The office Christmas party is the perfect way to celebrate this year’s successes and help your team bond. But, if you’re worried about keeping spirits bright at the annual festive get-together, you might want to think about planning in a few games to break the ice and help get the conversation flowing.
Here are our picks of the best party games to help your office Christmas party go with a swing.
How well do your guests know each other? And can they tell when someone is lying? This simple game uses the same premise as the BBC quiz show of the same name and challenges guests to use their powers of deduction. Each person comes up with two facts about themselves and one lie. Guests then take it in turns to tell their three ‘truths’ while the others question them about their stories to try to work out which is false. This works best with smaller groups and is perfect for getting people talking if they’re taking a while to warm up.
Write the names of famous characters from literature, films, and music on slips of paper. As guests arrive, get them to draw a name out of the hat and, without showing them the name, pin the name to their back with a safety pin. Over the course of the evening, they have to ask fellow guests a question about the name on their back, but they’re only allowed to ask one question of each person they talk to. The person who guesses their name in the fewest number of questions wins a nominal prize.
Split your guests into teams and get them to line up, one behind the other. The first person in the line is given a mask with a ribbon tie and puts it on. A referee blows a whistle and the person at the front takes off the mask and passes it backwards along the line. When the mask reaches the end of the line, that person fastens it on and runs to the front. The process is repeated until the person who started the relay is back at the front – the first team to get there wins.
Give the boss a bit of a challenge with this classic kids’ party game. Get your manager to leave the room and decide as a group who’s going to be the ‘murderer’. Their challenge is to murder as many people as possible by winking at them before the ‘detective’ spots them. It’s up to the victims to spot when the murderer is winking at them (without giving them away) and die in the most dramatic way possible. The murderer wins if they manage to bump off everyone in the room before they’re spotted.
Before the day of the party, as each guest to find a photograph of themselves as a child and bring it into the office. Either stick the pictures to a wall or create a PowerPoint presentation with all the pictures in it, giving each snap a number. Display the numbered pictures at the party and give each guest an answer sheet. The person who guesses the most names correctly wins a prize.
Before the day of the party, ask each guest to submit one fact about themselves that their colleagues might not know (e.g. loves karaoke, can juggle, can do an Elvis impersonation). Write the facts on a grid-like a bingo card – and give one to each guest as they arrive. The aim is to find all the people who match the facts and write a name next to each one. The person who’s collected the most by a set time (for example, by the time you sit down to dinner) is the winner.
All you need for this traditional party game is a blindfold, a picture of your choice, and something to pin on it. You could go for the classic tail on a donkey or make it relevant to your team; for example, if your leader’s known for his collection of ‘70s ties, try ‘pin the tie on Bob’ instead. The person whose pin is nearest the mark is the winner. You might also want a booby prize for the person who’s furthest from the mark.
Each team is given a box of children’s building blocks and told they need to build an archway that every member of their team must pass through. Teams are charged a set amount for every block they use and for every second it takes to build their pre-planned arch design and get each team member through it. Give the teams 15 minutes to plan and practice their design and at the end of the time, ask them for their quote based on a number of bricks (bricks x cost) plus the time taken to build and pass through the arch (seconds x cost). Then ask them to take their trial run arches apart and place the individual blocks back in the box. Now, each team takes it in turns to build their archway and get their team through it with the clock running. The winning team is the one that successfully completes the task nearest to their original estimate without breaking the archway.