19 Fun Alternatives to Office Holiday Parties

By: | Updated: April 17, 2024

You found our list of alternatives to office holiday parties.

Alternatives to office holiday parties are unique activities that replace traditional gatherings. For example, these activities could be a holiday cooking workshop or a charity event. The purpose of these exercises is to celebrate the holiday season in a unique way. These alternatives are also known as “alternative office celebrations” and “exciting office holiday get-togethers.”

These alternatives to office holiday parties are similar to virtual holiday parties, Christmas spirit week ideas, and holiday team building activities.

This list includes:

  • alternative office celebrations
  • creative holiday parties
  • engaging team holiday celebrations
  • enjoyable office holiday substitutes
  • entertaining corporate holiday alternatives
  • exciting office holiday get-togethers

Let’s get to it!

List of alternatives to office holiday parties

From Holiday Charity Events to Holiday Scavenger Hunt, here is our list of the top alternative ways to celebrate the holidays.

1. Ultimate Holiday Game Show

Ultimate Holiday Game Show is one of the top ways to celebrate the holiday season! This exercise puts a thrilling holiday spin on nostalgic game shows.

Here is what you can expect:

  • 90 minutes with a world-class host
  • holiday-themed polls, questions, and price hikes
  • head-to-head activities based on classic game shows
  • inclusive winter holiday exercises

Best of all, we can host this experience at any venue of your choice! Employees can bond over shared moments of fun. This experience promotes communication and teamwork in a lighthearted setting.

Learn more about Ultimate Holiday Game Show.

2. Holiday Charity Events

Organizing a holiday charity event is a meaningful alternative to traditional office parties. Colleagues can volunteer at a local shelter, organize a toy or food drive, or host a charity auction. This activity will foster team camaraderie. More importantly, charity events give back to the community during a festive and important time of the year.

Here are charity team building ideas.

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3. Holiday Cooking Workshops

Workshops for holiday cooking are great alternative office celebrations that encourage team bonding and learning. You can hire a professional chef to come to your office and do a demonstration. For this event, choose a holiday recipe you would like to learn. For example, peppermint bark, stuffed mushrooms, and baked brie. Folks can watch the demonstration and then follow the recipe. In the end, the whole team can enjoy their tasty creations together! This workshop encourages creativity and teaches participants a new skill.

Here are online cooking classes for groups.

4. Holiday Board Game Tournament

A holiday board game tournament is a great alternative to the usual office holiday party. For this activity, gather board games with fun holiday themes. Players can go head-to-head in a fun board game bracket. By taking part in friendly games, employees can unwind while using strategic thinking skills. Additionally, board games add a nostalgic element that many enjoy during the holidays. Colleagues can connect in a relaxed and fun environment, promoting teamwork and camaraderie.

This list features the best team building board games.

5. Ice Skating

Ice skating is among the most active and enjoyable office holiday substitutes. Bringing your team to a local rink can encourage camaraderie and teamwork as members help each other balance on the ice. Advanced skaters can have races or play games like hockey. Be sure to warm up with hot chocolate after skating! This exercise is a beautiful way to celebrate the season while also promoting physical wellness and fun competition.

6. Wine Tasting

Tasting wine is a pleasant and refined option instead of the usual office holiday gatherings. This exercise gives coworkers an opportunity to connect in a laid-back atmosphere. Plus, attendees can increase their understanding of various wines. Folks can discover different flavors and gain insight into how vineyards make wine. Moreover, wine tasting promotes socializing and contributes to building stronger relationships. Wine tasting is a distinct way to mark the holiday season with coworkers in an elegant and interactive way.

7. Holiday Fitness Challenge

The holiday fitness challenge turns the traditional office holiday party on its head. Rather than eating too many holiday treats, challenge your team to a healthy fitness competition. Exercises can include a step count competition, a virtual 5K run, or a festive dance-off. You can end the sessions with yoga or a meditation session to relax. This exercise inspires camaraderie and promotes a healthier lifestyle. A fitness challenge is a novel way to celebrate the holiday season!

Here are more office challenge ideas.

8. Holiday Chocolate-Making Workshop

A holiday chocolate-making workshop is among the most exciting office holiday get-togethers. Participants can learn how to make delicious chocolates while connecting with coworkers. You can ask a chocolatier to come to the office and teach a course. Alternatively, you can follow a video online. During this workshop, employees will learn how to make tasty treats like truffles.

This interactive activity lets you express your creativity and design custom treats. This workshop offers a refreshing break from routine office events.

Here are some chocolate-tasting courses to try.

9. Holiday Office Olympics

Holiday office Olympics is an innovative team building twist on traditional office parties. Teams can compete in a variety of holiday-themed activities. Examples include snowman-building contests, wrapping paper relay races, or ornament decorating challenges. You can set up different stations around the office or designated area for each competition. Teams can compete to finish each exercise, and groups that finish first win! Afterward, gather the team together for some festive treats and refreshments to celebrate. This lighthearted competition fosters camaraderie and motivates employees.

Here is how to run Office Olympics.

10. Holiday Photography Outing

A photography outing is a fun addition to creative holiday parties. Team members can bring their cameras and spend the day capturing winter landscapes or holiday sights. You could even turn the outing into a competition, with categories like best holiday shot. This exercise breaks up the monotony of the typical office party and fosters team building through a shared experience. Plus, a photography outing is a great way to create personalized holiday cards for clients!

Check out these photo scavenger hunt ideas.

