You're the chairman of the Party Planning Committee for your work team, and like Angela, Pam, and Phyllis from The Office, you take the position very seriously. You may have spent hours tracking down the best karaoke machine or planning the festive dress code. But since your holiday party turned into a Zoom event this year, virtual work holiday party games are the only to-do item on your list.
You really want to "wow" your coworkers and give them something to laugh about after a long year filled with lots of hard work and curveballs. They deserve to sip sparkling cider and win exciting prizes like a subscription box, Starbucks gift card, or desk organizer, all from the comfort of their own homes. Now, you may be thinking, "Will people even want to play games, or just chat with each other?" and you'll certainly want to find a balance of the two. As the host, you'll want to give everyone time to catch up on what's happening in their lives outside of work, and then introduce one of these virtual holiday party games when there's a lull in conversation to get the party started.
Some will require your coworkers to print things out, such as a Bingo board, that you'll send out in advance. Others will be a race against the clock, a challenge to remember the lyrics to holiday songs, or an intricate puzzle that'll require you to work together to solve. Each can be enjoyed with the drink of choice to sugar and spice up everyone's night.
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1. Sip, Chip, And Stretch
Every holiday party, whether it's virtual or not, needs snacks and drinks. Be sure to encourage your coworkers to bring a tasty treat of their own to the digital gathering, as well as the holiday-themed drink they love. Then, use the witty cards in this beer yoga game ($16, Urban Outfitters) to play, "Sip, Chip, Stretch."
Follow the instructions. However, when they say grab a "chip," have your coworkers take a bite out of a treat. Play as long as you like, or until your drinks are finished.
2. The Cookie Box Contest
'Tis the season for foodie influencers to post pictures of their annual cookie box. Take a page out of their playbook for this game: "The Cookie Box Contest." Each player will either need to bake or buy a variety of cookies in advance, and then place them creatively in a box or tin. Props like candy canes, a cute dish towel with trees on it, or cookie cutters are encouraged.
Once everyone is done, have each person show off their final cookie box. Post pictures of them online to have fans of your company vote for their favorite.
3. Finish That Holiday Song
You know reindeer like Dasher and Dancer, but do you know the lyrics to your favorite holiday songs? This game certainly will put everyone's knowledge up to the test.
To play, pick one person in your group to be the DJ. Ask them to sing or play a holiday song, and pause it between two major lines. Once the song is paused, someone can raise their hand, and try to finish the lyric. The first person to raise their hand gets to answer, and if they answer correctly they can win a prize like a gift card.
4. Prancer's Pictionary
For "Prancer's Pictionary," you and your coworkers will need to split up into two teams, and have notepads on hand. Once you've split up, one team will pick a person to draw a holiday item of their choosing on their pad. The rest of the team will have to guess what the person is drawing, but will only have one minute to do so.
At the end, the team who guessed the most items correctly is eligible for a prize decided by the host, or a celebratory toast in their honor.
5. Merry And Bright Bingo
Believe it or not, Bingo can really spice up any holiday party, especially if it's winter and holiday-themed. Snag this winter-themed Bingo set ($5, Etsy), and distribute a card to each guest ahead of time via email. Then, once you're all settled in, start calling out the image tiles for everyone to cross off. Have prizes, like supplies to make a hot chocolate charcuterie board, on the line.
6. An Ugly Sweater Fashion Show
Do you remember the Halloween episode of The Office when they had a fashion show in their costumes? Replicate that during your virtual holiday party. Make sure everybody wears an ugly holiday sweater to the gathering, and then put on classic tunes so each person can show off their #look.
If you want to take this game to the next level, have everyone vote for their favorite ugly sweater and runway presentation at the end.
7. Dashing Through The Clues
There are many smart cookies in your office, who will totally appreciate the mysterious style of this game, called "Dashing Through The Clues." The game requires the party host to put together a "sledding trail" prior to the virtual gathering. Along the trail are riddles for your coworkers to solve. Some clues can be trivia questions like, "What year did The Santa Clause come out?" while others can require a co-worker to find the red ornament on their tree.
The goal is to reach the end of the sledding trail, where a bag of presents —aka your company holiday gift reveal — awaits.
8. Marshmallow Mugs
"Marshmallow Mugs" is perfect for coworkers who like to get a little competitive. This game puts two people up against each other — virtually, of course — to see how many marshmallows they can each land in a mug that's about six feet away from them. The catch is, you're only given one minute to sink as many into your drink as you can.
You can treat this game like March Madness and create a big bracket. The ultimate champion can win a holiday mug which you ship to their house.
9. I Spy Santa
When you were a kid, you may have flipped through Where's Waldo? books for hours. This game is similar, as it hides a tiny cartoon Santa in a larger picture for your coworkers to find. To play, simply download Adobe Photoshop and create a few images with a hidden Santa. Then, make use of Zoom's screen-sharing feature to show your co-workers the image.
10. Who Can Do It...
If you and your coworkers are pretty close and enjoy pulling pranks on each other like Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute, go grab Who Can Do It... ($16, Target). This game comes with cards that you'll read out to the group. Each says something like, "Do an impression of a judge," or "Text a random number." It's sure to break the ice during your virtual party and spice up your night.