18 Fun Holiday Team Building Activities for Work in 2022
You found our list of the best holiday team building activities.
Holiday team building activities are fun exercises and games you can engage your team during December. Examples include present raffles, scavenger hunts, and holiday-themed sports. The purpose of these activities is to encourage peer relationships and celebrate the years’ achievements. Choosing the right team building activities is vital for the success of your company’s celebration.
This list also includes:
- online holiday team building activities
- holiday team building activities for students
- holiday team building activities for the office
- free holiday team building activities
- holiday party team building activities
Here we go!
List of Holiday team building activities
Here are some of the best activities to engage teams at holiday time.
1. Stocking Race
Stocking races are one of the best holiday team building activities for the office. The activity is inexpensive and requires minimal planning. You can start by dividing your team into smaller groups of 10 to 20 participants. Then, hang empty Christmas stockings on one side and place candy bowls in the opposite direction of an events space. Next, set a timer and give each team two minutes to put as many candies as possible in the stocking with spoons. If you want to offer your team a challenge, then consider a blindfolded stocking race where the team with the most candy in the stocking wins.
2. Blinded Snowflake Challenge
A blindfolded snowflake team challenge is an exciting activity that will challenge participants’ listening and crafting skills. You will start by passing out a square piece of paper and letting team players blindfold each other. Then, read out instructions on how to make a snowflake.
- Fold the squared paper into a right-angled triangle
- Fold the paper in half to make another triangle
- Tear the triangle’s top right corner and fold the paper in half
- Rotate and fold the paper
- Tear a piece of the paper from the middle
Once all participants finish making the snowflakes, remove the blindfolds and let workers showcase their craft. The blindfolded snowflake challenge is an easy holiday event activity that you can incorporate into varying holiday party themes.
3. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts top the list of fun holiday party team building activities. Depending on the complexity, you can hold scavenger hunts in your office, outdoor spaces, or a party venue. For easier team management, you could divide participants into groups of five to ten participants. Then, let players search for challenges, items, or riddles within a set amount of time.
Here are some Christmas-themed scavenger hunt prompts:
- Snap a picture of decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, snow-covered cars, or pets in holiday clothing
- Find fake snow, Christmas scarfs, or Santa hats in the office
- Find five workers wearing an ugly Christmas sweater
- Take a photo with Santa
- Recreate a celebrity’s Christmas family photo
You can design scavenger hunts as simple or as complicated as you want. We advise that you stick to more straightforward challenges if you only have a few minutes to play. You can use scavenger hunts to teach your team problem-solving, communication, strategizing, and time management skills.
4. Charity Activities
The holiday season is the perfect time to engage your team in charity activities and give back to the community. One of the best ways your team can give back is by volunteering in local charity organizations. You can look for charity organizations needing extra help, such as serving meals or visiting a local nursing home. You could also organize a company-wide food drive and feed the needy in your community. Another fantastic charity idea is offering items that workers no longer use. For example, your team can bring clothing, electronics, or pet supplies and donate to vulnerable communities. Workers may also opt to contribute skill-based services to a local charity. For instance, your team may provide finance, marketing, or web design services. Once participants finish the volunteer work, you can treat team players to a dinner or a happy hour and celebrate the day’s achievements.
5. Festive Drink Darts
Event planners searching for holiday party team building activities will love this festive drink darts idea. Rather than holding the drinking party in your office, look for a fun celebration venue such as a pub. You can then play the darts game with a twist of a custom holiday-themed board.
Examples of dart shots:
- Full shot- Players will take a full shot if the dart lands on the ‘full shot’ space
- Everyone drinks- Every participant will take a drink
- Assign a drink- Participants whose throws lands on the box will randomly choose another player to take a drink
- Pass- The throw does not require a participant to take a drink
Be sure to factor in your team’s drink preferences and encourage participants to drink responsibly.
6. Gingerbread Games
You can add a competitive element to your online holiday team building activities through Gingerbread Games. To start the fully hosted activity, all participants will receive gingerbread decorating kits. On the contest day, all team members will log in to a video conference room where the host will engage workers in mini-games such as holiday trivia. Then, the fun entertainer will lead workers through the Gingerbread Games where participants will showcase their creations. The team player with the best gingerbread house gets holiday season bragging rights.
