18 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for a Festive Event

Cassy Aite
July 4, 2024
18 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for a Festive Event

With the holidays approaching, now is the time to plan an amazing get-together to thank your team for their hard work and look ahead to the New Year. But if you have remote teams, organizing a holiday event isn’t so cut and dried. Resolving potential scheduling conflicts, coming up with a theme, and choosing activities is cumbersome.

Despite these issues, you still have plenty of ways to entertain at the virtual office. From team-building activities and icebreakers to games and holiday gifts, our virtual holiday party ideas can turn the mundane into a fun holiday experience.

3 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas To Use as Icebreakers

If your company has several departments or individuals who rarely interact, the onset of awkwardness at your party will become readily apparent — even during a video call. Icebreakers ease the tension, provide moments for socialization, and allow everyone to open up. These holiday activities can lighten the mood of your company holiday party in a virtual capacity.

Pro Tip: Large numbers of attendees can cheapen or prolong the icebreaking process. If so, use video-conferencing breakout rooms to turn sizable gatherings into small groups. This will streamline the event and make your themed icebreakers more effective and enjoyable.

1. Festive Winter Cocktail Party

We all love learning something new (about someone or something), and discovering how to make festive cocktails and mocktails while with a meet-and-greet 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 cocktails or mocktails for a spirited evening. To make the party more engaging, you could follow this up with some of our other holiday party games and ideas. Once the drinks start flowing, the icebreaking happens naturally.

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.

The opening act also gives people time to chitchat about work, personal pursuits, or the comic or musician.

3. Virtual Holiday Happy Hour

When your team is distributed worldwide, 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. With the help of a Hoppier virtual card, you can let your guests order their favorite drinks and snacks. Combine with fun games and other virtual holiday party ideas to bring the happy hour full circle.

5 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for Team-building

Woman on a laptop with a Christmas tree in the background

A holiday party may not feel like the appropriate venue for virtual team-building events, but a fun, exciting activity can build camaraderie, engagement, and company culture. Virtual holiday team-building activities pique the interest of individuals, provide friendly competition, and ultimately, build the bonds that bring people together. For a more cohesive team, these virtual holiday party ideas for team-building should do more than suffice.

4. Virtual Holiday Trivia

Trivia — given pub quiz style — can bring the team together before you kick off your holiday festivities and come as a harbinger for the fun to come. 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 into teams.

Create a themed game to transform a regular pub quiz into the perfect holiday party quiz. Use primarily holiday trivia questions or organize a few categories devoted to holiday movies, holiday songs, or holiday traditions.

Make your holiday pub quiz interactive with visual elements. A DIY slideshow shared on Zoom is a simple and affordable way to do this.

5. Virtual Holiday Decorating Party

Gathering everyone together to decorate for the office party is always so much fun. The festive spirit, conversation, and chances to get to know each other are inimitable. Though the idea may seem impossible for virtual events, it isn’t. It’s just a modern twist on a tradition.

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.

6. Cookie Decorating

The smell of freshly baked holiday cookies brings back pleasant memories, similar to your favorite moments from years past. Interestingly, baking pieces of sugary dough can also double as one of the best team-building virtual holiday party ideas.

Supply your party guests with a list of ingredients and a Hoppier virtual card with plenty of funds to help them shop. Choose a recipe that’s easy to make and doesn’t require advanced cooking skills so everyone can join in. You can also ask your team to include their families to make this team-building event family-friendly, too.

7. Secret Santa Gift Exchange

The joy of gift-giving reflects the holiday spirit and seeing that look on someone’s face when they open a gift. Turn this indescribable feeling into reality by setting up a Secret Santa gift exchange. Then, throw a virtual party where guests can reveal what they received.

People often avoid 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.

8. Virtual Escape Room

The concept of an escape room may appear impractical as one of your virtual holiday party ideas, but with the right platform, it’s every bit as enjoyable as the real thing. Everyone works together and uses clues to help the team solve puzzles and “escape” the virtual room.

You have plenty of options for the escape room, but Improbable Escapes offers online options for groups of up to 30 people. Start the game, sit back, and watch the fun and team-building coalesce.

4 Virtual Holiday Party Games

Two people making a gingerbread house

Competition is part of the business world, but rarely does that turn into an actual game. But one of the top virtual holiday party ideas centers around games. People feel less stressed when playing games, can team up with others, and showcase their competitive side in a friendly forum.

For your next holiday party, try a few of these games — all but guaranteed for an intriguing and competitive event.

9. Christmas-themed Pictionary

Not everyone’s an illustrator, but Pictionary is more than just artistry. It’s a link between the drawer and their team, as well as their thought processes for a given word.

That’s why Pictionary might be one of the best virtual holiday party ideas — especially with a Christmas theme. Themed words span an array of difficulty, from snowmen to sleigh bells to Santa. To keep things interesting, split your team into groups who aren’t well-acquainted and steadily increase the difficulty each round.

10. Holiday Bingo

Similar to the traditional game of chance, holiday bingo allows your attendees to earn a prize if they can fill out their bingo card up, across, or diagonally. Rather than using letters and numbers, fill your bingo card with Christmas-related ideas.

For example, you could put “has a live Xmas tree,” “knows the words to ‘Silver Bells’,” or other types of Christmas ideas.

11. Christmas-themed Charades

The action version of Pictionary, Charades is a laugh-out-loud, fun extravaganza for everyone. Create words or phrases that reflect Christmas or holiday themes, split your group into teams, and let one person on each team act out what’s on the word card.

It’s fast and easy, and everyone can participate—even if they feel a bit sheepish at the beginning. As the game progresses, people will open up, making it a team-building activity as much as a game.

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.

6 Other Virtual Holiday Party Ideas

Microphone with different colored lights in the backgroun

If you need to fill in some gaps, have limited time for your party, or the prior activities don’t strike you, other options can still light your party’s fire. They’re quick, easy, and can fill a short time before the main event. Try these other virtual holiday party ideas for something unique and every bit as enticing.

13. Holiday Playlist Party

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

Let each team member choose a song for the playlist or ask for 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 enjoy not only at your party but also afterward.

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.  

14. Virtual Karaoke Night

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.

With the help of a virtual karaoke service, you can throw quite the banger. All you need to do is sign up and get your virtual party environment ready, and your guests will be all set to join you for entertaining renditions of festive classics — think alternative, amazing, or slightly out-of-tune versions of “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” or other famous tunes.

15. 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.

To execute one of the best virtual holiday party ideas, 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.

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 screens.

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, 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. Ugly Holiday Sweater Party

For whatever reason, everyone likes playing a little dress-up during the holiday season — maybe even more than Halloween. In recent years, ridiculous attire has taken center stage, giving you ample reason to find your favorite ugly sweater and put it on. Bring everyone together to laugh and enjoy each other’s best looks with an ugly sweater party.

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

18. Holiday Card Creation

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.

Throw an Epic Virtual Holiday Party This Year

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 their efforts.

Hoppier Gift Card

If you’re looking for a creative and easy way to surprise your party guests, try Hoppier. Hoppier’s gift cards provide a simplified option for party favors, food, and drink  — without the hassle of time-consuming logistics and other barriers. With food and drinks out of the way, you can spend more time and energy planning activities that spread the holiday cheer.

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