With the festive season fast approaching, you’ll be looking for some fun office holiday games to play with your team at your Christmas party!
Essential for improving engagement within your team, office holiday games need to be fun, exciting, and suitable to the type of team you have, whether it’s a newly formed team, a virtual team, or a very large team. Explore 20 of the best holiday office games in this article so that you can spruce up your office party!
How can you make a holiday party at work fun?
An office holiday party should be something exciting and engaging. It’s an opportunity to bring your entire company together to reflect on the previous year and celebrate successes in a festive setting.
However, sometimes office parties can feel like a chore. They can scream forced fun and awkward silences. How can you stop this and make them fun? Add some holiday party games for office excitement! These games should be festive-themed, engaging, and tailored to suit your unique team. To really ramp up the fun factor, you can add festive-themed food and drinks to the occasion!
What are the best office holiday games?
There are hundreds of fun office holiday games that you and your team can play over the festive period. We’ve listed the 20 best ones below, from quick holiday games for the office, to virtual holiday games for the office, you’ll find something for all office party occasions in the list below!
1. Holiday Human Bingo
Human bingo is a great quick holiday game for the office. It takes less than 30 minutes to complete, can be easily themed towards Christmas, and is a fantastic activity for encouraging your team to connect and leave feeling like they’ve formed strong relations.
Materials: Bingo scoring cards, pens, and a timer
How to play: Using a free Bingo card calculator, create a holiday-themed game of human bingo. You could use statements such as ‘doesn’t eat Turkey for Christmas dinner’, ‘decorates the tree with tinsel’, ‘host Christmas day for their entire family’, or ‘doesn’t celebrate Christmas’. Give your team 5 minutes to wander around the room and find someone to match each correct statement. The person who finds the most people, and therefore ticks off the most statements, is crowned the winner!
Best for: New office teams, large groups
2. Guess the Coworker
As a holiday office party game, you can introduce a sense of nostalgia and encourage everyone to bond as they reminisce about their childhood and family Christmas traditions.
Materials: Team members are to bring old photos of themselves, a board or wall to pin photos on, and pins
How to play: Before your office holiday party, ask your team to bring a printed photo of themselves doing something Christmas-related when they were younger. For example, they could be dressed as an angel for the school nativity, or smiling next to a snowman they’ve just built. Team members must then guess which one of their coworkers is this angelic child!
Best for Smaller groups, well-established teams
3. How Many Ornaments?
In the ‘how many ornaments’ office holiday game your team can use their guessing and problem-solving skills to decide how many Christmas baubles are in a jar. It’s a great office holiday game to encourage thinking outside the box.
Materials: Large jar, Christmas baubles
How to play: Fill a jar with decorative Christmas baubles. Each player must then guess how many baubles are in the jar. The player that guesses correctly, or as close to the correct number as possible, is crowned the winner and gets to keep the ornament-filled jar!
Best for: Large groups, team building
4. Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are excellent team building activities because they promote team trust, encourage high levels of communication, and get your team running around for 45 minutes.
Materials: Scavenger hunt Christmas sheets
How to play: Divide your players into small teams and give each team a scavenger hunt sheet. On this sheet should be a list of Christmas items that they need to collect within the time limit. Such items may include a Christmas tree decoration, a piece of mistletoe, or a chocolate Santa. The first team back with all the correct items from around the office is the winner!
Best for: Large groups, active teams
5. Christmas Song Musical Chairs
Any player who has attended a children’s party will be familiar with the game musical chairs. To make this the perfect free holiday game for office parties, add a twist and play with Christmas-themed songs only. From Last Christmas by Wham! to Do they know it’s Christmas? by Band Aid, there are plenty of fun songs to get your team up and moving around.
Materials: One less chair than people playing, a speaker to play music, a Christmas song playlist
How to play: In a circle, set up one less chair than there are people playing. Play a Christmas song and instruct your team to run around the circle of chairs. When you press stop on the music, your team must then scramble to find a chair. The player who doesn’t find the chair is out and leaves the game. Remove another chair and continue to play until the last player standing can be crowned the winner.
Best for: Medium teams
6. Pin the Beard on Santa
Pinning the tail on a donkey is not particularly suitable for a holiday work party activity. Instead, mix things up and play ‘pin the beard on Santa’ with your workplace team.
