Presents to buy. Cookies to bake. Letters to send. Decorations to hang. And a party to plan. As the holiday season quickly approaches, skylight Venue wants to offer party planners everywhere some unique themes for your upcoming corporate Holiday party or your party with friends and family. These unique experiences will leave a lasting impression in the minds of your guests and make them excited about the next party you plan.
Last year, holiday gatherings were almost virtual. This year, we expect to see a mix of in-person parties and virtual gatherings for both companies and families. Below, we highlighted themes for both categories, so whatever gathering you are planning, you have unique ideas to make it a memorable event!
1. Do Good, Feel Good – The holiday season is a time of giving. With this theme, the possibility of what your party consists of is endless. Hold a toy drive in your office and give it to the less fortunate children in your community. Set up a canned goods competition between office departments or office locations. Whoever collects the most canned goods wins a prize. Maybe your company wants to go the extra mile and do more than collect items and donate them. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen sometime during the holiday season. Visit retirement homes and sing the residents your favorite Christmas carols. For a fun addition to your holiday party, work with your local animal shelter and bring adoptable pets to your venue. This holiday party theme allows your employees to make a difference in the community during the busy holiday season. It’s a win-win for everyone!
2. A Murder on Christmas Eve – Murder mystery dinner parties have become quite the rage. People who love true crime television shows and podcasts or who are problem-solvers will love this theme. All you have to do is send the invitations, decorate your venue, and order or cook the dinner. Everything else is taken care of when you purchase a murder mystery party kit from one of the many online retailers. Most kits come with a script for the characters and costume suggestions for your guests. Some are even Christmas-themed! If you are in search of an exciting idea for your next holiday party, a murder mystery dinner is the way to go! Here’s one online retailer to get you started: http://murdermysteryflexiparty.com/.
3. Let’s Get Cooking – If you have a family of foodies or an office full of chefs, this unique theme could be perfect for you. For this experience, schedule a private cooking or baking class for your guests. Whether you are the best chef in the world or the worst, you will be able to learn new cooking tips and tricks while enjoying time with your coworkers or family members. Your guests will go home with delicious treats and an unforgettable holiday party experience, and you will go home with the satisfaction of hosting an amazing event.
4. Holidays Around the World – This fun party experience will not only excite your guests but will also help them learn more about how other countries celebrate the holiday season. For larger corporate parties, assign each department a different country and have them research how their country’s residents celebrate the holidays. Ask them to dress in the holiday clothing the country wears, decorate their department space to match the country, and serve food or drink that is common for the country during the holiday season. For smaller parties, ask couples or groups of two to three to pick a country and do the same thing. During the party different members of the group take turns traveling from country to country. What an entertaining way to celebrate the holiday season!
5. An Adventure Through Town – Sometimes, people can live and work in a city for many years and never visit half of the bars and restaurants available to them. For this adventurous theme, set up a route of different bars and restaurants in your town and have guests visit them throughout the night. This experience can be done in one of two ways. For a more intimate experience, rent a party bus or have designated times to meet at certain locations. This will help your group explore the town together and create a feeling of comradery. The other option is to give your guests a map and work with the local venues in town to have them stamp the locations your guests have visited. Either way, guests will enjoy getting to visit new spots in a town they might have lived in for many years!
6. Throw it Back – Are you searching for a nostalgic experience for your holiday party? Then it’s time to throw it back to 1990! Attire? Have your guests dress in their favorite ugly sweater. Music? Throwback music is arguably one of the best genres, but throwback holiday music might be even better. Entertainment? Watch a classic Christmas movie like Home Alone or The Santa Clause, have a paper snowflake competition, or play a fun throwback holiday trivia game. Food? Serve delicious Dunkaroos dip, Bagel Bites, pizza rolls, and Jell-O cake. These foods are sure to take your guests back to the past. When decorating for the event, don’t forget the ceramic Christmas tree!
7. Paint and Sip – If you’re thinking about planning a virtual event this year, try a paint and sip party. Hire a professional artist to teach the painting class or ask if any of your employees or friends would like to teach it. Send your guests a box of supplies they can use for the party –a canvas, a couple of paintbrushes, a paint set, and a bottle of wine or a fun make-your-own cocktail kit for your guests to enjoy. Many in-person events can be turned into virtual gatherings with just a few tweaks, and this is a great one to use this holiday season!
8. Online Cooking Classes – Just like the in-person event, online baking or cooking classes can be a memorable experience for your guests! Use an online platform to have Rockstar chefs virtually enter your guests’ homes. Most of the companies will even deliver a box of ingredients to the attendees’ homes, so all your guests have to do is log on! Guests will enjoy interacting with each other as well as the chef on the call. If you need ideas of companies to use for your event, try https://rockoly.com/ or https://www.teamclass.com/. These websites also offer some pretty cool classes other than cooking. Check it out!
9. Virtual Beer, Wine, or Whiskey Tastings – Virtual holiday gatherings are far from boring when you combine them with unique experiences such as beer, wine, or whiskey tastings. DIY your tasting and send out a sampling of some of your area’s finest spirits or use a company that specializes in virtual tasting events. Either way, your guests will love this experience and will keep asking you when the next virtual happy hour will be held. Visit these websites to learn more about scheduling beer, wine, or whiskey tastings for your next gathering: https://www.citybrewtours.com/beer-events-at-home/, https://www.travelingvineyard.com/host-wine-tasting-party/, or https://www.kingscountydistillery.com/virtual-tastings.
10. Virtual Game Night – Last but certainly not least, you can plan a virtual game night. Customize the categories to fit into the holiday theme. Separate the office into groups by department or by drawing names randomly. Maybe you will see a competitive side come out of employees or friends who you didn’t know had one. If you’re looking to spruce up your party a little more, send guests a box of holiday-themed snacks and drinks for them to enjoy during game night. Don’t forget to have a prize for the winning team at the end!