15 Fun Ideas to Shake Up Your Office Holiday Party This Year

We love holiday parties! Not only because they are filled with joy, but also because they welcome our touch of magic. From food to décor, there’s something magical about hosting a hit holiday office party, especially when it brings your employees closer together

Still, there’s a lot that goes into throwing a festive fête, especially if you plan on hosting a large crowd. We know how much of a challenge you might face in coming up with an exciting company party idea. It’s gotta be the one that everyone at your office will enjoy! It is important to throw a successful company holiday party to boost morale at the end of a long year and to show appreciation for your employees.

So, if you’re looking for a few fun office holiday party ideas, we’ll make it easy for you! In this article, we’ll give you 15 of our favorites that will take your party from meh to amazing!

But before you move forward with your party planning activities, remember to utilize the tips from our previous article to streamline the process from beginning to end: How To Throw An Office Party Your Employees Will Love

Let the celebration begin!

1. Plan Some Outrageous Entertainment

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Holiday party ideas that include entertainment give your team a chance to share a delightful experience that’s likely to last longer than the event itself. Some can be pricey, like bringing professional entertainers such as a local band or an acrobat troupe to your event. 

Entertainers often lift the spirit of an audience, so if you have the budget this year, this might be a fun option! A short performance by a comedian or musician is enough to play to the crowd without annoying those who aren’t interested. 

It may sound cheesy, but it’s a surprisingly fun change of pace. Too silly for your team? A storyteller or an inspiring speaker is also great option. Nonetheless, team members will take photos, sharing the opportunity to see a performance they might not have planned on their own.

Pro tip: If you’re planning to book any entertainment, do it well ahead of time, so you don’t have to scramble to find someone a week before the event.

2. Do a Holiday Craft With Your Employees

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If budget is a factor, this is a holiday party theme near and dear to the crafter’s heart. Get into the holiday spirit with a no-fuss crafting party. Set up a few tables with crafts store goodies and supplies, and let your team make whatever they desire. Create a playlist with your favorite holiday tunes to play in the background to get everyone in the seasonal mood.

Even if your office isn’t typically “creative,” working on simple crafts is a great way for your staff to unwind and have some relaxed, low-stakes fun. There are so many holiday-themed crafts you can create such as:

  • Non-traditional Christmas tree
  • Ugly sweater competition
  • Ornament Crafting
  • Salt Dough Crafting
  • Cookie and cupcake decoration
  • Gingerbread house building
  • Decorating Wreaths
  • Gift-wrapping extravaganza

Obviously it’s not hard to get into a jolly mood when there are fun activities happening and Holiday songs blasting through the speakers. All the same, it doesn’t hurt to have a few holiday experimentation. 

3. Family Day at the Office

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More and more businesses are realizing how important it is to include employees’ families when celebrating a year’s good work. You should too! Doing this speaks volumes about you as an office manager. It shows that you see your staff as more than just employees. It sends a clear message to them – that you’re willing to invest time and effort to ensure that they remain contented and happy in your organization.

So make your holiday office party be suitable for all the family, young and old. Give your team members the chance to bring their family along for the day, and while there, they can enjoy food, special activities, socializing and some relaxation from work. Use corporate entertainment that lifts their spirits. The best events will touch their hearts and captive their minds! 

As coworkers get together to decorate and plan, this small company holiday party turns into several days of fun.

As an event planner, however, you need to account for everything. Make sure you don’t have any nasty surprises in your budget by having a thorough budget from day one. Remember to ask for packages or bundles of services from your suppliers/ catering services to deliver more bang for your buck!

Ultimately, deciding what sort of fun holiday you want to host depends on the needs of your staff, and your business. It might be a good idea to do a bit of homework. Find out how old your employees’ children are. Think about what events would appeal to that age range. What could you include for the wives and husbands? What about your staff – what do they like doing?

4. Create a Holiday Cocktail Competition

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Cocktails are inherently social drinks. So, put a twist on an old staple happy hour! Why not throw a holiday cocktail competition? This is one of the more adults-only holiday party ideas is for employees to come up with a unique holiday-themed hot or cold drink beverage recipe.

Take your employees’ competitive side to the next, boozy level. The allure of this friendly competition is obvious: A win can mean prize money or gift! As the host, your task is to provide multiple drinking glasses in all styles, blenders, ice stirrers, and cocktail napkins. Then, when the beverages are assembled, take photos, and drink. 

To make this party idea more awesome and hassle-free, get your office holiday party catered by a beverage caterer! Hiring them will help you plan out your holiday party. They could also be the ones who can choose the winner of your mini-competition and take care of the rest of the cocktail party so you don’t have to lift a finger!

