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13 Seattle Event Venues for A Spaced-Out Soirée

Nordic Heritage Museum event spaces in Seattle

Unsure about throwing a company holiday party this year? Some areas of congregation, like bars and music venues, have returned to almost pre-pandemic occupancy - with vaccine, testing, and mask mandates in place, of course. Meanwhile, the corporate world seems the most hesitant to encourage gatherings and have been slow to make holiday plans. Many event venues are coming down from a busy summer of weddings to find their calendars surprisingly open this December.

With vaccine and testing requirements in place - like by law - for all public venues, and mask etiquette normalized, gathering doesn't need to be feared in the same way it was last year.

Looking for ways to host a pandemic-friendly corporate event? Try:

  • Capping guest size by hosting mini gatherings for individual departments, or inspire more company-wide unity by grouping people from different departments!
  • Providing an activity or seated program to minimize interactions.
  • Booking a venue with double the capacity of your guest count and planning a layout with plenty of room between tables or stations for space to social distance.
  • Incorporating outdoor spaces for eating, drinking, or hosting a fully-outdoor event.


Here are 13 unique Seattle event venues to spark your party-planning creativity:

Venues for 200+

1. National Nordic Museum in Ballard features multiple private event spaces that include outdoor areas for a fully outside event, or just to let your guests have the option of spreading out into the fresh air! Capacity: 26-1000.

 2021 holiday party ideas:

  • Host al fresco on the Fisherman’s Sun Terrace, which fits 600 standing, 280 seated, and can accommodate a 40x60 tent.
  • Create an auditory experience like lively dueling pianos or a relaxing sound bath in the acoustically-tuned Osberg Great Hall.
  • Create an intimate ambiance in the upstairs lounge, featuring an outdoor terrace with views of the Olympics and landmark fishing boat docks. Capacity 59 standing, 26 seated.


2. Seattle Design Center in Sodo has plenty of room to spread out – 8,500 square feet to be exact! The Atrium, with a 2.5 story ceiling and surrounded by designer showrooms, fits up to 899 guests reception-style, and 550 for a seated dinner, with constant air-flow maintained through an HVAC system.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • Utilize the balcony level for an additional capacity of 200 or book an optional secondary building space for even larger guest counts to distance further.
  • Reserve the 90-spot private parking lot for a fully outdoor event.
  • Create an integrated virtual or hybrid event using their seamless integration with PNTA’s live streaming service, Seattle Lives.


3. Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle, home to the Grammy award-winning Seattle Symphony, is the ultimate class act. Two luxurious auditoriums and three breathtaking banquet/reception spaces include catering & bar services by Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes as well as air cleansed by a hospital-grade HVAC system. Capacity: 120 – 1200.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • Food, drink & activity stations spread out across the vast Grand Lobby & promenade.
  • A seated, spaced out, plated diner reception in the Grand Lobby or Founder’s Room.
  • Viewing a musical or spoken performance with theater-style seating in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium or Grand Lobby.


4. Within Sodo, in Sodo, boasts an industrial-chic vibe and rooftop with glittering views of downtown Seattle. Capacity: 450 inside, 175 on the rooftop.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A glamorous (tented!) rooftop mixer.
  • A year-end presentation using the venue’s16-foot video screen with surround sound.
  • An elegant seated dinner party for small or large groups.


5. Cornish Playhouse in the Seattle Center, built for the 1963 World’s Fair, adds mid-century flair to events for up to 325 in the Main Auditorium and up to 375in the two-level Playhouse Lobby.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • Urban secret-garden soiree in the Dingwall Courtyard for up to 250, featuring a wrap-around garden and vine-covered walls with the World’s Fair Fitzgerald Fountain of the Northwest and partial roof covering on all sides.
  • Dance or theatre performance with an outdoor/indoor reception.
  • Corporate presentation or award ceremony.


