Looking to make your holiday event sparkle? Host your party in Alexandria, Virginia, minutes from Washington, D.C. and one of the Most Charming Christmas Towns in the World according to Oprah Magazine. In addition to festive holiday happenings, the city brims with memorable venues, from historic sites like Union Square, a repurposed 19th-century ballroom, to avant-garde drink spots like Aslin Beer Co. From brand-new dining destinations to tried-and-true crowd-pleasers, here are our top picks for your seasonal soiree.
1. Dine in a New Restaurant
Holiday parties offer the perfect opportunity to try one of Alexandria’s newest dining destinations. New restaurants range in capacity from 10 to 300, with many available for buyout, and their “novelty factor” is an ideal enticement to ensure RSVPs. Settle into the leather banquettes at Oak Steakhouse, open since summer 2019, for a luxe, cosmopolitan experience, from the strip streak to the peanut butter semifreddo that The Washington Post calls “bliss in every bite.” Try Augie’s Mussel House, Alexandria’s newest beer garden experience, tucked away off King Street and complete with communal tables on heated patios, more than 70 select beers and Belgian-inspired mussel dishes. Or, gather your group under the wall of reds and whites at Bistro Sancerre, steps from the King Street Metro, for upscale French fare like braised lamb shank and steak frites paired with wine butter.
Taste the flavors of Mexico City at King Street’s Urbano 116, helmed by acclaimed Oaxacan Chef Alam Méndez Florián. With 300-person capacity, newly-renovated Theismann’s boasts everything from a prime rib carving station to a replica Lombardy trophy. For drinks and a view, Café 44 offers a sweeping panorama of the Potomac River with views of the Washington Monument. For a Bavarian bash, say “Prost!” at Village Brauhaus, or indulge in hearty Russian and Uzbek cuisine at Rus Uz.
2. Raise a Glass at a Drinks Hotspot
Make a toast to your team members at one of the city’s buzzing drinks spots. Hold your event at Aslin Beer Co.’s brand-new tasting room in the West End, where your group can sip unconventional brews like the “Astro Zombie” IPA and s’mores-inspired “Glamping” stout while staging photo ops in the art-splashed interior. Lost Boy Cider, in Carlyle, is Northern Virginia’s first urban cidery and the perfect site to socialize with co-workers over tasting flights featuring dry Virginia apple ciders, from the signature “Comeback Kid” to the raspberry-infused “Slasher.”
Schedule a private tour and tasting at Alexandria’s award-winning Port City Brewing Company or opt for their crowd-pleasing Private Guided Pairing in partnership with Cheesetique and Blüprint Chocolatiers. For a Mad Men-inspired soiree, book the upstairs private room at The Hour, the mod King Street barware shop nominated as a “Best Boutique” in Southern Living South’s Best 2020 Awards.
3. Try Something New Together
Design a holiday party to remember as your colleagues get creative together. Engage hands-on with technology-driven teambuilding during a “Wine & Welding” session at The Garden at Building Momentum, a veteran-owned science and engineering consulting group. Or, head to AR Workshop where you can sip and socialize while creating home décor or holiday gifts. Or, learn a new skill as you sling pies at a private pizza-making class hosted by Mia’s Italian Kitchen or Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap.
4. Do a One-Stop-Shop with Holiday Hotel Specials
Optimize convenience by convening at one of Alexandria’s hotels, many which are located along Old Town’s central corridor and offer special holiday party discounts and menus. Explore Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa’s “Spirits Lifted” holiday menu from their French-tinged Brabo Brasserie kitchen. Embassy Suites offers its own seasonal menu plus an unbeatable locale steps from the King Street Metro. Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, in Alexandria’s West End, boasts a spacious ballroom and expansive dining options for your event. The Westin Alexandria Old Town offers everything from complimentary table centerpieces to colorful LED lighting. Learn more and check out the full list of holiday hotel (and restaurant) packages here.
Insider Tip: It’s not too late to plan your holiday party. For more deals, ideas for the perfect party in Alexandria and free help planning it, contact Visit Alexandria.
Header Image Credit: The Westin Old Town Alexandria