23 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for Work in 2021

Oct 21

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Hosting a holiday party for your employees is a great way to show them that you appreciate all of their hard work and dedication over the past calendar year. 

Holiday parties boost morale and give employees something to look forward to as the year comes to a close. 

They can also serve as a reminder to your team that you encourage a healthy work/life balance, instill a sense of community among them, and jumpstart the new year with a burst of joy and connectedness.

We’ve outlined 23 different virtual holiday party ideas for work for you to take inspiration from. The events mentioned in this article range from hands-on creative to sit-back-and-relax, and they have varying levels of necessary prep work. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Introduction

The company holiday party has a different look in a post-pandemic world. What used to be a great excuse to get dolled up for a night and cut loose with coworkers has transformed into a holiday headache for HR departments and team managers around the world.

This may seem minor in the grand scheme of all we’ve been through since March 2020, but don’t underestimate the importance of a holiday party — this event is key in keeping employees engaged through as much of the month of December as possible.  
The perception of having a “light at the end of the tunnel” by way of a holiday party can have dramatic effects. Studies show that engagement rates plummet throughout the course of the month, with over 50% of respondents reporting being “done” with putting effort toward work on or around December 16.

Peakon Post Click Off survey results

A strategically-scheduled holiday party may ward off the temptation to shift into autopilot earlier than warranted. Beyond that, virtual holiday activities are just an all-around great way to keep employees both engaged during work time and excited for upcoming family celebrations. 

Read on for some of our favorite virtual corporate holiday party ideas.

Scavenger Hunt

Looking for an easy, low-prep holiday team building activity? Try a virtual holiday scavenger hunt! The majority of scavenger hunt events require little to no materials to participate, making them ideal for teams who want to simply show up and party.

2 persons taking part in a virtual scavenger hunt in front of their laptop

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $60 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants 
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants
  • Make or purchase a prize for the winning team (optional)
  • Divide participants into teams, and notify them of their team assignment
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media
  • Send prizes to winners or arrange for pickup

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Costumes (according to event specifications)
  • Access to Zoom

This holiday scavenger hunt uses resources from around your team members’ homes. Groups are split into teams of 6-10 people that work together to complete trivia, photo, and video challenges. 

Murder Mystery

A murder mystery event is another great virtual holiday party game. They can range from show-up-and-solve to far more elaborate, some requiring participants to plan ahead for costumes and props. 

A postcard-invite to a murder mystery game with Christmas ornaments

Duration: 1-2 hours

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $999 / event

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants
  • Distribute invitations (included)
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Costumes (according to event specifications)
  • Access to Zoom

Take note: there are some murder mystery events that trend more toward a virtual Christmas game, rather than a holiday one, so be mindful of your demographics when making your selection.

Holiday Paint Night

Studies show that people who engage in creative tasks are happier, more energized, and have a deeper sense of overall purpose and well-being. That’s why a holiday paint night makes for a perfect virtual office holiday party idea! 

Picture depicting decorated Christmas tree

Duration: 90 minutes

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $29 / person (+ $40 optional supply shipping fee)

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Acrylic paint (included)
  • Canvas (included)
  • Paint brushes (included)
  • Cup of water
  • Paper towel
  • Paper plate
  • 2 feet of table space

A holiday paint night is an affordable, low-key way to get your employees together for a virtual holiday activity.

Holiday-Themed Musical Bingo

One of the more unique virtual company holiday party ideas we came across is called Musical Bingo. It’s Bingo, but without the usual number-and-letter system that typically makes the game boards so identifiable.

Picture depicts musical notes and a word "Bingo"

Duration: 90 minutes

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $29 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Virtual Bingo card (included)

This holiday-themed Musical Bingo event is a great option for large teams, and includes two game boards for each participant.

Team Trivia

This virtual holiday activity is trivia with a tinsel twist — it’s holiday-themed! There are three rounds of trivia, including a picture round, music round, and a creative questions round, and they’re all centered around the holiday season.

Person in Santa's hat taking part in a virtual team trivia

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $20 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Team trivia is typically hosted live, and can be a high-engagement, high-energy Zoom holiday party idea.

