What does it take to make a corporate Christmas party fun?
There is a basic formula to keep in mind; with engaging activities, interactive elements, and a festive atmosphere that appeals to all attendees.
However, what works best for your corporate Christmas party will depend on your guest list (i.e. staff only? plus ones? or entire family? Are you hosting a company-wide event that is also open to the community?).
Below are some fun ideas that have works for most corporate Christmas parties.
The Venue: Hosting Fun
Choosing a fun venue for a company Christmas party involves considering the event size, budget, and the desired atmosphere. Here are some tips and examples of fun venues that can elevate the holiday party experience:
Unique Event Spaces:
- Look for unconventional venues like art galleries, museums, or historical sites. These spaces offer a unique backdrop and can create a memorable experience for attendees.
- Example: Hosting a Christmas party in a local museum where employees can explore exhibits and enjoy a festive atmosphere surrounded by art and culture. Pictured below is a photo from a staff Christmas party held in Los Angeles at the CA Science Center.
- Rooftop venues provide stunning views of the city skyline and can be transformed into a winter wonderland with heated tents, festive lighting, and cozy seating.
- Example: A rooftop terrace with panoramic views, fire pits, and a hot chocolate station for a warm and magical Christmas celebration.
Cozy Lodge or Cabin:
- Renting a lodge or cabin in a scenic location can give the party a cozy and intimate feel, perfect for team bonding and a relaxed holiday atmosphere.
- Example: Hosting a Christmas retreat in a charming cabin nestled in the mountains with log fires, hot tubs, and fun outdoor winter activities.
Event Spaces with Entertainment:
- Consider venues with built-in entertainment options, such as arcades, bowling alleys, or interactive game centers, which can keep guests engaged and entertained.
- Example: Renting out a modern bowling alley for a company Christmas party with fun games, bowling competitions, and a festive bar area.
Themed Restaurants or Bars:
- Choose a restaurant or bar with a holiday-themed decor and menu to create a festive dining experience for the employees.
- Example: Booking a Christmas-themed pop-up bar with festive cocktails, seasonal decorations, and live music for a lively and spirited celebration.
Cruise or Yacht Party:
- Organizing a holiday cruise or yacht party can offer a unique experience with beautiful waterfront views and onboard entertainment.
- Example: Chartering a boat for a Christmas cruise with dinner, dancing, and a chance to see city landmarks lit up for the holidays.
Indoor Amusement Parks:
- Indoor amusement parks can be a fun choice for a family-friendly company Christmas party with various rides and attractions for all ages.
- Example: Hosting the event at an indoor theme park with roller coasters, carnival games, and holiday-themed characters.
Holiday Resort or Spa:
- A holiday resort or spa can offer relaxation and indulgence for employees looking for a more laid-back and luxurious Christmas celebration.
- Example: A company retreat at a resort with spa treatments, holiday-themed workshops, and gourmet dining experiences.
When choosing a fun venue for a company Christmas party, consider the preferences and interests of your employees to ensure everyone has a great time and enjoys the festivities. When selecting your venue and theme, try these top 10 holiday party themes to add some extra fun!
Interactive Entertainment Experiences
When picking interactive entertainment for a company Christmas party, consider the preferences of your employees, the theme of the event, and the overall atmosphere you want to create. Interactive entertainments encourage engagement, teamwork, and laughter, making the party enjoyable for everyone. Here are some ideas and examples of interactive entertainment options:
Holiday-Themed Photo Booth:
- Set up a photo booth with holiday-themed props and backdrops, allowing employees to take fun and festive pictures together.
- Example: A “Santa’s Workshop” photo booth with Santa hats, elf ears, and toy-making props.
DIY Ornament Making Station:
- Organize a DIY ornament-making station with various craft supplies and materials, where employees can create personalized Christmas decorations.
- Example: A “Decorate Your Own Ornament” station with clear glass ornaments, paint, glitter, and ribbons.
Interactive Game Stations:
- Set up various game stations with holiday-themed games that encourage friendly competition and teamwork.
- Example: A “Snowball Toss” game where employees try to toss snowballs (soft balls) through different targets for points.
Christmas Trivia Challenge:
- Host a Christmas trivia challenge with questions related to holiday traditions, movies, and music.
- Example: A team-based trivia contest with holiday-themed prizes for the winning team.
Gingerbread House Decorating Contest:
- Arrange a gingerbread house decorating contest where teams compete to create the most creative and festive gingerbread houses.
- Example: Providing pre-assembled gingerbread house kits and a variety of candies and icing for decorating.
Holiday Escape Room:
- Create a holiday-themed escape room experience, where employees work together to solve puzzles and find clues to “escape” in a set time.
