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The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting longer… Winter is coming.

But whether you’re a true winter lover who can’t get enough of cosy days curled up in bed, or you’re counting down the days before you can get back on the beach, who needs an excuse to throw a bash? Be it a birthday party, a special occasion such as an anniversary or an engagement party or you’re purely in the search for something to ward off those cold winter nights, we’ve got you.

This blog lists 10 of the best winter party themes for 2024, from embracing the cold to pretending it doesn’t exist. Delve in to discover your next icy theme.

Top 10 Winter Party Themes & Ideas For 2024

Here are our top 10 best winter party themes for 2024:

  1. Rustic Retreat
  2. Penguin Party
  3. Ice Ice Baby
  4. Banquet Dinner Party
  5. 80’s Après Ski
  6. It’s Summer Somewhere
  7. Mulled Wine, Spice & All Things Nice
  8. Winter Olympics
  9. Midnight In Paris
  10. Christmas In July

10 best winter party themes in 2024


1. Rustic Retreat

As we hunker down for the colder months and wait for spring to return, there’s nothing more romantic to imagine than a cosy wooden cabin, filled with board games, tartan throws and old books that smell like mould. Bring all the best parts of a cottage cabin retreat to a contemporary event space, and host a winter party theme that truly encapsulates all there is to love about winter: putting on your huge wool sweater, indulging in an abundance of rich food and drink, and sharing cosy spaces and stories with friends and family.

Whether you want to keep your rustic party theme PG or not is up to you, but we won’t blame you if you want to swap out the hot chocolate for eggnog and send your kids to their own rustic cabin for the night.

Rustic Retreat Winter Party


2. Penguin Party

A playful twist on a black-tie cocktail party, this winter party theme adds a funky, flippery addition to a classic black and white affair. Dress like a literal or abstract penguin, or just come in a tuxedo with a bow tie, and add a splash of whimsy to what can sometimes become a lacklustre dress code if not hosted with enough flare.

You’ll find there are equally fancy wintery cocktails to be served at your event in highballs and martini glasses, making sure this theme doesn’t veer too far into the juvenile. A gingerbread martini, Irish coffee, or classic negroni are all warming tipples that would blend in just right. Play parlour games or bring in a roulette and croupier for an ‘adult penguin’ party, and sip the night away whilst you discuss the worrying increase of polar bears in the region.

Penguin Winter Party Theme


3. Ice Ice Baby

Once the temperature drops below 10 degrees, you may as well be in the South Pole. So really, it makes perfect sense to host an Antarctic themed party and truly embrace the cold, dark nights. Whether you tell your guests to come as polar animals, your dress code implies ‘the frostier the better’, or you and your partner ‘helm’ the party as the two ill-fated lovers clinging to that notorious piece of wood in the freezing depths of the ocean, an ice-themed party is as cool as it gets.

Keep your decor in icy tones to add to the theme, by having your walls and fixtures in crystal whites and blues. A fog machine will add to the crisp atmosphere… just make sure your guests aren’t actually shivering, or they won’t be sticking around for long. Make up for the facade of a winter palace with hot plates and luscious red wines, to warm from the inside out.

Ice Ice Baby party theme


4. Banquet Dinner Party

When winter comes, it’s nice to picture ourselves in the likes of an old stone castle, fire blazing in the hearth, with thick stockings and regal furnishings to adorn our cavernous living room as staff present us with the chef’s finest by candlelight. For one night only, bring those fantasies to life, by decorating your event space like a Medieval castle that will keep you safe and cosy from the outside elements.

Pick your favourite 10 – 15 people and set up one long wooden table with the finest crystal, and a menu to make barons and baronesses stir in their graves. Have you and your friends wined and dined by our experienced wait staff, from a menu of pre-selected delicacies curated by local producers and professional chefs, a perfect way to celebrate a milestone birthday in style. For added authenticity, round off the evening with a harp performance, court jester, or spot of folk dancing.

Banquet Party Theme in Winter


5. 80s Après Ski

Were you around in the era of garish, neon puffer jackets and sunglasses, skiing or not-skiing? Colourful ski fashion left a mark on what many of us picture when someone says the words ‘80s party theme’. But you can host a winter do that leaves out the slaloms and keeps the most important part – the après ski. Play disco tunes and synth hits from the decade on an equally neon dance floor like you’ll find at Canvas House, and bring out glow-in-the-dark face paint for some truly escapist fun.

Unveil the chocolate fountains, and the fondues, and get voguing. You might find a bramble, espresso martini and amaretto sour on the drinks menu, all popular cocktails from the après-ski heydays that may take you back to some fondly remembered hangovers. Instead of stumbling back to your creaky wooden chalet at the end of the night, you’ll be a stonesthrow from Melbourne CBD, ready to hop in a cab to take you home, or into the city to continue the night.

