Here is our list of the best end of year celebration ideas for work.
End of year celebration ideas for work are festive events and activities to bring teams together before the new year. Examples include award ceremonies, company retreats, and potluck parties. These activities aim to recognize employees for their hard work and get teammates excited for the future.
This list includes:
- office end of year party ideas
- end of year party ideas for adults
- end of year activities for work
- end of year games for work
- end of work event ideas for work
- end of the year party themes
Let’s get to it!
List of end of year celebration ideas for work
The end of the year is a great time to get together as a team and celebrate accomplishments, achievements, and milestones. Here are a few of our favorite year-end celebration ideas for the office.
1. Virtual Holiday Party (Fully Hosted)
Virtual Holiday Party is a 90-minute online social. During this event, teammates gather online to compete and socialize. A high energy host keeps engagement high and gets everyone involved. Because the activity is not specific to any one holiday, this event works well as an end of year party. If December is busy at your company, then you can even book this event in January.
Best of all, groups can enjoy this experience year after year. Because our creative team re-invents the games, activities, and theme fresh for each holiday season, each party is its own unique experience.
Learn more about Virtual Holiday Party.
2. tiny campfire (Highly Rated)
During tiny campfire, you can experience the wonders of the great outdoors and indulge in delicious s’mores! This cozy and immersive experience brings the campfire thrill indoors for your team.
Key features of tiny campfire include:
- a 90-minute session led by a highly engaging host
- camp-style icebreaker games that start fun conversations
- specialty chocolates, marshmallows, graham crackers, and a tea-light candle
As an exciting bonus, you have the option to include an additional s’mores kit or even a cocktail kit to elevate your package. If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind end of year celebration, then tiny campfire is the perfect choice!
Learn more about tiny campfire.
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3. Desk wrapping contest
A desk wrapping contest is one of the most creative end of year activities. This competition is an excellent chance for employees to unleash their creativity while adding a festive decor element to the office.
You can follow these instructions to host a successful desk wrapping contest:
- Provide a variety of wrapping paper
- Set a timer for 30 minutes
- Ask participants to wrap their desks
- Encourage extra decorations, like bows and lights
- Choose a winner based on creativity
You should encourage participants to use the wrapping paper creatively. For example, players can wrap their desks, chairs, and computers using wrapping paper and finish up with a bow on top. Extra elements like holiday lights and posters can also help promote creativity.
Here are more office holiday decorating contest ideas.
4. End of year Bingo
One of the most engaging end of year games for work is Bingo. The goal of end of year Bingo is to walk around the room to find at least five different employees who have completed the actions on the Bingo board in the past year.
Here is an example of what your Bingo board may look like:
The first employee to reach Bingo wins the game. End of year Bingo is a fun way to get a grasp of the different activities and milestones your teammates completed this year. Bingo is also a fun way to get to know other team members.
For more game options, check out icebreaker Bingo.
5. Award ceremony
The end of the year is the perfect time to recognize your team’s highest achievers. We recommend hosting an award ceremony as one of the best end of work event ideas for work.
As part of this event, you should come up with a few award categories. Then, choose one employee as the winner for each category.
Here are a few awards to distribute at your ceremony:
- Employee of the year
- Most improved
- Best customer service
- Most cheerful
- Volunteer of the year
- Longest work anniversary
- Most valuable player (MVP)
You can make your award ceremony feel unique and official by sending invitations, decorating the office, and providing trophies or certificates for winners.
Here are more employee recognition ideas.
6. Potluck party
One of the most classic ways to celebrate the end of the year at work is by hosting a potluck party. For a successful potluck celebration, all team members must bring one meal, dessert, or drink. As a result, you will have a table filled with different food and desserts to enjoy at your office party.
Potlucks are a wonderful way for team members to show off their cooking and baking skills while enjoying delicious meals from their peers. During a potluck party, teammates can unwind and chat with each other while bonding over tasty food.
