12 Company Holiday Party Themes We Love

It’s officially holiday party season, and our team at Rocky Mountain Catering & Events is already as busy as elves getting everyone’s holiday parties built and wrapped up with a pretty little bow! This time of year is special, and it’s a great opportunity to bring teams together (remote or not), celebrate your achievements, and kick off a new year with positive and optimistic spirits.

But to do that, your party has to be epic! You want to choose a theme that is super fun, think about your end of year to pick the best timeframe (would it make more sense to host in the new year after books are closed or before the new winter season kicks off?), and get it on employees’ calendars as soon as possible! 

If you’re getting stuck on company holiday party themes or venue choices, this post should help. The sooner you book your 2023 holiday party in Denver, the better chances you’ll secure a venue that perfectly suits your team and theme. If you need to help, check out our amazing holiday party catering services.

Now let’s get into the themes!

🔑 Let’s save you time and plan your party together. Contact a designer today.

1.  Fuchsia Fiesta 

If your team isn’t the most traditional, why don’t you throw tradition to the wind with this year’s most popular party theme—holiday brights! Light up the celebration with a vibrant, colorful twist featuring gem-colored votives, fuchsia tinsel trees, twinkling fairy lights, and dazzling ornaments in bold hues adorning tables featuring centerpieces with eucalyptus or pine. Sequin-ornamented attire encouraged!

Color Palette: Jewel tones (think bright pink, blue, purple)

Signature Cocktail: Hibiscus margarita (can also be a mocktail!)

Perfect Venues: THE CABLE CENTER, MOSS DENVER, FLYING HORSE RANCH


2. DIY Ugly Sweater Party 

ugly-sweater-partyThere is no holiday theme party more quintessential than an ugly sweater party. But not everyone has ugly sweaters. That’s where this theme gets fun—everyone makes their own at the party! Your company can provide logoed sweaters that each team member can decorate from a smorgasbord of embellishments like sparkles, pom poms, tinsel and garland, bells, ornaments, bows, gingerbread men, or felt snowflakes. The only limit is your imagination. 

At the end, you can have awards for most on-brand, most festive, craziest design, etc. Have fun, and let the creativity run wild! 

Color Palette: Traditional (think red, white, green, gold)

Signature Cocktail: Gourmet hot chocolate bar with or without Bailey’s added

Perfect Venues: VEHICLE VAULT, WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES, SKYLIGHT


3. Cozy Alpine Ski Lodge

Invite your team to relax and unwind with the coziest theme around by creating an alpine ski lodge. Since all the venues recommended are naturally gorgeous with lodge characteristics, you’ll be able to emulate the theme seamlessly with minimal décor. Bonus points if you have your team come dressed in their finest alpine ski attire.

For dinner, offer individual fondue plates or a raclette station for dinner. The interactive nature of après-ski-themed menus is always loved by guests.

Color Palette: Earthy and woodsy (think green, navy, brown, and white with a pop of red) 

Signature Cocktail: Hot toddies 

Perfect Venues: BOETTCHER MANSION, EVERGREEN RED BARN, BARN AT EVERGREEN MEMORIAL PARK


4. Christmas Movie Night

christmas-movieThere are so many incredible Christmas movies that make even more incredible party themes. Here are a few favorites: 

  • A Christmas Story
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 
  • The Santa Clause
  • Elf 
  • The Polar Express
  • Home Alone
  • White Christmas

Start with cocktail hour and drinks, and then at around 8:00 p.m., have a different space in your venue set up with fun seating options like couches and bean bags for extra comfort. Set up a projector and have a snack bar with all the flatbread pizzas, popcorn, and candy. Then, kick back and enjoy a screening of your team’s favorite holiday flick. 

This is also one of our favorite office holiday party catering ideas because you can put it together easily in common areas if you want to host with a lunch buffet or use your office as the venue!

Pro tip: To make sure your attendance is high, send out a survey to determine the most popular holiday movie and choose that one to screen!

Color Palette: Choose one specific to the movie (think white and silver for The Polar Express and traditional red, white, and green for Elf) 

Signature Cocktail: Candy cane martini (perfect for Elf)

Perfect Venues: THE PAVILLION AT THE STANLEY, UPPER LARIMER, NORTH STAR GATHERINGS

🔑 Let’s save you time and plan your party together. Contact a designer today.

5. Grinchmas Party

grinch-masA Grinch-themed holiday party promises to make even the grumpiest colleagues smile! 