80s Apres Ski


6. It’s Summer Somewhere

Much like the phrase ‘it’s 6 o’clock somewhere’, so too is it summer somewhere – all across the northern hemisphere to be exact. If winter is so not your season, why host a party that makes you feel as bitter on the inside as you already do on the outside? Instead, opt for inspiration from the glamorous social media reels you’re no doubt seeing off friends who’ve escaped the colder months, enjoying luxurious holidays galavanting around the Mediterranean.

Tell your guests to come in their thickest coats and jackets, with their summer layers ready underneath. Decorate your space with beach-themed regalia, and serve your guests from sangria cocktail jugs and refreshing lemonade stands. Of course, you’ll want to turn the heating up for this one!

Its Summer Somewhere


7. Mulled Wine, Spice & All Things Nice

Synonymous with the sight of condensed air from our breath is the warm tickle of mulled wine, cradled round grateful fingers. Winter isn’t winter without the alluring scent of mulled wine wafting through a pub or street market, and it’s really easy to make. It’s also one of the easiest winter party themes to host, providing a simple centrepiece from which to hold an excuse to catch up with all your friends (mulled cider is allowed too).

This kind of winter party theme wouldn’t suffer if there was a bonfire to go along with it, perfect in cosy courtyards as we have at our venue hire space in Melbourne at Canvas House. Kit out your decking with plenty of marshmallows and skewers for the kids (and the adults, let’s be honest), pile on some thick woollen blankets, and you’ll have all the cosiness of a winter campfire, with all the comfort of an urban setting… indoor toilets and central heating provided.

Mulled Wine Party Theme


8. Winter Olympics

If you’re the kind of person who thinks a party isn’t a party unless there’s some kind of game involved, this theme is right up your street. Host your own mini-Winter Olympics, taking inspiration from real sporting events as much or as little as you want. Make use of our dedicated event planners to come up with creative ways to get your party guests moving and make the most of your space.

Separate your invitees into small teams of 4 or 5 and designate countries ahead of time, encouraging them to dress in the flag’s colours or traditional attire. This is a great team bonding experience that works well for a corporate company event to let off some steam, or a birthday party that does things a little differently.

Midnight In Paris


9. Midnight In Paris

Whether you’ve seen the film or not, the phrase ‘midnight in Paris’, surely conjures up thoughts of dimly lit jazz bars, cigar smoke rolling over velvet chairs, and the brisk cold waiting outside on the cobbled streets of one of the most famous cities in the world. Host an evening filled with French delicacies, from champagne to
les huîtres to macarons, perhaps a pianist to tinkle away through the evening, or a cabaret performance to liven things up.

If you want to host a party that’s true to the Woody Allen film of the same name, incorporate a 1920s twist, by having a flapper-style dress code or shrouding your party in the mystery of the prohibition era, which we’ve covered as an entire theme on our creative party ideas blog.

Winter Olympics


10. Christmas In July

And of course – the one we’ve all been waiting for – Christmas in July. If the rest of the world gets to celebrate the end of cold nights and the days getting longer, why can’t we? Mark the Winter Solstice on 22nd July with your own Christmas party, when wearing all the thick Santa hats actually makes sense, instead of sweating through them. And if it’s really true that Father Christmas only gets one day off a year, then surely he won’t mind making a quick trip down from the North Pole to fill up those empty stockings?

We don’t need to tell you how to throw a Christmas party, so just focus on gathering your reds and whites, and let us know what colour tinsel you need. We’ll bring the turkey, you bring the unforgettable dance moves.

Christmas In July

Our Final Thoughts On The 10 Best Winter Party Themes For 2024

And here we are, our 10 best winter party themes in 2024. Winter can be livened up with a bit of a do if you pick the right theme for it. We’ve given you a list of 10 icy cool ideas to get those creative icicles melting and provide you with inspiration for your party. But the ideas don’t stop there. At Canvas House, we’ve got decades of experience in event planning, from the winter whimsical to the logistical. Whether it be an occasion for a new years event or an easter party idea, our spacious venue has you covered for any celebration.

We’ll help you transform our event space into the winter party theme or vision you have in mind, and help take care of all the organisation too. It’s our job to make party planning as fun and freeing as sledding down a snow-covered hill, by taking care of all the boring stuff.

Reach out to the team at Canvas House to discuss your event needs via our contact form or simply give us a call at 0478 056 390 to have a chat, and let us help you come up with an event that will be the highlight of your winter.

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