5. Play Team Building Games

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Most employees have been to parties that include an onsite gift exchange or Secret Santa. Another alternative to these holiday party ideas is to play games! 

Party games aren’t just for kids! Plan some activities to help your employees to loosen up and get to know each other. Activities that require working together are especially great for building a sense of team spirit. Here are some ideas you can try:

  • Holiday charades
  • Guess the holiday song
  • Christmas Carol Pictionary
  • Holiday memory game
  • Family feud
  • Solving the Mystery
  • Classic board games
  • Office photo hunt game
  • Secret Santa
  • Gift Relay
  • People bingo
  • Escape room
  • Gift wrapping contest

Team building games are perfect for the spirit of the holidays; It will liven up the office atmosphere. As the host, your job is to organize these games and provide prizes to the winners and small gifts to all who participated so that no one leaves the party disappointed.

Remember that holiday office party games should be appropriate and simple, as well as brief since most office parties only last a few hours. You should play a game that isn’t too competitive and doesn’t require extensive holiday party props. You should also consider the personality of your office and be mindful of different religious and cultural practices. 

6. Host a Multicultural Trivia Night

In order to honor the diverse range of ways people celebrate the holidays, host a multicultural holiday trivia night. In this way, the entire room will be enjoying a fun shared experience, however, the teams themselves – usually groups of 5-10 people – will have a particularly unique opportunity to bond. 

Whether they win or lose, they will be collaborating, laughing, and competing together for the duration of the event, getting to know one another in a way that they never could in the workplace. 

As such, you as the organizer have a wonderful opportunity to give some thought in advance to who is on which team, and why. This is a great idea to strengthen the bonds among your staff and to get them talking with folks whom they wouldn’t normally cross paths with on any given workday. 

You can write your own random trivia questions. However, this is very time-consuming, and a lot harder than it looks. So we suggest finding downloadable trivia questions for an office party, which have been fact-checked and are ready to go.

You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time, effort, or expense securing prizes for an office event. People are naturally competitive, and just want to win rather than take home something expensive. Your best bet is to get something tangible that your team can proudly display in their workspace to serve as a fun reminder of an epic party!

7. Volunteer Together & Spread the Gift of Goodwill

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To truly get into the holiday spirit, use your office holiday party as an opportunity to give back to your community. Rather than a traditional party, invite your team members to spend an afternoon or evening volunteering at a local charity. 

Or instead of swapping gifts with each other, ask everyone to make a small donation to the charity of their choice, bring in toys for a local toy drive, or ask everyone to make doubles of their potluck dishes and deliver the extra portions to your local soup kitchen.

This activity is a wonderful way to work together as a team while giving back to your community. This is a holiday get-together that won’t soon be forgotten!

8. Throw a Costume or Themed Party

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You already know the drill during the holiday party circuit: ugly Christmas sweater shindigs and Secret Santa gift exchanges. But have you ever thought to channel your holiday cheer into more creative outlets?

To really go in on the holiday vibes, theme your entire party around a specific era or set a dress code, soundtrack, and snacks to match. Because other than comfort, the holidays are all about doing something different and unusual. 

As a fun addition to your standard holiday party, you can consider these themed party ideas:

  • Classic ugly sweater
  • Masquerade party
  • Pajama party
  • Go glam party
  • Winter wonderland party
  • Holiday costume party
  • Merry movie-themed party
  • Old era costume party

This office holiday party idea is sure to get everyone’s creativity flowing. You can pick about anything as your theme. Just make sure it won’t raise any eyebrows in your staff or in HR. The best way to plan this is to ask your employees ahead of time and give them a chance to prepare and dress up the way they want!

9. Have a Holiday-Themed Potluck

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Keeping your party casual this year? Consider having a potluck so your crew can show off their cooking or baking skills. Potlucks are budget-friendly, and there is always a wide variety of delicious foods for everyone to sample. 

Further, it is a chance for people to show off their culinary or baking chops. As a host, it is your task to organize a simple holiday party by allowing employees to taste your coworkers’ wares and chat about anything other than work. Easy, relaxing, and delicious! Keep things organized by creating a sign-up sheet for the whole office, so you know who’s bringing what.

Another fun spin on the potluck idea is to hold a dessert potluck. Have your main snacks and drinks catered, and ask your employees to bring in their favorite sweet treats. Or if your team like a little healthy competition, you can even turn it into a friendly competition–Have employees volunteer to bake their favorite treat, and host an epic bake-off. And of course, all of this is for their chance to win exciting holiday gifts!