- Example: A “Santa’s Stolen Presents” escape room where participants must find the missing presents before Christmas.
- Set up a karaoke machine with a selection of Christmas carols and holiday songs for employees to showcase their singing talents.
- Example: A “Jingle Bell Rock Karaoke” session with classic holiday tunes.
Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences:
- Offer interactive VR experiences that transport employees to winter wonderlands or provide exciting virtual adventures.
- Example: A VR snowboarding experience or a virtual sleigh ride through a snowy landscape.
Holiday Scavenger Hunt:
- Organize a holiday-themed scavenger hunt where employees must find hidden clues or items around the venue.
- Example: A “12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt” with clues related to the famous song.
Interactive Magician or Illusionist:
- Hire a magician or illusionist who can perform interactive holiday-themed tricks and engage the audience.
- Example: A magician who magically produces holiday gifts or turns ordinary objects into festive surprises.
Live Caricature Artist:
- Offer a live caricature artist who can sketch fun and personalized holiday-themed portraits of guests during the party.
Remember to consider the interests and preferences of your employees when choosing interactive entertainment for the company Christmas party. Providing a variety of options ensures that everyone can participate and have a great time celebrating the holiday season together.
Live Music/DJ Sets the Mood
Live music or hiring a DJ can significantly enhance the atmosphere and entertainment at a corporate Christmas party, making it more enjoyable and memorable for attendees. Here’s how live music or a DJ can add to the fun of the event:
- Creating a Festive Ambiance: Live music or a DJ can set the perfect holiday mood by playing Christmas carols, classic holiday songs, and upbeat tunes that get everyone in the festive spirit.
- Engaging the Audience: Talented musicians or a skilled DJ can interact with the audience, encouraging employees to dance, sing along, and participate in the entertainment.
- Versatility in Music Selection: A DJ can play a wide range of music genres, catering to different tastes and preferences among employees. This ensures that everyone finds something they enjoy.
- Encouraging Dance and Interaction: Live music and DJ sets with danceable tracks encourage employees to hit the dance floor, promoting a fun and lively atmosphere.
- Request Songs: A DJ can take song requests from employees, making them feel more involved in the party’s entertainment and adding a personal touch to the event.
- Customizing the Playlist: A DJ can tailor the playlist to fit the mood and preferences of the attendees. They can adapt the music to create different vibes throughout the party, from relaxed background tunes to energetic dance tracks.
- Bringing Energy and Excitement: Live music performances and DJ sets bring a dynamic energy to the party, keeping attendees engaged and entertained.
- Sing-Along Sessions: Live music can include sing-along sessions, where employees can join in and create a sense of camaraderie and togetherness.
- Special Performances: If hiring live musicians, consider special performances, such as holiday-themed covers, unique arrangements, or even a surprise guest appearance.
- Transitioning Between Activities: A skilled DJ can smoothly transition between different parts of the event, ensuring a seamless flow of music throughout the evening.
- Creating Memorable Moments: Live music and DJ sets can create memorable moments, such as a special dance with colleagues or a moving performance that resonates with attendees.
- Live Band Entertainment: Hiring a live band can add an extra layer of excitement, as attendees experience the thrill of watching talented musicians perform in real-time.
- Themed Entertainment: A DJ or live band can incorporate holiday-themed elements into their performance, adding a unique touch that aligns with the Christmas party theme.
- Background Music During Dinner: Soft, background music during dinner can create a pleasant ambiance for conversations and dining, making the overall experience more enjoyable.
- Encore Performances: A live band or DJ can offer encore performances based on the enthusiasm and response from the audience, extending the fun and excitement.
By incorporating live music or a DJ into your corporate Christmas party, you can elevate the entertainment and create an engaging, festive atmosphere that employees will cherish and remember long after the event.
Fun & Festive Food & Beverage
Festive food and drinks can elevate the enjoyment and merriment at company Christmas parties. Including unique and interactive culinary experiences like a nitro ice cream making station and 3D printed popsicles adds an extra element of fun and excitement. Here are some festive food and drink ideas for a memorable company Christmas party:
Nitro Ice Cream Making Station:
- Offer a nitro ice cream making station where guests can watch their favorite ice cream flavors being made with a splash of liquid nitrogen, creating a smoky and visually stunning effect.
- Allow guests to choose from various toppings, sauces, and mix-ins to customize their nitro ice cream creations.
3D Printed Popsicles:
- Introduce a 3D printed popsicle bar where attendees can select their preferred flavors and ingredients, and then watch as a 3D printer shapes their popsicles in real-time.
- Include a variety of unique and seasonal flavors to match the holiday spirit, such as peppermint, gingerbread, or eggnog.
