Ski Lodge Theme Holiday Party
Baby It’s Cold Outside!
Ninety of us gathered at the Bluewater Grill at sunset in King Harbor, Redondo Beach amidst the sailboats and palm trees to celebrate the holiday season.
It was my pleasure, once again, to host our annual Rolling Hills Country Day School holiday party. With the help of fabulously creative colleagues, a super-fun theme, and a waterfront venue that exceeded expectations – this gala was another smashing success.
Guests arrived for Après Ski in ski lodge attire, presumably after a day on the slopes, as the sun was setting over the Pacific. They mingled during a cocktail hour with an open bar enhanced with an array of passed appetizers.
As the sky turned from hues of blue to shades of red, orange, violet and yellow – the DJs played a nostalgic mix of Christmas music and our favorite songs (saving those hot dance tunes for after dinner). The photo booth was a big hit as groups of skiers grabbed props to strike a pose.
To set the holiday mood, just before dinner, guests gathered around the “piano and fireplace” (actually the DJ booth and cocktail tables with candles) for a group sing-a-long. With lyrics in hand, everyone joined together, enthusiastically belting out White Christmas along with Bing Crosby. Dean Martin’s Let It Snow was sung in verses alternated by the guys and the gals. So fun!
Immediately after the sing-a-long guests took their seats for dinner. Waiters served the award-winning New England Clam Chowder, then table-by-table guests were invited to the buffet featuring carved-to-order prime rib roast. The meal concluded with a Dessert Station and Hot Beverage Bar brimming with whipped cream and all the accoutrements to warm a winter evening.
The night continued with general merrymaking, dancing, photo booth pics with ski lodge antics and prizes. Before leaving, guests picked up a cozy blanket and made a trip to the Hot Chocolate Bar to personalize hot cocoa to take home.
You and a Guest are Cordially Invited to the
“Après Ski…Let’s Meet at the Lodge”
RHCDS Annual Holiday Party
Redondo Beach, CA
Holiday Cheer! Sunset View! Cocktail Hour!
Holiday Music! Sing-a-long!
Dinner and Dancing!
Photo Booth! Prizes!
Dress is Ski Lodge Inspired
think fur, plaid, anything you would see at the Lodge
Grab a Prop & Strike a Pose
Photo Booth Prizes
Unlike other years where we had a variety of prizes, this year all winners received gift certificates to the South Bay’s hottest new restaurant, Baran’s 2239, named Los Angeles Magazine’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants for 2016 and owned by our colleague Jon Baran. Thanks Jon! (Take a look at some of Baran’s 2239 amazing dishes here).
Photo Booth prizes awarded for:
- Best Ski Lodge Look
- Most Amusing Ski Lodge Group Photo
- Couple Most Likely to Ski the Swiss Alps
- Most Likely to Ski Double Black Diamond
- Lumberjacks Who Could Have Built the Lodge
- Funniest Overall
- Pinecone Collectors Award
- White Christmas
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
(A special thank you to Akan for leading us in song!)
- Beef Taquitos with Salsa Crema
- Ahi Poke on Crispy Wonton
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Sweet Mustard
- Spinach and Feta Spanakopita (vegetarian)
- New England Clam Chowder
- Bluewater Garden Salad – mixed greens/tomato/cucumber/red onion/carrot/homemade croutons
- Chicken Breast with Mushrooms in a Dijon Mustard Sauce
- Swordfish with Ginger Lime Aioli
- Carving Station Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib – served au jus and creamy horseradish
- Rice Pilaf
- Mashed Potatoes
- Seasoned Mixed Vegetables
- Vegetarian Entrée Option – pasta or stir fry with vegetables
- Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Raspberry Lemon Mousse Cake
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
Hot Chocolate Bar
Build your own Hot Chocolate to take home and enjoy later…
Hot Cocoa Powder in Mason Jars
- peppermint marshmallows
- holiday marshmallows
- mini marshmallows
- snowflake sprinkles
- gingerbread man sprinkles
- crushed peppermint
- m & m’s
Dancing & Fun
CD PLAYERS ENTERTAINMENT has been our favorite Southern California DJ for many years, Chris and Christian really know how to “Get The Party Started” and keep it going “All Night Long!”
Baby It’s Cold Outside Plaid Blankets
Grab a blanket before heading out into the cold!
Ski Lodge Party on Pinterest
No matter where you live, a Ski Lodge Theme Party is a blast! If you ever plan one in the future or if you have some awesome ideas to contribute, please join us on Pinterest!
Our Extraordinary Party Planner Team
Extending a heartfelt thank you to all the very talented and creative people who went above and beyond to make this year’s party a super success:
Katherine, Hannah, Nancy, Tracy
Steven, Allan, Creighton, Judy, Galen, Jon, John, Tiffany, Molly
Vida, Chris, Christian
For Party Planners
MY TIPS FOR PLANNING HOLIDAY PARTIES FOR THE WORKPLACE
Plan the party with HELP from other colleagues (those who love to plan parties too).
CHECK OUT THE VENUE in advance with the party planner team. Stay for drinks and appetizers to bond and brainstorm party ideas.
Create a party planner PINTEREST BOARD to share ideas.
“SAVE THE DATE.” Send an email to let guests know the date well in advance of the party.
Plan your business party date EARLY in the holiday season so as not to conflict with personal holiday parties. A SUNDAY evening in early December from 5 to 9 PM seems to work best for our workplace parties.
Promote the party at work, CREATE A BUZZ.
Choose a CONVENIENT location, not too far from place of business.
If possible, rent out a PRIVATE SPACE.
Have clear COMMUNICATION (in writing) with the Chef regarding food and with the Manager regarding expectations for set up and service.
Encourage employees to BRING A GUEST whether it be a spouse, significant other, family member, or a friend.
Encourage guests to DRESS IN “HOLIDAY SPIRIT.” Whether that means a tacky sweater or holiday chic, it’s all in the spirit of the season! This year, everyone came dressed in Ski Lodge attire.
Sending a pretty and JOYFUL PRINTED INVITATION indicates your intention to throw a special party.
Have specific START AND END TIMES. Everyone gets home at a reasonable hour to work the next day.
Work with the management to create a FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE. The venue usually supplies a CHRISTMAS TREE and decorations, we like to create our own UNIQUE CENTERPIECES. CANDLES create a special warm glow.
Plan the party at an establishment where there is a bar area, or ROOM TO MINGLE. Remember, once guests take their seats for dinner, they only socialize with those at their table.
Hold COCKTAIL HOUR from 5 to 6:30 PM so there is plenty of time to mingle. Begin DINNER SERVICE at 6:30 so there is plenty of time to dance after dinner.
The host should PAY for valet service (if offered) and all gratuities (NO tip jar on the bar).
Accommodate special dietary needs such as VEGETARIAN and VEGAN. Ask guests to indicate their special dietary needs when they RSVP so this can be communicated to the restaurant ahead of time.
Serve beverages that complement the meal, serve quality wines and festive Champagne, and offer a range of non-alcoholic drinks.
LIVE MUSIC or a DJ adds to the party atmosphere. Choose music that appeals to your entire group. We play a mix of half CHRISTMAS SONGS and half PARTY SONGS that spanned the decades.
Play some holiday GAMES, give PRIZES, award those dressed in the best HOLIDAY SPIRIT.
The host can make a brief SPEECH, welcome guests, share good tidings.
Give special/unique PARTY FAVORS to take home.
Ensure SAFE transportation for all the guests.
Check out last year’s party held in a brewery here.
Happy New Year!