Holiday team building activities: friends putting their hands together

While the holidays are closely linked to time spent with friends and family, setting aside some festive holiday time for coworkers is a great way to connect and build deeper bonds. It lets you get outside of the work environment and into a relaxed setting of holiday cheer.

Sure, you could just send out business Christmas cards and Hanukkah cards to colleagues, but it’s much more fun to get everyone together before going your separate ways for the holidays. With that in mind, check out these holiday team-building activities to kick off a season of joy. 

Deck the Halls with These 12 Holiday Team-Building Activities

Holiday team building activities: friends wearing Santa hats while taking a groufie

Whether you’re looking to plan out the whole day — like “Elf” with snow angels, ice skating, and Toll House cookie dough — or a short activity to take a break from the Christmas rush, these holiday team-building activities will bring you closer together. From scavenger hunts to gift exchanges, here’s how to have fun with your team members this holiday season.

1. Hit an Ice Skating Rink

Holiday team building activities: Cheerful Ice Skate Invitation

Design: Lucrecia Caporale

‘Tis the season to be freezing so hit the ice with the team! If you all work in the same city, visit a local ice arena to play a quick ice hockey game or learn a few simple moves. Make it more challenging by hosting a skating contest or having teams show up in coordinated garb.

Don’t forget to pack the hot chocolate and prepare the team for the fun event with an invite like this Cheerful Ice Skate Invitation.

2. Host a Holiday-Themed Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are always a big hit so why not give this idea a holiday spin? They give the team the opportunity to get outside, exercise their creative minds, and enjoy some friendly competition. This fun team-building event can be held in person or virtually with an app like Scavify.

Choose festive items — like a tree taller than 15 feet, a jolly Santa, a gorgeous menorah, or a glittering reindeer — for the team to find. Ask them to take pictures of each item along the way or jot down answers to trivia clues they come across. Hand out prizes to the team that finishes the fastest or the team that takes the most creative photos.

3. Get Silly with an Ugly Sweater Party

Holiday team building activities: Ugly Sweater Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

You can’t talk about holiday party ideas without mentioning ugly sweaters. Let your hair down and have fun with an in-person or virtual holiday party where the team dons their ugliest holiday garb. Invite the team to join in on the spirited fun with this Ugly Sweater invitation that you can customize with your event’s info.

Go all out and hand out prizes for the best Christmas outfit, the ugliest sweater, or the most creative DIY sweater. Order a trophy the winner can display on their desk or offer gift cards for quick and easy prizes. Want more? Check out our list of ugly sweater party ideas for a truly hilarious time.

4. Get Frightfully Festive with a Murder Mystery Dinner

While murder mysteries are a Halloween staple, these days there are countless holiday-themed options that are perfect for team-building at Christmas time. Invite the team to get together in person or virtually for a dinner party where everyone works together to figure out whodunnit. 

5. Build Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Cottage Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Celebrate the season with one of our favorite holiday traditions: gingerbread house competitions. Give each employee the same gingerbread house kit and invite them to your holiday team-building activity with the Gingerbread Cottage invitation.

Order extras like candy canes, peppermint candies, and gumdrops so the team can make their gingerbread house unique. Give everyone half an hour to put together their best creations. Then, have the team judge the sugary creations to pick their favorites. Hand out holiday prizes for the most creative, the most festive, the most atrocious (why not!) and the prettiest designs.

6. Play Holiday Trivia

Host a friendly competition and play holiday-inspired trivia with the team. For an extra special remote team-building party, send out small hot chocolate gift baskets or cocktail mixers before the event. Have everyone open their gift and whip up their drinks as you mix and mingle before the trivia game starts.

Choose holiday-themed trivia questions like these for your in-person or virtual game:

  • How many ghosts are in “A Christmas Carol”?
  • What are nicknames for Santa Claus in other countries?
  • In what modern-day country was St. Nicholas born?
  • How many candles are in a menorah?
  • Which country invented eggnog?
  • Are Hanukkah candles lit from left to right or right to left?

7. Spread Cheer with a Holiday Gift Exchange

Holiday Whimsy Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Plan a holiday gift exchange where the team can trade gifts with people in their own department or across the company. Host a Secret Santa where each team member gets a random person to give a gift to. Or make it a white elephant party and only choose silly gifts to get the team giggling together.

Handle the logistics by sending out an invite like the Holiday Whimsy invitation three or four weeks before the event. Include special details like the gift price maximum or tips for choosing a gift to match the party theme.

8. Work Together at an Escape Room

Escape rooms are a fun way to incorporate team-building and boost camaraderie. You have to use teamwork, problem-solving skills, and holiday cheer to get out of this predicament. 

Divide the team into small groups depending on the size of the escape room. Choose a holiday theme — like a gingerbread village or an escape from the holiday shopping mall — at a local escape room. Work together to crack the clues and promote team bonding while enjoying the festive mood.

9. Host a Holiday Happy Hour

Winter Cocktails Invitation

Design: Anna K Design

Whether you have a virtual team or an in-person crew, hosting a holiday happy hour is a great way to connect, mingle, and be merry. Plan a wine-tasting party or send happy hour gift baskets to your remote team and decorate your Christmas trees together. Choose an invite like the Winter Cocktails invitation to generate excitement about the event.

Set time aside for icebreaker games so people from different departments can learn more about each other. Share your favorite holiday traditions, the best holiday cocktails you’ve tried, or your most memorable holiday gift.

10. Plan a Virtual Game Night

Be there with bells on for a virtual game night with the whole team. Play fun games — like charades, trivia, and Pictionary — via Zoom. Choose holiday games to get in the spirit of the season and take things up a notch by asking everyone to wear an ugly sweater or holiday outfit.

11. Learn Something New with a Cooking Class

Oh What Fun Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Jingle all the way to your kitchen and whip up tasty treats while enjoying the company of your remote team during a holiday cooking class. Contact a local restaurant to see if the chef can host the class or use an online site like The Table Less Traveled to book a pro. Get the team ready for the event with the Oh What Fun invitation where you can add all the event details.

Send gift baskets a day or two before the event with all the ingredients your team will need for the meal. Log onto the Christmas party and follow the chef’s instructions to make the special dish. As you work, chat about your favorite holiday meals and get to know each other personally outside of the office.

12. Give Back at a Charity Fundraiser

Skip the traditional potluck holiday office party and get the team to organize a charity fundraiser. It’s a fun way of giving back and getting everyone into the spirit of giving.

For team-building, assign coordinating roles for different people on the team. One person can handle the raffle, another can be in charge of donations, and others can work the crowd to drum up donations. Everyone will have to work together to raise money and make an impact on the local community. This is one of the best holiday team-building activities to embody the true holiday spirit.

Get in the Holiday Spirit With Your Team

People having a toast while holding some sparklers

From virtual holiday team-building activities to in-person fun, these options will surely get your colleagues in the holiday spirit. Whether you play silly party games, level up your culinary skills, or engage in friendly competitions, these holiday team-building ideas can boost community spirit and strengthen bonds even if you’re miles apart.

When you’re ready to send out invitations, turn to Greenvelope. Browse our large selection of holiday invitations and choose a design you love. Customize it by adding a song from your favorite holiday playlist or elevate the look with a wax seal. Hit send and the team will instantly see the lovely design in their inbox or text messages.

Need more holiday ideas? Continue browsing our Stationers blog where you’ll find everything from team-building games to corporate invites and holiday soiree ideas. Happy holidays!