“Dear diary…I’m running out of fresh ideas to keep my remote team engaged while working from home…”

Sound familiar? Fear not, friend! We’ve put together an awesome list with fun, easy virtual team building activities for remote teams.

These are awesome remote team builders for WFH teams. The goal of virtual team building is to create strong teams that are working remotely. This can be achieved through simple questions and icebreakers, virtual karaoke, and larger company-wide virtual events. Great remote team builders will foster closeness, improve communication, and boost team morale for your employees.

We’ll be honest: we know that working from home is a lonely, disconnected experience. In Buffer’s recent State of Remote Work 2020 report, loneliness was the biggest struggle for 20% of remote employees

We’re seeing companies put team building on the backburner, as if virtual team building doesn’t work, or won’t help.

Sadly, this is the exact opposite of how to keep remote employees engaged. If anything, now is the time to double-down on supporting your staff, to show that you’re there for them during this challenging time.

The ideas below are easy to implement, but remote team building brings its own challenges, and it requires special work to engage everyone. After all, you don’t want half the team tuning out, and need to ensure everyone feels like they’re a part of it.

That’s why virtual team building is so unique. But if you spend time creating a thoughtfully designed program, remote team building activities can be super successful! Our ideas below don’t require a ton of time or money, but can still serve the purpose of bringing teams together, with staff bonding and fun, plus useful tools for working remotely.

We at Kabloom (formerly Wild SF Tours) are passionate about great virtual team events, and have compiled 20 of our favorite creative virtual team building activities for remote teams. They’re easy to run, easy on the wallet, and can make for a happier, more productive team!

Table of contents

What is virtual team building?

Virtual team building can be, well, anything that brings remote teams together, just like if you were working together in an office! When done well, fun virtual team building can help build trust and meaningful connection through team bonding, and can help ensure your whole team feels valued and seen.

Virtual team building ideas include several strategies, games and activities designed to bring more human interaction to virtual workers.

We’ve outlined all sorts of ideas, including simple ice-breaker questions, games and video activities. We promise these will help create closer-knit teams and better collaboration!

Zoom Team Building

Why is virtual team building important?

Remote team building is especially important for workers not used to working virtually (like those affected by COVID-19). It can be hard to self-motivate, and workers often feel disconnected and unsupported.

Instead of equating this with your quarterly team builder, think of virtual team building as a replacement for the ‘watercooler.’ It’s an intentional space where remote co-workers get to catch up, socialize, and connect in a way they might not otherwise.

Done well, virtual team building can help stand in for the connections and collaboration you’d experience with in-person working. It ensures employees feel cared for, connected, and inspired to be productive!

Intentional team building can even facilitate new skills, like a collaboration mindset, communication building, and teamwork. 

Best practices for team bonding while working remote

Find time for small talk

When online meetings begin, it’s easy to jump straight into business. But consider adding in a few minutes for casual check-ins and small talk. This is extra important for remote employee bonding, as virtual team members don’t have a chance to chat with their neighbors throughout the workday.

Get creative

All the games below are templates that you can easily switch up and change to fit your team. Have fun, don’t take it seriously, and see what happens!

Hire a virtual team building expert

Ironically, 65% of remote employees say they’ve had no type of virtual team building sessions. These are the employees who need them the most!

If you’re overwhelmed by the task of building rapport and trust through remote teambuilding, hire an expert to make it happen! Check out Kabloom for qualified leaders who can turn a conference video call into a meaningful session. Feel free to call us at ‪415-942-5421‬ or email booking (at) kabloom.team to chat more!

So, without further ado…

Here we go! These are some of our favorite virtual team building ideas (that aren’t boring!). But use your imagination too—just like with improv games, there are endless possibilities to invent and switch up these team building games and activities.

1. Take your team on a Virtual Vacation!

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What sounds better than kicking back on a tropical beach, sipping a piña colada?

Hawaiian shirts are encouraged on the Virtual Vacation, transporting you to an imaginary island. But there’s a catch: your team must now work together to navigate across waters back home.

Led by a virtual tour guide from Wild SF, your energetic, quirky host will get everyone laughing, connecting and working together through fun challenges.

Your team will collaborate on drawing a flag to fly on our ship, you’ll run around on a home scavenger hunt, you’ll design a route for our ship, and you’ll learn so much more about your team.

