Get your remote team into the spirit of the season with these virtual holiday team building ideas! Avoid last-minute stress with 21+ virtual holiday party ideas.
This season, you can mix, mingle, and jingle with your remote team. These 12+ ideas will show you how!
TLDR: in this list, you’ll find:
- Holiday virtual team building ideas for remote teams
- Creative virtual team building activities
- virtual holiday ideas for 2021
- Fun virtual holiday party ideas
- virtual holiday party ideas 2021
- Holiday Zoom call ideas
- Inclusive virtual corporate holiday party ideas
- Fun winter holiday activities for corporate teams
- Virtual holiday party games
1. Enjoy a Virtual European Holiday Together – One of Our Favorite Virtual Holiday Team Building Ideas!
A holiday doesn’t just mean Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa — a holiday can also mean a vacation! And, in a year when few can travel to Europe, take a virtual vacation with your team.
We LOVE this idea for 2021. Your team will be mesmerized by Prague’s famous holiday markets. And, visit the beautiful Trevi Fountain with a live Roman guide.
This engaging experience will allow your team to take a virtual holiday trip together, with expert on-location guides. In addition, this experiences focuses on next-level design, which is design that creates culture. Your team will love “directing” the live-streaming guides. In addition, they will learn the proper hand gestures to order an espresso in Rome.
Best of all, the optional gift boxes filled with specialty European products make this an unforgettable experience.
Learn more and book your virtual European holiday experience here.
2. Plan a Virtual Ugly Sweater Party – ’80s Style – One of Our Favorite Virtual Holiday Team Building Ideas!
Virtual parties can be a bit blah, but not this one. Time travel to the 1980s with your team in this fun and engaging office party.
Your team will love competing in so many fun virtual activities. They will make paper ugly sweaters and decorate cookie ugly sweaters. Your team will love the many games to play, like scavenger hunts and guess the celebrity.
Plus, this party theme gets everyone into the kitsch that was the 1980s. With plenty of ’80s love, this will beat the pants off any regular virtual happy hour. This is also an inclusive holiday-themed event, so everyone feels like they belong.
Learn more and book your virtual ugly sweater party here.
3. Book Fully Hosted Virtual Party
While many of the ideas included below are DIY options, as professional event planners, we know how much work it takes to create something awesome for your team. If you want to leave the details to someone else, we would be happy to help you.
Our fully hosted virtual parties include team engagement, games, food and treats shipped to your guests, custom cards with your message, and live-streaming guides in unique spots. We handle everything and you just enjoy.
4. Organize a Virtual Secret Santa Gift Exchange
Regardless of which winter holiday you celebrate (if any!), a Secret Santa gift exchange is a popular office activity. But, you don’t have to be in the office to enjoy a gift swap!
This year, host a virtual gift exchange. First, assign everyone a name ahead of time and have each person ship their gift to the recipient. Then, have your team open their gifts during a holiday video call. Remember to set a price limit that includes shipping costs – especially for international teams!
To get started, use a free online gift exchange software like Elfster. You can invite your team members, draw names, and everyone can create a wish list.
4. Host a Virtual Gingerbread House Contest
In this activity, everyone can get together on a video call to build gingerbread houses together! Take a vote at the end for the most creative gingerbread house, most delicious-looking gingerbread house, and any other prize categories you think would be fun. Award the winner(s) with a special treat, like a small gift card or company swag.
Find easy-to-assemble gingerbread house kits at retailers like Target during the holiday season, or year-round on Amazon. You can even get creative with a gingerbread camper van, dog house, or a luxe Barbie Cookie Dreamhouse.
5. Create a Shared Holiday Playlist
Cue the Mariah Carey and break out the Michael Buble! Creating a holiday playlist is a great way for your remote team to learn a little more about each other. Ask each team member to suggest a favorite holiday or wintertime song, then use Spotify to create a playlist.
Your team members might include a modern pop jam, a nostalgic holiday favorite, or a traditional song from their holiday worship service. To deepen your connection, spend some time in your next team meeting allowing each person to share why they chose their song.
Get some inspiration with Pitchfork’s Spotify playlist featuring the 50 Beat Holiday Songs of All Time.
6. Declare an Unexpected “Snow Day” – One of Our Favorite Virtual Holiday Team Building Ideas!
This isn’t a team-building idea per se. Instead, as a special holiday perk, consider declaring a random “snow day” and giving your team an unexpected afternoon or day off. The upside of remote work is that it allows us to stay connected nearly 24/7.