Materials: Giant Santa cut out, Santa beard cut out, pin, blindfold
How to play: Each player must take turns being blindfolded and gently spun around. They then attempt to pin a beard onto Santa’s face when they are slightly disoriented. The player who gets Santa’s beard closest to the correct place can be crowned the winner. You could even give them a Christmas-related prize.
Best for: Small teams
7. Guess the Intro (Christmas Edition)
Music has the power to make us feel good and can immediately break the ice by encouraging everyone to sing and dance!
Materials: A speaker to play music, a Christmas song playlist
How to play: Before playing, create a list of holiday-themed songs. Gather everyone together and play the first 10 seconds of the song. The first player to shout out the correct song and artist wins a point. To make the most out of this game, start with popular hits and well-known classics before increasing the difficulty.
Best for: New teams, large groups
8. Costume Contest
Dressing up during the holiday season is a great way to get the office together, break down barriers, and encourage friendly interactions.
Materials: Prizes for winners, team to be in costumes
How to play: Give your team plenty of time to organize some extravagant Christmas-themed costumes. Arrange a make-shift runway and get your team to strut their stuff down it in their costumes. You can award prizes for the most realistic costume, the most Christmassy, the best effort, and the funniest.
Best for: Small teams, funny teams
9. Holiday-themed Two Truths and One Lie
A classic team-building activity, ‘two truths and one lie’ allows team members to share a little bit about themselves with their coworkers and, as a result, is a great way to break the ice and enable your coworkers to get to know each other a little bit better.
Materials: None, just your team members!
How to play: Go around your team and ask each member to list two truths and one lie about themselves that are related to Christmas. This could be about how they celebrate Christmas or their feelings towards it. For example, “I don’t really like Christmas (lie), I travel to Europe to celebrate Christmas (truth), and my family doesn’t eat turkey for Christmas dinner (truth)”. The other team members must then guess which one is a lie, and which statements are truthful! The game continues until every player has shared their statements!
Best for: New teams
10. Christmas Gift Exchange
Giving and receiving gifts is a great way to boost endorphins and help your team feel connected over the festive period!
Materials: Paper, hat
How to play: Before your office holiday party, each team member’s name is written on a piece of paper and placed in a hat. Each team member must take out a piece of paper from the hat and buy the coworker whose name is written on it a Christmas present. Set a small budget (we recommend $5), and encourage your team members to buy and bring the present to your holiday party! Your team can share with the coworker why they bought them that present
Best for: Large teams
11. Ugly Sweater Contest
If you can’t laugh at yourself in a horrible Christmas sweater, then you can’t laugh at anything! Send your team into a state of giggles with this fun office holiday game.
Materials: Christmas jumpers
How to play: Ask your team to come to your office holiday party wearing a Christmas sweater of their choice. Sweaters can then be awarded prizes for being the ugliest, the funniest, and even the least ugly!
Best for: Large teams
12. Christmas Karaoke
Playing this office holiday game later into your Christmas party is an excellent idea because by the time you play this game, you want the cocktails to be flowing and your team to be feeling relaxed and confident around each other. With a bit of dutch courage, your team will be ready to sing their hearts out to Mariah Carey!
Materials: Karaoke machine
How to play: Set up a karaoke machine in the office. Your team members can then take turns to sing Christmas-themed songs to the rest of the group.
Best for: Small teams, well-established teams
13. Christmas Riddles
Riddles are excellent free holiday office games that encourage your team members to use their brains, think outside the box and form lasting connections with each other.
Materials: A list of Christmas riddles
How to play: Before you play, gather together a list of your favorite Christmas riddles. For example, ‘Open me every day for something that can’t be beat. Behind each of the doors, you will discover a tasty treat. What am I?’… An advent calendar! Read these out to your team and the first player to guess right wins a point. We love this game so much because it can be played online and therefore is a great virtual holiday game for the office!
Best for: Virtual teams, small teams
14. Snowball Fight
If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere with plenty of snow over the festive period then utilize the great outdoors and get your team involved in a snowball fight, as it’s one of the best quick holiday games for the office. Designed to get people running around in the great outdoors, snowball fights are excellent ways to blow off some steam and release some feel-good hormones!
