24 virtual holiday party ideas for a festive event

Thomas Paris
July 15, 2021
24 virtual holiday party ideas for a festive event | Hoppier

With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start planning an amazing get-together to thank your team for their hard work and to look ahead to the New Year. If your team is distributed and you want an easy way to celebrate together, a virtual holiday party is ideal.

In this guide, we’ll take you through our favorite virtual holiday party ideas. Plus, we’ll share a way to make catering your virtual parties and sending out holiday gifts a breeze.

Let’s kick things off with some of our favorite holiday party ideas. Add these elements to your winter bash to make it extra special.

1. Themed virtual holiday party

An easy and fun way to transform your virtual holiday party is to add a theme. This is a great idea if you want to keep the party itself simple — or if you want to create an immersive experience for your party guests.

Keep it casual with a cheery holiday theme and plenty of reds, greens, or other festive decor, game ideas, and virtual backgrounds to match the theme. If you’re looking to get more creative, why not host an 80s-themed holiday party with neon decor, or take inspiration from a movie series like "Home Alone" or "The Grinch." If you’re throwing a virtual holiday party for a close team, you could even make the whole event themed around a shared hobby or interest — like retro video games or cats.

2. Entertaining opening act

If you’ve ever attended a virtual party, you’ll know that sitting in front of a screen waiting for others to arrive can be boring. To keep things fun and fresh while you wait, hire an entertaining opening act to kick things off.

A stand-up comic or band is a great virtual event idea, as they can run through a set while your guests arrive and get settled in. This is also a fun way to set the atmosphere for the party and avoid that usual quietness that comes with gathering in a virtual space. While this might sound expensive, hiring a local band, comedian, or entertainer can be achieved on a budget.

3. Festive winter cocktail party

A virtual holiday party guest holds a festive cocktail

We all love learning something new and discovering how to make festive cocktails and mocktails is a great holiday party idea. Make this happen by hiring a mixologist or a trained bartender to host your winter cocktail party.

Prepare a shopping list of liqueurs, drinks, and mixers that your employees can buy using Hoppier virtual cards. Your party guests can then follow the bartender's instructions and prepare their cocktails or mocktails for a spirited evening. You could follow this up with some of our other holiday party games and ideas to make the party even more engaging.

4. Virtual holiday pub quiz

Pub quizzes are a fantastic way to bring the team together before you kick-off your holiday festivities. This lively holiday party idea is ideal if you have some trivia fans in your midst, and it works well for larger groups where you can split people off into teams.

Transform a regular pub quiz into the perfect holiday party quiz by adding some festive flair. Plan your whole quiz around the holidays, or add in a few themed rounds with holiday trivia questions about holiday traditions, music, and food. Make your holiday pub quiz interactive with the help of visual elements — a slideshow shared on Zoom is a simple and affordable way to do this.

5. Festive cook-along party

There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies, and the holidays are the perfect time to get your team involved in cooking or baking. Host a festive cook-along or baking party to bring everyone together to enjoy delicious food.

Supply your party guests with a list of ingredients and a Hoppier virtual card with plenty of funds to help them shop. Be mindful of choosing a recipe that’s easy to make and doesn’t require advanced cooking skills so everyone can join in. Encourage your team to get their families involved if they wish, and make this a family-friendly work event.

6. Holiday playlist party

Music is the soul of any memorable party — and that’s especially true for a festive holiday party. Invite your team or employees to contribute to the fun by creating the highly anticipated holiday playlist together.

Let each team member choose a song for the playlist, or ask for team contributions if you’re uniting a larger team for your holiday party. Use a service like Spotify or Soundcloud to bring your ideas together and create a playlist that you can not only enjoy at your party, but afterwards too. Make this more interactive by adding a guessing game to see if people can identify who chose which song or by featuring some of these songs in a pub quiz round.  

7. Virtual holiday decorating party

Gathering everyone together to decorate for the office party is always so much fun. It’s a sweet way to create moments for people to chat about the holidays, share their excitement, and get to know each other. Recreate that experience with a virtual holiday decorating party.

Ask your employees to save a room in their house or the Christmas tree to decorate with their coworkers at the party. Have some fun party decorations shipped to your team members, or send them a Hoppier card so they can purchase their own in advance. Decorate once the party is underway, and ask everyone to snap some before and after photos of their spaces.

8. Virtual karaoke night

Two virtual holiday party guests sing karaoke

Holiday parties are often where people feel free to let loose and have a little more fun than on a typical day at the office. Create an easy way for your guests to liven up with a virtual holiday karaoke party.

This is super easy to do with the help of a virtual karaoke service. All you need to do is sign up, get your virtual party environment ready, and your guests will be all set to join you for entertaining renditions of festive classics.

9. Virtual festive game night

Sometimes it’s hard to get people talking at a virtual party. Introduce some virtual holiday party games to break the ice, bring people together, and give everyone something to focus on.

