These 10+ Virtual Holiday Party Ideas are great for small business office parties and personal family style parties and gatherings for the holidays. Just because we aren’t gathering face to face doesn’t mean we can’t have a blast!
Holiday parties may just be different this year. At the start of this year, I never envisioned I would be writing a post about virtual holiday party ideas, but here we are.
However, I will say with the more limited availability of people, holiday stressors are a bit lower this year. That said, it is still important to practice holiday self care.
A virtual holiday party is one in which holiday celebration are held in an online setting using meeting tools like Zoom, Webex, Skype or Google Meet. (more on these tools below)
The boyfriend and I use Zoom to have family meetings every so often with his grandma and siblings. It’s not quite the same as meeting in person, but you at least get to see everyone’s face.
Sam concept for a virtual holiday party.
What is a Virtual Holiday Party?
A virtual party is one in which you gather with friends, family or co-workers virtually through one of the tools discussed below.
Due to the current events, the holidays this year will be different for many of us. The boyfriend and I used to gather for Thanksgiving at his family’s house, with people coming from everywhere to celebrate with us (I hated the crowd, but most people loved it LOL).
We haven’t decided yet what this year will bring, but it certainly won’t be that. A lot of families and offices alike will be celebrating the holidays virtually.
People getting together in front of a computer or smart phone is not what I think of when I think holidays, but using some of these virtual holiday party ideas will help that virtual celebration feel more like the real deal!
Tools for a Virtual Holiday Party
I personally like to use Zoom as I use it for work and love how easy it is to use. Some other tools that you can use to host virtual parties are:
There are also some companies who have turned to create platforms to host office parties for you:
- The Go Go Game – they will help host a virtual holiday celebration through games and other activities.
- Alice’s Table – they help to host corporate workshops with individualized curated experiences.
Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
From virtual holiday office parties to Christmas celebrations and virtual Thanksgiving gatherings, there are party ideas for every virtual occasion! So turn on that essential oil diffuser and get all those good Christmas essential oil blends flowing to get in the holiday spirit!
Virtual Holiday Bingo
Holiday Bingo is an easy fun way to get everyone engaged in a virtual experience. To make it even more fun, you can create some virtual prizes for the winners to encourage a little friendly competition.
Virtual Holiday Recipe Exchange
This is actually my favorite idea, but you guys know how much I love writing and creating recipes for my other blog (Went Here 8 This – a great place to find recipes to share!) so I am totally biased.
That said, this is a great opportunity to do a virtual Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or just have a fun exchange of recipes. You can do main dishes, side dishes, desserts, whatever theme you’d like to set up!
Have each person choose a recipe that they developed or found and share it with another person (drawing names is a great way to keep this organized). That person will then make the recipe and share it during the virtual get-together.
This should invoke a lot of fun and discussion. Plus, you can make all the recipes available for everyone to make – especially the super good ones 😉
Holiday Wine and Cheese Tasting
If you’re doing this as an office party, it’s a great idea to purchase the wine and cheese and send each person at least one wine and one cheese to taste. It’s a fun way to get everyone to interact and talk about their wine and cheese.
If this is more of a family event and you don’t want to fork out all that money, have everyone buy their own and then chat about it in the virtual meeting (while wearing their ugly sweater of course). Make sure to keep record of what everyone had so you can share it with the group.
You can also change this to beer tasting, tea tasting, etc.
Virtual Secret Santa
Secret Santa is such a fun idea, and perfect for a virtual holiday party. Virtual secret Santa isn’t really different than regular secret Santa.
Everyone randomly draws a person and buys a gift for that person. Typically, a price limit is set so people don’t go crazy. (And if you’re worried about money around the holidays, check out these ways to make extra money for Christmas – share it with your family/employees too!).
You can do virtual style gifts (gifts cards, etc.), or you can buy a physical gift and mail it. I personally like the physical gift option better as it’s a more fun experience for virtual parties.
To save some money, try these DIY Christmas Gift Ideas.