This facilitated event is also available as an in-person version.
If you want to host an in-house gingerbread contest, then you could divide team players into groups of four to six participants. Then, place each group in a separate working area where teams cannot peek into each other’s work. You could also request that each parcitipant get additional edible decorations such as gumdrops, mini marshmallows, and candy canes. Once complete, let groups check out the gingerbread houses and reward the team with the most creative piece.
Learn more about Gingerbread Games.
7. Cocktail-Making Classes
A cocktail-making masterclass is a perfect way to usher in the holiday season. Your team will learn fundamental cocktail-making tips that will come in handy during the holiday season. Depending on your budget and the number of attendees, you could also get professional bartenders. Then, start the event by playing interactive cocktail-themed games such as beer pong or taking quizzes. Finally, you can finish the masterclass by letting willing participants use the event’s lessons to make cocktails for other guests.
8. Amusement Parks
Visiting amusement parks is one of the best holiday team building activities for students. You can offer attendees unlimited shows, rides, and attractions. Depending on your choice of amusement park, students can take pictures riding candy cane coasters, antique cars, bumper boats, or Santa’s workshop. You will also find Santa in most amusement parks during the holiday season. Also, be on the lookout for holiday specials in amusement parks like Christmas karaoke, massive Christmas trees, and holiday light shows.
9. Present Raffle
A raffle is a contest where folks purchase or receive tickets to enter a drawing and win prizes. Adding a present raffle activity to your holiday team building event is a great way to excite your guests and welcome the Christmas cheer. For a team building activity, you may give workers chances to win prizes instead of purchasing tickets.
Raffle prize ideas:
- Food and drinks- Rather than ready-made food, offer participants creative prizes like personal chefs for a night or cooking classes.
- Recreation prizes like golf getaways or spa treatments
- Health and fitness prizes like personal trainer sessions and workout equipment
- Christmas-themed food like Christmas cookies or chocolate baskets
- Experiences like ski getaways, family holidays, and movie tickets
While you can have a mix of medium- and small-cost raffle prizes, we advise standardizing the prizes to ensure that no participant feels short-changed.
10. Christmas Karaoke
A Christmas karaoke session is one of the best free holiday team building activities for a company-wide celebration. Your team will bond as attendees listen to Christmas carols from their teammates.
Examples of global Christmas carols:
- Silent Night
- O Holy Night
- Joy to the World
- Jingle Bells
- All I Want for Christmas is You
If you want to make the karaoke session more interesting, then let participants pair up and perform their best carols. You could also reward the best performers with festive prizes. Also, be sure to let participants perform Christmas songs from their cultures.
11. Office Potluck
An office potluck can be a great team building idea that you can use to usher in the holiday celebrations. For example, rather than requesting workers to bring common food, you could consider a cultural theme where team members make unique meals from different cultures. You can encourage each participant to taste the varying meals and have a learning session where each participant will give a brief history of the dish and teach guests how to make the meal. An office potluck allows workers to share and learn about each other. Regular office potluck activities will also contribute toward a diverse and culturally accepting work environment.
12. Ugly Holiday Sweater Day
Ugly holiday sweater-themed ideas top the list of free holiday team building activities that your team will love. You can request all employees to dress in hideous holiday sweaters. Then, prepare a series of ugly holiday sweater-themed team building activities. For instance, you could get a photo booth in the office and set up the space with wintertime holiday accessories and props. Another fantastic idea your team may enjoy is an ugly sweater company-wide fashion show. Let willing participants bring holiday cheer to your company by showcasing unique fashion styles with their sweaters. Be sure to have incentives for team players who will wear the most unaesthetic and tackiest of all sweaters.
13. Holiday Decorating Contest
The holiday decorating contest is one of the best holiday team building activities for groups. To start the contest, offer each department $50 vouchers to purchase holiday décor. Then, give each team 30 minutes to decorate their office. You could put together a team of judges from each department who will take before and after pictures of the office spaces. Also, consider offering incentives such as free lunches to the winning department. If you have a few employees, you can let participants decorate a shared space like the reception with holiday elements.