Office Olympics

This virtual holiday party idea is perfect for teams with a competitive streak. Office Olympics are a universally popular event, and doesn’t require prep work or materials from the HR side of things — best of both worlds!

Colorful cones on a game board

Duration: 90 minutes

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $32 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

The Office Olympics winter holiday party will have your team competing in events like I Spy, Family Feud, and other mini-challenges designed to connect people. 

Game Night

Game night is an online Christmas party idea that works well for teams working remotely, from home, or a hybrid of the two. Run by a live host, game night usually includes three rounds of play in a winter theme.

Two dogs in Christmas costumes

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $25 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Game night is another low-stakes, low-prep event that encourages team building and camaraderie. 

Peppermint Mocha & Chill

The average 25 to 34-year-old spends over $2000 a year on coffee. Yikes! For those who want to shift into save mode, a DIY mocha-making workshop could be a great virtual office holiday party idea.

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $60 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Kit (optional) OR coffee + ingredients from list (included)

This peppermint mocha workshop offers to ship kits with a variety of materials, ranging from coffee beans to a full French press setup. 

Holiday Preserves

A holiday preserves class will show you just how fun, easy, and rewarding canning can be. With tips addressing the entire process, from sourcing ingredients to storing your preserves long-term, the workshop will leave you ready to can to your heart’s desire. 

Two cans of apple preserves

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small

Format: Virtual

Budget: $25 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Ingredient list (included)
  • Recipe card (included)
  • Ingredients

We love this holiday preserve workshop because it places special emphasis on shelf-life safety. 

‘Tis the Season Board

Looking for a Pinterest-worthy virtual holiday party idea for large groups? Charcuterie boards are a trendy and crowd-pleasing option.

Holiday charcuterie board with cheese, nuts and jam

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $100 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • A selection of meats, cheeses, and other accoutrements (included)
  • 2 feet of table space
  • A platter for building your board

The holiday charcuterie board workshop will give participants a take-home souvenir to enjoy that night, plus the skills and confidence they need to recreate their masterpiece at any future holiday gathering. 

Candle Making

Candles provide stress relief for those who respond well to aromatherapy, and can also serve as another creative outlet for your employees. 

Two colorful candles

Duration: 2 hours

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $90 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Candle materials (included)

This candle-making class uses essential oils to create their candles, some of which have been proven to combat anxiety.

Cocktail Workshop

A cocktail-mixing workshop is another trendy event that’s easy to host online, and can be a super successful event for the right employee demographic. 

A glass with the cocktail in front of a laptop

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $150 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Cocktail-making kit (included)
  • Plenty of ice
  • Spoon or chopstick
  • Cocktail shaker (Tupperware will do just fine!)
  • Jigger, shot glass, or small measuring cup
  • Glassware

The classic cocktail workshop will give your participants 3 delicious cocktail recipes, as well as the basics behind successful bartending.

Coffee Tasting

Help your employees prepare for a productive year by putting a little pep in their step with a coffee-tasting workshop!

A person hosting a virtual coffee tasting workshop

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $40 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Four pre-measured coffees for tasting (included)
  • Tasting cups (included)
  • Tasting forms (included)
  • Coffee-brewing device

This coffee tasting workshop is hosted by World Coffee Brewer’s Champion James McCarthy. 

Vision Board

The holiday season is one of the most popular times for people to set goals and dream big for the year ahead. Take advantage of your employees’ reflectiveness and plan a vision board party. 

A person sticking images to a vision board

Duration: 70 minutes

Group size: Small

Format: Virtual

Budget: $40 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Vision board cheat sheet (included)
  • Laser-engraved wood board for hanging (included)
  • Wire clips (included)
  • Customizable vision cards (included)

The “Year of You” vision board workshop helps employees kick off the new year with optimism and action. 

Custom Wrapping Paper

Take gift-giving to the next level with custom wrapping paper! This kind of event has participants use an interactive design canvas that can apply messages, photos, and more to custom sheets of wrapping paper.

Custom wrapping paper

Duration: 30 minutes

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $120 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Participants who attend a custom wrapping paper design event can expect to go home with two 2’ x 2’ squares of wrapping paper. 