2. Learn and be entertained at a Virtual Graffiti Workshop

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This dynamic experience is quickly becoming a favorite: it’s a graffiti history class, a virtual street art tour, and an online graffiti class with a renowned street artist!

First, you’ll learn the history of graffiti’s hip hop roots in New York in the late 1960’s, and how the art form has gone international since then.

Then join a virtual tour that heads down back alleys to visit the ‘outdoor galleries’ of mural- and graffiti-filled streets, finding hidden art from local legends and international artists.

You’ll learn about how politics and legality comes into play with piecing, bombing, tagging and creating stunning murals.

Next, it’s time to draw! You’ll meet a renowned graffiti artist who will share his backstory in the ‘graf’ scene, and lead a workshop showing everyone how to create their own tags.

Come up with your own tagging name, and practice developing handstyles, and turning a basic tag into a “piece” (that is, a masterpiece).

Your team will leave inspired, having learned about art and showcasing their own creativity as a team!

3.Virtual Stand-Up Comedy Show for Companies and Teams

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Hire a virtual stand-up comic to entertain your remote team! Kabloom runs online stand-up comedy shows for the workplace, with family-friendly comics who are guaranteed to get your team laughing and having fun.

They can run stand-up comedy shows on Zoom and Google Meet.

The session lasts 45 minutes, and includes warming up the crowd and bantering with them, followed by a 15 minute stand-up set. 

Next is a Q&A about the life of a working comic. At the end there’s more involvement with something called “joke karaoke,” where your team can share their own favorite jokes!

4. Drag Queen Virtual Diversity Training for teams

DEI, or diversity training, doesn’t need to be stale and awkward!

What is virtual diversity training?

Diversity training is the practice of embracing the things that make us unique, reducing prejudice and discrimination, and improving teamwork and communication. It has become increasingly popular among companies, especially larger corporations.

Join beloved San Francisco drag queen Mary Vice for the most entertaining online diversity seminar you’ve ever seen. She’s one of the most successful drag performers on Twitch today.

Mary Vice drag queen
San Francisco-based drag performer Mary Vice

In this exhilarating look at queer history and culture, you’ll get a crash course on LGBT rights and Pride via a virtual tour of San Francisco’s most important queer landmarks.

Then, you’ll enjoy a live online drag show performance by Mary Vice, with the chance to ask her questions about life as a drag queen.

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5. (Have someone) organize a Party in a Box!

Think you can’t entertain a large remote team (50-500+ people) at the same time? Think again!

Kabloom are experts at facilitating large-scale virtual company parties, which features a number of activities running simultaneously.

That way, your coworkers can choose their own adventure (kind of like a music festival).

Imagine a variety of activities running at the same time, like:

  • karaoke with an energetic host
  • open mic night
  • poetry
  • clown show
  • magic show
  • stand-up comedy
  • icebreakers
  • drag show

Wild SF are experts at setting up these kinds of online events for remote teams. We can cover everything from organizing invites, coordinating experienced, high-energy leaders for each activity, and taking care of the logistics of online facilitation.

LEARN MORE

6. Host an online karaoke session

Since COVID, many companies have turned into remote teams looking for fun online events. Good news: a virtual karaoke party is an awesome (and easy) virtual team building idea to get your team connecting!

This guide explains how to organize a virtual karaoke party on Zoom, how to host a great event for your team working from home, and how to choose a great karaoke song.

HIRE A KARAOKE HOST

7. Icebreaker questions for remote meetings 

Here’s an easy one: kick off with virtual meeting ice breaker questions! This is one of most easy virtual team building ideas out there. Asking a fun and easy icebreaker question is a tried-and-true way of getting people talking and bonding in no time!

We suggest building in enough time to do a few rounds of questions. Kick it off with something super easy and ‘surface-level’ to get your team talking.

Easy opening icebreaker questions

  • What’s one random thing we probably don’t know about you?
  • If you could have dinner with anyone (living or dead), who would it be?
  • If you had a free airplane ticket anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • What’s one food you could eat every week for the rest of your life?
  • If you had to spend $1 million in a year, what would you do with it?
  • What is the best trip you have ever taken?
  • If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
  • What is your favorite item of clothing and why?

