and marquee spaces are available.
For large events, the Exhibition Pavilion handles up to 2,000 and is ideal for trade shows. Private rooms and lounge areas are great for small groups.
Beyond Christmas, Thoroughbred Park is known for Race Day hospitality and puts on events and functions with style throughout the year.
On Google, Benny Gee wrote, “Awesome facilities, friendly staff and good service.”
A stylish Christmas party venue, QT Canberra does “merry everything” during the festive season, both naughty and nice. Get carried away in Christmas indulgence with a party decked in culinary cheer at QT Canberra.
Christmas venues range in capacity and QT Canberra rolls out parties for intimate groups of 10 up to mega crowds of up to 700. Event packages, with a quirky QT twist, are available for all tastes and budgets. QT Canberra is perfect for family feasts, office occasions, or seasonal celebrations with friends or colleagues.
QT Lounge, perched on the 15th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows, an exclusive bar and panoramic views of the city, is a Santa favorite. The pillarless QT Ballroom has a massive 1,000-guest capacity. Lucky’s Speakeasy, a slick venue with mood lighting and black leather couches, is a perfect party venue for up to 300 guests. Christmas is creative at Cahoots Event Lounge with its grand bar.
Festive set menus and festive feasting menus (two and three courses) are available. Also talk to QT about its canape menu and top-drop party packages.
On Google, Emma Hawkins wrote, “We were absolutely blown away with the service at the Canberra QT. The staff were so friendly and made us feel like royalty.”
Assembly is known for its interior industrial-luxe vibe and bright beer garden rolling green lawn. Its mix of spaces are available for Christmas parties and other functions and celebrations. Assembly can cater to between 40 and 120 guests. Christmas packages cover every type of event, from small gatherings to banquet dinners.
Ian Esplin wrote on Google, “A vibrant atmosphere with the capacity to cater to large numbers both inside and outside ... The bar and food service are very friendly, quick and efficient ...”
Christmas is special at The Marion, whether an intimate party, a cocktail theme or a grand sit-down dinner. Festive functions can accommodate up to 180 guests seated through to 250 standing. The Marion tailors special celebrations and events for private, corporate and business clients. Its outstanding food and beverage packages are designed to suit every occasion.
Sam Smith wrote on Google, “I attended a function at The Marion the other night. The food was excellent and the staff friendly and attentive.”
Rose Cottage – an historic venue established in 1870 – offers multiple spaces that can easily be decked out for the festive season. The Glasshouse is a perfect place for Christmas, with a private bar and attendant (fits up to 80 people). The Shed seats up to 100 and has a private bar. Another space is The Marquee (fits up to 100).
Mark Heron wrote on Google, “The facilities are perfect for larger groups and small ones too. The food was delicious and the service friendly ...”
Functions are unforgettable experiences at Hotel Realm, especially at Christmas. With a selection of venues, from small rooms to grand ballrooms, as well as elegant terraces and beautiful gardens, Hotel Realm accommodates all sizes and types of Christmas gatherings. Food and drink packages are available and Hotel Realm’s function experts are on hand to ensure parties run smoothly.
On Google, James Flett wrote, “The Realm is a convenient hotel that holds a high standard of quality ... high level of service, high level of attention and high standards …”
If you’re looking for more information on 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, the best event planners, the best catering services and the best bands for booking events the city 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 Christmas party venues listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance do I need to book a Christmas party venue?
The earlier you book your Christmas party venue, the better. The best venues are booked out quick sharp. The last thing you need is to be stuck without a venue. Plan months in advance to give yourself peace of mind.
Should I theme the Christmas party?
Whether to theme your Christmas party is a matter of personal choice. You might be happy to just enjoy the festive decorations put on by the venue itself. Or you might want to create a unique theme. You could even consider a colour-based theme (red, white and green is perfect for Christmas) or be more elaborate.
How do I choose the best Christmas party venue?
You need to think about several factors when choosing the best Christmas party venue. Start with your budget. Location is important. You’ll also want to look at food-and-beverage packages and whether the venue needs decorating. Always ask for an itemised quote, so you’re not caught off guard at bill-paying time.
What’s the best food to serve at a Christmas party?
To a large extent, food selection depends on your group size, venue type and the ''personality'' of your Christmas party. Timing can also be important (day versus night, for example). If you’re putting on a stand-up event, then think about choosing lovely-looking and tasty canapes. If your Christmas party is a sit-down event, you might want to consider a more formal, set menu. Ask the venue for suggestions.
How much does it cost to book a Christmas party venue?
The cost depends on the size of your party, the style of your party and whether you need special services such as decorating. It’s best to talk to the venue about detailed, itemised costs.