11. Holiday Potluck Lunch

A holiday potluck lunch is a great option instead of a typical office holiday party. This exercise enables team members to bring their favorite dishes to work. For this activity, start by sending around a sign-up sheet. Colleagues can bring their favorite seasonal meals into the office and share them with colleagues. Optionally, members can also bring recipe cards to share. Folks can all grab plates and enjoy the team meal!

This activity promotes teamwork and collaboration in a laid-back atmosphere. A holiday potluck lunch can bring happiness and coziness to the workplace during the festive season.

12. Holiday Yoga Session

A holiday yoga class can refresh and relax colleagues during the festive season. Instead of the usual party, participants can relax with gentle stretches and calming breathing. For a fun holiday twist, you can put on seasonal music or movies during the exercise.

This option allows team members to bond in a peaceful setting while promoting well-being. Practicing yoga together can strengthen unity and create shared experiences. Holiday yoga classes offer a chance to unwind during a hectic time.

13. Holiday Music Fest

A holiday music fest is a great way to mark the festive season. This alternative to traditional office celebrations allows members to showcase their musical talent. This fest can involve live concerts or digital performances, adding a splash of fun. Participants can perform their favorite holiday songs for their colleagues. This entertaining exercise is a wonderful way to showcase musical talents.

14. Holiday Art Class

A holiday art class is among the most engaging team holiday celebrations. Teams can try any new art medium, like painting, sculpting, or pottery. Participants can make holiday-themed artwork or any other pieces they would like. After the class, you can hang the artwork up around the office. Another option is participants can take their creations home to give to loved ones. Employees will have a blast during this event.

15. Holiday Improv Workshop

You can get your team’s creative juices flowing with a holiday improv workshop. During this activity, find some fun improv games to play together. For instance, questions only, expert panel, and new choice. Then, write holiday-themed prompts for each game. Participants can take turns trying improv games together. Optionally, you can give prizes for the best performances. This idea can bring laughter and enjoyment during the holiday season.

Here is a list of improv activities for adults.

16. Coffee Tasting

Instead of your typical office holiday party, try a special coffee-tasting experience! Using a local roaster or an online service, your team can try unique coffee flavors together. Teams can learn how different companies roast beans to extract different flavor notes. Folks can learn which brews are their favorite and even try different latte recipes. This exercise is an ideal party alternative.

Here are some online coffee tasting classes for your office.

17. Holiday Murder Mystery

When you are looking for entertaining corporate holiday alternatives, consider a holiday murder mystery. In this interactive game, participants take on roles as suspects and detectives. To host this game, you can work with a professional firm, plan your own mystery, or get a box set. Players can dress up to become their characters. A murder will occur, and folks have to work together to find the culprit. Be sure to add a seasonal twist for holiday fun!

This exercise is an effective way to encourage teamwork and analytical thinking. Through this experience, staff can relax, socialize, and bond.

Check out these great murder mystery party kits.

18. Holiday Poetry Slam

A holiday poetry slam event is a great way to bring spirit to your office. Employees can write slam poems around holiday themes. Through this writing, participants can share stories about their favorite holiday memories. Judges can give prizes in different categories, such as most festive, most inspirational, and best performance. This activity sparks creativity and allows workers to express themselves. Plus, friendly competition and poetic talent add a memorable twist to the festive season.

19. Holiday Scavenger Hunt

A holiday scavenger hunt is a lively alternative to traditional holiday parties. During this event, teams collaborate, solve clues, and explore the office or local area. To run this exercise, write a list of items or tasks for teams to find and complete.

Here are some examples of scavenger hunt list items:

  • Take a selfie with a person wearing a Santa hat.
  • Sing a verse of a holiday carol to a stranger.
  • Build a snowman.
  • Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.
  • Write a holiday-themed haiku.
  • Find a candy cane.
  • Find a sprig of mistletoe.
  • Find a holiday-themed cookie cutter.
  • Find a pine cone.
  • Find a red or green ornament.

Players can divide into groups and race to finish their lists. Whoever completes the tasks first wins! This friendly competition can enhance teamwork skills and create bonds. Adding a holiday scavenger hunt to your office celebration can add excitement to any event.

Here are some more holiday scavenger hunt templates.

Final Thoughts

These fun party alternatives provide a break from routine and help build relationships. Such exercises encourage creativity and collaboration in a relaxed environment. These games can also increase productivity when back in the office setting. Moreover, employees can learn new skills and explore different interests. Employees will cherish these memorable experiences long after the holidays are over.

Next, check out our posts on virtual holiday team building activities, office Christmas party ideas, and holiday party themes.

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FAQ: Fun alternatives to office holiday parties

Here are frequently asked questions about fun alternatives to office holiday parties.

Why should you host an alternative to holiday parties?

Hosting an alternative to traditional holiday parties can bring freshness and excitement to the office. Employees can interact in a nonwork environment, which can strengthen their relationships.

How can these alternatives improve team bonding?

These alternatives involve activities that require teamwork and cooperation, which can improve team bonding. Employees work together toward common goals in a fun and relaxed setting.

Are virtual alternatives a good idea for remote teams?

Virtual alternatives allow all members of the team to participate and enjoy games together.

What should you consider when planning these alternative events?

When planning these alternative events, consider factors such as budget, employee interests, and available resources.

Can these alternatives work for smaller teams or budgets?

These alternatives can work for smaller teams or budgets. Many of the listed activities are flexible, so you can adjust them for your needs.

Author avatar


CEO at teambuilding.com.
I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.


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