Planning your company holiday party can be a large and daunting task. You and your coworkers work hard throughout the year, and this is your chance to celebrate that hard work together as a team. Everyone wants this celebration to be a memorable one, but how can you make it stand out from previous holiday parties? We want to help! We’ve compiled our top fifteen unique ideas on how to make everyone remember this year’s holiday party for years to come!
Be Boulder Photography
1. Murder Mystery Dinner
This is such a fun way to make your holiday party different from previous years. You can bring everyone together to solve a mystery, while also helping your team to step out of their comfort zone and get into character. There are companies that will come to you to host a murder mystery event, so all you have to do is show up and participate in the fun as well! To have the entertainment brought to your company party, check out The Dinner Detective, The Murder Mystery Company, Jest Murder Mystery Company, and THEY improv.
We suggest you put on your best poker face, and have everyone yelling “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!” with a casino at your holiday party. Everyone will love coming together to play fun casino games while they are sipping cocktails and channeling their favorite Sin City activities. Roulette, Blackjack, Slot Machines, and Poker Tables are all available to rent to make your party a blast. If you want to be the winner of your team by bringing in casino equipment at your event, look into Colorado Casino Nights.
3. Paint and Sip
What better way to bring everyone together than to sip some cocktails and collectively take an art class, then compare each other’s masterpieces afterward? Take your team into a Paint & Sip location, or bring the painting lessons to you! Many of the companies that offer this can bring all the supplies to where your holiday party is taking place, and give your team a personalized lesson. There are a lot of great options, but we recommend Posh Splat or Pinot’s Palette!
4. Local Wine and Beer Tasting
Let’s face it, a lot of us come to the holiday party for the drinks… am I right? Quench your team’s thirst during your celebration by having local wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries give out samples to your coworkers to see what they like best. We even suggest hopping on Longmont/Gunbarrel’s Brewhop Trolley. They can take you around to all of the locations themselves so they can really immerse themselves in the tasting experience!
5. Thoughtful Themes
Keep it classic with a Winter Wonderland theme or decorating the space like the North Pole, or you could switch things up with a funky new and unique theme. How about a masquerade ball, The Grinch and Whoville, a black tie event, or even a Christmas pajama party? This is really your chance to use your creativity to bring a theme that everyone will enjoy to the holidays, so think outside the box!
6. Live Band
What better way to encourage your coworkers to move and have fun than some live music? You can really set the mood that best fits your team by picking the right band.
- Did a lot of your team grow up in the 1980’s and like to dance the night away? Try an 80’s cover band like The Goonies. While you’re at it, why not have the whole party 80’s themed?!
- Are you wanting everyone to mingle and talk throughout your party? Try some great mellow music like Card Catalog.
- Do you have more of a laid back team that likes to groove? Try the local reggae band Policulture.
- Not sure of a specific style of music? That’s okay, try a super fun cover band like Hazel Miller Band or The Fever.
Whatever your style, Colorado has a multitude of bands and live musicians that can help elevate your holiday party and set the mood you’re looking for.
Michele Hart Photography – The Fever performing
7. Dance Lessons
If a lot of the people you work with are a little more introverted, you may need to find creative ways to bring them out of their shell. We’ve seen dance lessons incorporated into holiday parties before, and it really helps everyone to bond and have fun at the same time. There are tons of companies in the area that will come in to show you how to shake what your mama gave you. You can learn to line dance, swing dance, hip-hop, or even salsa dancing!
8. Cooking Competition
You can really bring the heat by stirring up a cooking competition for fun. Break out into teams, prepare a holiday dish, and have the CEO’s pick their favorite. You can make some Christmas candy, see who can whip up the yummiest winter cocktail, or even compete to see who can decorate the prettiest gingerbread house. We all love a little healthy competition, especially if it results in a tasty treat for everyone!
Mallory Munson Photography
9. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great idea if you’re planning to celebrate during the day, and you want to spread out a bit and have everyone work together. Try doing this in downtown Boulder, there is such a variety of stores and activities within walking distance. Take a picture with Santa, a team photo with presents, or a video of the team caroling on the Pearl Street Mall. Make it a little more festive by giving everyone holiday inspired team names and costumes – Santa’s Elves, The Daring Dreidels, Frosty Snowmen, Parade of Presents… we could go on and on!
10. Not Your Average Photo Booth
We all know and love photo booths, but chances are that it’s been done for your company parties before. Throw a spin on the fun activity with a super unique photo booth.
- Shutterbus – an adorable VW bus photo booth, includes great props and vintage vibes.
- Slow Motion Video Booth – it’s a video photo booth from All Digital Photo & Video that captures your team in slo-mo.
- Colorado Flipbooth – you can make flip books of the photos you’ve taken.
- Mirror Me Photo Booth – this fun idea from Hipster Mama Productions is a magic mirror set up that you pose in front of, then you can draw images and text on the mirror onto your photos!
11. Christmas Lights
Everyone loves the beautiful lights during the holiday season, and you can take advantage of this for your celebration! You can book transportation to take you on a holiday lights tour of your town, or take advantage of one already happening. Downtown Boulder hosts the Lights of December Parade every year, and it’s one of our favorite days to host a holiday party because they go right in front of our gallery! Guests look out the windows, stand on the sidewalk, or watch from above on our balcony to catch all of the beautiful lit up floats going by.
If you have some song birds in your group, or people who aren’t afraid to make a fool of themselves, karaoke can be a great activity. This one is easy because you can set up your own karaoke station to save money, and let your guests entertain themselves throughout the night! We just suggest having other music to play in between songs, sometimes people need a time to get loosened up with eggnog before they break out the Friends in Low Places.
13. Unique Food Displays
There are lots of ideas on ways to spice up the food service at your winter party. Try unique passed appetizers, roaming raw bars, food or ice cream trucks, or funky food stations spread throughout to encourage movement with your guests. You can also have a super sweet hot chocolate bar, donut wall, or s’mores station. The options are endless, just ask your caterer what ideas they have on ways to blow your guests away with the catering!
14. Raffle for Christmas Presents
Maybe you want to give awesome gifts to your employees, but can’t afford to give everyone a new Apple Watch or Alexa Echo. Have a Christmas present raffle! Each person receives a raffle ticket when they arrive, and you draw numbers out of a hat to give out 10 super cool gifts. You can still treat each person by giving them something smaller as a take-home gift, but this allows you to get everyone excited to win something extra!
15. Late Night Snacks or Early Morning Munchies
Soak up some of that alcohol before sending everyone home by offering a food station toward the end of the night. Taco truck, nacho cheese fountain, or even pizza delivery an hour before the party wraps up can really top off the perfect evening.
Are you throwing your bash on a work night? Help your team recover from the night of partying with a take-home breakfast box for each of the employees. Be sure to include instructions or a note to put in the refrigerator so it’s easy to remember.
Does everyone like to party a little hard? Throw in a tiny bottle of champagne and a juice box of OJ to give a little hair-of-the-dog mimosa for the morning after.
Bonus Tip: Providing Safe Rides Home Afterward
Your focus may be on throwing the most epic party, but don’t forget to ensure your team makes it home safe and sound as well. You can reserve a limo or transportation service that does varied pick-ups, or have some Uber drivers on-hand. This is a really nice touch that ensures nobody tries to drive home after one too many jolly ol’ Jell-O shots.
Don’t forget, the most important part to planning your holiday party is that you all get together to celebrate each other, all your hard work, and the amazing company you work for. Make sure you think about who is on your team, and what their interests are. Most of all, have fun!