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No location? No problem! Get the party started in style with these fun and creative virtual holiday party ideas that everyone will enjoy, no matter how much distance between you all.
Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
1. Online Charity Drive
‘Tis the season of giving, so there’s no better way to get everyone embracing the Christmas spirit than a collaborative effort to round up old bits and bobs to be donated to a great cause.
Things such as clothing, books, blankets, towels, non-perishable food, toiletries, and children’s toys all make great contributions and can be distributed to different places.
For example, donations of food and toiletries are ideal for giving to the local food bank, whereas toys and clothing can be donated to nearby charity shops. Have everyone organize their contributions to be collected at a later date.
Before the party, it’s worth looking online to see which items are in high or low demand – many charitable organizations update their “wish lists” regularly.
2. Quiz It
A good old-fashioned quiz will always go down well at a virtual party – they’re something that most everyone can take part in, and so are a real crowd-pleaser.
Whether you want to keep the quiz strictly focused on festive facts, branch out into general knowledge, or even have multiple rounds with different categories, is completely up to you.
If you struggle to think up the questions all by yourself, don’t fret – a simple online search for ‘quiz questions’ will bring up thousands of results containing ready-prepared questions and answers.
Consider having everyone donate some money before the party, and use it to buy some prizes. Award the top prize to the winning player or team, the second prize to the runner-up, and so on.
3. Christmas Bingo
There are lots of printables online of Christmas bingo cards, which can have words or pictures on a grid in place of numbers.
Picture bingo cards are ideal if there are families playing along, as small children can take part too. Send out some bingo cards to each household in advance of the party, so it’s all ready to go on the night.
Before the evening starts, make sure to print off a master list of all the words or pictures included on the cards.
To make it even more random, cut each word out with a pair of scissors, and place them face-down in a pot or bowl. That way, you won’t have to choose a word from the list, but each word that’s called will come entirely down to chance.
Consider handing out prizes for the first team to get four corners, a line, and a full house.
4. Costume Contest
Here’s a chance for everyone to show off their fashion flair and creative know-how. You could have your guests virtually parade their favorite Christmas characters, such as Frosty the Snowman, Jack Skellington, or the Grinch.
Or perhaps you could pick another category altogether, such as classic Hollywood, 99-cent-store glam, or even something more abstract, like assigning each guest a letter of the alphabet to bring to life – the sillier the better.
Having everyone show off their costumes is sure to kick your virtual party off to a lively start, and to get people laughing and talking.
You can award prizes for different categories, such as best dressed, funniest costume, most original, and best DIY costume.
A great way to nominate the winners is to have guests submit their votes for each category via private message.
5. Tiny Tree Competition
Create your own tiny winter wonderland by having everyone glam up their own mini Christmas tree. This one is sure to please any creative minds within the group, and it is good for those with children at home as they can join in too.
A few weeks before the party, send out a miniature Christmas tree to every household taking part. Their job is then to decorate the tree however they want – whether they want to buy their own decorations, hand-make them, or mix and match is up to them.
People will love seeing what everyone has managed to put together as they showcase their talents, and everyone is sure to be amazed by how unique each tree is from the next.
Award prizes for categories, such as most creative, most visually stunning, among others.
6. Holiday Movie Night
Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Christmas movies are a classic part of the holiday season.
Just because you aren’t physically together for your Christmas party this year, there’s no reason why your group can’t still enjoy a good old-fashioned movie night together.
A few days before the event, create a varied list of suggestions to watch together on the night. You can choose from our ultimate list of Christmas movies if you’re struggling for ideas.
As long as everyone taking part is of the legal drinking age, you can even turn the film into a drinking game – get everyone to take a drink when certain words come up, such as Christmas, Santa, or sleigh.
7. Wreath Making & Chill
This is a lovely activity that will appeal to almost everyone, whether or not they’re the arty-crafty type.
Ask everyone to buy a small wreath a couple of weeks in advance of the party, as well as some bits and bobs to decorate them with.
The premise of this activity is really very simple: everyone attending the virtual party that wants to take part should buy a plain Christmas wreath and things to decorate it with – alternatively, they can also be sent out to the attendees beforehand.
All that’s left to do after that is for everyone to bring their favorite tipple, and for everyone to sit down together, decorate their wreaths over a drink, and let the conversation flow.
8. Name That Tune
This simple holiday-themed game is great to play in larger groups, though it can be adapted to any crowd size.
Before the party, create a playlist of as many Christmas songs as you want people to guess the name of.
The songs don’t have to be the most famous, classic Christmas hits – though it’s good to include a few – but can be a mix of old and new songs, classical music, and even songs from Christmas movie soundtracks.
Divide your group into teams – the easiest way to do this is by household – and let each team take their best guesses at the name of each song, from a small clip that’s played to the group. The team that guesses the most song names correctly is the winner.
9. Swap Holiday Traditions
Over the years and across generations, almost every family develops their own Christmas quirks and traditions. As well as varying from family to family, they can also differ wildly by country, and even by region.
Gather everyone around at the event and have people take turns to tell the group what makes their Christmas celebrations unique.
Some may be in the tradition of opening a single gift on Christmas Eve, others might differ on what they leave out for Santa on their way to bed.
Everyone in the group is sure to learn something, and some might even get inspired to adopt a new family Christmas tradition.
10. Christmas Cooking Class
While the vast majority of cooking classes have all been based in face-to-face settings, recently more and more professional cooking schools have made a move towards offering classes online.