Then, if you’re feeling there’s a trust and comfort with your team, try one of these deeper questions. These get more to the core of what people care about in life, and can make for meaningful team bonding for your virtual team.

As someone starts demonstrating vulnerability, this can encourage others to open up about their own goals, dreams and needs too.

Deeper icebreaker questions for teams

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • If you had unlimited time in life, what’s a hobby or passion that you would pursue?
  • What do you want your legacy to be?
  • What was the greatest day of your life?
  • What is one of your proudest moments/greatest achievements in life?
  • Who is the most inspiring person you’ve met?
  • What is a pet peeve of yours that sounds silly but really ticks you off?
  • What is your biggest work accomplishment?

8. Guess Who

Here’s a fun one: have your team submit one (unknown!) fact about themselves to the leader. The zanier and the better—everyone has a few of these experiences that wouldn’t have come up in conversation naturally.

Learning fun facts about one another is especially important for remote teams, which can feel very isolated. Knowing that you and your coworker share a love of an obscure 80’s band, or both studied abroad in Ireland, can make for meaningful connection that wouldn’t exist otherwise. It’s a simple way to spark friendship-forming discussions.

How it works

  1. During the meeting, read each fact aloud to the group, and have the team guess which fact belongs to which team member! 
  2. If it’s a small team (5 or less), it works well to read all the facts at once, then have everyone try to match them up
  3. If you’re 6+, it works well to do multiple rounds, so that everyone can remember the facts that you read
  4. At the end of each round, the team can cast votes and discover if they got them right

9. Play an online game

Houseparty is a free mobile application that got really popular, especially towards the start of the pandemic. It now offers a host of fun games to play with your coworkers, like karaoke, trivia and Heads Up!

How it works

  1. Download Houseparty for your phone or Google Chrome
  2. Log on and locate your coworkers
  3. Choose a game that you want to play!

10. Jeopardy quiz game for team building

Here’s a Jeopardy-style quiz show game for team building. It’s basically a quiz show, and you can keep points to make it competitive!

How it works

  1. Brainstorm a list of questions for the show! 
  2. Decide on teams or individual (we suggest no teams for 7 or less; it’s just one more step to organize!)
  3. To compete, each player should ‘buzz in’ through the chat (comment with an X, for example). The first to buzz gets to answer, and if they get it correct, one point!

Question ideas

Company-specific questions
  • What year was our company founded?
  • Where was our company started?
  • Name the founder
  • What is our company motto?
General questions
  • Check out Paul’s Quiz, a pub quiz question website with hundreds of great question templates 
  • You can organize by category too, like current events, Netflix shows, history, music, pop culture
  • If you’re tech-savvy, add in audio or video clues (use screen-sharing)

11. Fun Slack #channels 

Since we’re all spending more time at home, it’s a great time to learn about one another’s hobbies we’ve been making some time to share what we’re up to outside of work. 

While working from home, these channels can be a fun way to bond and learn of similar interests, hobbies, and to brag about cute pets, kids and home cooking.

Sometimes the best team building ideas are the easiest to run. Once you set this up, there’s no maintenance needed but infinite bonding possibilities.

How it works

  1. Set up some fun Slack channels for your team and invite them! 

Fun Slack channel ideas

  • #watercooler or #breakroom: a virtual replacement for the real thing
  • #pets and #kids: because people love an excuse to post pictures of their adorable companions (and when they’re working from home, they’ll be snapping a lot of these pics)
  • #hobbies: humblebrag about your musical skills, landscaping
  • #random: for memes, silly gifs, and random internet finds
  • #topchef: for posting pics of all the beautiful home-cooked meals you’re making
  • #netflix: because everyone wants to talk about the latest ridiculous documentary

12. Virtual coffee break

Constant video meetings that are all business can feel like, well, all business. Here’s a way to break that up, and show that jumping onto a video call can be fun and conversational.

Coffee and laptop

How it works

  1. Set up a 15-30 minute ‘coffee break’ call that has no agenda (and is truly just a way for remote employees to bond while having a coffee together)
  2. Let the conversation flow organically (sometimes it’s best if the manager isn’t on the call). Allow them this space to chat about whatever they want to!
  3. You can even consider giving a ‘no work talk!’ guideline to ensure it’s all fun talk and getting to know one another, or you can let them use that time to talk through projects and collaborations, too.