That gift is then delivered and opened during a virtual holiday party so everyone can see what the gift is. This can be a super fun idea for both office and family style parties!
Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? This is a super fun way to get people to come together and try to answer clues and solve puzzles. You can develop your own virtual scavenger hunt where people have to hunt down items in their own home, or you can hire a company to develop a scavenger hunt for you. Here are a few companies that offer that service:
- DFW Scavenger Hunt
- VR Media Pros
- Watson Adventures
- CityHunt – this one does not seem holiday based, but could still be fun.
**Disclaimer: I have not personally used any of these companies.
Virtual Happy Hour
This is perfect for office parties and family gatherings. Have everyone either make a drink from a pre-made list and comment on it, or make their own and share with the group. You can even do mocktails for those that don’t drink.
As a company, you can send alcohol to your employees to make drinks with, or just provide a drink allowance to purchase the alcohol (some states don’t allows you to ship alcohol).
Here are some places you can get drink ideas:
- 62 Christmas Cocktails;
- 55 Best Christmas Cocktails;
- 20 Non-alcoholic Christmas Drinks;
- Top 20 Christmas and Holiday Beers.
Virtual Holiday Decorating
More for families than for office parties, this gives families a chance to be together during holiday decorating. You can make a holiday playlist to play music so everyone is listening to the same music at the same time.
Just try to face your screen toward your tree and decorate away while singing Christmas carols and drinking your Christmas cocktails!
Try these Dollar Tree DIYs for Christmas to save some money on Christmas decorations this year.
Virtual Holiday Trivia
I LOVE a good game of trivia even though I’m terrible at it. Trivia is something that can easily be done virtually – just set up the rules before you start to play so everyone is on the same page.
Cookie Decorating Contest
This one is super fun and you get to eat the cookies after which is a bonus 🙂
Have everyone start with the same basic sugar cookie dough recipe (I like this one) so they have the same base. If you want, you can even make the blank cookies for them and mail them out. You may also want to share this sugar cookie icing recipe.
Once everyone has their cookies, have a contest to see who does the best decorations. Elect a panel of judges before you start so it’s fair.
You can use some of these decorations to either buy and send to your employees (or family), or just have them purchase their own. (paid links)
- Holiday cookie cutters;
- Holiday sprinkles;
- Edible glitter;
- Edible pearls;
- Food coloring (for icing).
This is not an all inclusive list. Have them be creative, get their whole family and kids involved. Make it fun!
Ugly Sweater Contest
Self explanatory. Make or buy the ugliest sweater you can find. Have everyone vote for the ugliest sweater (they are not allowed to vote for themselves – this is on the honor code) and announce a winner.
It’s always fun to have a gift to give to the winner.
You can make this even more fun by making it a holiday costume contest too!
Holiday Dance Party
This one’s a little crazy but fun. Before the event, have everyone make a 15-20 second dance video of them dancing to a holiday song.
Then during the event, the video will be shared and everyone will vote on the best one. This is a fun one to make outlandishly ridiculous 😉
Make this one holiday themed and only allow holiday songs to keep the holiday spirit going. **Note – this works best after everyone has started drinking their holiday happy hour drinks 😉
You’ll need a program like Watch2Gether to set up the playlist and make it available to everyone (this is also a good program is you want to make a synced up holiday playlist everyone can listen to at the same time).
You may also want to check out this guide on how to do karaoke on Zoom.
How to Host a Virtual Party
Once you know what you want your virtual holiday party to be like, you’ve got to figure out how to actually host it.
Step 1 – choose a time that everyone (or almost everyone) can be available.
Step 2 – choose a platform. This can be Zoom, Google Meet, etc. whichever one you choose. (*See the top of the post for a list of platforms you can use).
Step 3 – send out the invites – you can do this through the platform you selected above.
Step 4 – make sure everyone understands how to use the platform. Send out training videos on signing up and basic things they’ll need to know to enjoy the party and not be frustrated with tech issues.
Step 5 – get your party on!
Have your thrown a virtual holiday party using any of the above, or any other fun activities? Comment below and let me know what you’ve done!