5 Ideas for Fun Christmas Parties on a Budget

Guest Blog By Emily Murray | Chief Experience Officer at Riverland Group


Planning a Christmas Party on a tight budget can turn into a headache. You want the event to be fun and enjoyed by your team members, but at the same time, you have the boss tightening the purse strings…

Finding a suitable option though doesn’t have to be difficult, and we’re here to tell you that you can get more bang for your buck than you think. Here are a couple of ideas to help you plan a fun Christmas party that everyone will enjoy – including your boss!

1. Look for Good Value Packages – that don’t skimp on the food!

Everyone loves to celebrate with a drink in hand, but don’t overlook the food in your package. No matter how many beautiful cocktails get passed around, a skimpy food offering will surely be the thing guests remember. A substantial food menu is always a winner, it ensures everyone is well fed (not “hangry”) and generally slows down the number of drinks consumed, there for a few extra dollars in the budget.

For great value, Christmas party packages check out venues like Bang Bang RC. Not only is this a picture perfect venue with great indoor/outdoor event spaces, but an Asian fusion food menu that has everyone’s favourites - like crispy spring rolls, pork belly, calamari and chicken ribs – it’s sure to be a winner!

Check out Bang Bang RC’s Instagram page for some foodie inspo. 

Cheap fun add-on: Create a theme! If everyone comes in white, you’ve just created the theme without spending a cent. This would be perfect for Bang Bang’s jungle inspired décor.

Bang Bang RC Outdoor Event Space

2. Add Interactive & Live Food Stations with a Chef!

Adding an interactive or live food station may seem like it would cost a lot more money but if you’re looking at adding various types of entertainment to your event, this is an effective way to get two-for-one.

Riverland Bar has a BBQ spread served up by a chef. The set-up is eye catching, smells amazing and is really, really delicious. Instantly adding atmosphere and tantalising all senses while serving the purpose of feeding your guests – bonus!

Cheap fun add-on: Creating a treasure hunt for your guests to follow to the venue is a great way to kick off your event and is extremely low cost. Riverland Bar is located directly under Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, the perfect spot to end your treasure hunt.

Riverland Bar BBQ Spread


3. Use Existing Atmosphere to Save on Decorations

Choosing a venue that already has something special about it is going to save you heaps! Venues with a beautiful sunset view or a space that’s perfect on its own means you don’t have to decorate or create a scene.

The Boatbuilders Yard has by far the most gorgeous city views in South Wharf, Melbourne. Not much else needs to be done when you’re on the Yarra River with views likes this.

Cheap fun add-on: Get a boat to the venue! Cruise down the Yarra River to your final destination. A great way to kick-start the festivities and much more fun than a shuttle bus.

The Boatbuilders Yard View


4. Choose a Venue with a Bar

A venue with a bar gives you a tonne of money saving options. You can start a bar tab where you dictate a handful of impressive, but cheap drinks. Negotiate a package that suits your budget and length of event. Or even switch to a cash bar for the last hour of your event. After being treated to an awesome Christmas Party, guests will happily pay for their nightcap.

Pilgrim Bar not only has a bar, but also a unique food and beverage offering, whereby every ingredient is Australian made. This adds an all-Australian aspect to your event, perfect if you’ve got an office full of foodies and cocktail connoisseurs.

Check out some foodie inspo on Pilgrim’s Instagram page

Cheap fun add-on: A Pilgrim Picnics package is an all-inclusive option in their new events space, The Vaults. Your party can then move into the bar area after the 2-hour indoor picnic.

Picnics at Pilgrim Bar


5. If the numbers allow, Book an Entire Venue

Even with 100’s of guests you can still save money by hiring an entire venue rather than a blank space venue and starting from scratch. There are so many unique venues around Melbourne, and it’s easy to assume they would not be available exclusively for the night – but all you need to do is ask!

The General Assembly is the perfect venue for an exclusive event like this! Suitable for all types of weather, indoor/outdoor spaces, plus graffitied walls, large copper beer tanks hung from the ceiling and flexible areas for dance floors, games or grazing tables. It’s got everything you need for a great party.

Cheap fun add-on: A wine, beer or spirit masterclasses would fit perfectly in one of The General Assembly’s many spaces and your guests will love the unique experience.

The General Assembly


Final note…

Hosting a Christmas party on a budget doesn’t need to be a drag. Spend money where it counts (the food!) and choose a venue that has more to offer than a blank canvas. Be creative and you and your team will have a great time!





Guest post by Emily Murray, Chief Experience Officer at Riverland Group

Working in the industry for over 15 years, Emily knows a thing or two about Christmas parties. It’s the time of year when people get excited with their spending but a few strategic decisions while planning your Christmas Party can make a huge difference to the bottom line!