A group cooking class with a festive twist is just the ticket to get people into the spirit of the season, and there’s no shortage of online classes to take part in.
Take a look at our list of online cooking classes to give you ideas, and get ready for some festive fun in the kitchen.
11. Virtual Secret Santa
Essentially, a virtual secret Santa runs almost exactly the same way as a regular secret Santa, but it’s all organized online
Before the party, set a budget limit, and take the names of everyone taking part before placing them into a randomizer. A quick online search will bring up plenty of websites that can be loaded up with names before matching them at random.
To keep the “secret” part of the secret Santa, send each participant their allocated match in a private message.
Get everyone to open their gifts from each other on the group video chat, and see if people can guess their gifter.
12. Festive Singalong
Christmas caroling is one of the most wonderful traditions of the season, and just because your Christmas party is taking place online is no reason for your group not to enjoy this feel-good festive activity.
Though you can do it with no backing music if you want to, it may be more fun to create a playlist – both YouTube and Spotify will do the job – of instrumental versions of classic Christmas tracks.
There are even charities and other organizations that run online Christmas caroling events. So if your virtual holiday party night happens to coincide with one, you and your group can belt out your favorite seasonal singalongs in the name of a good cause, too.
13. Christmas Sweater Contest
The humble ugly, classic Christmas sweater – once considered a pretty embarrassing part of the holiday – has exploded in popularity over the last few years.
Nowadays, they can be found with almost any design in mind: from the fluorescent to the fancy, to the utterly vile, and the downright terrifying.
Give your attendees some advance notice before the party to seek out the craziest Christmas sweater they can find, and have everyone take a turn to show theirs off.
As well as some ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’, you’ll probably get some ‘ewwws’ – and lots and lots of laughter!
Have everyone vote for their favorites – this can be organized by categories such as the ugliest sweater, best DIY sweater, and so on.
14. Gingerbread ‘Nailed It!’
Since the rise of social media and memes, the phrase ‘nailed it!’ has taken on a whole new meaning – it’s usually thrown around to describe DIY and baking disasterpieces.
Gingerbread houses are stunning to look at, especially if done well, and they look wonderfully simple to decorate – but looks can be deceiving.
Before the party, send out the same gingerbread house kit to each guest. During the evening, set a timer of 30 minutes to an hour – attendees will have this amount of time to do their best to recreate the gorgeous gingerbread house image on the front of the box.
This is one activity that’s actually better if there are a few fails because it just makes the competition that much more entertaining.
15. Goofy Games
Whatever your group’s preferred type of game might be – cards, trivia, or anything in between, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s an online version available.
You can have each household play individually, or they can combine with other households that are playing to form teams, for some proper one-on-one style competition.
Games that are great for playing online in larger groups include Cards Against Humanity, online scavenger hunts, virtual escape rooms, and Who In The Room.
16. Holiday Photo Storytelling
This sweet and sentimental activity is one to include to really ramp up the feel-good factor of your virtual holiday party.
Beforehand, ask guests to print one or two photographs, taken at Christmas time, that are really special to them.
Alternatively, people could show their pictures by sharing their screens – this will usually show the picture in better quality, too. Make sure guests know to keep stories positive and light-hearted, though.
Take turns going around the group to tell the stories behind each picture over a glass of mulled wine. As well as hearing some heartwarming stories, it’ll give everyone a chance to bond.
17. Hot Chocolate Tasting
Hot chocolate and Christmas – is there any more iconic combination? This delightful, tasty activity is suitable for all ages, and can also be turned into a fun game.
Send out various flavored sachets of hot chocolate to guests in advance of the party. Make sure everyone has one of each flavor.
At the virtual party, everyone will love sitting down, sampling all the different varieties, and comparing them.
You can make a game of it and keep your guests guessing by covering up the names of each flavor, and put their taste buds to the test as they try and decipher which is which.
18. Have A Full Virtual Christmas
Just because your Christmas party is taking place online, there’s no reason that you and your group can’t still celebrate in style.
Do the whole shebang and have a full virtual Christmas by having each household cook and prepare their favorite festive feasts to enjoy at the event, open gifts from one another, have a drink or two (or five), and just enjoy each other’s company and be merry.
19. Festive Charades
Who doesn’t love a good game of charades? It’s a wonderful, hilarious game that can be enjoyed by everyone at a party, regardless of age or group size. All that’s needed is some imagination and – in this case – an internet connection.
A simple search online will bring up tons of websites where Christmas-themed prompts for charades can be found, and some even organize them by category.
Once you’ve found a list of prompts, it can be sent out to guests. This isn’t necessary, though – you and your group can always freestyle it instead.
20. Christmas Cocktail Making
Bring everyone together for an evening full of fun and delicious drinks by organizing a cocktail-making masterclass for the group.
More professional mixologists, bakers, and chefs than ever before have adopted a more online-based approach to sharing their expertise.
Before the party, send out cocktail-making ingredients to your guests, or give everyone a shopping list so they can go out to buy what they need.
You can have the option to join a class that’s being broadcast live, or opt for a pre-recorded session, depending on what suits your group.
Don’t settle for the cliche Zoom meetups these holidays. If your event is a virtual one, it can still be a bucket load of fun.
Get inspired with these ideas, and plan a holiday gathering that everyone will remember for a long time.
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Planning a virtual holiday party soon? Keep this list on standby for inspiration, by saving it to one of your party planner or inspiration Pinterest boards.