The best part about a Grinchmas party is the menu fun you can have. Think roast beast sliders or a roast beast carving station, Who-hash, and Who-pudding to follow the movie to a tee. Then, you can add additional creative plates to play into the color palette, like:

  • Caprese spoons
  • Spinach artichoke dip with bruschetta
  • Beet apple salad 
  • Cider-brined roasted turkey with house-made cranberry sauce 

It will be a true holly jolly feast that will make everyone’s heart grow!

P.S. If you need a little inspiration, take some from The Grinch’s official premiere party at Central Park Zoo in NYC!

Color Palette: Shades of green with a pop of red 

Signature Cocktail: The Grinch That Stole Christmas featuring Midori, vodka, pineapple juice, sparkling wine, and a cherry on top! 

Perfect Venues: DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS – YORK STREET, NORTH STAR GATHERINGS, SKYLIGHT


6. Winter Wonderland 

winter-wonderlandAn ideal theme for a black tie or more formal sit-down holiday party, Winter Wonderland will delight with elegance and sparkles! Welcome your team with a twinkling tunnel of lights, shimmering icicles, and faux snowdrifts made with perfect draping. 

Color Palette: Blue, white, silver

Signature Cocktail: White Cosmopolitan 

Perfect Venues: WOODLANDS, SPRUCE MOUNTAIN, FLYING HORSE RANCH


7. Merry Pinkmas

pink-christmasBarbie is trending this year like it’s the ‘90s again, and we are here for it! She’s made pink the new “it” color for the season, so plan accordingly with a Merry Pinkmas party. Think pink linens, pink ornaments, gold flatware, pink-tinted glassware, nutcrackers in pink regalia—can you picture it?

Color Palette: Bright pink, light pink, gold, silver

Signature Cocktail: Rose & Raspberry Fizz

Perfect Venues: LONE TREE ARTS CENTER, THE PAVILLION AT THE STANLEY, NORTH STAR GATHERINGS

🔑 Let’s save you time and plan your party together. Contact a designer today.

8. Blast from the Past

90s-stage Want a holiday party that’s more on the fun side with a whole lot of friendly competition? Do a Blast from the Past theme! Bring in old-school pinball machines and arcade games for hours of play. Stream favorite episodes of ‘90s holiday episodes from Fresh Prince, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond for ultimate entertainment value. And make sure there’s room for a dance floor!

Color Palette: Blue, green, yellow, pink (Power Rangers, anyone?)

Signature Cocktail: Appletini

Venue: VEHICLE VAULT, MOSS DENVER, SKYLIGHT


9. Christmas Casino Night 

casino-christmasCasino Night is always a popular corporate party theme, and it’s even more fun during the holiday season! Tell everyone to don their best glitz and glam and focus the menu on heavy hors d’oeuvres so everyone can play the table games, slots, and blackjack all night long.

Our Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Package is ideal for this type of event, as it’s meant to be more fun and handheld. 

Color Palette: Black, Red, Gold

Signature Cocktail: Champagne tower or wall at the entrance

Perfect Venues: THE PAVILLION AT THE STANLEY, HIGHLANDS RANCH MANSION, UPPER LARIMER


10. Nightmare Before Christmas

nightmare-chrismasA bit eerie and a bit whimsical, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas is an epic holiday party theme. Use the Denver holiday party venues we recommended below and transform them into a twisted yet enchanting world where Halloween and Christmas collide. Tell your team to expect the unexpected with spooky yet festive decor featuring Jack Skellington, Sally, and other iconic characters from the festive film!

Color Palette: Black, White, Purple

Signature Cocktail: Haunted White Russian

Perfect Venues: THE PAVILLION AT THE STANLEY, DUNAFON CASTLE, UPPER LARIMER

🔑 Let’s save you time and plan your party together. Contact a designer today.

11. Gatsby Christmas

gold-champagneTell your team to don their best Roaring ‘20s attire and keep the bubbly flowing at a Gatsby Christmas-themed party. Add art deco décor, glittering lighting, chandeliers, and a live jazz band for a little Charleston instruction before the night is over. This era is all about indulgence and glamor, so a plated meal would be a fabulous option before the dancing begins! Some dishes to consider: 

  • Appetizers: Mini Beef Wellingtons and Stuffed Button Mushrooms
  • Salad: Autumn Caesar Salad
  • Entrees: Whiskey Barrel Honey Glazed Ham or Hickory Smoked Prime Rib of Beef
  • Sides: House Made Cranberry Cornbread and Roasted Cippolini Onion & Herb Potato Puree
  • Dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Color Palette: Black, Gold, Green

Signature Cocktail: Classic Old Fashioned

Perfect Venues: VEHICLE VAULT, WILLOW RIDGE MANOR, HIGHLANDS RANCH MANSION


12. Winter Woods

table-settingThere’s no better corporate holiday party theme for Denver than a Winter Woods theme! Most of your team will appreciate the ode to snow-dusted trails, scented pines, and darling pinecones that remind them of home at the holidays. 