Festive Signature Cocktails:
- Craft a selection of signature cocktails with holiday-inspired ingredients and garnishes. Name them creatively to add a touch of Christmas cheer.
- Examples: “Candy Cane Cosmo,” “Gingerbread Martini,” or “Frosty Winter Mule.”
Hot Cocoa Bar:
- Set up a hot cocoa bar with different flavored syrups, marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and other toppings.
- Offer a variety of cocoa options, including traditional, white chocolate, and peppermint.
- Create a mocktail menu featuring non-alcoholic beverages that capture the essence of the season.
- Examples: “Virgin Cranberry Sparkler,” “Pomegranate Punch,” or “Snowflake Spritz.”
Festive Appetizers and Snacks:
- Serve a variety of festive appetizers and snacks that reflect the holiday spirit, such as bacon-wrapped dates, cranberry brie bites, or holiday-themed cheese platters.
Carving Station with Roasted Meats:
- Set up a carving station with succulent roasted meats like turkey, ham, or prime rib, served with various flavorful sauces and accompaniments.
Gingerbread Decorating Station:
- Create a gingerbread decorating station where guests can personalize gingerbread cookies with icing, sprinkles, and edible decorations.
Seasonal Fruit and Cheese Displays:
- Offer a visually appealing display of seasonal fruits, artisanal cheeses, and charcuterie, complemented by festive garnishes like fresh holly or cinnamon sticks.
- Serve snowflake-shaped desserts like snowflake cookies, cupcakes with snowflake icing designs, or snowflake-shaped brownies.
Festive Dessert Bar:
- Design a dessert bar with an array of sweet treats, such as mini Yule log cakes, eggnog cheesecakes, and peppermint chocolate truffles.
Candy Cane Sweets:
- Incorporate candy cane-inspired sweets, like candy cane fudge, candy cane bark, or candy cane macarons.
- Add a candy puller to put a “twist” on your candy display!
Remember to accommodate dietary preferences and allergies when planning the menu. By offering these festive food and drink options, your company Christmas party will be a delightful and memorable culinary experience for all attendees.
Team Building Activities That’ll Will Put Them in the Spirit
Incorporating team-building activities into a corporate holiday party can foster camaraderie, boost morale, and create a fun and engaging experience for employees. Here are some team-building activity ideas that can make your holiday party more enjoyable and meaningful:
Holiday-Themed Trivia Challenge:
- Organize a holiday trivia game where employees work in teams to answer questions related to Christmas traditions, movies, music, and historical facts.
Escape Room Experience:
- Set up a holiday-themed escape room challenge where teams must work together to solve puzzles and find clues to “escape” within a given time frame.
Ugly Sweater Decorating Contest:
- Host an ugly sweater decorating competition, where teams transform plain sweaters into the most outrageous and creative Christmas fashion statements.
Gingerbread House Building Competition:
- Have teams compete to build the most impressive gingerbread houses with various decorations and supplies.
Candy Cane Hunt:
- Hide candy canes around the venue, and employees must work in teams to find as many candy canes as they can within a set time limit.
Build a Snowman Relay:
- Organize a relay race where teams take turns assembling snowmen using provided materials, such as hats, scarves, and carrot noses.
Ornament Decorating Challenge:
- Supply plain ornaments and art supplies, and have teams decorate the ornaments with holiday-themed designs and creativity.
Holiday Casino & Auction:
- Bring in casino games with chips. Each staff gets a set amount to play. Winnings are used at a high-paced auction at the end of the event!
Christmas Carol Karaoke Battle:
- Host a Christmas carol karaoke competition, where teams perform their favorite carols, and the audience votes for the best performance.
Build a Sleigh Challenge:
- Provide materials like cardboard, wrapping paper, and tape, and have teams design and construct their own sleighs.
- Play a game of holiday charades, where teams act out holiday-related words or phrases for their teammates to guess.
Stocking Stuffer Scramble:
- Divide employees into teams and challenge them to fill stockings with various small gifts and treats as quickly as possible.
Snowflake Design Contest:
- Teams can compete to create the most intricate and beautiful snowflake designs using paper and scissors.
Holiday Puzzle Race:
- Provide teams with holiday-themed puzzles and see which group can complete the puzzle the fastest.
Gift Wrapping Relay:
- Set up gift-wrapping stations with various wrapping paper, ribbons, and tags, and have teams compete to wrap presents neatly and quickly.
These team-building activities encourage collaboration, communication, and friendly competition, making the corporate holiday party more engaging and enjoyable for all employees. The emphasis on teamwork and fun will foster a positive and memorable experience that strengthens employee relationships and celebrates the holiday spirit together.