7. Masquerade ball
A masquerade ball is one of the fanciest office end of year party ideas. To host a successful masquerade ball, begin by sending out themed invitations. Be sure to encourage employees to wear their best suits and cocktail dresses for this black-tie affair. You can remind attendees to pair their outfits with a unique hand-held mask and other accessories like feathers and sequins.
You can include activities such as a costume contest, dance battle, and mask decorating station during your masquerade ball.
8. Company retreat
Company retreats are a great end of year activity that provides a chance to refresh your team’s mindsets for the upcoming year. Company retreats typically occur at an offsite location, such as a nature reserve. We recommend creating an agenda to keep your company retreat organized and on track.
Here are a few activities to include:
- Campfire chats
- Team building games
Company retreats provide an ideal opportunity to step back from typical work. Instead, employees have more downtime to de-stress and get to know coworkers. In addition, retreats give teams plenty of time to relax and recharge.
Here is a guide to group retreat activities.
9. Volunteer day
Instead of hosting an extravagant holiday party, you may find more impact in organizing a group volunteer activity. Hosting a volunteer day is one of our top end of year activities for work.
To organize your team’s volunteer day, choose a day when your team can forget work and dedicate time to give back.
Then, pick an activity in which all team members can participate, such as:
- Beach clean-up
- Bake sale
- Canned-food drive
- Care-package assembly
- Car wash fundraiser
- Neighborhood litter pick-up
Volunteering is all about contributing your time to help members of the local community. Implementing a volunteer day at work is a great way to get your team involved in supporting a greater cause.
10. Office game show
Office game shows are the funniest and most engaging end of year games for work. These games can help boost morale and team spirit in the office. To host an office game show, choose one team member to serve as the host. Then, you should split the rest of your team into smaller groups that can compete together.
Here are a few options to consider for your office game show:
- Family Feud
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Price is Right
- Minute To Win It
Office game shows are a great way to create new memories as the year ends. These games will also help you promote friendly competition among teammates. To keep the activity on-theme, you could even theme gameshow questions around company events and achievements from the past year.
Here is a list of virtual game show ideas for work.
11. Talent show
Employee talent shows provide the perfect opportunity to discover hidden talents among your team. To organize your talent show, choose a setting with a stage or podium, such as your office’s auditorium or cafeteria. Then, invite your team members to take the stage and show off their most impressive talents. You may be surprised to see gifted singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, and artists among your teammates.
To make your talent show a success, we suggest making this activity completely voluntary. It would be best not to force anyone to perform on stage since this can create a tense environment. Instead, we recommend opening the floor to all employees willing to showcase their unique talents.
Here is a guide to employee talent shows.
12. Office Olympics
If you want to promote friendly competition among teammates, then office Olympics is one of the best end of year activities for work. Office Olympics consists of a variety of activities and sports. Each activity provides an opportunity to win against a fellow teammate.
For your office Olympic games, you should ask each team member to choose which country they want to represent. Once each team member has chosen their country, you should come up with a few different sporting events, such as:
- Trash can basketball
- Balance book
- Water pong
- Office triathlon
- Broom golf
- Paper plane toss
After completing all the activities, you can tally up the scores and begin awarding your top players gold, silver, and bronze medals. Office Olympics is fantastic for bringing out your team’s competitive side.
Check out this guide to office Olympics.
13. Cookie-decorating class
Desserts are a staple of the holiday season. We recommend hosting a cookie-decorating class as a team building end of year celebration.
To host this class, prepare a few dozen plain sugar cookies beforehand. Then, gather supplies such as cookie cutters, different colored icings, and decorative toppings. Finally, to add an element of friendly competition to this celebration idea, you can ask team members to vote for their favorite cookies at the end of the class.
Hosting a cookie-decorating class in the office can help team members unleash their inner creativity. Your entire team can enjoy the cookies together once the lesson ends.
14. Food truck fair
If your office has a parking lot, we recommend clearing out the lot for a food truck fair. Hosting a food truck fair will allow your team to try new foods while bonding and socializing with teammates.
