19 Top Holiday Party Venues & Ideas in Washington DC

Home » Corporate Event Venues » Holiday Parties in Washington DCUpdated: September 08, 2022

You found our list of the best holiday party venues & ideas in Washington DC.

Holiday party venues and ideas in Washington DC are places to go and activities to do for holiday celebrations in the DC area. Some examples include The Mead Center, The Ronald Reagan Building, and International Spy Museum. The right party venue and activities will invigorate your staff and provide your guests an opportunity to bond.

These options are ideal for holiday team building activities and company Christmas parties. These ideas are similar to event venues in Washington, DC and DC corporate events.

This article contains:

  • small party venues in Washington DC
  • company holiday party venues in Washington DC
  • holiday party ideas in Washington DC for adults
  • holiday party entertainment ideas in Washington DC

Here we go!

List of company holiday party venues in Washington DC

The nation’s capital is a stunning destination with unique monuments, internationally-inspired architecture, and lush greenery. The following are holiday party venues in Washington, DC.

1. The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

The Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center is the tallest building in the nation’s capital. The venue also has cultural and historical importance to the city. The facility can accommodate 150 to 2,000 attendees in its many event rooms, which include an impressive atrium, a lovely ballroom, efficient conference spaces, and even an outdoor plaza. The Ronald Reagan Building has a spectacular design, outstanding location, and breathtaking areas. The venue encapsulates the spirit of Washington, DC, with its view of Pennsylvania Avenue, a landmark in the city’s heart. Plus, the venue’s chefs can accommodate guests with a wide range of food preferences.

Learn more about The Ronald Reagan Building.

2. The Carnegie Institution for Science

The Carnegie Institution for Science has a stunning interior design that complements its historic architecture. It is no surprise that the Carnegie Institution for Science routinely ranks as one of Washington, DC’s best party venues, given the variety of events it can host. The gold, grey, and silver marble rotunda help to create an intimate environment during a party. You can transform the space into a spectacular dance floor for guests in the evening. The Ballroom is close to the Rotunda, enabling easy access to those with larger gatherings. The Rotunda can accommodate up to 150 guests, while the Ballroom can take approximately 180.

Learn more about Carnegie Institution for Science.

3. The Mead Center’s Arena Stage

Invigorating natural night fills business gatherings at Arena Stage. Receptions shine beneath romantic moonlight, thanks to a wall of magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows. The venue’s multi-tiered, spiraling balconies provide separate zones for the cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception without sacrificing space. In addition, you and your guests will be within a short distance of one of the city’s most breathtaking waterfront vistas at the District Wharf. The rooftop terrace can accommodate up to 250 guests, while the grand lobby can seat 500.

Learn more about The Mead Center’s Arena Stage.

4. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

Limestone finishes on the walls, massive ancient columns, and hardwood flooring make the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium a stunning venue for any event. The beautiful and classic structure is the perfect place to host a memorable celebration for your guests. The building’s large entrance area, which has an elegant pillared doorway, is one of the remarkable aspects of the building. The auditorium can accommodate 600 seated guests in the great hall and 200 partygoers on the third floor.

Learn more about Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

5. Union Station

Union Station is a repurposed train station and commercial complex that serves as a stunning venue for large-scale events like business conferences or company holiday parties. Your guests will be able to experience the historical energy of Washington, DC, thanks to the venue’s position only steps from the United States Capitol. The building features bright and airy décor, making it perfect for evening events. Stunning design elements like marble floors, antique chandeliers, and gilded barrel vaults make the Main and East Halls remarkable. The presidential suite can accommodate up to 300 guests for a cocktail.

Learn more about Union Station, DC.

6. The Society of the Cincinnati

The Society of the Cincinnati is a nonprofit organization founded in 1905. The society is dedicated to preserving the American Revolution’s legacy and sits in a building on Washington, DC’s Embassy Row. The Beaux-Arts masterpiece is now available for rent, providing first-class venues for spectacular events, including lavish cocktail parties, elegant dinners, and dazzling dances. The Neoclassical home’s exquisite details and 20th-century chandeliers will mesmerize visitors. The Anderson House’s carved-wood walls, marble flooring, and paper-mâché ceilings are some of the favorite aspects of the building. Renting the hall with the tented garden increases the venue’s capacity to between 300 and 450 standing attendees, or 170 seated.

