If all you want for Christmas or Hanukkah is a special event venue with some real festive flair, non-traditional spaces are the gifts that keep on giving. Because many have dual purposes—whether a museum or educational institution by day that also doubles as an event venue at night—they are incredibly budget friendly. And because many are cultural or historic in nature, the built-in décor is also economical and incredibly unique. Just hang some lights and add some trees, and you’ll have the perfect holiday party setting.
In fact, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago already has the seasonal décor covered with its annual display called “Christmas Around the World” that offers 50 trees and light displays that reflect customs in different parts of the globe. It’s on display in the museum’s rotunda where many holiday parties are set up; this spot is also a well known remnant of the 1893 World’s Fair, which makes for interesting dinner conversation.
Smooth Sailing Celebrations, a fleet of yachts that sail along the Hudson Harbor in New York City, is another memorable option for holiday parties. Guests will enjoy a four-hour cruise that passes by 15 historical landmarks like the Statue of Liberty; look real close and you might even be able to see the decorated tree at Rockefeller Center. The night also includes a coursed meal prepared fresh by the boat’s culinary team, as well as all tables, chairs, silverware, and linens. While there are rooftop decks for dancing, each vessel is climate controlled for when Jack Frost makes an appearance.
Here are some of our top picks for real holiday spirit:
|Museum of Science and Industry
|Nittany Lion Inn
State College, PA
East Rutherford, NJ
|The Tower at Rice-Eccles
Salt Lake City, UT
|Smooth Sailing Celebrations
New York, NY