Materials: Space to run around outside, snow
How to play: Separate your team into two groups and explain that the goal is to hit as many members of the opposite team with snowballs within 10 minutes. The team who hits the most players of the opposing team wins!
Best for: Small to medium teams, active teams, and teams in cold places!
15. Baked Goods Buffet
Take a break from the fun holiday office games and let your team set their creative juice alight with a baked goods buffet. It is the perfect opportunity for team members to showcase their baking skills, and gives your team the opportunity to bond over delicious sweet treats.
Materials: Lots of baked goods, a table to display them on
How to play: To play this office holiday game you must give your team plenty of warning so that they can gather the ingredients and find some time to bake! Give them the task of creating the most delicious Christmas treats. Whether they decide to make mince pies or eggnog, you can display these treats on a table for everyone to tuck into and share.
Best for: Large teams, creative teams
16. Deck Your Coworker
Nothing screams Christmas more than tinsel, fairy lights, and interesting baubles. Make sure you have your camera ready for this one, as your team is bound to end up looking rather hilarious in this fun holiday office game!
Materials: Christmas decorations (e.g., tinsel, fairy lights, baubles, stars, wreaths)
How to play: Separate your team into small groups and ask them to decide one person to be the designated coworker’s Christmas tree! Set a time limit of around 15 minutes and get each team to decorate their human tree as beautifully as they can! When the time is up, you can nominate which tree is the best and award that team a prize! Of all office holiday games, this is one of our favorites for breaking the ice in new teams and helping people feel at ease.
Best for: New teams, creative teams
17. Christmas PJ Competition
It’s a common misconception that Christmas pajamas need to be saved for family Christmas cards! Change the narrative and get your team feeling at home in the office as they wear Christmas pajamas as part of a holiday work party activity!
Materials: Christmas Pajamas
How to play: Give your team some notice that they’ll need to spend some time hunting for some festive-themed pajamas. You can even make this more exciting by asking your team to dress up in themed pajamas, such as ones containing the Grinch, Santa Claus, or Holly. On the day you play your holiday office games, you can get everyone together in their pajamas, take a few photos and then vote for the best ones!
Best for: Small teams
18. Holiday Charades
Charades is a timeless game, and it’s made even more timeless by becoming a fun free holiday game for office parties! It’s a great game to integrate as it’s one your employees already know, so they will feel confident playing, and people can take it seriously whilst having fun!
Materials: Paper with statements written on, stopwatch, hat
How to play: Before your fun holiday office games commence, spend some time jotting down Christmas-themed activities, films, songs, books or TV shows. Examples include ice skating, decorating a tree, A Christmas Carol, or Last Christmas. Put your slips into a hat or bowl and then separate your team into two separate teams. Teams can then take it in turns to pull a name from the hat and act out the word written on the slip of paper. Players must not say anything and the first person to guess their action wins a point for their team. Play until every player has had a go.
Best for: Medium teams, creative teams
19. Gingerbread House Building Race
Creating a yummy treat for the festive period is a fantastic way to get your teams’ taste buds tingling, and to get them feeling excited about playing office holiday party games! As one of the more sociable fun holiday office games, this work party activity is great for newly formed teams because it encourages them to interact with each other and start conversations.
Materials: Ingredients to decorate a gingerbread house (e.g, icing, biscuits, sweets)
How to play: Separate your teams into pairs and give them the ingredients to decorate a gingerbread house together. Set a time limit and at the end, the gingerbread houses can be judged for being the prettiest, or most festive looking!
Best for: Small teams, creative teams, new teams
20. Christmas Company Volunteering
Giving something back to the community is a fantastic free holiday game for the office that is guaranteed to get your team feeling grateful and well-connected this festive season.
How to play: Pick a charity that you would like to help out over the festive period, it can be anything from an old folk’s home to an animal shelter. Then, get your team together to spend an hour or two volunteering here before returning back to the office to get the drinks, food and other games flowing!
Best for: Small teams, ethically-minded teams
That’s a wrap on the 20 best office holiday games. Whether you’re looking for fun holiday games for the office, or holiday party activities for work for larger teams, these games can all be used to encourage people to relax and have some fun, and they can help improve team problem-solving and communication.
Each of these fun holiday office games is designed to get your team immersed in Christmassy, festive fun and will leave you feeling stronger and better connected over the Christmas period!