Your company’s holiday party is coming up quickly—are you ready? If you’ve booked the DJ and the catered buffet, you may think the answer is yes. But these days, expectations for company events have changed. Extravagant cocktail hours don’t carry the weight they used to. Increasingly, employees want parties that are engaging, active, and fully loaded with a ton of bragging rights. Many companies are taking a more creative approach to their holiday get-togethers, ditching tired themes for events such as Chopped-style cooking challenges, scavenger hunts, and high-energy bowl-offs.
So, put away your ugly sweater and your karaoke mics and lace up your bowling shoes, because here’s what’s in with holiday parties.
OUT: Cringeworthy karaoke
IN: Blacklight bowling parties
Sure, karaoke can be fun, but one ill-advised tune can turn your event into a one trick pony. And let’s face it: not everyone likes being in the spotlight—or even in the audience during some performances. This holiday season, treat your team to an after-work activity that’s sure to be a hit: blacklight bowling. Bowlero’s retro-inspired venues focus on the fun side of 10-pin bowling, featuring throwback music and neon lights. Employees can break into teams and forge the kind of camaraderie you can find only when you roll in with your crew, hit the lanes, have some drinks, and enjoy the old-school fun of this classic sport.
When it comes to the yearly holiday party, everyone wants their celebration to have that bespoke event feel—and that’s exactly where Bowlero shines. They have a variety of pre-set party packages which are beyond easy for companies to customize and party planners who are available to offer suggestions and help you create the perfect event. Once it’s booked, Bowlero handles the rest—from setup to clean up. It all comes together for one legendary holiday party that your employees will be talking (and posting) about long after the event has ended. And if you really want to reward your team, maybe add a fun holiday surprise to their gift bags.
OUT: Yankee swaps
IN: Escape rooms
It’s every employee’s nightmare: getting stuck with the lamest present in the annual Yankee swap. Instead, give your employees a night to remember by hosting a holiday escape room event. Teams work together to solve intricate—and often ingenious—puzzles that ultimately help them break free from a heavily fortified room. Think of it like team building without the corporate-speak and trust falls. Your employees will get to know each other better and will love the combination of competition, pressure, and fun.
OUT: Ugly sweater parties
IN: Axe-throwing competitions
Leave that hideous pullover in the drawer. Instead, reach for your favorite flannel shirt and take your crew out for a night of cocktails and axe-throwing. Employees get to sling axes at wooden targets in specially designed booths, providing employees with plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. And while it may seem counterintuitive to mix craft cocktails with an evening of axe-hurling, the combination lets employees (safely) relax, unwind, and blow off some steam.
OUT: Holiday potluck
IN: Inventive menus
Let’s be real: nobody wants to sample Kevin’s famous chili recipe yet again. Instead of a banquet table loaded with slow cookers and chafing dishes, treat your employees to what they really want: comfort food and creative cocktails. And if employees are all about sharing, Bowlero has them covered with outrageous oversized menu items like their six-pound Behemoth Burger and their 123-ounce Dunk Tank Cocktail. The foodies in your office will love it, and your team’s social media posts will look a heck of a lot better than pics from a conference room potluck.