dining tables with white flower centerpieces and view of marina

MDR Party Ideas to Inspire Your Next Celebration

LAST UPDATED AUG. 29, 2022

Thinking about throwing a birthday party on a boat?  Planning an office holiday party? (Hopefully it’s a step up from The Office’s version). Looking for a waterfront venue to hold your next company outing? How about a family reunion by the sea? If you’re in planning mode, then get ready for a boatload of MDR party ideas below to inspire your next celebration.

Firstly, the location is unbeatable. Nestled along the coast just south of Santa Monica, Marina del Rey offers unrivaled views of watercolor sunsets, luxurious yachts, and sailboats in the bay. In other words, the backdrop alone is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Secondly, the pro event planners know how to coordinate all types of parties—large or small. From coastal chic dinners to easy breezy beachfront gatherings, L.A.’s Marina is an ideal place to celebrate your next event. 

Get inspired and read our list of MDR party ideas below. 

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Waterfront Holiday Party

T'is the season of holiday parties! Whether your festivities are for 10 people, 50 or more than 100, Marina del Rey has various options to throw a fun holiday bash!

Many of the waterfront hotels, restaurants and dining cruises get decked out with holiday decor and winter-inspired food and libations. Spiked hot cocoa, anyone? If you need an outdoor space for 20 people or 150 people, Marina del Rey offers rooftop spaces, top decks of luxury yachts, and patios with a seaside view.

Click button below for the Events Venue Guide.

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Cocktails by the Sea

For work parties, you can't go wrong with a few drinks at local favorite restaurant bars such as Tony P's Dockside Grill, SALT, (pictured here) or or Brizo Bar and Restaurant. Other happy hour spots with a festive atmosphere include Brennan's (home of turtle races--it's a thing, really, click here) or Firestone Brewery.

Want the cool vibe of a speakeasy lounge? Try Killer Yacht Club. Here, you can enjoy classic cocktails while you mix and mingle around the stylish vintage furniture.

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Intimate Dinner Party

Plan a festive dinner party at a waterfront eatery such as Whiskey Red's (pictured here). The restaurant is located at quaint Fisherman's Village. This replica of a New England fishing port is a picturesque spot for you and your guests to enjoy a seaside stroll before or after your meal. Additionally, consider a soiree on the rooftop of the Marina del Rey Marriott. Here you can take in panoramic views of Santa Monica Bay and even see the Santa Monica Pier lit up in the evening. Want something cozier? Look into The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey's event spaces including their outdoor terrace featuring fire pit tables and stunning harbor views.

Sunset Cruise

Take your guests on an intimate sunset cruise. Go up the Malibu coast or venture on a day trip to Catalina Island by private yacht. There's nothing like an anniversary toast with the golden sunset sky as your backdrop. It's no wonder people choose a boat rental along with hiring a skipper for a marriage proposal or surprise birthday on the sea. Ask the yacht charter company about adding extra bells and whistles like catering, music and wedding officiants.

For larger parties, check out FantaSea Yachts (pictured here) or City Cruises .

For smaller parties and budgets, check out the hourly electric duffy boat rentals at Marina del Rey Boat Rentals in Fisherman's Village.



Click button below for the Yacht Charters directory.

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Brunch Party with a View

Who doesn't love a good mimosa, perfectly done quiche or good ol' waffles and bacon to kick off a celebration? Marina del Rey's waterfront restaurants and hotels boast some of the best brunches in Los Angeles with spectacular views. Spacious patios, outdoor terraces and rooftops with views of the Pacific make for the perfect places to host a lovely brunch. Want more savory than sweet dishes? Ask your on-site event planner to customize the menu (create your own special themed cocktail while you're at it, too!). Don't forget City Cruises offers a weekend brunch cruise. Small groups often join a public dining cruise to celebrate graduations, birthdays and more. Click button for more information.

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Picnic or BBQ Celebration

Marina del Rey is blessed with nearly 300 days of sunshine. Hence, a picnic or BBQ bash by the water is one of the best go-to party choices for a low-key, casual atmosphere any time of year. Picturesque Burton Chace Park features 10-acres overlooking the Marina channel. You'll find grills along with picnic shelters and tables throughout the park. Make reservations in advance. The pergolas perched above the grass are a fun spot to set up picnic blankets and lawn chairs. Families can enjoy riding scooters or bikes around the paved paths, too. For added fun, bring your own game of cornhole or oversized Connect 4.

Tip: Plan your celebration during any of the Marina's free summer events including the Summer Concerts, Movie Nights or Beach Eats food truck event. Click here to view the calendar.

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