10 Olympic Parties Not to Miss (That You Can Actually Get Into)

Remember the infamous words of Bode Miller from Turin, "I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level"? Well, he was right. Here's a guide to party-hopping Olympic-style.
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Best Nightlife: Whistler Blackcomb, BC-Resort Awards

Vancouver:

LiveCity YaleTown: By day, this waterfront venue in trendy Yaletown features family-friendly activities, multiple viewing stations, and special athlete appearances. By night, the complex transforms into a mammoth party zone buzzing with live music from acts like Wilco and Damien Marley, and locals wanting in on the action. The best part? It’s free. (Free; 11am-11:30 pm.)

Holland Heineken House: Equal parts nightclub and hospitality suite, the Holland Heineken House is the home away from home for Dutch athletes, officials, and countrymen. Situated at the Minoru Arena, the Holland House is prepared to welcome 4,000 revelers daily and is one of the best—read loose—parties in town. Don’t be surprised if you catch the Prince of Orange dancing onstage celebrating a Dutch victory. (Free; 9am-2am).

O-zone: With 60 acres of festivities, the O-zone in Richmond is the largest official celebration site of the Games. In addition to giant screens broadcasting the events and live entertainment, there’s also tricked-out virtual simulators emulating the sights, sounds, and even smells of winter sporting favorites. Ever wondered what it feels like to bomb down a bobsled track at 90 MPH? Now you know. (Free; M-F, 3pm-11pm; weekends, 12pm-11pm).

Irish House: Touting an “Irish family feel” and “boisterous Celtic ambiance” (that’s code for “anything goes” vibe), the Irish House is a 9,000-square-foot tented pub hosting raucous sessions of live music, jigging, and debauchery. Word is, neighbors were already complaining about the noise before the Games even started. ($5-20; 12pm-3am).

Saxony House: Saxony, a little known state in Germany, is making a splash in the Olympic hospitality house world with one of the biggest, most expensive, and fun parties at the Games. Housed in the stately Vancouver Rowing Club on the waterfront in Stanley Park, inside it's anything but stately: The folks at the Saxony House are rolling kegs in and out of their venue at a furious clip. With Saxon beer, sausage, and sauerkraut, how could you go wrong? (Free; 12pm-2am).

Whistler

Whistler Live!: With the hometown motto, “Live large, it’s Whistler,” this town knows how to party. Throw in the spirit of the Olympics and Whistler is primed to go off. Nowhere more so than in the Medals Plaza where each night the day’s winners are crowned and celebrated with a concert. The killer line-up includes Feist, The Roots, and Usher, among others. Tickets are free, but hard to come by. However, there’s plenty of music at other outdoor venues scattered throughout the village that doesn’t require a ticket from talent like Matisyahu, Bare Naked Ladies, and Galactic. (Free; 1:30pm-9pm).

Garfinkles: Bust out the blow pops, glow sticks, and techno dance moves and head down to Garfinkles, a staple of Whistler’s nightlife circuit. During the Games, Garf’s will host the “Life Begins at Night 2010” series featuring a medley of high-octane international DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Ministry of Sound, and Armin Van Buuren. It might not be for everyone, but how often do you get to party like it’s 1999? (Prices vary; 8pm-2am).

Jam Bob House: For the hottest party outside of the islands, don’t miss the JamBob House. They’ve taken over the iconic Savage Beagle club and styled it out with an irie island vibe. Mingle with the athletes made famous by Cool Runnings, suck down Red Stripes and skank to your favorite reggae beats. ($30-$40; 2pm-2am).

GLC: The Garibaldi Lift Co. (or GLC) will be the center of the party action during the Games. MuchMusic (MTV’s Canadian stepsister) will broadcast the festivities live each day from 2-3pm and 7-9pm. In between telecasts, music acts like the electro-funk duo Chromeo and the Hairfarmers, a popular local band, will rock the scene from 3:30-6:30pm. ($10; 11am-1:30am).

Longhorn Saloon: With mountain-sized margs (and scantily-clad girls serving them), big screen TVs blaring live sports action, and table-top dancing, the Longhorn always promises one of the wildest parties in town. Burton, Oakley, and Whistler Brewery are hosting a series of events open to the public during the Olympics. Be prepared for wild-west type revelry. ($5-$25; 9am-1:30am).

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Nothing to see here but free concerts, free outdoor theater, and huge screens broadcasting all 17 days of Olympic events. The official parties last until 11:30, culminating in a nightly “fire and ice” show, but count on late nights, especially given that some restaurants are expected to be open around the clock. Whistler’s official Olympic website, whistlerblackcomb.com/olympics, has all the info you’ll need.The mountains may be empty but when you ski back to the village, expect the same kind of pulse you associate with a vibrant city. Other than the media and medal-presentation areas, the village is free of security barricades. You can walk, mingle, and party with the world. There's a reason Whistler was voted Best Nightlife in our 2010 Resort Awards.

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