Make it Personal: Employee Recognition
Providing employee recognition during a company Christmas party that is fun and engaging can boost employee morale and create a positive and appreciative atmosphere. Here are some creative and enjoyable ways to recognize employees during the holiday celebration:
- Organize a fun award ceremony where employees are recognized for their achievements, such as “Best Team Player,” “Most Innovative Idea,” or “Outstanding Customer Service.”
- Add “inside” jokes and really personalize your awards to your employees, these always bring the most laughter and joy.
- Design and present customized awards to employees with creative titles and personalized messages, such as “Master of Holiday Spirit” , “Jolly Team Leader”, “Most Likely to Spread Holiday Cheer” or “Best Ugly Sweater.”
Employee Appreciation Video:
- Create a video montage featuring colleagues expressing gratitude and appreciation for their fellow employees’ hard work and contributions throughout the year.
- Provide each employee with a personalized thank-you note and gift from management or colleagues, highlighting their specific accomplishments and contributions.
- Conduct fun gift giveaways with surprise prizes, such as gift cards, holiday hampers, or company swag, as a token of appreciation for all employees.
- Give employees a chance to showcase their talents, hobbies, or passion projects during the party, celebrating their diverse skills beyond the workplace.
Interactive Gratitude Wall:
- Set up a gratitude wall or board where employees can write notes of appreciation and recognition for their peers, creating a positive and uplifting display.
Celebrity Impersonation Skit:
- Organize a skit where management or colleagues impersonate famous personalities to playfully recognize employees’ unique qualities and accomplishments.
- Invite employees to deliver short, heartfelt speeches of appreciation for their colleagues, sharing memorable and positive experiences working together.
Holiday Employee Spotlight:
- Spotlight selected employees during the party, sharing their accomplishments and contributions through fun and entertaining presentations.
Team Success Stories:
- Highlight successful team projects or achievements with storytelling sessions that showcase the collaboration and hard work of the teams involved.
- Play a game of holiday-themed charades where employees act out work-related accomplishments and successes for others to guess and celebrate.
Holiday Memory Wall:
- Create a holiday memory wall featuring photos and stories of employees’ shared moments and accomplishments throughout the year.
Handwritten Thank-You Cards:
- Distribute blank thank-you cards and encourage employees to write notes of appreciation for their colleagues, fostering a culture of gratitude.
By incorporating these fun and engaging employee recognition ideas into the company Christmas party, employees will feel valued and appreciated, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the organization. The festive and celebratory atmosphere will enhance the overall holiday party experience, making it a memorable and uplifting event for everyone.
The Gift of Surprise
Surprise elements can add an extra layer of excitement and joy to a corporate Christmas party, making it a memorable and enjoyable experience for employees. Here are some surprise element ideas to consider:
Special Guest Appearance:
- Invite a local celebrity, motivational speaker, or industry influencer to make a surprise guest appearance and deliver an inspiring speech or performance.
Flash Mob Performance:
- Organize a flash mob performance with dancers or employees who have rehearsed a choreographed dance routine to surprise and entertain guests.
Festive Costume Characters:
- Hire actors dressed as Santa Claus, holiday elves, or other festive characters to interact with guests and take photos. Be sure to keep it a surprise arrival, having them appear in the middle of the event!
- Arrange for a surprise fireworks display to light up the sky, creating a breathtaking finale to the corporate Christmas party.
Surprise Caroling Group:
- Invite a professional caroling group to perform classic Christmas carols, spreading cheer and delighting attendees with their beautiful harmonies. Have them enter singing to the live music or DJ for an added surprise.
Interactive Light Show:
- Create an interactive light show where guests can control the lighting effects with their smartphones or participate in a synchronized light dance.
Holiday Fire Performers:
- Surprise guests with a thrilling fire performance featuring skilled fire dancers, adding a touch of excitement and awe to the event. Be sure to take safety precautions.
Including surprise elements in your corporate Christmas party can elevate the celebration and create a sense of wonder and delight among employees. These unexpected moments of entertainment and joy will leave a lasting impression and foster a positive and festive atmosphere throughout the event.
We want to make your corporate Christmas party fun AND easy to plan! Event Solutions will handle every aspect of your party, ensuring a seamless and memorable experience from start to finish. From selecting the perfect venue to curating interactive entertainment, live music/DJ sets, team-building activities, employee recognition, and surprise elements, your employees will enjoy a stress-free and fun-filled celebration. We’ll create a festive atmosphere with engaging entertainment, thoughtful recognition, and delightful surprises, making this year’s holiday party an extraordinary and unforgettable event for your team. Click here to keep reading on our most eco-friendly ideas for your company’s holiday party.
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