10. Holiday Healthfest

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In the United States, the holiday season is often the time when healthy habits suffer. As we make our way through the holidays, why not encourage your employees to participate in fitness activities such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, and others?

You can also organize a holiday health fest where you can all take a break from the cakes, cookies, and goodies you encounter at every other seasonal gathering. Instead, turn your holiday office party into a celebration of fitness and fun! 

Have everyone prepare their favorite healthy-based treat or dish and pick a fitness class, or get a yoga instructor to entertain employees and/or family members for a mindful and meaningful hour of fun!

11. Organize Gag Gift Exchange

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For a fun, different, and low-cost office holiday party idea, organize a gag gift exchange! These Christmas gifts for men and women are given for comedic effect to make the recipient laugh. Although, take note that gag gifts come in wide varieties, as nobody has the same taste in humor.

The good part about these gifts is that they make for the best inexpensive presents—and they’ll have everyone on the list cracking up. Unwrap these hilarious gifts one by one with the presence of liquors and you’ve got your team a winning combination!

However, it is safe to advise your employees to keep it clean, classy, and fun, so you won’t have to worry about overstepping any boundaries. Remember that the goal here is to have a fun party experience and a smile on your employees’ faces.

12. Organize a Simple Talent Competition

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Another fun idea is to give your employees a chance to shine by holding an office talent show at your holiday party. You’ll be surprised at the secret talent your employees keep hidden. You can hold this one at your office, or up the ante by renting out a local bar with a stage. 

As a host, the biggest challenge is to boost your employees’ participation as your employees might be too shy or think volunteering would make them seem arrogant. You can overcome this by making the prize more enticing or making this a group effort instead of a solo effort! Or if you have the budget, bring in some filler acts to heighten the sense of ceremony at your talent show. 

This kind of holiday party will give your employees an opportunity to share their talents, enjoy laughs and build their team spirit. Every office has gifted individuals whose talents will create a buzz of anticipation until next year’s talent show.

13. Host a Holiday Karaoke

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In every group, you’ll find someone who loves to sing karaoke. From your shyest staff to your diva-est employee, no one will resist the sweet siren song of the karaoke mic! Trust us, there won’t be any time for feuds over office politics while everyone is happily singing their hearts out!

So rent a karaoke machine for your office or head to a local karaoke bar for a low-key evening of non-stop laughs. 

14. Run a Holiday 5k

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If you want to switch things up from your standard holiday party, consider using the time on a holiday 5K race. Instead of buying decorations and treats, you can fund everyone’s registration fees and maybe even supply some holiday accessories to make any 5K you can find into one that’s suitable for your holiday celebration…

The whole workforce can take part and make it a real joint effort, getting some quality team-time in as well as some exercise too. They can dress up in festive costumes for the holiday, or choose a run that has a charitable cause. 

Aside from the clear physical benefits, it is a  great opportunity for your team to get to know one another. It’s quality time spent with your team, so there are benefits to be had all-round!

15. Hire Snacks and Beverage Caterer

What’s an office holiday party without food and drink? Whatever your activities will be, foods and drinks will bring some memorable spiciness to your holiday office party. 

Holiday food is synonymous with “feast.” So skip the hassle and stress of planning the perfect holiday party by calling over some of your favorite local food trucks or snack/beverage caterers to bring the feast to you.

We get it — events are fun but planning exciting parties that keep your team happy is hard. So we suggest working with food and beverage caterers who understand the modern office and what it takes to deliver for your team.

The best part about this is that your caterer can help you plan, bring all the ingredients, and set up for you! 

Are You Inspired to Throw a Great Holiday Party This Year?

The holidays are largely a time of giving: giving back to the community as well as giving to your employees.

Whatever your budget, company culture, and employees are like, there’s a holiday party idea out there that’s perfect for your team. Use this article as a starting point to spark your creativity. Although your previous company holiday parties might not have been something to boast about, you can change that this year!

Still not sure what kind of party you should throw? Poll your employees! They’ll appreciate that you care about their opinions, and they’ll enjoy the party more if they get to have some say in what happens.

Don’t forget, the best gift of the season is spending quality time with others. Foster a sense of goodwill and friendship at your office party, and it will be sure to be a memorable one.

This is just a quick list we came up with. Hopefully, that helps you in your search for the perfect activity for your office. If you have any other ideas, comment below! 

Make sure to share this article with anyone you think could use it!

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This article was brought to you by Office Libations, your San Francisco Bay Area office coffee, keg delivery, and snack service. Delivering top local brands and kegs of cold brew coffee, kombucha, beer, and wine.

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