‘Tis the season to look forward to festive get-togethers! But while this time of year can be lots of fun, hosting events for colleagues, investors, and collaborators can feel overwhelming, especially if planning is left until the last minute. To host a memorable party that’ll keep guests talking, it’s essential to choose the right venue, serve festive food or refreshments, invite the right people, decide on a theme, and plan fun games and activities.
Here, ideas for merry and bright gatherings to round out 2023.
Sip at the Speakeasy
The roaring twenties did raucous parties right. Get your Gatsby on at immersive prohibition-themed experience The Speakeasy at The Palace Theater, tucked away behind Joe’s Clock Shop on SF’s Broadway. Spaces are available for private hire and range from intimate nooks to expansive casino floors with an entire stage; entertainment includes a cabaret show, mixology experiences, and rounds of blackjack at the hidden Gaslamp Lounge.
Plan a Festive Feast in A Private Dining Room
The Bay Area’s storied dining scene offers myriad options for group dinners, and most restaurants offer a private dining room with custom menus for an elevated, intimate experience. In Menlo Park, Camper by Chef Greg Kuzia-Carmel—who oversees CANOPY’s Canteen Coffee Shop—has a dedicated space for refined dinners. New American outpost Octavia in San Francisco is available for full buyouts, or you can book the 12-seat Chef’s Table within the restaurant’s kitchen for a cozy meal as the staff prepares dishes around you.
Charter a boat and enjoy the lights from the Bay
Assuming Karl the Fog keeps his distance, SF’s twinkling lights are best viewed from the water. Set sail at sunset aboard a fully licensed tall ship replica, The Gas Light, modeled on an 1800s schooner that shuttled supplies between San Francisco and Sacramento. To host an evening of substantial “Mix & Mingle” hors d’oeuvres, an open premium bar, and music, consider chartering the 150-foot luxury yacht San Francisco Spirit or Empress Yacht.
A Winter Wellness Wonderland
Located just south of San Francisco, Canyon Ranch in Woodside is one of the Bay Area’s hidden gems, offering wellness and development-focused events and retreats. Offer your guests a respite from Holiday season indulgence by planning an event featuring expert-led workshops, redwood hikes at Djerassi, or creative classes like scarf printing. You can include a festive “divine dinner” that celebrates mental and physical nourishment and the bounty of California.
Dinner And A Show
Many of SF’s vibrant and varied performing arts venues—and resident talent—are available for private bookings. Jazz bar Mr Tipple’s Recording Studio can host cocktail parties for up to 20 guests in its Opium Den, an alcove abutting the bar, and is available for full buyouts for larger gatherings. Intimate historic theater Club Fugazi offers similar private party options and acrobats who perform breathtaking feats of strength and agility inches from the audience.
Throw your party at CANOPY!
Let us do the work for you. Jackson Square offers two floors of space, including expansive terraces with jaw-dropping views of SF’s iconic Transamerica Building and city skyline beyond. Our Menlo Park location encompasses a lounge, various rooms, and open spaces that can be booked independently or in combination. Our events teams provide full-suite services, including managing photographers, caterers, and outside talent, and are brimming with ideas for fun themes. If you’d like to host a murder mystery, be immersed in A Christmas Carol through augmented reality, level up your carols by booking an opera singer, or host a hot cocoa bar, we can make it happen! Book your Holiday party here.