Learn more about The Society of the Cincinnati.

7. National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts offers a great venue to host your next banquet, ball, cocktail party, or end-of-year party. Elegant and historical, the Great Hall has marble flooring and stunning artworks from the National Museum of Women in the Arts collection. Your guests will have fun dancing the night away under the glow of crystal chandeliers. The Elisabeth A. Kasser Board Room and the Third Floor Gallery are ideal options for smaller gatherings, leaving your guests in awe of the stunning architecture and artwork. You can host up to 200 guests in the Performance Hall.

Learn more about the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

8. The Decatur House

The Decatur House, one of the oldest and most renowned mansions in Washington, DC, is well situated for hosting important festivities because of its proximity to the White House. The Decatur House combines historic elegance with modern comforts to provide spectacular interior and outdoor venues for gatherings of all types. The Entertaining Parlors on the museum’s lower floor are ideal if you are looking for small party venues in Washington, DC. The Carriage House will make your guests feel like they have stepped back in time to historic Washington, and the picturesque Courtyard is the ideal setting for any outdoor event, including weddings, cocktail parties, and holiday celebrations.

Learn more about The Decatur House.

9. Dumbarton House

The Dumbarton House is home to the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, a group dedicated to fostering patriotism and an appreciation for American history and culture. The Dumbarton House is a museum with restored historic rooms, but it also offers several unique event venues. The Belle Vue Room is stunning, with 13-foot ceilings and French doors leading out to a beautiful courtyard. The space is ideal for hosting an outdoor event. The home’s art displays and ample space for big gatherings is a major draw.

Learn more about Dumbarton House.

10. International Spy Museum

One of the most visited places in Washington, DC, the International Spy Museum offers breathtaking city vistas. The museum has a variety of private event venues, including a traditional ballroom and a more modern, colorful area that is ideal for a standing cocktail reception. Your guests will love the panoramic views of the nation’s capital, the Washington Monument, and the Potomac River from the museum’s 7th-floor Ballroom. In addition, guests may enjoy the Ballroom’s dance floor or use the Rooftop Terrace’s outdoor space, which has enough area for large gatherings. The terrace and ballroom take between 150 to 200 guests.

Learn more about International Spy Museum.

11. Meridian House

Given that its creator also worked on the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art, the Meridian House is quite at home in Washington, DC, known for its impressive collection of historic buildings. The landmark’s interior and exterior are equally beautiful, featuring a variety of garden areas, a ballroom, a foyer, and a library reminiscent of a classic old home. Whether your event is small or big, the award-winning venue has the planning skills and execution to make it a success. You can host up to 300 guests for your holiday party at this venue.

Learn more about Meridian House.

List of holiday party ideas in Washington DC

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, the city of Washington, DC, offers a wide variety of ideas to enjoy during the holidays. The following is a list of holiday party ideas in Washington, DC for adults.

1. Smithsonian’s National Zoo

If you are looking for a free, family-friendly, and festive holiday light show in the nation’s capital, look no further than ZooLights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. This enchanted celebration of the holidays begins on Thanksgiving weekend and lasts until the first of the year. More than 500,000 LED lights, animal lanterns, and live music are all part of ZooLights.

The zoo’s gift stores will be open, allowing visitors to stock up on holiday gifts while contributing to the institution’s ongoing conservation work.

As a bonus, the National Zoo and the Conservation Biology Institute, both part of the Smithsonian, will benefit from your efforts.

Learn more about the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

2. President’s Park

In President’s Park, not far from the White House, a giant live evergreen tree is decked for yearly holidays. Starting at 4:30 p.m. each day, members of the public are welcome to stop by and see the illuminated tree. The show begins in the first week of December. However, the tree will not officially be lit until the annual lighting ceremony, when the United States president turns on the lights with the customary fanfare.

Artists from all over the nation make decorations on the National Christmas Tree. The ornaments are unique and exciting to examine. You can also visit America Celebrates, an exhibition of Christmas trees honoring each state’s history, tradition, and culture. You can warm up with some chocolate while you snap pictures among the trees and revel in the wonder of the holiday season.

Learn more about President’s Park.

3. The Sculpture Garden

Skating in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art is one of the favorite holiday activities in Washington, DC. This fountain is transformed into an ice rink throughout the winter months, making it the perfect place to go ice skating with the team.

