Bostonians have loved a good party ever since 1773. Of course, these December days, the only revolutions tend to be found on turntables at parties across the city. But just in case those arguments about where to hold the office get together become a little heated, here are our 10 suggestions for the holiday season (tea optional).
So, in no particular order:
1. Bastille Kitchen
If you fancy a touch of France this holiday season, Bastille Kitchen provides food based on a Paris bistro and two private rooms - Maison and Chalet - each with their unique Gallic twist.
Accessed through antique French doors, Maison exudes old world character and charm, while Chalet evokes a rustic alpine hideaway in the French Alps – with a hint of Scottish tartan.
In a plot that wouldn't be out of place in a series of 24, channel your inner Jack Bauer and race against the clock, not to thwart multiple terrorist plots or the latest cyber-attack, but to get out of a room!
Yes, in what appears to be an ordinary room, you and your coworkers must find hidden objects, figure out the clues and solve the puzzles to earn your freedom. You've got just 60 minutes, so you'll need to be quick. Escape the Room is real teamwork and a whole lot of fun too.
There's nothing quite like a refuge from the hustle and bustle this time of year and Gather is the perfect place for a small business to, well, gather. Overlooking Boston Harbor, Gather can accommodate 10-25 people in the restaurant at their bar rail, or up to 150 in the adjacent green space of District Hall.
And in the spirit of the holiday season, events in the space support local non-profit Venture Cafe, furthering the innovation and start-up community in Greater Boston.
Bowling has been a company activity staple for decades. Found in the heart of Boston's Back Bay, Kings taps in to that heritage with retro-inspired décor, but increases the fun factor a few more notches by creating an entertainment experience, emphasizing good food, cold beer, creative cocktails and great music.
And for those who fancy something a little less strenuous (though maybe no less competitive), there's also pool, billiards, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball and air hockey. Strrrrr-iiikkkee!
Mobsters and Lobsters is much more than just a brilliant business name. Billing themselves as the 'tour you can't refuse', M&L takes you inside Boston's shadowy and sinister underbelly with tales of mayhem, mystery and murder at sites of historic heists and mobster hideaways. The tour can be followed with a lobster dinner (plus other options) on the waterfront and a 45-minute wine tasting session at Boston's only winery.
'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, and Action Kitchen wrap all three into two team experiences. 'Collaborative Cuisine' sees teams follow recipe cards based on a menu of their own design or, for the more competitive group, 'Creative Cookoff' provides a basket of identical ingredients for each team to plan and prepare its own dishes.
And don't worry if you've never even switched on an oven. Action Kitchen's expert chefs will be by your side throughout to guide and assist, ensuring that when you sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labors (paired with perfectly chosen wines), it'll be a food experience you'll remember for all the right reasons.
Whether your business is 'edgy', philanthropic, green-thinking or you just fancy something different, choosing AFH EpiCenter to host your office party (from 40 guests) helps employ over 250 under-resourced Boston teenagers annually in art and design.
While partners Gourmet Caterers can take care of all the food and drink, AFH artists can personalize your event with creative design services, including invitations, paintings, screen-printed clothes, custom banners and even live painting during your celebration.
8. Sam LaGrassa's
A thousand people have placed Sam LaGrassa's as the top-rated eatery in Boston according to TripAdvisor. That's some achievement in itself, but even greater for a place that calls itself a sandwich shop.
This addition to our list is a little unusual in that Sam LaGrassa's bring their reputation, dedication and quality of service to your door, rather than vice versa. But whether it's a small business lunch to a full-blown office party, they can supply a wide range of hand-crafted sandwiches, sides and desserts to suit all tastes. If you want them to, they'll also happily set things up ready for your party to start, meaning you can relax and enjoy the festivities.
You'll have to get in quick though: they're closed from Dec 17 to Jan 02 2017 for the holidays.
For those who prefer a little culture, Watson Adventures specialize in scavenger hunts for adults. There are more than 20 hunts to choose from in the Boston area, taking in the Museum of Fine Arts, bygone Boston, Museum of Science, and the New England aquarium among others.
Lots of businesses have given Watson Adventures a huge thumbs up, praising their originality, organization and attention to detail.
10. Tea at The Langham
There had to be tea, of course, and what better place to have a sophisticated Afternoon Tea than at The Langham.
Dine in sumptuous style, where you'll be surprisingly full after a meal of finger sandwiches, savory treats and a selection of desserts - all served on Wedgewood crockery with a wide variety of teas. Champagne is a little extra, but perfect for that end-of-year toast and a scene-setter for whatever's planned for the evening.
The companies I mention or link to in this post are just examples that I thought you'd find useful – I don't endorse them or their services. I have no affiliation with them and make no representation about their services.