South Bank London

Top 20 Christmas Party Ideas in South Bank

When it comes to Christmas in London, you can’t beat the magical atmosphere of South Bank. Lights glittering in the trees along the riverside, the warming smells of mulled wine and sweet treats from the Winter Markets, and festive music drifting in the air from all the seasonal pop-ups and entertainers are guaranteed to get you in the yuletide spirit.

So if you’re in charge of planning your office Christmas party, South Bank has the answer.

Whatever style of celebration you’re after, South Bank is brimming with more bars, restaurants, and party venues than you can shake a candy cane at. Plus, you’re in the entertainment and cultural heart of the capital! So why not elevate your Christmas gathering with something fun – whether that’s competitive socialising, a visit to one of the impressive visitor attractions, or even dining in a magical snow globe.

If you’re looking for a larger, more lavish affair, there’s also a ton of stunning venues available for private hire.

Here’s our Top 20 Christmas Party Ideas in South Bank.

Duckpin Bowling at Brewdog Waterloo

Feeling Competitive?

Everyone has a little competitive streak somewhere and there’s nothing more fun at Christmas than getting your team together to test your skills!

1. Take to the (fake) ice at Curling Club! Back for a second year, this incredible pop-up under Hungerford Bridge brings all the après-ski party vibes with alpine inspired street food, live entertainment, and specialist Christmas cocktails. All against the backdrop of the Winter Olympic cult favourite, curling!

2. There’s always a place for some bowling action when it comes to a Christmas party, but at BrewDog Waterloo, you can take it to a different level with Duckpins! Smaller and lighter than the tenpins you’ve probably taken on before, Duckpins make it harder to get that sought-after strike! The team at BrewDog will tailor your party, whatever the size, to include food and drink packages, bowling lane hire and even access to hidden speakeasy cocktail bar, Lost Property Office!

3. Extending their South Bank residency, Jack & Boule are giving their boule courts a festive make over ready for the winter season. The covers are going up, the heaters are going in and there’s gonna be some delicious new seasonal cocktails and food on offer. Perfect for that competitive Christmas party!

4. Let the games begin at Draughts! Perfect for groups of any size, Draughts have over 100 games to choose from along with a number of spaces you can exclusively hire for a larger crowd. If you’re not sure where to start, their legendary Games Masters will help curate your gaming evening, plus there’s some brilliant food and drink packages that will suit every tastebud!

Snow Globes at Jimmy's Fire & Fromage

Dining with a Difference

There’s an incredible range of restaurants in South Bank – head to our Eat & Drink section to view the whole list, but sometimes you want something a little different and Christmas is the perfect time to mix things up!

5. Hire a snow globe at Jimmy’s. Notorious pop-up king, Jimmy Garcia is back for the winter season with Fire & Fromage, a rich and decadent dining experience right on the riverside. Hire a private igloo, magically lit with festive fairy lights to feast on funghi fondue and stone-cooked steaks. Trust us, this one’s divine!

6. Add some musical entertainment to your festive dinner at The Strings. This independently owned Mediterranean restaurant serves up delicious Italian and Spanish small plates, while owner, Santy, takes to the small and intimate stage periodically throughout the evening to delight guests with the sounds of classical live guitar.

7. For another musical option, The Archduke is something of an institution on the South Bank dining scene. Their nightly live jazz performances are the perfect accompaniment to quality steaks and classic cocktails.

8. Bring the heat to your festive celebrations at Limin, London’s hottest Caribbean restaurant. Expect sharing platters and small bites loaded with Trinidadian flavour, along with all the rum punch you can imagine against a backdrop of a sunny beach club with banging DJ tunes.

9. If you’re looking for a venue that brings the party as well as great food, Mamuśka! Polish Kitchen & Bar is hard to beat. This lively space built under the railway arches of Waterloo serves up hearty Polish classics along with an incredible range of cocktails, beers and flavoured vodkas that are guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit! Throw in some great party tunes and you’re all set.

