When planning a holiday party activity for your end of year office celebration, remember that people thrive on engagement, creativity and participation. It is easy enough to plan an event with mixing and mingling as the primary activity, but if you really want your colleagues to get to know one another and create a meaningful and memorable experience, party activities are a great way to do so. If you’ve opted for an in-office party, we say skip the obvious  gift exchanges and go for something a little more inspired.

Here are 5 activity ideas that are sure to get your guests talking, laughing and sharing the holiday joy.

Holiday Party Activity #1: Teach your guests to dance.

Dancing is a go-to holiday party activity, but before your guests hit the dance floor (or painstakingly try to avoid it) we recommend hiring a professional instructor to teach you and your coworkers how to groove! Kick-off the evening with a short lesson to get everyone moving and encourage attendees to leave their inhibitions behind. We guarantee you won’t have trouble filling the dance floor after getting everyone’s energy up with a quick how-to. Stick to nothing too serious or challenging, and everyone will be showing off their best moves in no time! Consider hiring professional dancers to follow up the instruction with a performance that aligns with the corporate culture of your office. For example, hip-hop dancers and breakdancers work best for a younger, casual group while ballroom and salsa dancers work better for a more seasoned, conservative office group.

Holiday Party Activity #2: Celebrate holidays around the world. 

If you’re planning a holiday party activity for a diverse group of employees, this is a great opportunity to get everyone involved and give them the opportunity to showcase their culture and traditions. Ask your guests to bring food and holiday traditions that mean something to them for a culturally inspired experience. This creates a great forum to break the ice by getting colleagues chatting and asking questions about each other’s backgrounds.

Holiday Party Activity #3: Make giving back a holiday party activity.

When selecting a holiday party activity, remember that this is the time of year to give back to those who need it most. Integrate a charitable element into your event by asking employees to bring in a donation to a local food shelter, a few dollars to support a cause, or a garment for a clothing drive. Consider hosting an auction for a fun activity or a day off work to make the process entertaining and engaging, with the proceeds going to charity. DigitisLBi, a global marketing and technology agency, assembles a “Giving Tree” every holiday season. The tree contains tickets with low-cost items to purchase for children in need. In exchange, the employees receive a raffle ticket and the chance to win some great small prizes.

Holiday Party Activity #4: Give the gift of time.

There is no better way to create impact in the holiday season than offering a helping hand from a large group of dedicated people. Precede your office holiday celebrations with a group volunteer activity such as going to a homeless shelter, wrapping gifts for a seniors home (that’s what the Eventsage team does every year) or compiling holiday-baskets for families in need over the holiday season. We love KPMG’s tradition of making teddy bears and sending them to various charities along with a parcel of books for the children.

Holiday Party Activity #5: Take it offsite.

Your colleagues will probably relish at the idea of taking some time out of the office to celebrate the year-end. Treat them offsite with dinner and drinks, a visit to a holiday market, a carolling trolley tour around holiday light displays or even a tobogganing field trip. If you have the whole day to spare, partner a fun morning activity and lunch with donating some time to a charitable activity in the afternoon. This will make for an enjoyable and meaningful holiday party experience for everyone involved.


Sage Advice

Perhaps the most well-known activities during the holidays are gift exchanges. While some gift exchanges are more creative with the addition of a ‘secretive’ element or the ability to ‘steal’ someone else’s gift, we strongly suggest arranging an office gift exchange. Although the holidays are a great time to exchange gifts, it is time-consuming and stressful hunting for the perfect gift within the mandated budget that fits the person you’ve been assigned to buy for. If people aren’t into your gift exchange, it can really kill the mood at your party so we say, avoid at all costs, and opt for something unique and above average! Check out our favourite activity suppliers on eventsage.com.


Tara Boddington

Tara Boddington

With a decade of experience planning corporate and promotional events for top brands as well as sponsorship activations at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 FIFA World Cup, I have a passion for transformative environments and experiences. I want to live in a world where emails are short, obsessive attention to detail is seen as an asset not an annoyance, and libraries are cool places to hang out (yes I like to read actual hard copy books). I am also the Director of Sales and Marketing at Eventsage.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - LinkedIn

Get your FREE copy of our:

The Method Every Successful Planner Uses


Eventsage Event Planning Guide
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to download your
FREE Event Planning Guide!