TOP TIPS FOR PLANNING A HOLIDAY PARTY
By Shaun Roberts
For many people, it’s been a long time since they’ve attended an event. Shaun Roberts, CRO (Chief Revelry Officer) and master party planner shares some of his top tips to help you plan the perfect holiday party. Whether you’re planning a company party or a social gathering for the holiday season, the same tips will apply. And don’t forget, you don’t need to plan a holiday party in November or December! January is also a great month to throw a holiday party, and our team at Great Performances can create some incredible moments to help keep your holiday party fresh and exciting.
- Get ahead of the game. It is never too early to start planning your holiday party! At the very least, get a date on the calendar so that you can secure a venue, even if it is your own space. It’ll also give you and your team a bit more time to enjoy the planning process (yes, it is possible!)
- Location, location, location. Whether you’re hosting it in-house or are looking for an event space, we can help you find a location that works for your party vibe and number of guests. From historic mansions and ultramodern urban spaces to lofty libraries and intimate museums, we’ve got a venue to suit every style. We can even find event venues for intrepid explorers, adventurous athletes
- Plan something fun. We’re not suggesting charades, but planning a special theme, activity, food, or moment to engage your guests and add an extra spark to your event can help make your holiday party even more memorable. Our planners have dozens of ideas up their sleeves from fun food stations to creative cocktails to entertainers and performers.
- Make it delicious. Now that you’ve given yourself plenty of time to plan the party, you can really put together a delicious and thoughtful menu with your Great Performances Event Director. Specialty items like sushi stations, beignet carts, and vegan ice cream trucks can be sourced. Interactive and globally inspired stations like our Pan-African, NY Street Food, and Cannoli stations are sure to be a hit. And we can help ensure that a wide variety of dietary preferences are accommodated.
- Keep the party flowing. We love welcoming guests with a drink and a nibble to help everyone feel at ease as soon as they arrive. Stations and passed hors d’oeuvres help keep people mingling and moving around the space. If you prefer a seated dinner, we recommend mixing things up with a dessert and coffee bar to encourage more post-dinner merriment.
Check out some of our resources for planning a holiday party:
Wollman Rink holds many special memories for me. Growing up on Manhattan’s West Side, Sunday mornings began with a walk through the park with my sisters, to skate in the first session. I loved it. Now I get to go back!
Next month, Wollman will reopen to a new chapter in its storied history…..and Great Performances along with our partner in deliciousness, Melba Wilson, will be managing all the food and beverage hospitality! Under the management of Wollman Park Partners, a group dedicated to operating the rink on behalf of NY’ers, giving back to local community groups, and maintaining the highest standard of ice quality and safety, Wollman is perfect for gatherings and celebrations of all kinds.
What an ideal moment for us, as this is the year for outdoor activities and gatherings. In addition to tasty and healthy menus at the café, Wollman is the perfect destination for:
- Team building events and Holiday gatherings
- Weddings & Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
- Non-Profit fundraising and School parties
- And…..Corporate events of all kinds!
Exclusive booking of the rink happens on Mondays and Tuesdays – all other dates are open for groups from 2 to 250, with a range of spaces.
Please contact our GP team at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the form below for more information and to book a date now.
The rink, big sky, city view….the magic! We cannot wait to share it with you.
And I will be that ‘kid’ on the ice, dreaming, skating, and forever in love with New York.
Interested in an event at Wollman Rink?
Complete the form below and one of our expert event planners will follow up!
By Great Performances
Holiday season is right around the corner—but don’t worry, there’s still time to plan one! Engagement is everything, and our team of event experts have given us the scoop on trends that are sure to delight guests and create an extra buzz at your event.
Branded food and drinks have always been popular, but in this age of the #selfie, consider letting your guests put their faces on cocktails!
Interactive stations are always a hit. Guests enjoy watching chefs work their magic and getting a dish that’s freshly made for them. From freshly shaved cheeses to pizza by the inch or a carving station (we can do meat or vegetables!) to the dazzling artistry of the Chef’s Palate (pun intended), which can be savory or sweet.
DIY Food Stations
Guests enjoy self-service options, particularly those that include a fun display. From pretzel trees to fresh-from-the-toaster pastries and a pastry filling station, these provide fun, quick opportunities for guests to have a hand in preparing their food.
A List of the Top Holiday Party Venues in New York
By Great Performances
As we approach the end of the year, we’re filled with excitement and energy. We’re full into our fall / winter event season which is capped by holiday events of all styles and sizes! We’ve seen the merriment and joy that comes from a company’s workforce come together to celebrate the successes of the past year and look forward to continued successes in the next. It’s a time for colleagues and their loved ones to mix, mingle, and reconnect – especially after the past years’ of socially distanced or video-conferenced celebrations.
Finding the right venue for your holiday party can help set the tone for your celebration. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite venues to help provide some inspiration. But, as always, feel free to reach out to us and tap the deep expertise of our event consultants to create the perfect part for you and your teams.
We’ve broken out our list into two main groups: parties for fewer than 300 people and parties for more than 300 people.
Don’t forget to read this article by Shaun Roberts detailing some of our top tips for holiday party success and give us a call! We’re here to be of service.