Conversation often spins into the latest Netflix series, personal lives and current events. For those who work remotely, these can feel like a really valuable time to interact with coworkers in a fun and easy way.

13. Home-cooked lunch competition

Since we’re all cooking at home, why not make that into its own fun competition? 

How it works

  1. Choose a day to host your competition
  2. Decide on a ‘theme’ for the food competition in advance, so everyone has time to grocery shop
  3. On the day of the food contest, have everyone post a picture of what they made for lunch on Slack
  4. Then vote on whose meal is the best
  5. There can be a fun prize for the winner! 

Ideas for themes for chef competition

  • Cuisine type (Indian, Southern, Italian)
  • Color (‘red foods’, however they interpret that!)
  • Ingredient that must be utilized (potato, any way they like!)
  • Desserts
  • Best sandwich
  • Healthiest food
  • Unhealthiest food

14. Virtual happy hour

Team bonding at the local bar is a tried-and-true way to let loose and catch up at the end of a long day. Hosting an online happy hour might sound strange, but it works!

Cocktail stock image

This is a chance for co-workers to interact and learn more about each other, even if they’ve never gotten a chance to meet and work together in person.

How it works

  1. Let your team members know in advance about virtual happy hour, so they can stock up on their beverage of choice
  2. When the video call happens, get everyone to ‘cheers’ with whatever they’re drinking!
  3. Conversation will flow organically here, and this shouldn’t feel too structured. But you can definitely have a few great icebreaker game ideas on hand too (like those on this list above!)

15. Virtual co-working (with a live remote office stream)

It sounds silly, but there’s something psychologically encouraging if you can feel like you’re in an office, even when you’re home. One easy idea is to create a live remote office space in a video chat.

It’s encouraging to see your coworkers, and helps you to stay motivated while working remotely. Just like in a real office, it also allows for easily asking questions, making a bit of small talk, and feeling more connected!

How it works

  1. At the start of the day, anyone can start the ‘virtual office’ by dropping a link to a video meeting
  2. As others start work, they can open the “office” and keep the video chat on throughout their workday

16. MTV Cribs: Virtual Team Edition

We’re going back to the early 2000’s. Frosted tips are encouraged.

A fun way to start a remote meeting (or maybe a mid-meeting pick-me-up?) is to have your distributed team do their best celebrity impressions and show off their house, selfie-style.

It’s a unique way to bring remote teams together, and to show off any particularly great interior design skills!

How it works

  1. Choose one remote team member as the ‘celebrity’ per meeting
  2. Have them host their own selfie-style TV episode, showcasing from their doorway, then walking through the house. They can show off whatever they feel like along the way!

Tip: have the ‘celebrity’ join the meeting on their phone (not computer), which will be easier for walking and narrating.

17. Marco Polo check-in

Marco Polo is our favorite video messaging app, where you can record and send short videos privately, or with a group. They call it a ‘video walkie talkie.’ It’s simple, but really fun!

How it works

  1. Have the team download the app, then add everyone to a group
  2. Every morning, record a message with the day’s check-in/prompt
  3. Then invite everyone to respond with a short, fun video!

Ideas for Marco Polo check-ins for virtual team builders

  • One word to describe your morning
  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Sing your favorite song
  • What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

The possibilities are endless—every morning you can think of a new question, or have your remote team take turns coming up with that day’s check in question. This is a great way for distributed teams to have a bit of facetime and connect from afar!

18. Christmas in July

Everybody loves presents (even if you’re not a Christmas person). Plus, getting a care package in the mail sounds extra sweet when you’re working remote! So why not make a new gift-giving holiday?

You can make up a new gifting tradition for July 25, say, and call it ‘Christmas in July.’ This could also work as a quarterly tradition. However often you want to celebrate, presents are always a fun way for remote teams to feel connected and cared for.

How it works

  1. Try to run this Secret Santa-style, where each remote employee is given another employee to prepare a care package for
  2. You could have people fill out a survey of types of things they like: dietary restrictions/fave online stores/fave drink? Or the team can have total creative control! It depends how well they all know each other
  3. Then give a max budget, e.g. $25 plus shipping
  4. Tell them when their presents must arrive
  5. The presents could even be opened together as a fun idea for video meetings too.