To host a food truck fair, you should look for local food truck caterers. We recommend including several cuisines, such as tacos, barbeque, burgers, Chinese, or Italian food. With many options to choose from, attendees are sure to find a meal they enjoy. The best time to host a food truck fair is during your lunch hour. During this time, all team members can go to the parking lot and enjoy a nice meal together.
15. Karaoke night
Karaoke is a great way to let loose and have fun with your team. We recommend hosting a team karaoke night as part of your end of year celebration. To host a karaoke night at work, you can either invest in a karaoke machine or search for karaoke versions of your favorite songs on Youtube. Regardless of your chosen method, we recommend buying at least two microphones to use throughout the night.
Karaoke is one of the most enjoyable work party activities. This activity allows team members to showcase their singing skills and make their voices heard. Karaoke is also a great way for employees to let loose around each other and have fun.
16. Happy hour
A team happy hour is one of the best end of year party ideas for adults. For this party idea, choose a local bar or restaurant with an excellent happy hour deal. For example, some bars place appetizers and drinks at half-price during happy hour. Most bars and restaurants run happy hour deals between 4 to 7 pm on weekdays. Or, you can hire a bartender and bring the event into the office.
During your team’s happy hour, we suggest participating in a holiday activity, like new year’s predictions. For this activity, have each team member make a prediction for the upcoming year. Forecasts can be personal or professional, such as:
- Five new members will join the team
- Anique will retire
- Rakesh will adopt a dog
- The company will exceed this year’s revenue
- Three team members will get promotions
Attending happy hour at a local bar is the perfect opportunity for socialization outside the office. This event gives your team a chance to have fun, get to know each other, and create memories while celebrating together in a new setting.
17. Wine tasting
Wine tasting is a sophisticated activity that your team will surely enjoy as an end of year celebration. During a wine-tasting event, participants can expect to taste several wines while debating opinions about each drink with teammates.
Depending on your location, you may find a local vineyard where you can take your team to explore and drink different wines. You can also find a virtual service to ship an assortment of wines to your office location, allowing you to host the wine tasting at work.
Check out this list of online wine tasting experiences.
18. Cocktail-making class
If you are looking for fun and interactive end of year party ideas for adults, then we recommend hosting a cocktail-making class. For this activity, you can invite a skilled bartender to your office to walk your team through making your favorite cocktails.
For this class, we suggest stocking up on bartending essentials, such as glasses, measuring cups, mixers, and liquor. You can also poll your team beforehand to ask what drinks each member would be interested in learning during the class. Hosting a cocktail-making class is a great way to get all members involved in an engaging group activity.
Here is a list of list of cocktail kits for happy hours.
19. Anonymous gift exchange
Hosting an anonymous gift exchange at the end of the year is a great way to promote peer-to-peer recognition.
You can follow the below steps for your anonymous gift exchange:
- Drop employee names into a hat
- Have each team member choose a name randomly
- Set a monetary limit for gift costs
- Give employees one week to get a gift for their match
- Keep all names anonymous
- After one week, re-group to exchange gifts
- Recipients will guess who bought their gift
The anonymous gift exchange activity allows employees to buy thoughtful gifts for teammates. In addition, the activity promotes friendly competition as players must guess who their gift came from. This lighthearted activity is the perfect way to end the year on a high note.
20. Bonus day off
If you want to show employees that you genuinely care about them, then we recommend granting a bonus day off towards the end of the year. Employees can choose what to do with their time with a day off. For example, team members may use the extra time to work on a hobby, spend time with family, or relax.
Incentives like an additional day off are a great way to boost employee engagement and productivity.
The end of the year is the perfect time to get together and celebrate success as a team. In addition, end of year celebrations provide an excellent opportunity to recognize team members for their hard work, which is known to impact employees positively.
End of year celebration ideas can help you get a headstart on organizing events and special days to celebrate your team’s biggest and smallest wins of the year. These ideas can include potluck parties, happy hours, and award ceremonies. In addition, work celebrations and recognition events can help improve productivity, increase motivation, and instill newfound confidence in employees.