On the other hand, without an icy commute to the office, “snow days” are becoming a thing of the past. As long as the internet stays connected, so do our employees. But, a snow day can be a welcome (and even necessary!) “reset” button, allowing us to come back more relaxed and focused after a day of play.
This idea will allow your team to tap into their joy-filled childhood selves (snowball fight, anyone?). Or, employees can choose to spend the day tackling some holiday errands, relieving their stress around this busy time of year. Your team might even want to share pictures of their decorated Christmas trees or front porches.
Make your impromptu snow day easy. If any employees can’t participate due to prescheduled meetings or project deadlines, offer a “flex snow day” they can take at their leisure!
7. Mail Your Team a Holiday Treat
Sweet treats and special foods are part of the holiday season for many of us. But, even the most well-intentioned manager can struggle to navigate everyone’s dietary restrictions and tastes. As a result, food can feel like a risky holiday treat idea.
Use Sugarwish to choose your box size. Then, send a special e-card to your team, letting everyone know they’ve received a holiday box.
Everyone can select their favorite snack choices. Options include candies, cookies, nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, and more. Once everyone receives their treat, hop on a video chat for an unwrapping and sharing session!
Explore snack options and purchase your Sugarbox snack kits here. Keto, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free snacks are available.
8. Play Holiday Bingo During Your Virtual Holiday Party – One of Our Favorite Virtual Holiday Team Building Ideas!
Use the free printable graphic above to add some fun to your virtual holiday party! To play, assign one team member to be the bingo leader. This person can read the text off each square. Then, use a virtual hand-raise, a chat box, or just shout out if that square applies to you!
Each person can keep track of their own card, and the first to declare “BINGO!” gets a prize. Bonus: holiday bingo is a great icebreaker activity for employees who don’t know each other well.
To download your virtual holiday bingo card, right-click the image above, select “Save Image As…” and choose a name and file location.
9. Plan a Virtual White Elephant Party
A white elephant party is a party where impractical gifts are exchanged. The goal is to make people laugh! This is the moment to break out your singing bass fishes or to send a sweater that nobody might like.
Pick out people ahead of time using a gift exchange system like Elfster and then ship the white elephants to each other. Or, make it a true virtual white elephants party and send each other silly virtual holiday cards that everyone can screenshare and open.
10. Host a Virtual Holiday Movie Night
This idea will bring the whole team together, whether you’ve seen every Hallmark Channel movie ever made or Die Hard is more your holiday movie style. Use a free browser extension like Teleparty to enjoy a festive virtual movie night together. Everyone’s videos will sync with each other, and you can chat about the movie in real-time in the team’s Slack channel or chat box.
This is a great way to celebrate the holidays. Be sure to offer a variety of holiday movie choices to settle on something everyone will look forward to!
If your employees don’t use the same video streaming services, you can opt for a free ad-supported movie site. Some options include Crackle or IMDb TV, and Tubi.
11. Host a Virtual Gift Wrapping Party
It’s a rare treat to check something off a personal to-do list while also bonding with your coworkers. This virtual holiday team building activity allows your employees to do just that! Host a virtual wrapping party where your team members can enjoy chatting with each other while wrapping gifts for their friends and family.
You can also turn this into a family-friendly experience by inviting everyone’s children or roommates to join in the fun. This is a perfect time to play your team’s holiday playlist (idea #4). Or, start the session with holiday bingo (idea #7)!
If you have a creative team, consider a gift wrapping challenge and vote on the most beautifully wrapped gifts at the end! Get started with this popular YouTube video, “Life-Changing Gift Wrapping Hacks.“
12. Learn About Global Holiday Traditions
Have some festive fun with your team while also honoring your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment.
Learn about global holiday traditions by hosting a virtual viewing party of Discovery Education’s Holidays Around the World Or, participate in an interactive lesson, December Holidays Around the World, from study.com.
Not sure where to start? Get back to basics with National Geographic Kids’ guide to winter celebrations. These easy-to-understand resources can help everyone learn more.
13. Mix & Mingle with a Virtual Holiday Cocktail or Mocktail Class
With this activity, your team can enjoy a unique holiday happy hour, minus the snow and traffic! Make festive cocktails or mocktails to celebrate the season together. Once your drinks are ready, everyone can raise a glass to another successful year together.
For the best experience, find a class led by an experienced bartender or mixologist. You can even call local restaurants and bars in your area to see if any offer virtual mixology classes. Your team will love this virtual cocktail party!
14. Recreate Your Favorite Holiday Movie Recipe – One of Our Favorite Virtual Holiday Team Building Ideas!
This idea is like a cooking demonstration with a twist. Your team can gather together on a video call, and each person will cook a dish from a beloved holiday movie. For example:
- Buddy the Elf Pasta from Elf
- “Filthy Animal” Pizza inspired by Home Alone
- Meat Loaf from A Christmas Story (or an Ovaltine Martini!)
- Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Olaf Nutter Butter Cookies inspired by Frozen
Find even more ideas with Taste of Home’s list, 20 Recipes Inspired by Your Favorite Christmas Movies.
15. Play “Guess the Holiday Music”
If your team is looking for a fun holiday ice breaker or a start to a team meeting, play Guess the Holiday Music. Ask one person to hum the first line of a holiday song and see if the rest of your remote team can guess the holiday song. Or, make this a team event by splitting your larger group into small groups where they can try to stump each other.
16. Show Off Your Holiday Decor
One of the best parts of working remotely is sharing our homes with our teams. Pick a day closer to the middle of December when everyone has had time to put up holiday decorations. Then, invite your team to walk through their houses. It’s even more fun to set up your event in the evening when your coworkers might have their homes lit up!
In addition, make clear that all decorations and decorating styles will be appreciated. To make it even more fun, you could give out little awards to your team members. Here are some suggestions for awards:
- Best Santa Figures
- Prettiest Tree
- Best Use of Space
- Channeling Joanna Gaines
17. Host a Virtual Cookie Swap
Neighborhood cookie swaps are a common holiday tradition and you can do this virtually, too! Invite your team members to join a Zoom call in the afternoon and encourage them to make their favorite cookie recipe live.
During the event, ask everyone what they are doing and what they are baking. Then, throughout the event, throw in cookie-themed challenges. At the end of the hour, your team will have a dozen delicious cookies and the joy of baking together.
If you want to take it to the next level, encourage your team to mail those cookies to one other person! You could offer to pay for the shipping fee. In fact, many cookie recipes are shipping-friendly. Gingerbread is, in particular, a great choice to ship.
18. Share New and Old Holiday Traditions
Start off your holiday meetings with a tradition-based icebreaker. Ask each person in your group to share one holiday tradition they love. After each person has shared their traditions, ask people to comment on new-to-them traditions.
This is also a great icebreaker because it allows your team to celebrate cultural differences. For example, did you know that in the Czech Republic, fried carp is the most common Christmas Eve dinner?
19. Play a Virtual Elf on the Shelf game
Before you start groaning, stick with us here! Yes, the Elf on the Shelf is a super annoying task to get your kids interested in the “magic of Christmas.” But, what if the Elf on the Shelf was a competition between adults?
Assign one day of the holiday season to be each team member’s Elf on the Shelf day. On that one day, the team member should post either a picture of an Elf on the Shelf doing something, or any other doll or toy doing something holiday-like. While many adults may not have Elf on the Shelf, they’ll certainly have some toy.
For this event, we recommend setting some ground rules. A good rule of thumb is that their Elf on the Shelf pictures should be grandma-friendly.
20. How Many Minutes To . . . . ? Holiday Game – One of our favorite virtual holiday party ideas!
“How Many Minutes To . . . . ?” is a fun virtual take on the usual scavenger hunt. Here are the rules:
First, pick one person to start the game. That person will ask a question that starts with “how many minutes.” For example, one possibility might be “How many minutes will it take the entire team to grab a can of soda?”
Second, the entire team should give their guesses as to how many minutes it will take.
Third, the entire team should go and grab a soda, while the questioner times them. The questioner will then announce how long it took and the person who got the closest time guess will be the next questioner.
For the holidays, you can focus on holiday items, such as cinnamon, Santa figurines, or candles. This game gets everyone involved and laughing.
21. Chef in the Kitchen Holiday Game
Rely on the skills and strengths of your own team for this fun holiday game. Ask your teammates to step up and share their hidden chef skills.
Perhaps one of your team members is a master pickler. Or, maybe you have a skilled baker on your team. Give multiple people on your team the opportunity to share their cooking skills.
22. Holiday Talent Show – One of our favorite virtual holiday party ideas!
Your team members are incredibly talented. So, showcase those talents in a virtual holiday party everyone will love.
Give volunteers 3 minutes each to showcase a talent. Ask the most gregarious and fun person on your team to act as the emcee. This is one of those low cost, high impact virtual holiday party ideas.
With these ideas, you and your remote team will be on your way to enjoying a magical holiday season in no time! Above all, remember to share in moments of gratitude and connection together. Reflect on all you’ve accomplished in 2021 while taking a festive break together.
More About Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
Do you have virtual holiday party ideas for diversity and inclusivity teams?
Yes, check out these virtual holiday party ideas for diversity and inclusivity teams.