Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is coming up fast and if you haven’t made plans for the lethal annual office party yet, then it’s time to get your thinking caps on!
This is where we come in so fear not, we wanted to help add a little something different to your celebrations this year, other than your usual generic function room or just grabbing a few pints in the local. We’ve compiled a list of 12 slightly alternative ideas for companies both big and small.
1. The Dogs
This could be at either Shelbourne Park or Harold’s Cross, both are a brilliant night out. If you haven’t been to the dogs yet, particularly around Christmas time, you have got to add this to the list. Whether you’re a gambler or not, it’s all about the atmosphere, the over-the-top celebrations as you or your colleagues win ‘big’ on their €2 bet, the drinks, the food (kind of) and the frolics. Not to mention there tends to be an awful lot of eye candy lurking about, always a plus…
2. Aprés Ski Lodge
This is the first time the Ski Lodge will be brought to Ireland and apparently it’s also the first of its kind! Situated at the CHQ in Dublin, the idea is that they’re bringing all of the crazy antics from the Aprés scene directly to us. Think Oktoberfest but Christmas themed and probably less beer… or who are we kidding? In addition there’ll be live bands, djs and plenty of food. You can enquire with them directly if interested in organising your own office party here.
There’s a few of these restaurants around but one that is renowned in Dublin is Chai Yo on Baggot Street. This would be better suited to smaller companies as the restaurant itself is quite small and you’ll want a front row seat to get the full experience. Having your food cooked right in front of you as the flames go flying and chef flashes his utensils around like a wizard is a show in itself. You’ll be thoroughly entertained watching them work their magic and they may even put on a bit of a sing-song for you too. A night you won’t forget.
There are also many karaoke bars around, some bigger than others. One that we’d highly recommend though is Ukiyo Bar on Exchequer Street. This is a restaurant & bar, however they also have private rooms that can be booked for you and your colleagues to go crazy with the mic – without having a huge audience. The experience is completely different when you’re comfortable in the company around you, watch as your colleagues really let loose and all of the inner Whitney Houstons come out. We’d suggest going for food in the restaurant first as this is also delicious!
5. Laughter Lounge
The Laughter Lounge is a quality night out all year round. To add something a little different to the Christmas party though why not head with the team and have everyone rolling around the floor. At Christmas they offer packages with reserved areas, pre-drinks reception, food options, a dj to keep the party going and the infamous photo-booth!
6. The Church
For a magical setting like no other, The Church restaurant and bar will add a whimsical touch to your Christmas meal. They have multiple areas that can be booked off depending on the size of your party. If catering for a large group, you could request the downstairs Cellar Bar for a more intimate setting, or stay upstairs where it’s sure to be buzzing! And whilst it wouldn’t be the most budget friendly location you can make up for it with all the Bombay Sapphire & Tonic you like for just €5, we’ll have some of that! For a full list of their Christmas packages you can visit their site here.
7. Ely Wine Bar
This one isn’t necessarily a ‘Christmas package’ however Ely Wine Bar itself is such a beautiful setting we wanted to add it to the list for a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere. If you’re more into having all of the chats over quality food and incredible wine as opposed to dancing the night away in Coppers, then this could be the place for you. Depending on your group size you can hire an area for 20 people up to 200 people and there’s different decors for different tastes with their uniquely styled vaults, the downstairs cellar or go for an even more elgant Georgian styled dining area upstairs. You can even request a private wine tasting which we’d definitely recommend.
8. BYOB Bowling
This is a seriously fun night out and can even get super competitive! Ideal for any offices looking for a more relaxed and laid back vibe. Bring your own drink (or not) and get stuck into some serious rivalry. There are a few locations around and you may have to travel a little outside the city centre but hey, organise a coach to get you there and you’re sorted!
9. Games Room
For something really different why not get all sentimental and go old school with a gaming room? Token is new to Dublin, it’s a restaurant, bar and retro arcade – think Pac Man and pinball machines galore. They have 32 machines in total so there’s something for everyone and if you’re part of a large group you can enquire about hiring out the place to yourselves. Keep it casual and make a night of it, you can get some food, drink some beers (22 taps to choose from) and get your gaming on. Their menu is pretty quirky too, they describe it as ‘high-end fast food’, which consists of wagyu burgers, vegan calamari and bacon battered Reese’s Cups, now these we gotta try!
10. Cruise Down The Canal
La Peniche is a boat / restaurant you can hire for events which cruises you down the canal and serves the most amazing French cuisine. Hire the boat out for the entire office and have a really intimate and cosy setting taking in the views. And afterwards you can stop off at any bar of choice but we’d highly recommend The Bath as it’s pretty close-by and you’ll have serious craic.
Speaking of taking in the city views, one of the most stunning locations to do so is at the top of The Dean Hotel at Sophie’s restaurant. Soak up Dublin City with the spectacular 360 degree views, something the entire team will no doubt adore. And if you haven’t visited Sophie’s or The Dean Hotel yet you’ll be in for a treat, the decor and attention to detail alone is worth the visit but then you have the views, the cocktails and the food to really top it all off. Top tip – do yourself a favour and order the pizza – one of their specialties.
12. Twelve Pubs
If all else fails and you’re not feelin’ the Christmas party vibes, you can just keep it simple and go with the trusty 12 pubs! Make up your own rules and apply them for each pub as you go and don’t forget to get decked out in Christmas gear! Just a heads up though, this one tends to end in carnage – you’ve been forewarned.
Perhaps you don’t want to do a Christmas party with the office at all? Why not do something really different (and booze free) and check out these team building activities you could try instead!