Plan a work Christmas party to remember

Creative alternatives to the traditional sit-down dinner

Seven ways to put the wow-factor into this year’s work Christmas party

From elegant brunches to Christmas movie marathons, the new breed of work Christmas party offers an interesting alternative to a traditional sit-down dinner.

No matter how many times you’ve done it, planning a corporate Christmas party can be a daunting prospect. There’s the pressure to come up with something new each year, while satisfying everyone in the company and coming in under budget all at the same time.

This year, why not try something new altogether and dabble in a different style of event than your usual end-of-year party or dinner? Here are seven fresh ideas to get you started:

Open-air concert

For a big impact, go all-in and dedicate a whole weekend to your Christmas celebrations. Only 75 minutes from Melbourne, RACV Cape Schanck Resort is the perfect place to soak up the summer sunshine with an outdoor Christmas event to remember. Gather the team together for a road trip down the coast, where an unforgettable open-air concert and dinner awaits. The resort’s lawn is the ideal place for a fully-catered private outdoor concert, complete with picnic blankets, mood lighting, beer, wine and delicious plates of food served straight from the resort’s kitchen. Afterwards, there’s no need to organise buses home when there’s deluxe accommodation onsite.

RACV Cape Schanck exterior at night
Theatrette at RACV City Club

Christmas movie marathon

Get into the Christmas spirit with a movie-themed party dedicated to all things festive. RACV City Club’s private movie theatrette is a top place to host a movie marathon, with Christmas classics such as Home Alone, Love Actually, Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation popular choices. Take the corny yuletide theme to the absolute limit by decorating the room with tinsel and mistletoe, holding an ugly Christmas sweater competition and throwing down the gauntlet with a Christmas carol sing-off (anyone who pulls off Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ deserves a medal).

Farm to table feast

A change of scenery is a great way to celebrate Christmas away from the buzz of the city. Take the team to a regional area to decompress, soak up some fresh country air and enjoy a long, leisurely lunch surrounded by picturesque hills. Located in the Yarra Valley, the RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort is an easy day trip from Melbourne’s CBD so is a top choice for a Christmas lunch. Go casual with a fully-catered barbecue on the lawn featuring fresh salads, gourmet bread made on site, and meat grilled to perfection. Upgrade the experience by adding signature experiences – attendees will love having oysters shucked at their table by the chef or visiting a spiced duck pancake station! For something more refined, choose a sit-down, alfresco lunch featuring high quality ingredients sourced from country Victoria, including Yarra Valley salmon, Gippsland beef and High Country pork.

Gazebo dining at Healesville Country Club
Wine cellar at RACV City Club

Sommelier wine dinner

Not all Christmas parties need to be huge, big budget affairs. Intimate Christmas get-togethers are ideal for organisations with fewer staff or smaller team parties. For something special, RACV City Club’s atmospheric wine cellar is capable of hosting a sommelier-led dinner for up to 20 people. Diners are taken on a culinary journey, with the in-house sommelier matching award-winning drops to each course. The intimate nature of the wine cellar is perfect for handing out awards, exchanging gifts, making speeches and raising a glass to the year that was.

Winter wonderland ball

It may be summer in Australia by the time Christmas rolls around, but with a little effort and some clever thinking you can recreate a magical, European-style winter wonderland for your staff to revel in at the end of the year. Simply hire out a large event space such as RACV City Club’s 17th Floor Function Room and get to work infusing the space with winter wonderland vibes. Put up white, snow-covered Christmas trees, install an ice sculpture, serve up some mulled wine and set the soundtrack to Christmas classics from the likes of Bing Crosby. Encourage everyone to get involved by setting up a photo booth filled with fun Christmas-themed props such as reindeer antlers and oversized candy canes. Get the CEO to make a special guest appearance dressed up as Santa (or Mrs Claus) and you’ll guarantee some very memorable photo opportunities to include in the next staff newsletter!

Terrace at RACV City Club
Brunch plate with eggs and avocado on sourdough

Festive brunch

The end of the year is always a frenetic time (they don’t call it silly season for nothing). Calendars fill up quickly as everyone rushes to get everything done before the break and spare time gets eaten up by Christmas shopping and holiday organisation. Instead of planning a formal dinner or big party, why not opt for a classy breakfast or brunch event? Hire a space, decorate it with some simple flowers and serve mimosas, champagne and a spread of fresh fruit, pancakes, muffins and other brunch favourites? It’s the perfect start to the day and a chilled out way to celebrate the end of the year without the pressure associated with large events.

The Greatest Christmas Party

If there are just a few of you why not book a table at RACV Royal Pines Resort’s annual Christmas party on 30 November. Perfect for both corporate and social guests, it includes a three-course dinner with five-hour beverage package (including beer, wine, sparkling and soft drinks) as well as festive entertain that is sure to keep the dance floor alive. This sells out months in advance, so bookings are essential.

The Greatest Christmas Party at RACV Royal Pines Resort