Christmas in July gift ideas for remote employees

  • Things specific to the person (sports, interests, hobbies, pets)
  • Chocolate (always)
  • Specialty gourmet snacks
  • Local artisan coffee or tea
  • Gift cards to shops they like
  • A favorite spirit/wine

19. Virtual team lunch-and-learn

For remote employees, lunch could be a great time to facilitate engagement and online team building. Bring in an ‘expert’ to share a presentation or talk while folks are eating at home! It’s like a private TED Talk for your remote team!

This expert could be an outside speaker you hire (someone with insights into communication skills, how to stay motivated when working from home, health and wellness, or non-work topics too that might be interesting!).

Your expert could also be someone on the team, and it could feel like a skillshare where for each Lunch and Learn, one virtual employee shares something they’re knowledgeable and passionate about!

How it works

  1. Get your remote team on a video call
  2. Bring in an expert to lead the talk
  3. 15-30 minutes is a good presentation length (if a team member is sharing the complete history of Lord of the Rings, 15 minutes will feel plenty long to most people)
  4. Organize this for during the lunch hour, and encourage your team to eat while they watch!

20. Never Have I Ever

Ahem. Believe it or not, this college standby doesn’t need to turn NSFW to be fun. Play a PG-version with your team and get to learn about one another!

How it works

  1. Everyone starts with five fingers held up
  2. Your remote employees each take turns saying something that they haven’t done
  3. If you have done that, you put down one finger
  4. The last person standing (with a finger raised) wins!
  5. You could also pre-write the topics ahead of time, in case you need a reserve of family-friendly topics and prompts 🙂

For example, if someone says ‘Never have I ever been roller skating,’ then everyone that has been roller skating would put a finger down. You’ll learn a lot about your remote coworkers quickly, and it’s a game that’s already familiar to most.

21. Virtual dance party

If you’ve got a silly team that likes to perform, kick off an otherwise boring video conference with a quick remote dance party! 

You could have a scheduled meeting that is literally just a dance party for 30 minutes, with one remote employee playing DJ and providing the jams, while all set up their cameras with cool backdrops and get to dancing…

…but if you don’t have time for that, just kick off your team call with a quick dance party!

How it works

  1. Have the music playing as virtual team members log in to the call
  2. Get everyone dancing it out immediately! This could also be a way to encourage timeliness—don’t show up late or you’ll miss the best part 🙂
  3. A dance break also works well to bring the energy back up mid-meeting, as a sort of pick-me-up

 

Who can help organize fun virtual team building ideas & activities?

Well, us! Kabloom by Wild SF leads meaningful virtual team builders that get your team out of their shells, laughing, connecting, and learning more about one another.

Ready to bring your remote team closer together? Start here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You and your teammates are about to go on a Virtual Vacation! You can get in the vacation mood by preloading a tropical island background into your Zoom! Here’s how:

1. Choose your favorite background from the ones below (or search for more online)

2. Save the image to your computer (right-click on image > Save Image As)

3. Open/sign into the Zoom app

4. Click your initials (or profile picture) in top corner, then click Settings

5. Select Virtual Background

6. Add your own image by clicking the plus sign [+] and then Add Image

7. You’re ready for your Virtual Vacation!

Why can’t I see the Virtual Background tab?

You may not have it enabled yet. Don’t worry—it’s an easy fix!

1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal

2. In the navigation menu, click Settings

3. In the Meeting tab, navigate to the Virtual Background option (under the In Meeting (Advanced) section) and verify that the setting is enabled

4. Log out of your desktop app and log back in

Fireworks

2020 may have put a dampener on in-person events, but there are still some great virtual holiday party ideas to get inspiration from!

With the holiday season just around the corner, there are many ways to keep the traditions of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah and other special holidays alive, and spread a little bit of cheer!

Here are some of our favorites…

9 Great Virtual Holiday Party Ideas

1. Book a pre-made, professional Virtual Team Party!

If you’ve got a large team (50-250+ people), don’t try to find a single virtual activity that can cater to everyone in your office. We’ve created the Party In A Box, an online party for remote companies, with various virtual activities running simultaneously!

With a menu of fun, hosted Zoom activities and breakouts, you can ensure there’s something for everyone, and let your distributed coworkers choose their own adventure!

