Washington, D.C. is much more than landmarks, museums, and politics. It may surprise you that this bustling city named after the first U.S president George Washington, has a thriving nightlife scene to cater to all your party needs! New to the city? Fear not, with Tagvenue’s list of the best party venues, you’ll even come up with a few good reasons for celebration! Tough week at work or maybe it’s graduation time? Whatever the cause, there’s always something to honor at some quirky bar or eclectic nightclub! Let off some steam, dancing queen!
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You don’t have to wait for Friday night to have a real good time in Washington, D.C. With so many options at hand, it’s tough to be idle in this place. Want to see the city? Host a night tour with your friends. Enjoy history? Head to the museums and experience a real-life version of Night at the Museum. Fan of baseball? Attend a sports event at Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Fancy some late-night shopping and a couple of Tequila shots? Go on a bar-hopping adventure on U Street where you will find chic and quirky spaces that will suit your taste like a glove! Buttoned-up by day and buttoned-down by night is the vibe in the District, so get ready to party into the wee hours!
Let’s start with some fun party ideas before moving on to the serious planning stuff!
Have a luau
Aloha! Dreaming of pristine beaches and pina coladas? Organize a luau in summer or even winter to treat your guests to a beachy getaway in the city. Nothing screams vacation louder than a traditional luau. Perfect for weddings and those warm summer nights, this food and entertainment feast will satisfy all your vacation needs in one night or day. You could even hire a restaurant to celebrate Hawaiian culture and cuisine. Ask your friends to dress as hula dancers and hire a fire dancer to make your event extra special. Don’t forget the roasted pig, hula hoops, and floral garlands for the event!
Here are some must-have decor items for a successful luau:
Tropical is the way to go when it comes to the decor of the venue! If you’ve never organized such an event before it’s best to ask the venue manager to assist you or hire a venue decorator for a splendid set-up! Found the perfect party space by North Jetty or Ruby Beach? Listen to the sound of waves lapping the stunning shore while sipping your Blue Hawaiian!
Bridgerton-inspired high tea party
Greetings illustrious debutante! Tap into your inner Bridgerton-fan and make it classy. Get those pastel-colored suits and dresses out of the closet and enjoy a lavish teatime party of the Regency era. Hire a garden (perfect in spring!) or a cozy cafe with floral canopies for the ultimate ooh la la feel. When it comes to the event venue, the options are endless. You could even throw the party at home or you could pick a more formal setting like a restaurant or hotel. It’s always better to host the event outside as you’ll have less to do with nature as your backdrop! You’ll find many garden venues in areas like Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights, and in Forest Hills where there is no shortage of alfresco spaces! High tea parties are ideal for a baby shower party or Mother’s Day where the ladies can dress up and pamper themselves with some delicacies. There's no reason to not hold a tea party! Once you have an excellent theme, that’s a good reason enough to channel your inner Marie Antoinette.
High tea party must-haves:
Pinkies in, teacup high, and you’re all set for the ultimate high-tea party!
Board game night
Not winning at life,eh? Well, you can still win at board games! Earlier parties were frequently associated with being loud and crowded, however, things have changed and board games night rank high on the party ideas list! Game nights can be pretty noisy which is why it’s best to hold it at a pub or a cafe. Many pubs organize trivia nights in Downtown and Noma. These venues are ideal as they provide enough space, comfort, and flexibility for your event! Plus it’s always easier to get a refill at a pub or brewery! You could even hold it at a library if pubs are not your thing. A game night can be quite chaotic, so it’s best to keep the number of guests on the lower side, 4-to 8 players are ideal for board games. Never played before? Simply check the instructions at the back of the box or ask for your friends’ help, board games are perfect for a bit of learning and sharing all whilst having fun!
Here are some board games to consider if you’re new at it:
Don’t forget to order some cheese pizzas and suds to spice up the night!
Throw a Caribbean dance night
The sound of reggae can instantly put you in another state of mind, far from everyday worries! You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to host a Caribbean night. Make it your duty to bring the taste of the islands to the chosen venue. Where to host it? Pick a venue around unpretentious Long Beach where you can find arrays of restaurants and accommodations for your guests. Want to feel like Jack Sparrow and go on a sea exploration, then go to Rosario Beach where you can rent a space for your event while enjoying beautiful sea creatures like blue herons, starfish, and urchins up close. Once you have a venue with beachy vibes, you can add some tiki torches and fake palm trees (you can find them on eBay and Etsy!) to your space. String up some fairy lights and place seashells on the tables to take your guests to the Caribbean islands in a flash! Such events are also excellent for companies as it allows everyone to relax in khakis and sandals! You could even add a volleyball net for your people for them to show off their Karch Kiraly skills!
Here are some elements to inject into your Caribbean party:
Host a fondue party
Fond of fondue?
Go retro and host a fondue party. Melty cheese and delicious bread are hard to resist. There are many ways to personalize your event. Whether it’s the wine or cheese selection, you can make this event all about you by adding some personal touches to the event! As for the food, get some fresh veggies, apples, and excellent sourdough. Head to Seylou or Tatte Bakery for the best sourdough in Washington. Sounds boring? Break the rules.
