Corporate holiday parties tend to belong to two different camps. For many companies, holiday parties are a fun way to cap the year and coax out the enthusiasm of employees, marking a highlight of the calendar that everyone looks forward to. For others, holiday parties are more of a hassle than anything else, which tends to lead to polite excuses and poor turnout. With the right offsite corporate rental location and a little creativity, however, any company can put together a great holiday party that builds team morale while letting employees ditch the rigidity of the office setting. Here are 10 activity ideas that can drum up some excitement and turn the holiday party ritual into a favorite time of the year for employees.
Augmented reality scavenger hunt. If you’ve ever seen the unbridled glee of groups playing Pokémon Go, it’s easy to see how fun and engaging virtual reality games can be. Even if Pokémon isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to go as well, including holiday options that can quickly tap into your party’s theme. With the wide-ranging possibilities of virtual reality, your team can hunt for snowmen, fight with zombies, or turn Phil from HR into a superhero before sitting down for dinner.
Tri-Olympics.The perfect way to get the blood pumping in a few different ways. After starting with a race to get the competitive juices flowing (e.g. biking, running or power-walking), try an event like a bouncy ball horse race that will put a smile on the face of even the sternest of employees in the company. Once everyone has worked up an appetite and demonstrated any hidden athletic ability, finish it off with bar trivia over a happy hour or dinner. If your corporate rental site has water access, adding in paddle-boarding to the first phase and a restaurant with a view are surefire ways to make employees glad that they showed up.
Sunset Beach Bonfire. A perfectly melted s’more and a water-glistening sunset is a combo that could melt the heart of the Grinch himself. Even amateur photos tend to turnout looking professional in the magic hour before sunset, giving you a great – and inexpensive – opportunity snap a few memorable photos for the office wall. A sunset beach bonfire is also a terrific setting for a short speech to wrap-up the year or to hand out awards to any deserving employees.
Lawn games. While Tri-Olympics are best-suited for some companies, you also can’t go wrong with fairly simple games like corn hole or horseshoes during a company holiday party. Setting up a tournament will give you a chance to pair together employees who don’t know each other that well while still tapping into the competitive nature that often drives successful companies. Lawn games are also great options for employees with varying physical abilities.
Cookie decorating. The perfect way to bring together employees with families. Instead of limiting your co-worker’s kids to the framed photos on her desk, get to know your fellow employees and their families while decorating holiday cookies or other related delicacies like a gingerbread house. If your site has a music setup, it’s also a great way to let employees pick their favorite holiday tunes while you decorate batches of deliciousness that also make for terrific take-home items.
Karaoke: the timeless classic. There are few better ways to gain a personal understanding of a co-worker than watching him or her belt out a favorite song. Not only does karaoke tend to be a hilarious comedy of errors but you’re also likely to find a few hidden talents from unlikely sources, making it a tremendous all-around team-building experience. Bonus points go to brave party coordinators willing to get the karaoke party started – particularly those willing to set a low bar that can be easily vaulted.
Find the office culinary maestro with a pot luck party. It may take a little time to coordinate, but hosting a pot luck party is a great way to get employees to show-off their kitchen skills while avoiding the need for expensive catering. Employees get a chance to share their personal holiday favorites and it makes for a natural way for co-workers to mingle. It also never hurts to give out a small gift to whomever comes up with the best dish.
Wine/beer tastings and holiday painting. You don’t have to be a Picasso to enjoy letting loose with a wine glass and a paint brush. Although going with freelance painting is certainly fine, it can also be fun to pick a common theme and hand out prizes to the best artists in the company. Even the poor painters in the group can still enjoy the beverages and have a funny memento to take home, making it an entertaining option that’s great for letting employees engage with each other in a fresh setting.
Holiday murder mystery party. As they get more and more prominent, a murder mystery party a terrific option for groups of all sizes and can easily be paired with dinner or a cocktail hour. Although you can hire a company to do the heavy lifting, you can also pick up a murder mystery kit from Amazon or a local party store to get you started. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate creativity as you select a personalized theme and give employees incentive to dress up to fit the occasion.
Let employees pick a theme or activities. One of the best ways to get employees involved is to seek their input before the holiday party actually commences. Letting employees nominate and vote on themes or activities is an easy way to engage the whole team while giving an event planner a head start on the process. Perusing your team’s ideas will also give a coordinator a blueprint of what the company is looking for while tapping into employee creativity, giving you a much better chance at stringing together a holiday party for the ages.
For a little help getting started on your own San Diego corporate holiday party, The Point has you covered with a range of different packages and activities that can fit any company.