Think mason jar candles, plaid tablecloths, wood accents (or choose one of the incredible holiday party venues Denver is known for that already has wood accents), faux fur throws and couches for a lounge area, antlers, and evergreen garlands. It’s a cozy, elevated feel your team will love!

Color Palette: Forest green, wood, black, dusty eucalyptus green, ivory

Signature Cocktail: Mulled Wine

Perfect Venues: BOETTCHER MANSION, CHIEF HOSA LODGE, SPRUCE MOUNTAIN, WOODLANDS


Need Help Brainstorming Holiday Party Themes?

Our team is already getting into the holiday spirit with so many of our clients, and we’d love to help. Brainstorming themes and matching them with the perfect venue is our forte! Let’s talk about your vision and make it come to life to celebrate your team and end 2023 on a light note.

🔑 Let’s save you time and plan your party together. Contact a designer today.


7 Easy and Delicious Holiday Catering Menu Ideas

holidays

Now is the time to start thinking about your holiday parties and family gatherings if you haven’t already!

So today, we’re sharing a handful of sample holiday party catering menus to give a little inspiration. 

Each of our holiday catering menus has been thoughtfully curated to capture the essence of the holidays, from the service style to the actual dishes being served. You’ll find everything from mouth watering appetizers that kick off the festivities to sumptuous main courses that leave a lasting impression. Our chefs have been working hard to cultivate a symphony of flavors that complement the warmth and togetherness of the season. 

Check out our freshest holiday catering menus:


Thanksgiving Traditions

Style: Family-Style – Casual, Cozy, and Interactive

Blend the warmth of cherished family traditions with delectable flavors of the season and way less stress with a catered meal. Servers will provide platters of each option to the table for guests to serve themselves and share a bite!

Featured crème: 

  • Cider Brined Turkey: House Made Cranberry Sauce & Turkey Gravy

Featured Dishes:

  • Salad: Autumn Caesar 
  • Side: Mashed Potatoes 
  • Side: Gratin Sage Stuffing
  • Dessert: Caramel Apple Pecan Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise

➡️ View the Menu


Happy Holidays

Style: Plated – Elegant & Upscale

Plated meals are great for more formal holiday parties because they provide a personalized dining experience that adds an extra touch of sophistication and care to the festivities! One thing people sometimes worry about with a plated option is the food being warm enough, but our Rocky Mountain team can serve 500 guests in 22 minutes or less. This means that everything comes out warm and ready to indulge in over conversation!

Featured Entree: 

  • Herb Roasted Sliced Beef Shoulder Loin: Imperial Pumpkin Ale Demi-Glace with Charred Green Onion

Featured Dishes:

  • Beet Apple Salad
  • Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa
  • Five Varieties of Roasted Potatoes 
  • Pan Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts 
  • Pecan Pie

➡️ View the Menu


Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Style: Stations – Upbeat & Modern; encourages mixing and mingling!

crab- cake-close up

For a holiday gathering filled with mingling and festive cheer, consider dinner stations where your guests can sample an array of delightful holiday flavors while enjoying an open and social atmosphere. Great for corporate holiday parties where you want an element of relationship-building and camaraderie!

Featured Passed Hors D’oeuvres: 

  • Stuffed Mushroom
  • Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates
  • Mini Crab Cakes

Stationed Appetizer:

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip & Bruschetta 

Drink Station:

  • Elevated Hot Cocoa

Petite Dessert Package:

  • Salted Caramel & Chocolate Ganache Bites
  • Cheesecake Bites
  • Macarons

➡️ View the Menu


Everything Holidays

Style: Buffet – Casual & Interactive 

Buffet Catering Service - Which catering service style is best for YOUR event

Buffets are great for any style event. From family gatherings to team luncheons, they allow people to serve themselves, eat at their own pace, and strike up festive conversations over a bountiful, beautiful spread! Most groups also decide to do a cocktail hour first with some tasty passed hors d’oeuvres. 