Nothing’s more unique than themed parties. You can add an international twist to the event by throwing a Mexican-inspired cheese fondue party. Add some jalapeños, and chorizo to the cheese platter to make it extra bueno! Or ditch the usual and host a Scottish fondue party. Dip the bread in whiskey before dunking it into that delicious melted cheese to jazz up the taste. Remember to serve some dark Scottish beer on the occasion. With so many cheese fondue variations, you can certainly host the most original party in town! You could even ask your guests to wear traditional kilt skirts! Fondue parties are best held at home, but if you don’t have enough space, you can throw the party at a cheese bar or cheese shop where you can rent out a private or semi-private room!
Here are some excellent food choices for that cheese fondue:
Get the fondue party started and dip a morsel into that melted goodness.
Throw a Mardi Gras party
Wear your jester hat and mambo! Commonly known as Fat Tuesday, this carnival takes place before Ash Wednesday. They say there’s no party without food, this undoubtedly goes true for Mardi Gras where the main theme of the celebration is heavy food and sweets. It’s best to hold such parties at larger venues like ballrooms or nightclubs as these spaces exude that exquisite vibe effortlessly. Make your event more exciting by hosting a mask competition where the one who wears the best mask is rewarded with a bottle of champagne! Set up game stations such as mini-bowling or play a round of Mardi Gras-based trivia with your guests, you’ll all surely learn a thing or two and have a blast while doing so! Cocktails hold an important place in any lavish Mardi Gras celebration. Serve a selection of drinks to your guests and garnish them with a Maraschino cherry for some pizzazz! The quirkier, the merrier! Don’t hesitate to go all out with the outfit- get your carnival masks, sequined suits, and dresses on! What about music? Well as you probably already know, jazz is the way to go, or shall we say dance? You can find countless live playlists for free on YouTube or simply find the perfect Mardi Gras playlist on Spotify.
Take a look at some Mardi Gras decor must-haves:
Don’t know where to find all your party supplies? Try Oriental Trading to get everything you need from table runners to extravagant feather masks!
Let’s begin with the serious stuff: party planning. It’s a lot of work but it’s one rewarding feeling! It’s worth having a plan to avoid those last-minute panic attacks. So, let’s go over the four basic steps of successful party planning.
Figure out your budget
Won the lottery and feel like throwing a grandiose party? Go ahead, we won’t stop you! When planning your party, the budget is key to all your expenses. It’s essential to set a budget from the start as it impacts all the party elements such as the catering and venue options. Think about how much money and time you’re willing to invest in the party. If you don’t have much time, focus on getting most things done by the venue or an event coordinator. If you’re planning to spend more on the venue and less on the decor, you can start working on your DIY projects months before the event and save some money. Setting your budget is the number one step in party planning.
Identify your goal
Like with anything else in life, you need to identify the purpose of your event. For instance, you may throw a party to boost your company’s image or maybe you want to throw a party for a good time and nothing more. It’s totally up to you to pick your aim and priorities. Some of the things you may consider as priorities are the food, drinks, venue, decor, making sure that everyone is invited, or doing as little work as possible. Everyone has their priorities and it’s easier to plan once you’ve identified yours. You can start with a list of priorities and rate them accordingly.
Select a date and time
We know it is tempting to book a venue on your birthday which unfortunately falls on a Monday! Well, in all honesty, venue rentals are usually cheaper from Monday to Thursday, so you might want to throw that party anyway. Yet, most people love a good party at the end of the week when they don’t have to worry about their jobs, so it’s best to consult your guests before finalizing the date! Once you know if they’re all (or most of them) are free on the given date, go ahead and hire that venue!
Send the invites
You can either simply send a casual text and invite your friends to the event or create a Facebook event to confirm your friends' precious presence. Send a reminder a few days before the event to make sure that the venue doesn’t count in the absentees as you may be unnecessarily charged additional costs. If you are someone who loves the finer things in life, you could use Canva to design a card when sharing the event. Who knows? Maybe that will help attract more people to the event. Remember to include the venue location and the date and time of the event. You can also mention the menu options to lure your guests! Trust us, it always works!
Decorations are usually allowed in most venues, however, in most cases the use of confetti, silly string, candles, and glitter is prohibited.
Yes! This is why you need a final headcount at least a week before the event. You will be charged for the headcount, which is the number of guests that show up. So, encourage your guests to RSVP! And show up!
Yes, there are many restaurants and bars for hosting private events in either our private or semi-private event areas. Many private spaces include pool tables or a mic and speakers for your convenience.
It depends on what you’re looking for. Need to host a Caribbean or Hawaiian party? Head to pristine beaches of the city such as Ruby Beach or North Jetty where you can surf, sunbathe and unwind. For greener spaces, host a party in Capitol Hill where you will be thrilled to see landmarks among the lush spaces. Woodley Park is perfect for those who enjoy a walk in the park after a really good time at the club, you can visit the National Zoo or Rock Creek Park while you’re at it. Looking for impressive nightlife? Go to Georgetown for some of the finest breweries, nightclubs, and wineries. You’ll find plenty of restaurants that will thrill tourists and locals alike. To taste diverse cuisines, and have some fun head to U Street Corridor. There are numerous places from Metro Center to Adams Morgan where you can find amazing party venues for your upcoming event.
You can rent a venue for as little as $75 per hour in the capital. If you’re looking for some exclusive options, prices can go as high as $1000 per hour for an upscale venue. (All data according to Tagvenue.)
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