Choose fun games that most people know and enjoy — like charades, Pictionary, Scrabble, name that tune, and bingo. It’s easy to make these festive by featuring holiday-themed words, images, or ideas. If your party guests are avid gamers, you could even make this the focus of your holiday party by hosting an online gaming night or a virtual board game night instead.

10. Virtual themed casino night

A virtual casino party is a great way to recognize and reward your employees as they head out for the holidays. Virtual casinos have become more refined over the past few years, and many companies offer a hybrid casino experience with a live dealer and multiple game tables.

To make this theme more festive, ask your guests to swap their formal wear for holiday attire — like festive sweaters, red or green clothing, or even elf costumes. Provide virtual credits for the casino or assign your guests with a virtual card with a spending limit so they can enjoy a few games. If you want to raise the stakes, offer a top prize of a few hundred dollars to be donated to the winner’s charity of choice.

11. Virtual wine tasting or cheese tasting party

Bring the exotic wine or cheese tasting experience home for your employees with a fun, festive wine or cheese tasting party. If your remote employees are foodies, this is a special Christmas party idea to treat them and say thank you for a great year.

Work with a local vineyard or cheesemonger to have personalized gift boxes sent out to your party guests. Hire a wine or cheese expert to guide your employees through the tasting experience, and ask them to share their opinions and rank which of the options are their favorites. Make this a standalone experience or pair it with some holiday party games for a thoughtful way to celebrate the season.

12. Gingerbread house contest

If you know that some of your holiday party guests are super competitive, this is a fun way to bring some of that spirit to your get-together. Stage a gingerbread house contest, and challenge your guests to see who can build the most impressive — or most entertaining — gingerbread house.

To keep things simple, mail out a gingerbread house kit to your employees or direct them to where they can find one and supply the funds. Then, send a Hoppier virtual card with a balance to buy sprinkles, chocolate, and other decorations to bring their creation to life. Have them work on their gingerbread house before the party, or make it a live-action challenge to see who can create the most impressive structure in a set time.

13. Holiday movie dubbing party

Challenge your guests to take part in a festive movie-themed version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" with a film dubbing party. If your team members love wordplay and thrive on comedy, they’ll love this party game.

Find clips from your favorite holiday movies, and don’t forget to throw in some bad yet funny B movies too. Assign each team member a clip and see what happens when they try to narrate the scene in their own way. This is guaranteed to get laughs and works great as an add-on game to a happy hour party or a themed holiday party.

14. Virtual painting party

A virtual painting party is a great option for organizations looking to buck the party trend. It’s a relaxing experience that your team can enjoy together to embrace the holiday season, and it makes a refreshing change if being lively and extroverted isn’t your team's style.

Arrange for painting supplies to be sent to your party guests, or offer a Hoppier virtual card with a balance so they can buy their own. Alternatively, work with a company, like Painting to Gogh or JJArtworks, that will take care of the entire party.

15. Broadway meet and greet party

It’s not easy to get everyone to a Broadway show, but you can bring the stars of the shows to you with a Broadway meet and greet party. For theater lovers, this is the perfect holiday party treat.

Broadway Plus offers virtual experiences with actors from a number of top Broadway shows. You can book a meet and greet or a virtual concert, or even have the stars give your employees a choreography or acting lesson. Yes, that means you can get a drink with the cast of Hamilton!

16. Holiday scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a simple way to get your party guests thinking and having fun. Plan a holiday-themed scavenger hunt that your employees or coworkers can join from behind their screen.

Create a list of items that most people are likely to have at home, then send your party guests away to search for them. Throw in a few trickier items too, like a specific type of holiday decoration, to amp up the difficulty. The team member who comes back with the most items wins a prize — a Hoppier virtual card is a great option here because you can send it to your winning guest in an instant.

17. Virtual holiday dance party

Invite your remote team to bust a move and have some holiday fun with a festive-themed virtual dance party. Create an awesome playlist of the best holiday songs, and ask your guests to clear some space so they can dance along with you.

The Zapier team found real success with its virtual dance party. They chose “a popular song off Spotify, asked everyone in the company who was online to pull up Apple’s Photo Booth app and take a five-second video of themselves dancing, then upload it to Giphy and create a GIF of it. Then, they created a montage and posted it in the company-wide Slack channel.”  

18. Secret Santa gift exchange

A virtual holiday party guests holds up a wrapped gift from a Secret Santa gift exchange

The joy of gift giving is seeing that look on someone’s face when they open their gift. Make this a reality by setting up a Secret Santa gift exchange, then throwing a virtual party where guests can reveal what they received.

People often avoid hosting virtual Secret Santas because managing them can get complicated. Use a Secret Santa generator to streamline the admin side of hosting a Secret Santa or virtual white elephant gift exchange — then use Hoppier virtual cards to provide a balance for each of your gift givers to spend.

19. Ugly sweater party

There’s nothing better than finding your favorite ugly sweater in the closet and throwing it on when it’s the holiday season. Bring everyone together to laugh and enjoy each other’s best looks with an ugly sweater party.