Here’s a great option for teams who have allergy concerns: cookie-cutter creations! In this unique workshop, party-goers will create two custom cookie-cutters that they can use with their favorite recipes at home.

A person cutting Christmas cookies

Duration: 30 minutes

Group size: Small, medium

Format: Virtual

Budget: $50 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Participants create the design, and then the 3D-printed cookie cutters are fabricated and shipped to their individual owners.

Magic Show

Magic shows are always a popular group event. A great magician can put on quite a show, even virtually, and the best ones can convince even the toughest skeptics.

A person showing focus with burning cards

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $4,500 / event

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Pen and paper
  • Deck of cards
  • A book with a lot of words

Book this virtual magic show with Kostya Kimlat for an interactive mind-reading and sleight-of-hand magic show that’s sure to impress everyone. 

Comedy Show

Most comedians have by now perfected their virtual stand-up routines, making this a perfect opportunity to see one of their acts for a very reasonable price. With its low-cost, low-prep low-stakes format, virtual stand-up comedy show is a wonderful choice for a holiday company party.

A laptop featuring Sit Back & Laugh text

Duration: 30 minutes

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $25 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Try this stand-up comedy show featuring comics that have been featured on Conan, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Dave Myers, The Tonight Show, and many more. 

Chocolate Tasting

Is there any gift more universally accepted than chocolate? Celebrate the season by treating your employees to something sweet with a chocolate tasting workshop.

Chocolate bars and a cup with melted chocolate

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $150 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Chocolate tasting kit (included)
  • Scissors
  • Napkins
  • Pen and paper
  • Mug of warm water

Try this chocolate tasting workshop, which takes party-goers on a guided tour through the rich history of chocolate and offers them tips and tricks on how to differentiate aspects of fine chocolates. 

Healthy Habits Cooking Class

Healthy employees are productive employees. Treat your team to an evening of wellness and culinary excitement!

A bowl of fruits

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small

Format: Virtual

Budget: $50 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • Ingredient list (included)

Book this healthy habits cooking class led by an award-winning holistic nutritionist to learn tips on how to turn everyday ingredients into nutritious, filling meals. 

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is another well-loved event for certain crowds and can generate some quality bonding moments between coworkers. 

A person pouring wine into 5 glasses

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Any size

Format: Virtual

Budget: $125 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom
  • 1 bottle of red wine (included)
  • 1 bottle of white wine (included)
  • Bottle opener

This wine tasting includes two bottles of wine and a guided workshop on how to evaluate and appreciate different types of wines. 

Winning Opinions

Winning Opinions is one of the best Zoom Christmas games that we’ve come across. It breaks groups into teams, who collaborate to come up with the most convincing answers to a variety of opinion-based questions. It’s one of those games that you have to play to truly understand, but trust us — you’ll love it.

Two persons smiling at each other

Duration: 90 minutes

Group size: Small

Format: Virtual

Budget: $40 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Book a Winning Opinions team event here. The hosts only ask that participants fill out a mandatory questionnaire about a week ahead of time; otherwise, this is a hands-off event for those on the HR team.

Guess My Sketch

Last but certainly not least, another one of our favorite virtual holiday party games: Zoom Pictionary. The Pictionary-format game is a classic that’s suitable for groups of all shapes and sizes, and is sure to win over the hearts of even the Scrooges of your bunch.

A person with the sketch featuring lamp bulb

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Small

Format: Virtual

Budget: $30 / person

Event Planning Checklist

  • Gather a list of participants.
  • Create a Zoom meeting link and send it to participants.
  • Distribute invitations (included).
  • Email participants access to video/audio recording of Ghost Scrooge’s speeches.
  • Have fun!
  • Take pictures.
  • Send pictures to colleagues and/or share on social media.
  • Send a prize (included) to the first person who correctly names the murderer, motive, and method.

Supplies Needed Per Person

  • Access to Zoom

Book the popular version of this game, Guess My Sketch, on Thriver. Guess My Sketch uses their own doodling platform and was described by one reviewer as a “great mix of goofy and competitive.”

Conclusion

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start nailing down your plans for the company holiday party. Your employees have worked hard through upwards of two years of irregularities, and they’ll enjoy looking forward to a night of fun with the team. 

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