14. Secret Santa
Being one of the most common holiday team building activities for the office, secret Santa is a simple activity that you can add to your annual company tradition. You can start by letting all team members pull one paper from a hat that details the name of another worker. Then, give participants a $10 to $50 budget that all participants will follow. Encourage team players to get creative in their gift choices and lean towards personal picks instead of the usual holiday gifts. For instance, participants can learn the hobbies and interests of their secret Santa and opt for gifts such as gardening and crafting items.
15. Who am I?
The ‘Who am I?’ game is a perfect activity that will lighten an office Christmas celebration. For this activity, you can start by writing a list of Christmas characters such as Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph on sticky notes. Then, distribute the sticky notes and have teammates stick the notes on each others’ foreheads. Also, ensure that no participant can see their character. Then, let team players mingle and give hints of the holiday characters they see on other team players’ foreheads. The ‘Who am I?’ team building activity is a fun game that will also build your team’s critical thinking skills.
16. Winter Sports
Sports are fantastic holiday team building activities that will get your team to interact, have fun, and foster teamwork. You could start by creating a list of winter-friendly sports. You can also play outdoor sports in indoor facilities and put fun Christmas spins on the games. Then, engage your workforce in devising creative holiday-themed tournaments such as Elves vs. Santas or Junipers vs. Rudolphs. To enhance the holiday mood, consider getting Christmas sports equipment and clothing. Holiday-themed sports are also some of the best physical holiday team building activities for students.
17. Movie Night
As some of the most relaxing team building activities, movie nights are an excellent idea to get your team into the holiday mood. You could look for movie theaters offering Christmas films. Movie nights are also a perfect choice for virtual holiday company activities for teams. If you opt for the virtual movie screening, then you can choose streaming services that offer watch-party features like Teleparty and Twitch. However, participants may need subscriptions.
Example film choices:
- Miracle on the 34th Street (1996)
- Silent Night (2021)
- Stranger in the House (1974)
- Home Alone (1990)
- The Night Before (2015)
With a wide variety of holiday Christmas films, select genres that appeal to your workforce.
18. Escape Room Games
Festive escape room games are fun team building activities that will bring teams closer while teaching vital skills. You can start by looking for Christmas-themed escape room games. Then, set a day when all team players are available. Attendees will then search for clues and solve puzzles within a limited time. Escape room games are also perfect online Christmas team building activities that will challenge participants. If you want to host a large team for an online escape game experience, you can purchase virtual escape room games with varying difficulty levels. Team leaders will then receive the game instructions, after which they can invite all participants into the game.
Here are more holiday Escape room ideas.
The holidays present exciting opportunities for companies to reward workers’ accomplishments and strengthen team bonds. Organizing fun holiday activities also gives team members a break from the grind and a chance to recharge. However, coming up with ideas to entertain your team may not always be easy. You can browse our list of the best holiday team building activities and choose activities that will get your workforce laughing and celebrating. Just be sure to prepare for any inclement weather, or keep your bonding session inside!
FAQ: Holiday team building activities
Here are answers to common questions about holiday team building activities.
What are holiday team building activities?
Holiday team building activities are fun celebration ideas that will help spread festive cheer in your company and appreciate workers’ work dedication year-round. These activities will boost your team’s motivation, develop a collaborative spirit, and help team players nurture or discover hidden talents.
What are some good holiday-themed team building ideas for work?
The holiday season is the best time to plan fun activities with your team. While some holiday team building activities are easy and require simple or no setups, other ideas may be more difficult to plan and execute. Consider the availability of time and financial resources before choosing holiday activities for your team. Some good holiday-themed team building ideas for work include office potluck, escape room games, and gingerbread house contests.
How do you do holiday team building activities?
The festive season is the best time for businesses to appreciate team members. However, planning a successful holiday team building event is not always easy.
Here are some tips that will ease your Christmas party planning process:
- Start with a holiday party checklist. Creating a checklist is a sure way to help you prioritize all planning elements and ensure you do not miss out on any detail.
- Determine the theme of your event. A holiday party theme will help you determine the type of supplies you need and venue choice.
- Set a budget. Be sure to factor in all team building elements such as the venue, holiday décor, catering, gifts, and hired entertainers.
- Determine the event date. Consider your team’s availability before settling on the event date.
Regardless of the holiday event theme, you can enhance your celebration with Christmas-themed food, gifts, and décor.