London's best alternative work Christmas party ideas

Want to shake things up this year? From roller discos to ceilidh dancing, here are some ideas to inspire

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Roller Disco
Minimum: 150pp
Venue hire: £1,500
Minimum Bar: spend £1,500

What other opportunity will you have to *accidentally* skate into the arms of Lara from HR? Or *accidentally* skate into moaning Michael and send him crashing? (Note: these are rhetorical questions, for effect only.) And at £3k for a minimum of 150 people (including venue hire and bar) the cost per person is a steal at £20 a head. This doesn’t include food, however, so you’ll need to bring in a caterer.

Paintballing
Minimum: 10 players
Paintballing from: £28 pp
Food from: £10 pp

Actually, scrap the roller disco. Why *accidentally* trip your boss up when you can pelt him or her with paint? (Note to self, don’t put byline on this.) Because paintballing is fun, but it’s even more fun when there’s games involved like ‘shoot the boss’. Sorry boss. At Force10 Paintball, corporate packages can include Christmas menus too – just let them know when you make the booking.

Ceilidh at Cecil Sharp House
Ceilidh band from around £500
Stand up reception ‘Fun Festive Delights’ package from £20pp plus VAT
The ‘Merry Folky Feast’ package from £35-£45pp plus VAT

If you’ve been to a ceilidh before, you’ll know it’s the best thing in the world. Because Ceilidhs are “brilliantly berserk”, as LondonlovesBusiness.com’s Harry Cockburn puts it. I mean, what better way to entertain your staff and provoke team building than by getting them to throw each around on a dance floor? There’s a reason why ceilidhs will be around long after Gangman Style. And Cecil Sharp House is one of the most interesting venues in London too, so it’s a double win.  

Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros. Studio
Bespoke packages available
What’s more Christmas-y than Harry Potter? NOTHING. (This is at least true for anyone 35 and under). And now London Warner Bros. Studio has opened its ‘Making of Harry Potter’ studio up to Christmas parties! Guests can roam within the actual Harry Potter sets and enjoy a festive dinner in Hogwarts’ Great Hall. Let’s just hope they serve something stronger than butter beer.    

Winterville
Victoria Park
Free, ticketed events

Winterville describes itself as the “antithesis of corporate Christmas theme parks”. Held in Victoria Park (the green heartland of the uber trendy east end), it promises a skating rink, roller disco, pantomime, pub and club – and much more. (We can also guarantee rolled up trousers, ‘fixie’ bikes organic cotton and silly moustaches). While entry is free, many of the events taking place inside are ticketed and need booking in advance. It’s open from the 2 December through to the 31 December.

The London Eye
Private capsule: £500
Maximum: 25 ppl
Christmas canapés: £350
Champagne/wine: £58/£32 per bottle
Mulled wine: £10 per person

Remember how we mocked the giant shiny Ferris wheel when it first opened? “Look how slowly it moves!” we scoffed. Fourteen years later (yes, 14), The London Eye is as popular as ever, and their Christmas package helps make it one of London’s most exclusive party venues. Book a private capsule and peer down over the common folk while you sup champagne and chomp canapés. For now (or 40 minutes at least) you’re no office worker. You’re, well, on your alternative Christmas party do.

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