Venues for 100+

1. The Burke Museum at the University of Washington features a brand new, renovated space with three floors of galleries to engage guests with visible collections and rare objects. Dance with dinosaurs, mingle with mastodons—it doesn’t get more “pure Northwest” than this. Capacity: 200 standing.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A learn-and-sip cocktail party amongst museum artifacts.
  • A company reception featuring break-out group activities or discussions in separate meeting rooms.
  • A scavenger hunt competition through the exhibits!


2. The 101 in Pioneer Square is a beautifully industrial venue with 4000 square feet of creative, open space and a capacity of 250.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A pop-up art show with food & drink stations.
  • A paint-and-sip activity-based event.
  • A charity fashion show.
  • An all-night dance party (with their 24 hour venue rentals). Alright, that one might not be the most pandemic-sanctioned…


3. The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle is a charming event space housed in a vintage former schoolhouse and DSquared’s exclusive venue for over 30 years! The venue includes two expansive rooms, plus a garden courtyard and a bonus, club-like room with a built-in bar and billiards table.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • An elegant company awards ceremony utilizing the built-in stage in the Emerald Room.
  • A seated dinner and a musical or theatrical performance in the Emerald Room.
  • A cozy, festive gathering in the Vashon room or the Studio.

4. The Admiral’s House in Magnolia features an unobstructed view of the Seattle city skyline from its historical landmark property and complimentary on-site shuttle and valet options! Capacity: 250-300 outdoors standing or seated / 50 indoors seated.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A winter water-front soiree from inside one of the venue’s heated tents.
  • An intimate dinner inside the former residence of United States Navy Admirals and their distinguished guests from 1944 to2006.
  • Lawn games & lounging against a sunset city skyline.

5. Rainier Chapter House in Capitol Hill, built in 1925, was designed as a replica of George Washington's beloved Mount Vernon home. Rentals of the full facility include three floors of generously sized rooms decorated with period details and furniture, complete with tables, chairs, linen & tableware. Capacity: 225 standing, 160 seated.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A masquerade ball.
  • An intimate musical performance.
  • A 1920s murder mystery party!

Venues for 50+

1. Cathedral in Ballard combines good times with good causes, donating all of their profits to charity and hiring underrepresented youth in a variety of roles, including making scented soy candles which are now sold in stores in over 25 states! The venue features exposed brick, marble-top bars, and two separate floors. Capacity: 170 standing, 120 seated.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • A candle-lit mix & mingle (with complementary candles!)
  • A fundraising event – why not make the whole night about giving back for the holidays?
  • Art, activity, or education stations spread throughout the space.


2. Melrose Market Studios in Capitol Hill is one of the most walkable venues in Seattle, just blocks from the heart of Capitol Hill as well as the Convention Center and downtown Seattle. Exposed brick, massive fir beams, high ceilings and a polished concrete floor combine to make a textured and elegant blank slate for your event vision. A DSquared exclusive venue, the space fits up to150 standing, or 120 seated.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • With an in-house projector, and plug-and-go sound system, the space is great for casual presentations or screenings.
  • A chic seated dinner party or cocktail reception preceding a night out on the town.
  • Pop-up holiday markets or art shows.

3. JM Cellars in Woodinville is worth the drive from Seattle for the ambiance of its manicured courtyard of Japanese Maples and rare conifers strung with café lights. New this winter – a 20x40 covered tent to keep outdoor guests warm in addition to their propane lamps, real fire pits, and cozy blankets! Capacity: Inside: 150 standing, 125 seated / Outdoor: 70.

2021 holiday party ideas:

  • Wine tasting – obviously!
  • A murder mystery party with the elegant JM Cellars house as setting.
  • A picturesque seated dinner party with wine pairings.

Not ready to host an event this December? Follow the event industry trend of hosting a holiday party in early 2022 to avoid holiday premiums and packed calendars! 

Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering is proud to be an exclusive or preferred caterer at all of the above venues. Please inquire for more information and to check availability.

For information on King County's vaccination requirements for event venues as of October 25, 2021, click here.

Written November 2021

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Desiree Jones
Desiree Jones
Marketing Communications Specialist
DSquared Hospitality Company
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