Top Holiday Party Venues best for parties fewer than 300 people
Another midtown favorite, the 620 Loft & Garden, the penthouse of 620 Fifth Avenue, offers the exciting combination of a city garden and downtown style loft space for your special day. This unique combination invites the opportunity for a memorable event. As the sole event in the space, all the focus will be on you and your guests. Suitable for parties up to 120 people seated or 165 standing.
Located in Upper East Side Manhattan, The Asia Society and Museum is an exceptional space that combines world-class art exhibitions, stunning architecture, and an unparalleled atmosphere – making it one of New York City’s premier event spaces. With 3 versatile spaces available for private events – the 8th Floor Banquet Hall & Conference Suite, Garden Court, and Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium- it certainly caters to any type of holiday event. Suitable for up to 250 people seated or standing.
Recognized internationally for its innovative programming of dance, music, theater, musical theater, and opera, BAM offers five unique spaces for events including an enclosed terrace, a stage, and a ballroom. It’s perfect for as few as 40 and up to 500 guests.
Located on E. 70th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood in a Jacobean townhouse built in 1910, the Explorer’s Club is the perfect gathering place for your holiday event! The beautiful townhouse is rich in history and design, stimulating conversation amongst all that visit!
Glasshouse Chelsea is a unique, multi-functional venue on the 14th and 21st floors of the architecturally-acclaimed Chelsea Arts Tower in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace space provide guests with spectacular views of the Hudson River, Downtown, and Midtown Manhattan. This venue is perfect for up to 200 people.
The Harold Pratt House was constructed in 1919 as one of New York’s grand Park Avenue mansions. It is an ideal location for celebrations, weddings, dinners, and conferences. Located in the Upper East Side, on E. 68th St. and Park Avenue, the house features a marble stairway connecting a variety of beautiful spaces including the Library, Reception, Drawing, Sitting, and Ballroom. All rooms feature cathedral ceilings, fireplaces, and original chandeliers, creating a magical atmosphere for your holiday event!
Located in the Hudson Yard District, Hudson Mercantile offers 16,000 square feet of modern, versatile studio spaces, that are perfect for parties of up to 300 people.
Located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park South, The Plaza has been the setting, backdrop, and star of New York’s most memorable moments — and could be the perfect location for your holiday party! Our team of event planning experts can help ensure that your holiday party at The Plaza is a joyful celebration that everyone will remember well into the new year.
We love this gem located in Chelsea. Dedicated to the history of posters, this dynamic space is a perfect location for art-minded folks who will enjoy mingling in the space while viewing both contemporary and historic, thought-provoking and conversation-starting posters.
Ready to Plan Your Event at One of the Top Holiday Party Venues in New York?
TOP NY HOLIDAY PARTY VENUES BEST FOR PARTIES MORE THAN 300 PEOPLE
Established in 1934, the legendary Harlem Theater designated a national landmark, maintains its position as the nation’s most popular arena for emerging and established African-American and Latino performers. The Apollo has three unique spaces for you to host your event: the Mainstage, the Soundstage, and the Lobby Atrium. Overall capacity is 750 standing, 350 seated.
Located at Lincoln Center, the Big Apple Circus continues to delight and amaze guests featuring thrilling new acts from around the world and a more immersive experience than ever before. More than a show, it’s an experience you won’t ever forget! Perfect for groups from 15 to 1,600 people.
From a modern glass and steel pavilion to the grandeur of the Beaux-Arts Court, the Brooklyn Museum has a space to fit your event. Suitable for 100 to 1800 people.
Located in the Upper West Side on 59th Street and Columbus Circle, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center is the world’s first performing arts facility designed for jazz. With over 6 spaces within the venue and amazing views of Columbus Circle and Central Park South, it truly is the perfect space for an unforgettable holiday event.
Metropolitan Pavilion is a premier Manhattan special events facility offering versatile room configurations in a convenient and historic Chelsea location. A/V, wifi, private lobbies, an indoor loading dock, and a wide range of production services set it apart as an NYC event destination of distinction. Perfect for groups of up to 800 people seated or 1500 people standing.
The Museum of the City of New York’s beautifully renovated landmark building on Fifth Avenue’s iconic Museum Mile is the perfect place for special events–weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate dinners, birthday and graduation parties, and more. Suitable for up to 350 people.
The magnificent space, catering to both intimate gatherings as well as lavish extravaganzas, will lend a sense of grandeur and distinction to any occasion. This landmark building offers four classically elegant rooms for events. All event fees help to support the Library’s indispensable collections, services, and programs. Perfect for groups of up to 750 people.
TheTimesCenter, located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, is a versatile, visually stunning, state-of-the-art event venue. Designed by acclaimed architect Renzo Piano, TheTimesCenter is comprised of The Stage and The Hall, each with its own unique lobby. Suitable for up to 800 guests.
Located in the high-energy southeast end of Central Park, this iconic venue offers a quintessential New York experience on a stunning backdrop, year-round, featuring skating in the winter, warm-weather recreation and continuous special events programming. The facility is available for private and semi-private parties, complete with food and beverage service, as well as exclusive venue buyouts for special events or media, film, and commercial shoots.