10 Genuinely Fun Holiday-Party IdeasOctober 2, 2017
Not that standing around the ole water cooler with a cup of punch isn't a blast, but there are so many fresher options in the game these days whether you want to stick around your office or round up the gang and head off-campus for some holiday cheer. We’re talking ping-pong tournaments, cheese tasting, nostalgic board-game mania, and, of course, flower-arranging classes. Experiences that are memorable, fun, and ripe for effortless team bonding.
Here are 10 of our favorites.
Field Trip to Your Local Ping-Pong Club
Move over bowling, there’s a new endearingly dorky group sport in town. Ping-pong clubs are popping up everywhere from San Francisco to Portland to Chicago, and make for a great spin (see what we did there?) on your typical work activity—especially as the newest clubs serve booze and play great tunes.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
One of your enterprising colleagues can DIY a holiday-theme jaunt around the neighborhood (the best ones end in bars), or you can hook up with a company like Strayboots, who’ll create a personalized mobile scavenger hunt for you (they’ve worked with companies including Google, Airbnb, and NY Public Radio).
Throw a Flower-Arranging Workshop
And no, this one is not just for the ladies. Guys, take the Renaissance man stance and whip up something beautiful to gift to your partner. If you work with us at Alice’s Table, one of our Execs will plan a custom event at your office or at one of our partner venues, show up with everything you need from wintery flowers to vessels to clippers, and lead a fun flower-arranging 101 where you keep what you create.
Set Up a Trivia Night
Or, take the crew to Tuesday Trivia Night at your local watering hole. You might be surprised by a colleague dropping mad esoteric knowledge, you’ll bond big time as a team, and you’ll walk away with an inside joke or two guaranteed.
’Nuff said. No, but really you’ll never look at Janet in accounting the same way again after she blows you away with those Mariah pipes. You can rent a machine to set up at your office (many local DJs even provide this service), or reserve a private room at a karaoke bar since folks will be more likely to participate when the audience is limited to people they know vs a full bar of expectant eyes. Making some selections holiday songs will get the group giggling.
Try Your Hand at an Escape Room
Modeled after video games, these IRL adventures will have you and your group locked in a room together for a set amount of time (usually an hour) with puzzles to solve and clues to decipher that each lead you a step closer to the room’s key. (Or, you run out of time and the attendant comes and bails you out.)
Attend a Cooking Class
There’s plenty of time for banter and bonding when you’re measuring, chopping, and whisking—and then you all get to sit together family-style for a holiday meal at the end. Depending on your work-kitchen sitch, a chef may be able to set up right on site. If not, most cities (even smaller ones) have at least one cooking school or restaurant that’s down to host a class.
Bring on the Games
Set up some card tables and bust out a few classics like Life, Battleship, Sorry!, Trivial Pursuit, and Apples to Apples, along with spiked cider and hot chocolate. If some good old-fashioned fun won’t satisfy your cutthroat colleagues, up the stakes with a poker night instead. Some event firms can even arrange professional dealers.
Take an Improv Lesson
There’s no ice breaker quite like being encouraged to say the first thing that comes to mind. Plus, improv is actually said to be good for teaching communication, listening, adaptability, and public speaking.
Arrange a Tasting
Wine’s the obvious one here. But, if you work with minors or a lot of boozehounds who don’t need encouraging, cheese, chocolate, and honey tastings are great alternatives depending on where you’re located.