At the end of a year like 2020, it’s tempting to forego the work Christmas party altogether. After all, many office workers haven’t seen their colleagues for the better part of a year. What’s another day?

But we’d argue that Christmas parties have never been more important. This is a time to see your co-workers, toast the end of a trying year and unwind and reset before 2021.

In the wake of Covid, your Christmas party will look a little different to how it’s looked in past years (smaller team-based events and activities are this year’s major trend). So, if you need inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Christmas party ideas.

Hyde Park House

The rooftop: outdoor parties are unsurprisingly a popular option this year. And unlike our friends in the Northern hemisphere with their snowy white Christmases, we’re fortunate to have warm and sunny end-of-year office parties. Hyde Park House’s rooftop, Slims, is an ideal spot for an open-air Christmas party. It has bookable sections (email drink@hydeparkhouse.com to enquire), is easy to get to, and has great city skyline views.

47 William Street, Darlinghurst

The Oxford Tavern

The classic pub lunch: this beloved Petersham boozer is a versatile option. If you’re just after a long pub lunch with your team, the menu here – a mash-up of classics, American diner dishes and barbeque meats straight out of the smoker – will do the trick, and there’s an extensive vegan menu. If you want to up the tempo and have a larger gathering for 30 or more, you can do that too. Email hello@theoxfordtavern.com.au to enquire. Plus, the Tav is walking distance from some of Sydney’s best breweries, including Young Henrys and Wayward.

1 New Canterbury Road, Petersham, Petersham

Holey Moley

The obvious choice: look, we get it – mini golf events are a little bit played out by now. But taking tiny putts and drinking kitschy cocktails will never not be fun. Then there’s the fact that, after a fairly antisocial year, it’s helpful to have an icebreaking activity to focus on whenever conversation falls a bit flat.

387 King Street, Newtown

Chin Chin

The one that’s near good bars for kicking on: as many of us can attest, a lot of the time, the best part of the Christmas party happens at the bar you go to after the party. Or the one you go to after that. Gogo Bar, Chin Chin’s lower-level bar and function space for up to 75 people, is a great Christmas party choice in its own right. But when you consider its location, plonked at the intersection of Surry Hills and the CBD (and all of the kick-on bars therein), it becomes a no-brainer.

69 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Bondi Beach Public Bar

The beach party: a lot of Christmas parties this year are hybrid situations; starting off with a picnic in a park or at the beach during the day before ramping up to a booked venue in the evenings. And if that’s the way you’re going to do it, then a day on the sand at Bondi Beach, followed by a jaunt across the road to Bondi Beach Public Bar for dinner and drinks, is the way to go.

180 Campbell Parade, Bondi

Yulli's Brews

The brewery: a lot of breweries are walk-in only right now, which is a bit risky when you’re planning a party. But Yulli’s Brews does functions, so it’s the ideal brewery pick. The big open space, crowd-pleasing food and there’s-something-for-everyone beer range makes this one a great option. Email brewery@yullis.com.au with some event details and the team will get back to you.

75a Burrows Road, Alexandria

4 Pines Brewpub

The beachside brewery: we’ve talked about beach parties and breweries, so here’s a two-for-one. 4 Pines’ Manly brewpub is right next to the ferry terminal and Manly Cove, about 500 metres from Manly Beach and just a 15 minute walk to Shelly Beach. So it’s the ideal choice if you’re looking to have a picnic on the sand, followed by some freshly brewed beers in the sun. Plus, unless your office is Manly-based, you’ll get to take the ferry there, which is always a hoot.

29 43-45 East Esplanade, Manly

Maniax Axe Throwing

The steam blower-offer: throwing axes at wooden targets is super satisfying and a great way to let your feelings out. Pick up that axe, pretend the target is the embodiment of 2020 and hurl that hatchet with all the strength you have. It’s something that will really bond the team together.

75 Mary Street, St Peters

John Montagu

The picnic: booking a Christmas party is a hard task at the best of times. Throw in reduced venue capacities, social distancing guidelines and a workforce that’s been spread near and far; and it becomes downright dastardly. No wonder so many offices are just keeping it simple with a picnic this year. If that’s the plan, then Woolloomooloo’s John Montagu should take care of the sandwiches in your picnic basket. Not only does this sandwich specialist – named for the alleged inventor of the sandwich – have a great range, it’s right by the Domain – a picnicker’s paradise. Hyde Park and the Botanical Gardens are a short walk away too.

144 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo

Archie Rose Distilling Co.

The unusual experience: if you’re looking to do something that’s a bit more original than just booking a venue and slapping a tab on the bar (not that there’s anything wrong with that), why not take a distillery tour at Archie Rose? The tours have a capacity of 25; include a look at how the distillers make their award-winning gins, whiskies and vodkas; and conclude with a guided tasting. Masterclasses, including blend-your-own gin sessions, are also available.

85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery

1989 Kitchen and Arcade

The one with all the activities: this ’80s-themed arcade bar – which has more than 20 arcade machines, dozens of board games and heaps of retro game consoles – is available for whole-venue hire. There’s nothing like looking back on the year over a Donkey Kong-inspired cocktail and a game of Tetris.

22-24 King Street, Newtown
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