Miracle on Leake Street

Fun activities & experiences

Rather than opting for a long boozy lunch or dinner, alcohol free celebrations are on the rise. So get creative with your party plans and treat everyone to an engaging experience instead.

10. Enjoy the festive beauty of London from the best view on the South Bank – The London Eye. Book a private pod for up to 25 people and take in the views, 135m in the air. Make it extra special and book a hamper of drinks and snacks to enjoy during your ride.

11. For something outside the box, why not give your guests a spooky thrill at The London Dungeon! The Dungeon brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, immersive 360 sets, and thrilling rides in a truly unique and exciting walk-through experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel. It’s hilarious, fun and sometimes even genuinely a bit scary.

12. Bring your party to our party at Miracle on Leake Street. On Thursday 6 December, our alternative Christmas event returns, taking over the famous Leake Street graffiti tunnel. Expect cabaret drag act, wreath making workshops, festive foodie pop-ups, some crazy entertainment, a festive movie on the big screen, and even a bit of snow!

13. Dive head-on into a glittering winter wonderland at an immersive reimagining of the festive classic, The Nutcracker, taking place at the Tuff Nut Jazz Club, a new pop-up jazz club under the Royal Festival Hall.

14. For the ultimate live band Christmas party, head on down to Between the Bridges for MASSAOKE! The UK’s biggest mass-karaoke, Massaoke is a dazzling, high-energy live music show, supercharged with videos and giant singalong lyrics. Expect all your favourite xmas hits from Mariah, Wham!, The Pogues and Slade, as well as more hairbrush anthems from across the decades.

Sea Containers Events

Book a blowout party

If your group is on the larger side and you need a big venue with big ideas, we have tons. (Head to our Venue Hire page to view the full portfolio). If it’s good enough for London Film Festival, London Literature Festival, the New Year’s Eve Fireworks and this year’s BAFTAs, South Bank is clearly the number one choice for a glitzy London event.

15. When you just don’t have time to organise all the small details but want a glamourous party in a stunning venue, 73 Waterloo at St John’s are putting on the ritz this Christmas with a ready-made Tinseltown theme party. Just choose your date and specify your numbers (up to 500) and they’ll do the rest, complete with red carpet and flambeaux on arrival, cocktail drinks reception, atmospheric lighting and furniture, themed entertainment, DJ and your choice of canapes & bowl food, food stations or seated dinners.

16. If a Christmas party to you means twinkling lights in a snowy paradise, OXO2 are turning their venue into an enchanting Winterland for the season. Right on the river in the iconic Oxo Tower Wharf, your guests will enjoy signature cocktails whilst admiring breath-taking views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the city skyline. Hosting up to 400, the event space comes fully themed with captivating lighting effects and mystical-themed entertainment, so you can relax and enjoy the festivities knowing everything is in hand.

17. If you want to take in the iconic London views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City, you can’t do better than a riverside rooftop. Sitting high at the top of the iconic Sea Containers Building, Sea Containers Events is home to a number of private event spaces, all with full length windows offering stunning views across the river. Each space can be tailored to your party style, whether you want a sit-down dinner, an informal drinks soiree or a live-band to dance the night away to – it’s your blank canvas to make your own.

18. It’s no secret that South Bank is synonymous with art and culture and has been since the Festival of Britain in 1951. Celebrate that vibe and head down to Bankside Hotel where you can party in a venue with a laidback creative feel. Large or small, it doesn’t matter. 20 - 200 people can party surrounded by eclectic art, in an event space bursting with personality.

19. Entertainment at a Christmas party is key. Whether you choose to bring in some games, live music or even casino tables, there’s a whole host of venues that will help you bring your party to life. Alternatively, you might be inspired to go for some more ‘natural’ entertainment and immerse your guests in the beauty of life under water at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. There’s plenty of spaces within this stunning venue where you can host drinks receptions or even full banquet dinners.

20. If classic splendour is the look you’re going for, The Riverside Rooms offer the perfect answer. Located within County Hall, this Grade II Listed venue space offers impressive and sweeping views of the Thames and Houses of Parliament whilst the oak-panelled walls bring a rich opulence to your end of year celebrations.

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