Featured Passed Hors D’oeuvres:

  • Chicken and Waffles
  • Mini Chile Relleno Cups

Feature Buffets: 

  • Bright Lights:
    • Appetizer: Roasted Delicata Squash with Fennel, Chicory, Quince, Drunken Goat, Cheese, Crushed Walnuts Preserved, Lemon Vinaigrette
    • Entrée: Herb Roasted Chicken Breast with Grilled Endive and Smoked Almond Romesco Sauce
    • Entrée: Salmon a la Nage with Winter Vegetables, Crispy Kale, and Roasted Carrot Puree
    • Side: Pan Roasted Broccoli Rapini with Chili Sofrito and Brown Butter
    • Side: “Roasted 5” – Five Varieties of Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots and Scarlet Chard
    • Side: House Baked Rolls with Sea Salt Whipped Butter
  • Holly Jolly:
    • Salad: Winter Barley & Arugula with Acorn Squash, Chipped Aged Cheddar, Craisins, Puffed Farro, and Warm Maple Dressing
    • Entrée: Slow & Low Herb Roasted Shoulder Loin with Smoked Forrest Mushroom Veal Glace
    • Entrée: Speck Wrapped Colorado Trout with Haricot Vert, Roasted Corn & Tomato, and Sauce Bercy
    • Side: Lemon Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Shallots and Cider Gastrique
    • Side: Golden Potato Gratin with Caramelized Cippolini Onions, Pecorino Romano and Brown Butter Herb Crust
    • Side: House Baked Rolls with Sea Salt Whipped Butter

➡️ View the Menu


Winter Wonderland Desserts

Style: Stations – Fun & Energetic

You can’t forget the sweet treats—it’s the season of indulgence after all! Dessert stations add an extra layer of sweetness and excitement to holiday parties, allowing guests to indulge in a variety of delectable treats and create their own personalized dessert experience.

Petite Dessert Package:

  • Pumpkin Mousse in Chocolate Cups
  • Banana Cream Pie Shooter
  • Macarons

Dessert Stations:

  • Flambéed Donut Station with Chocolate Sauce, Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Dessert Crepe Station with Strawberries Nutella, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce
  • Creme Brulé Bar with choice of Vanilla Bean, Mocha and Espresso Pumpkin Spiced

➡️ View the Menu


Pie-A-Palooza

Style: Family Style – Casual & Cozy

Because it’s not a holiday dessert spread without pie, right?

Featured Pies:

  • Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
  • Grasshopper Pie

Silent Night Beverages

Style: Stations – Easy & Abundant

Cocktails and Mocktails

Unique holiday beverages that keep the festivities going are always a good idea. These are placed as a spread, so it’s easy to grab and go.

Beverage Stations:

  • Elevated Hot Cocoa, Hot Caramel Apple Cider, Eggnog Chai Latte and Coffee Bar
  • Specialty Stationed Mocktails: White Cosmopolitan, Strawberry Nojito, Cranberry Mule and Blueberry Lemonade Spritzer

➡️ View the Menu


Choose Your Holiday Party Spread & Taste Delectable Seasonal Favorites 

Our chefs are ready to welcome you to our table to taste everything Rocky Mountain Catering Denver has to offer. And if you have something in mind that’s not on the menu, let us know, and we’ll see if we can make it happen! Explore our holiday party catering services, or contact us to start planning.


band-on-stage

7 Gala Planning Tips from a Pro: Talking Galas with Jordan Tucker

Jordan Tucker
Event Designer Jordan Tucker

Looking to throw a Denver gala that will leave attendees in awe?

With its vibrant scene and endless possibilities, the Mile High City has everything to make your event unforgettable.

But here’s the secret sauce: every memorable gala has a mastermind behind the scenes.

Enter Jordan Tucker, Rocky Mountain event designer with a knack for crafting magical moments. We dived deep into her world to uncover the tricks of the trade, ensuring your gala is nothing short of spectacular. Ready for a whirlwind of expert advice?

Let’s dive in!

1) Plan as early as possible


Galas are a bit different than some other events because you not only have the logistics, but you also have your mission to consider. Are you celebrating something? Raising money? Whatever your mission is, it’s going to require content and supporting activities on-site to help create impact, and these things take time to plan!

Jordan shared, “I recommend at least 7-9+ months of planning for your gala to map out the intricate details we commonly see in the event industry. But the more time you have to map out your function, the better.

Due to what I refer to as “the COVID ripple,” a lot of venues are booking up a lot faster, with high demand to host weddings and other social gatherings. People are excited to gather in large groups again, so it is important to map out your hosted space well in advance to ensure that you are able to snag your preferred gala location.”

2) Don’t forget to consider capacities, venue restrictions, and organizational goals


If you’re hosting a gala for your organization, there are typically goals associated with that. So, what are those goals? And how does that play into your gala venue selection?

You’ll want to consider:

Capacities – Can you host enough people to make an impact on your goals? Is there enough space for the entertainment you’d like to have, as well as guest seating?