Some of our favorite online activities for team parties:

  • Virtual Karaoke: it’s your time to shine, with a hilarious host and your living room as the stage (read our guide to running Zoom karaoke here)
  • Team’s Got Talent: an AGT-style open mic, and chance for everyone to share their talents
  • DJ Dance Party: get down with a high energy DJ playing top hits
  • DIY Cocktails + Drinking Games: with an innovative cocktail bartender
  • Intro to Improv Comedy: with a Chicago improv instructor teaching improv basics using Zoom
  • Clown School 101: with an instructor from the SF Circus Center
  • Graffiti Workshop: a fascinating, hands-on masterclass with a renowned graffiti artist. Develop your own graffiti name, and practice lettering your own tags and pieces!
  • Virtual Vacation: our tropical vacation (Hawaiian shirts are encouraged) with fun ice-breakers and meaningful skill-building games (learn more about it here!)
  • Drag Show: a group of incredible drag queens led by the renowned Mary Vice will dazzle you with a live virtual drag show, banter and Q&A
  • Ghost Stories: creepy campfire ghost tales told online by a haunted ghost tour guide
  • Acoustic Cafe Show: get swooned by a folksy duo with an incredible acoustic concert on Zoom

Sample itinerary for a 2 hour remote office party:

  • 15 minutes: All join for intro games and orientation
  • 45 minutes: Session 1 (2-3 breakout rooms)
  • 45 minutes: Session 2 (2-3 breakout rooms)
  • 10 minutes: Wrap up with everyone together

At Wild SF, we are experts at setting up customized online events for remote teams.

We cover everything from organizing invites to coordinating experienced, high-energy online activity leaders, and taking care of the logistics of online facilitation.

LEARN MORE

2. Take a Virtual Vacation

Brush off winter blues during quarantine by traveling to warmer climes.

On the Virtual Vacation remote team builder by Kabloom, your team gets transported to a tropical vacation (Hawaiian shirts are encouraged). But there’s a catch: your team must work together (escape-room style) to navigate across waters to your destination.

Our energetic, quirky guides will get everyone laughing and connecting, and working together through fun challenges.

Learn more

3. Play virtual holiday bingo

Bingo is a familiar and fun game, and can easily be adapted to a holiday theme and played online during a virtual holiday party.

If you mail out a gift box, include bingo cards, and let people play along at home while the virtual party happens.

Our favorite tool to create a free and customized bingo game is Bingo Baker. It offers thousands of ready-made bingo cards, or you can generate your own.

Merry Christmas virtual bingo game

This Merry Christmas bingo game has 300 words and phrases, including All I Want For Christmas, Jingle Bells and Jack Frost.

4. Send your virtual employees a holiday gift box

During COVID, we’ve all felt isolated from our family, friends and remote coworkers. What better way to cap off a difficult year by sending them a box of holiday treats?

Gift boxes

Holiday gift boxes could include:

  • hot chocolate mix
  • Christmas cookies
  • candy canes
  • stockings
  • chocolates
  • gift cards
  • card games
  • board games

If you wanted to add a personal touch, pop a handwritten note in there to show your appreciation for their work during this challenging year.

5. Organize a holiday dress-up competition

A big part of the traditions of the holiday season is getting dressed up in festive gear. Given that we’ve been stuck in our homes for a large part of this year, people are excited to have an opportunity to get dressed up! And why not include dressing up your beloved pet while you’re at it?

Dog with reindeer ears

You can spice this up by organizing an online voting system for the best-dressed and/or offering prizes. You could also do this for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

6. Host a karaoke night

Since COVID, many companies have turned into remote teams looking for fun virtual holiday parties. Good news: a virtual karaoke party is an awesome (and easy) virtual team building idea to get your team connecting!

Karaoke microphone stock image

This dedicated guide explains everything you need to know to organize a virtual karaoke party on Zoom, including how to host a great event for your team working from home, and how to choose a great karaoke song.

7. Host a holiday virtual trivia night

An online trivia night is a fun and interactive way to get your team working together and letting a little loose. It does require a bit of planning, so you can save time by searching for holiday trivia questions.

Question mark

You could also include categories like:

  • Name this holiday song
  • Holiday traditions from around the world
  • Company- or employee-specific questions

For a little more fun, encourage each team to incorporate a holiday theme into their team name, like ‘The Rudolphs’ or ‘Eggnoggens.’

(Yes, we can organize this for you!)

