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8 Ways to Do Office Celebrations Differently

Tradition is one thing, but falling into a rut of predictable party planning is just too easy to do. Office celebrations should be anticipated but filled with pleasant surprises. It should also be a way to shake off the tensions of the day. No matter how close-knit your team, everyone needs a break from everyday tasks — but, really, do we need an excuse for a party?

There are all kinds of things to celebrate. For one, company milestones include a colleague’s promotion or retirement, team achievement of a sales goal, the closing of a tough project, or the end of the busy season — these are all cause for celebration.

Birthdays are an easy reason to throw down, but your colleagues may also be planning a wedding, expecting a baby, or completing an advanced degree. Understand that it’s probably going to be difficult for someone to invite the entire office to an intimate family celebration, but that’s no reason for you to not celebrate. Fête them in your own way!

How do you plan office celebrations that are fresh and fun, short of hiring an event professional? For inspiration, here are nine ways to do office celebrations differently. We’ve offered a few suggestions as to what kind of event would be well-served by a particular kind of celebration, but use your judgement and creativity — and what you know about your co-workers — to choose the right theme. Scale the occasion up or down as you see fit!

The best way to start planning your celebration is to book a unique Peerspace! Choose a spot to escape for a few hours and embrace the vibe and feel of the space.

1. Party the night away in a colorful artist’s loft

Step out of the office, and embrace the airy, bright space of an artist’s loft. Rent out a photo booth with custom backdrops, accessories, and lighting from Wink! This is a fun opportunity for an event with a guest of honor. Everyone gets a keepsake and the person being celebrated gets a contemporary scrapbook to take home.

2. Host a picture-perfect party in a private screening room

Wind down and catch a classic flick that inspires and motivates, featuring entrepreneurs who follow their dreams, such as Baby Boom, Jerry McGuire, Erin Brockovich, or the ultimate celebration of capitalism, Wall Street. Book a private screening room, and don’t forget the popcorn!

3. Get everyone moving at a gorgeous dance studio

Who doesn’t love to dance? Book a spacious studio, then share a belly dancing class, complete with hip scarves from BellyDance.com, and a menu of kababs and iced chai tea. Alternatively, try a Rockabilly theme with a jukebox and a dance instructor on hand. Serve milkshake shots — spiked or not — and sliders!

4. Go happy hour bowling

Does your office get together for a monthly happy hour? For example, North Bowl in Philadelphia provides a different kind of office celebration: private lanes with video projection, an upscale snack menu, and full bar service. Tasty food and good-natured competition paired with matching t-shirts and awards is the ultimate in happy hour entertainment.

5. Head outdoors on a lovely day

Book a guided hike or mountain bike ride to close out a Friday afternoon. Even better, combine it with a volunteer opportunity to help maintain and clean up the trails. When you’re finished, enjoy a catered picnic from a company like My My Chicken in State College, Pennsylvania. They’ll provide picnic-style fried chicken, Asian-inspired cold noodle salad, fresh fruit, and a cooler of non-alcoholic beverages. Don’t forget the picnic blanket and a Bluetooth speaker for music!

6. Bring in a food truck for lunch

Everybody has a birthday, so you probably don’t have the luxury of going all-out to celebrate every single one. Do you only have time for a quick office celebration? Stay in the office and have the party come to you! Tacos are a crowd-pleaser, but so are carnival concession stands: think funnel cake, pizza, and cheese fries. Follow it up with something like the “tricycle setup” from Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

7. Bask in nostalgia at an ’80s throwback

Embrace your inner child and blow off some steam by turning your office into a temporary arcade! Video Amusement in the San Francisco Bay Area rents full-size, nostalgic video games to locations across the country. In addition to classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, they have a variety of vintage-style pinball machines, as well as more contemporary carnival, driving, and music games.

How about a competition of Daytona Championship USA or the World’s Fastest Drummer games? Who doesn’t like Whack-a-Mole or XL Connect Four? Pair it with giant soft pretzels, corn dogs, and Coca-Cola in glass bottles. Fill baskets with a retro ’80s candy assortment from SweetServices.com, and call it a party!

8. Create exciting Instagrammable decor

This is particularly appropriate for an in-office wedding or baby shower. Balloons have come a long way since arcs of rainbow colors or weighted bouquets! Think giant champagne bubbles; asymmetrical shapes and sizes to provide texture and color to an otherwise traditional arch; or a balloon-covered ceiling. Serve ice-cold milk in glass bottles and dessert from a favorite baker, as well as a fresh fruit pie, red velvet cupcakes, or a delivery from Insomnia Cookies.

Another decor idea: drape a single wall with tassel or floral garland as a backdrop. And consider a book shower: for a wedding, give gifts of cookbooks and DIY home project manuals. If the occasion is a baby shower, gift your favorite books that the child will enjoy over the years. Serve flavored carbonated water, fresh coffee, and an assortment of chocolate and mini cheesecake.

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