Office parties are a great way to increase camaraderie around the office, especially around the holiday season. Employees are already getting excited about upcoming celebrations, and being able to celebrate at work is an added bonus! But if you’re hosting a holiday party at work, you don’t want it to feel like a regular Wednesday. Instead, you’ll want to plan something special so your team is engaged and excited. In this post, we’ve rounded up 10 fun holiday games for your office party.
Of course, you can’t play all these games at your party—there isn’t enough time! So you’ll have to choose one or two games that are right for your office. For example, if your employees all know each other well, then Group Bingo is a great game to play. On the other hand, if you have a really large team, Gift Wrap Relay might be a better option.
If you really can’t decide between games, then ask your team for input! After all, they’re the ones playing. You can ask team members to vote for a game, and the winning ones get played. Platforms like Poll Everywhere and SurveyMonkey offer easy-to-use polling features. But, of course, before you can poll the audience, you need to know what the options are. So let’s take a look at some fun holiday games for your office party.
1) Gift Wrap Relay
This is the perfect team game for a holiday party! First, separate the attendees into two teams and situate each team in front of a table. Each table should have wrapping supplies and items to wrap on it. Then, the teams race to wrap all the items first, with each team member going one at a time. So the second guest can’t start wrapping until the first teammate is finished. Whatever team wraps all the items first wins!
To keep everything fair, we recommend using the same items for both teams. And for some added fun, use random items from around your office. (Who can wrap a stapler the quickest?) You’ll also want to set some wrapping guidelines. For example, what counts as “wrapping”? Does it have to be neat, or does every inch just have to be covered?
2) Cookie Decorating
As a time-honored favorite, this activity doesn’t need any explanation! But we can give you some tips for a successful event. First, this activity can be competitive, or it can also be casual that employees do whenever they want during the event. For a competitive edge, you can give awards for the most creative cook, for the cookie that most resembles a coworker, or the prettiest cookie. You’ll want to set an official end time, though, so guests know when to finish. We recommend ending the activity roughly 30 minutes before the overall event ends.
Second, make sure you ask guests about food allergies or dietary restrictions ahead of time. You can bake the cookies ahead of time, or purchase them. But we recommend having all the cookies ready ahead of time—they shouldn’t be baking during the event.
3) Themed Karaoke
This is just like regular karaoke—but holiday edition! Ask your employees for song requests ahead of time, so you can accommodate as many requests as possible. Then, set up karaoke in your cafeteria, lobby, or wherever the best acoustics are. It’s a fun way to hear everybody’s favorite holiday songs. You might even discover your new favorite one!
4) Office Decorating
Chances are, a lot of your employees are taking extra days off around the holidays. Your whole office might even be closed for the end of the year. So kick off the holiday cheer early in December, before everyone starts their vacation. And use that party time to decorate the office—including individual private offices. Put on some festive music, set out the milk and cookies, and get to decorating. You can even have employees make a few of the decorations that day, too. For example, everyone can decorate an ornament for the lobby tree, and then take it home once the season is over.
5) Group Bingo
A few weeks before your holiday party, ask employees for holiday-related trivia facts about themselves. Maybe it’s that they hate egg nog or their family uses a palm tree instead of an evergreen tree. Make multiple variations of the bingo cards with the different trivia facts. Then, hand out a board to each guest as they arrive. The goal is to figure out which facts “belong” to which employee. Whoever gets five in a row first wins. This is a great way to get employees to talk to each other—and it gives them talking points if don’t know each other well.
6) Ornament Exchange
Many offices organize white elephant parties or secret Santa exchanges. And those are both great holiday games for your office party! But it can be challenging to buy unique presents for a coworker you don’t know well. So keep it simple! Host an ornament exchange instead. You can still plan a white elephant exchange or secret Santa with the ornaments. Or you can have guests blind pick from a bag—or even pick wrapped ornaments right off the tree. How you exchange the items is completely up to you. But keeping the focus of the present simple makes it easier for your employees.
7) Candy Cane Relay
For this fun game, guests have to use one candy cane to pick up as many other candy canes as they can from a bowl within a set time frame. But the trick? They have to hold the main candy cane in their mouth! It’s a holiday twist on bobbing for apples. You can give an award to the single player who collects the most candy canes. Or you can split your employees in small teams (with three or four people per team) and award the team that gets the most candy canes overall.
8) Themed Trivia
In December alone, there are dozens of holidays celebrated around the world, by many different belief systems and cultures. Why not learn a little bit about them all with some themed trivia! For this, you can create trivia questions around the different holidays that are celebrated in December. Each round could be separated by culture, religion, continent, or any other factor. Not only will it test your team’s knowledge, but they may learn something, too.
9) Holiday in a Box
Do you have a lot of remote employees? Maybe you have teams all over the country, or employees on different shifts. Then a Holiday in a Box is perfect! You can mail your team holiday-themed care packages to either open together on a virtual call or enjoy on their own. There are plenty of companies to choose from, but common goodies include candy, warm socks, coco, candles, and meats and cheeses. Even if most of your team is local, consider sending these boxes to your remote employees so they don’t feel left out.
These are just a few holiday games for your office party. The most important thing is choosing an activity that your team will enjoy. And if you’re not sure what that is—ask them! It makes employees feel good when management listens to them, even for something as simple as a holiday party. Just don’t forget to provide the sweet treats and festive music!
What is your favorite holiday game to play? What snack or beverage do you like to enjoy while playing?