In movies and TV shows, office Christmas parties are usually the stuff of jokes. They’re seemingly obligatory occasions in which employees imbibe one too many drinks and bosses deliver excessively sentimental speeches. Get a little more creative with your own corporate holiday party. If you need inspiration for an engaging event to keep your colleagues in good spirits, here are 11 fun corporate Christmas party entertainment ideas to consider.
1. Build gingerbread houses
Gingerbread houses aren’t just for kids. Grab some cookie kits and have a gingerbread house-building competition at the office. Off to the side, have a hot chocolate bar where your attendees can make their own hot cocoa drinks topped off with Baileys, peppermint schnapps, or Kahlúa for an additional twist.
2. Run an online Secret Santa
Engage your whole team — even remote employees — with an online gift exchange using the Secret Santa app on Slack. Have remote workers open their gifts via webcam during your office party so everyone around the globe can feel involved in your holiday activities. After all, Santa can deliver presents virtually anywhere.
3. Host a boozy arts and crafts session
Studios like Painting With a Twist host painting workshops that allow you to bring your own beer and wine to class. Book one of their locations for a holiday session, then you and your colleagues can learn to paint X-mas cards or holiday decorations. This is a great corporate Christmas party entertainment idea for employees who love arts and crafts.
4. Book a venue on Peerspace
Head out of the office for a change of scenery. With Peerspace, you can find thousands of unique locations — from gorgeous lofts and galleries to glitzy lounges — where you can host a private movie screening, stage a photoshoot, or throw an elaborate dinner party. Many venues offer catering and equipment rentals to go with your booking. In addition, you can contact the Concierge service to create a personalized space.
5. Play Christmas paintball
Get into the holiday spirit with competitive games! Depending on the size of your team, you can join a pre-scheduled event — like Santas vs. Grinches at Velocity Paintball in Ramona, CA — or book an entire paintball venue. Have players come dressed in themed outfits. Perhaps you can even request holiday-colored paint and other accessories.
6. Visit a haunted house
Celebrate the Nightmare Before Christmas with a Halloween-themed winter party. Plenty of locations around the United States offer haunted houses during the holiday season; one such event is Krampus: A Haunted Christmas, which toured eight different cities in 2018. Check out this list of holiday haunted houses to see if any will be open in your area. While this spooky activity isn’t for everyone, it can make for a memorable holiday outing, especially if everyone dresses up for it.
7. Hire a live band
Forget the awkward karaoke and hire a live band. They don’t even have to play Christmas classics — consider a jazz band or string quartet. The music is what sets the vibe for your holiday party, so having a sleek, professional ensemble can mean the difference between a party that feels classy and one your guests can’t wait to leave.
8. Book a mixologist
Bartenders know how to set the scene for a holiday party, and many mixologists, such as Mix and Twist in London, provide corporate Christmas services. You can bring these professionals to the office or enjoy your party at one of many spectacular locations on Peerspace. To take things up a notch, book a mixology lesson with N2 Mixology in Los Angeles so that your team can get hands-on experience mixing drinks.
9. Throw a puppy party
If everyone in the office loves dogs, puppy parties are a fun corporate Christmas party entertainment idea that will keep your guests smiling. Rescue organizations like Secondhand Hounds in Minnesota offer puppy parties as a way to socialize their dogs, while also providing the opportunity for prospective dog-owners to learn about the adoption process. While you’ll need to book in advance and host the event in a suitable environment, nothing brings out the holiday spirit like a room full of puppies! Choose to book from a rescue agency rather than a pet store so you can be sure the animals are well-cared for.
10. Rent food trucks
You don’t have to live in LA or Portland to bring food trucks to the office. If you live somewhere with relatively decent whether, you can throw your holiday party in a courtyard or outdoor event space, and bring a few local food trucks to cater for your team. How many food trucks do you need? Check out this handy guide to do the calculations. (They suggest around one truck per 200 people.) You can find food trucks that offer wood-fired pizza, grilled cheeses, paella, tacos, ice cream, and more. Decide on whether you’ll be footing the entire bill or giving your team food and drink vouchers. Remember to specify that in your contract.
11. Play bubble soccer
You won’t be the first team to play bubble soccer for Christmas, but you’ll certainly be in select company. Bubble soccer is popular in Europe (it’s called Loopyball in Germany), and it’s starting to catch on in the United States. You can play outdoors in warmer regions or on a basketball court if it’s too cold outside. The game entails players encapsulated in giant inflatable orbs, with the upper body and arms enclosed, but the legs free. You can run, kick, jump, and knock each other over without getting hurt. It’s the perfect way to have fun while you’re all shaped like giant Christmas ornaments.
Whether you want to keep things in the office or rent an exciting venue, you don’t have to settle for a cliche Christmas celebration. Ditch the ugly sweater contest and take a risk with something unconventional with one of these 11 fun corporate Christmas party entertainment ideas.