Ask your party guests to cast their vote for which sweater they love the most, then reward the winner with a small prize. Keep the fun going with other holiday party activities — like the themed trivia quiz, festive movie watch-along, or virtual dance party.

20. Virtual holiday photo booth

There’s nothing better than looking back over photos from your favorite moments with the people you care about. Give your party guests something to take away with a virtual holiday photo booth.

Use a virtual photo booth tool to create a fun online photo experience for your guests. They can choose overlays, stickers, and backgrounds, and create images to download and share. This works even better if you’re throwing an ugly sweater party or if your party guests have joined you in their best festive or themed attire.

21. Wreath making party

For people who love crafting for the holidays, there’s nothing quite like a homemade wreath for your door. Treat your employees or coworkers to a wreath making party for a relaxing, fun way to start the holiday season with some team building.

If you want to keep things simple, bring in an outside company to send the materials and host the wreath making workshop for you. That way, you and your guests just need to turn up and enjoy the festivities.

22. Virtual holiday happy hour

When your team is distributed all over the world or you can’t get together in person, those happy hour moments are harder to come by. Luckily, you can recreate that experience with a virtual happy hour for the holidays instead.

Invite your team members to a casual virtual holiday party where the focus is on getting to know each other, talking about the good times, and having fun. Let your guests order their favorite drinks and snacks with the help of a Hoppier virtual card, so they can show up with their signature cocktail or mocktail, or favorite festive drink.

23. Holiday card contest

Swap the usual holiday cards this year for a creative twist on spreading festive cheer. If you have a virtual team that loves being creative, a holiday card contest is a fun way to bring some of that magic and talent to your holiday party.

Challenge your guests to create their best — or funniest — holiday card design using a free tool like Canva. Then, they can share their creation at the holiday party, and you can all vote on which you love best. For an added challenge, make this a real-time design contest to see who can come up with something great in just a few minutes.

24. Virtual festive talent show

Treat your party guests to a lively experience with plenty of holiday spirit by hosting a festive talent show. This is perfect if you have a confident group or a handful of guests that love to be in the spotlight.

Ask your guests to plan a festive comedy routine, dance number, or other act in advance, then give them a few minutes at the event to showcase their talents. Cheer and vote on your favorites — with the winner getting a Hoppier virtual gift card.

Throw the ultimate virtual holiday party with Hoppier

It can be hard to bring that in-person atmosphere to a virtual holiday party, but we’re here to help you create a fun, hybrid experience for your party guests to enjoy.

Food and drinks your guests will love

With Hoppier, you can take the challenge out of providing food, drinks, and gifts to your virtual holiday party guests. There are no stressful event logistics or wasted funds, and your guests get what they really want — the flexibility to choose their own event catering options from vendors they know and love.

Vendors that virtual holiday party guests can order food from using a virtual card

Instead of mailing a holiday gift box with pre-selected snacks and drinks, your guests can order coffee, cocktails, or dinner from a local cafe or restaurant. It’s a more personalized experience and means there’s an added element of interaction between your guests and the holiday party they’re attending.

Great holiday contest prizes

At an in-person event, it’s easy to give out prizes to contest winners. You can simply hand them a bottle of wine or pass them a small wrapped gift. With a virtual party, it’s less simple and less immediate — unless you use a Hoppier virtual card.

A virtual card that can be used as a gift for virtual holiday party guests

Just as guests can use their Hoppier card balance on event food and drinks, you can easily customize the experience to make it perfect for spending on prizes and treats too. Create your gifting program, set a balance per card, and email the virtual cards directly to prize winners during or just after your holiday party.

Simplified event catering and corporate gifting

Hoppier makes it easier to treat your employees and coworkers to something special — whether that’s drinks for your virtual happy hour or a thank-you gift following your end-of-year holiday party.

There’s no need to get stuck dealing with logistics, finding partners in multiple countries to cover all your guests, or trying to guess exactly what type of catering or corporate gift your team would love. Instead, you can put the focus on the joy of gifting — and they can choose a present that feels personal to them.

With virtual cards and a streamlined, optimized sending experience, there’s little for you or your corporate team to worry about. You can set a redemption period for your virtual card program, which could end on the day of your holiday party, run until the end of the year, or remain open until all the guests have spent their funds. Once this period ends, any unspent balance on the Hoppier virtual cards will be returned to you. This means your budget is only being spent on giving your guests an amazing experience, and it’s not lost if they’re mindful with what they spend.

Throw an epic virtual holiday party this year

Never before has it felt more crucial to celebrate the people around us and thank them for their hard work. This year, take your average holiday party and make it something special with our virtual holiday party ideas. Find an awesome theme, host a festive quiz or dance party, and find fun ways to reward your party guests for all the effort they put in.

If you’re looking for a creative and easy way to surprise your party guests, try Hoppier. It’s a simple solution that’ll help you create amazing hybrid event experiences — without the hassle of time-consuming logistics and other barriers. And with food and drinks taken care of, you can spend more time and energy planning activities that spread the holiday cheer.

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