The ice-skating rink is accessible from around the middle of November to about the middle of March. The Pavilion Cafe offers $5 food and drinks discounts Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., making it an ideal place to grab a bite or a drink without breaking the bank. All skaters, from beginners to experts, may take advantage of offered lessons. Guests can sign up for a 30-minute drop-in class, while locals may sign up for season-long courses.

Learn more about The Sculpture Garden.

4. United States Botanical Garden

Even in winter, DC manages to wow with its lush vegetation. The yearly Christmas show at the US Botanic Garden has traditional staples like poinsettias and holiday tunes. In addition, the greenhouse displays miniature versions of many of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, all decked up in holiday garb.

These little structures, replicas of which are viewable on the National Mall, are constructed entirely from organic materials. You may see the displays all year long in the conservatory’s foyer, beyond the information desk. The Washington Monument, Capitol Building, Supreme Court, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture are all great destinations for a kid-friendly treasure hunt.

You can visit the annual US Botanical Christmas exhibitions, the tropical room, cactus garden, and kids’ gardens. Holiday train rides are also available. The United States Botanic Garden is open all year and is free of charge.

Learn more about US Botanical Garden.

5. Ford’s Theater

The doors of Ford’s Theatre are always open for tours. However, during the holiday season, a visit to the theater takes on a more magical quality. You can treat your team to an “A Christmas Carol” performance this holiday season at Ford’s Theatre.

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, this chilling and touching production recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who is visited by his former and now deceased business partner and the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. Through self-reflection and observing others, the man reevaluates his previous beliefs.

Learn more about Ford’s Theater.

6. Upshur Street Craft Fair

The Upshur Holiday Fair is a popular yearly event on the brightly illuminated and decorated streets of Upshur. The fair has a wide variety of holiday-themed wares, food, and entertainment options. Thanks to its unique blend of international flair and DC character, the event continues to draw in the crowds every December in the nation’s capital. The event, flourishing with creative talent and ambiance, is available at no admission cost to the public.

Learn more about Upshur Street Craft Fair.

7. Holiday Boat Parade

The Holiday Boat Parade is a stunning sight that offers a memorable and special experience every year. During the holidays, boats in the Washington waterway near The Wharf glow with colorful lights. During the holiday season in Washington, DC, these parades of glistening and aesthetically pleasing boats are a must-see. In addition, beautiful Christmas trees, holiday movies, hot chocolate, and other winter delights provide a special touch to this yearly event. This extravaganza makes for one of the most special holiday party entertainment ideas in Washington DC.

Learn more about Holiday Boat Parade.

8. Georgetown GLOW

Georgetown GLOW is held annually in the city’s oldest neighborhood throughout December. The event is the only free, curated outdoor public light installation in the nation’s capital. These friendly locals proudly display the stunning works of locally renowned painters throughout Georgetown. You may take a self-guided walk to appreciate the neighborhood’s aesthetic charms or join a guided tour to learn about the area’s rich history.

Learn more about Georgetown GLOW.

Conclusion

This city has plenty to offer, from appreciating the Union Station to walking along Georgetown’s shoreline to taking in the breathtaking vista from atop the Lincoln Memorial. When planning a holiday party, check out our recommendations for holiday venues and ideas in Washington, DC. You can destress from the holidays by visiting some of the places on our list or participating in the events that interest you.

Next, check out Christmas icebreakers and company holiday party etiquette.

FAQ: Holiday party ideas in Washington DC

Here are frequently asked questions about holiday party ideas in Washington, DC.

What are some good venues for holiday parties in Washington, DC?

Some good venues for holiday parties include Union Station, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Decatur House. The beautiful and significant venues are perfect for every celebration, including holiday parties.

What are some good things to do for holiday parties in Washington, DC?

Some good things to do for holiday parties in Washington DC include visiting the U. S. Botanical Garden, going ice skating at the Sculpture Garden, and enjoying a Christmas carol at Ford’s theater. You can also visit the President’s Park to see the National Christmas Tree.

How do you plan a fun holiday party in Washington, DC?

While there is a wide range of options for a holiday party, preparations can be challenging. A holiday party checklist is a great way to start the planning process. Budget, location, event kind, and necessary venue facilities are factors to consider. In addition, you can do fun and unexpected activities to spice up the celebration.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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