9 Holiday Party Ideas for Small Offices
By Carmen Ren
Although the majority of Bevi employees work out of our headquarters in Boston, we also have two smaller offices in New York City and San Francisco. In the San Francisco office where I work, we have a total of 9 employees onsite—the office is what you could call ‘fun-sized.’ Because of this, I wasn’t initially sure what kind of company holiday party would be both fun and cost-friendly. And, since we had folks flying in from out of town on the scheduled date, I also needed an activity in addition to the standard holiday dinner. After a bit of research and a little help from friends at OrgOrg, I was able to compile a list of holiday party ideas well-suited to small offices. (Don’t worry, no potlucks included.)
1. Escape Room
In recent years, escape rooms have become very popular across the US. While the names may vary by region, it’s easy to find one that fits both your puzzle-solving experience as well as price range. These excellent hour-long diversions not only test your mettle, but also provide a great team-building opportunity. Our San Francisco office decided to do the Ryptic ‘Escape the Mad Scientist’ Room, which currently runs at around $30 per person.
Bevi’s San Francisco office at Ryptic Room Escape.
On a budget, but still want to get fancy? Feastly is the way to go. Serving pop-up meals made by world-class chefs at an affordable price, Feastly offers meals for a party of at least 10 people at a starting price of $55 per person. On their website, they also include suggestions for alternative locations for you feast or you have the option to propose your own location. Check first to see if they’re in your area.
3. Rent a Boozy Cable Car (San Fran only!)
This was my favorite suggestion from my peers at Orgorg by a landslide. Events West Tours & Travel (an event company in SF) can help you organize a holiday cable car tour, complete with an open bar; your office can get tipsy, touristy, and in the holiday spirit all on the same ride! The cable car holds up to 40 people, so grab your co-workers and get ready for a night on the trolley.
4. Attend a holiday-themed show
If your office is into musicals, ballets, or anything in between, a holiday-themed show could be the perfect fit for your company holiday party. For die-hard ballet fans, a performance of The Nutcracker could be appealing. On the other end of the spectrum, something a little more campy could be fun, like the Beach Blanket Babylon show in SF. Get creative: you don’t have to live on Broadway to find quality—or quirky—shows in your city. And if it turns out to be a disaster, it will be something to make fun of on Slack the next day.
Explore the artistic side of your office with a night of group painting. Companies like PaintNite hold boozy group painting classes in which an instructor leads a group step-by-step through a painting. For corporate events, PaintNite can arrange the activity in a venue of your choosing. They’ll bring the paint, easels, canvases, aprons, and any other supplies, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics. Their corporate party pricing starts at $840 and covers up to 20 guests. You would be surprised how many ways there are to paint the same picture…
6. Museum Hack
Museum Hack prides themselves on leading “renegade adventures” in well-known museums. According to their website, experienced tour guides tell “sassy insider stories” about a museum’s collections, and sometimes even sneak goodies into the museum for their tour attendees. It’s truly an engaging experience that is both classy and educational.
7. Wine Tasting (primarily California, but not only!)
You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to have a great wine tasting—but if your holiday budget is bountiful, why not? There are plenty of nice wineries in the Bay Area, as well as a few spots in the South Bay and Santa Cruz that often have more affordable tastings and pairing events. Even if your office is not located in California, there may be a winery in your region that you never knew about.
Get your team gaming at an arcade bar. In San Francisco, we are big fans of Brewcade, while our Boston office loves the local spot A4cade. Arcade bars are a great place for first dates and corporate parties (but not both at once…). Grab some tokens, order some pitchers of beer, and get ready to kick everyone’s butt at Alien Invasion. It’s typically easy to organize group events with these venues, and some even serve food or have private rooms to rent.
Photo from our Boston office’s Holiday Party, including a few employees visiting from our other offices. We went bowling, of course!
While it isn’t the most original idea, bowling is a beloved Bevi-bonding activity I could not omit. Whether you have your own shoes or you need bumpers to hit a single pin, bowling parties are a fun way to engage your employees in mild competition. For Bevi’s Boston company holiday party, we rented out private lanes at King’s new location in the Seaport, and had food and drinks provided by the venue.
Is your company holiday party already planned? Hold on to these suggestions: they double as great team outings anytime of the year.