Space options – Do you want to host indoors or outdoors? Both?

Venue restrictions – If you want to hang items related to your mission but they don’t allow hanging anything on the walls, that’s an issue. Map out your general plan, create a checklist of things you’ll need from a venue, and use that as your guide to select your gala venue in Denver or the surrounding area.

Transportation and parking – How simple/affordable is it for your guests to arrive or your organization to host transportation/pay for parking?

Security – If you have high-profile attendees, are there suitable security features, alternative entrances, etc.?

Budget – Does the venue fit your budget? Do they have equipment in-house, or will you need to increase your budget line item for rentals?

Aesthetic Does the venue’s built-in aesthetic go with your desired theme?

Reputation Do they have a good reputation in the community?

Check out our designers favorite gala venues here.

Wings over the rockies, Air plane with bar display in front.

3) Choose your menu based on the vibe you’re going for


Menus for gala events don’t have to be boring and traditional. There are so many ways to have fun with your menus, whether you’re doing a buffet, plated, or stations.

Jordan outlined some great ways to determine which menu style is best for your organization!

She explained, “If you are looking for more of an open-house style where there is no specific timeline other than ‘come and go as you please,’ I always recommend either a buffet-style service or stations. With this style of an event, the focus is usually geared toward the ultimate guest experience and is very commonly very casual with guest seating.”

For this, live-action stations where the chefs are actually cooking in front of guests are also a great option because they give guests the experience of sitting at a chef’s table, which overall adds to the ambiance and doubles as entertainment, which can impact budget.

On the other hand, Jordan also gave suggestions for events that have a little more structure, like awards, presentations, live auctions, or a fund-a-need activity.

She shared, “I would consider either a plated dinner or family-style service. With this style of service, your guests will likely experience a cocktail hour with displayed and passed hors d’oeuvres before being asked to take their assigned seats for the program, speeches, or auctions to begin. For this style, I highly recommend a plated dinner to ensure that there are minimal interruptions during the speeches or performances. If there is a break in the programming for dinner, you can absolutely consider a buffet-style service for your gala. You can think of it like a nice intermission at that point.”

Ultimately, the food can set the tone for the event, so you want the style of catering to suit your goals and desires!

Plated kale salad on an elegant table
Photo Credit: Alyssa Carpenter Photo

4) Lean on your vendors for advice and support


Vendors that work in the events industry have likely seen and been a part of more galas than you can imagine, each with unique goals, aesthetics, themes, activities, entertainment, etc. Use that knowledge! Pick their brain on what has worked or hasn’t worked and what guests loved and hated. They’ve seen it all.

Jordan made another point that “as a host, you will need to follow the guidelines set forth by your booked space, but your vendor team will be able to shape and frame the intricate details pertaining to your vision for the event while staying within those guidelines.” So everyone wins in this scenario!

Photo Credit: Alyssa Carpenter Photo

5) Remember that every little detail does come with a price tag


While it’s great to have a grand vision, grand usually comes with a price tag. And especially for fundraising galas, that type of financial investment may not always be realistic. Start your planning with a very clear budget, and then work with your vendors to cultivate an event experience that’s impressive, but still within reason for your event goals.

This could mean doing a buffet or family-style meal versus a plated meal to save on labor costs or decreasing the amount of uplighting or florals and truly focusing energy on the videos playing around the room to draw attention to your mission.

6) It doesn’t have to be a sit-down, formal dinner event


Playing off that point, so many people correlate a gala with a sit-down, formal event. That doesn’t have to be the case! You can make a gala whatever you want it to be.

Jordan shared that her favorite theme is a casino night with live-action stations to get guests involved in the culinary aspect, fun table games spread throughout the room, breaks for auctions, and live entertainment mixed in.

band-on-stage

7) Hire an event planner to manage the logistics


Last (but certainly not least), Jordan recommends having an event planner to do the heavy lifting when it comes to planning and execution of your gala. There are so many moving pieces and logistics that can be overlooked if this isn’t something you’re doing all the time. Planners know what snafus to look out for and how to avoid them. They’ll manage the flow, timeline, and vendors, and they’ll be your greatest confidant so you can focus on entertaining and schmoozing with your gala guests.

Jordan and the rest of the team at Rocky Mountain Catering & Events has helped many organizations in the Denver area plan their galas. From fundraising galas for the Friends of Douglas County and the Crisis Center to celebratory affairs like the Annual Military Gala, they know how to plan a successful gala event in Denver—and keep it stress-free for the client.

If you want Jordan’s help with your upcoming gala, explore our gala catering services! We’d be honored to support you.