8. Organize a holiday happy hour

Who doesn’t love an excuse to wind down and enjoy a drink to cap off the year and get in the festive mood? You could encourage the participants to wear holiday-themed clothing and accessories, like an ugly sweater, Santa hat or reindeer ears.

Cocktail stock image

To replicate the atmosphere of a festive office or bar, you can play music in the background. (More on that below.)

9. Create a holiday music playlist

Festive-themed music like All I Want For Christmas Is You gets people in the mood for the holidays. So why not create a collaborative playlist on Spotify and allow everyone to choose a song or two?

If you want to play it background music at a virtual holiday party, here’s how to do that on Zoom:

  1. Click the Share Screen button in the toolbar
  2. Click on the Advanced tab
  3. Select Computer Sound Only
  4. To end, click Stop Share at the top of your meeting screen

6 Virtual Holiday Party Themes

Virtual Christmas Holiday Party

Christmas tree
  • Christmas bingo (with festive words like reindeer and chimney)
  • The Great Christmas Bakeoff
  • Christmas trivia night
  • Create a Christmas music playlist together

Hanukkah Virtual Holiday Party

Jewish candles
  • Hanukkah sweater party
  • Synchronized candle-lighting
  • Latkes-making competition
  • Donut decorating

Festivus Virtual Holiday Party

Seinfeld cast
  • Festivus pole decoration competition
  • Share a Festivus meal together, including meatloaf and a hip flask
  • A virtual ‘Airing of Grievances’
  • ‘Feats of Strength’ talent show

New Year’s Virtual Holiday Party

New Year's Eve party

Set your Zoom background to one of the following themes:

  • Sydney: put up the Sydney Harbour Bridge and pour yourself a Foster’s
  • New York: set Times Square as your backdrop and get ready to count down!
  • London: settle down in front of the London Eye and bundle up in warm clothes to welcome 2021!
  • Paris: why not welcome the new year in front of the Effiel Tower with a glass of champagne in hand?
  • Rio de Janeiro: fancying a tropical theme? Head off to Copacabana and don your swimsuit
  • Kiribati: want to be the first to celebrate? This Pacific Island nation is the closest to the International Date Line

If you wanted to do a trip-around-the-world party, you could follow the globe as it strikes midnight from east to west!

Thanksgiving Virtual Holiday Party

Thanksgiving party
  • Gratitude sharing
  • Virtual recipe swap
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watch party

Halloween Virtual Holiday Party

Halloween party
  • Dress-up competition
  • Surprise chocolate and candy delivery
  • Murder Mystery Party
  • Pumpkin decorating competition

How to host a virtual holiday party

  1. Prepare the guest list
  2. Decide on a theme for your virtual holiday party
  3. Prepare games
  4. Choose your video conference application, e.g. Zoom or Google Meet
  5. Send invitations to your guests
  6. Prepare your outfit
  7. Test games and video application
  8. Send a reminder to guests the day before

Frequently asked questions

What are virtual holiday parties?

Virtual holiday parties are online gatherings of family, friends and/or coworkers. The aim is to provide opportunities for people to connect and have fun during the festive season. An example might be a festive-themed trivia night, or a holiday happy hour.

What are the best ideas for virtual holiday parties for remote teams?

The best virtual holiday parties are those that are engaging and easy to organize. They include festive-themed online bingo, karaoke and trivia nights. There is a full list of virtual holiday party ideas in this guide.

What are some simple virtual office celebration ideas?

Celebrating important holidays in an online manner does not have to require a lot of preparation. Easy ideas include a holiday happy hour, festive-themed bingo (with pre-made card templates), and a Christmas dress-up competition.

How do you host a virtual Christmas party?

First, make your guest list. Next, decide on the theme and games, e.g. happy hour, trivia or bingo. Then choose a video conference application and send invitations. Finally, test out the games and software, and send a reminder to your guests.

What are virtual holiday games?

Virtual holiday games are activities like festive bingo, holiday trivia and a dress-up competition. They are played during online gatherings of family, friends and/or coworkers. The aim is to provide opportunities for people to connect and have fun during the holiday season.

Who can help organize fun virtual events & activities for teams?

Wild SF leads meaningful virtual events that get you and your coworkers, family and/or friends laughing, connecting, and learning more about one another.

Wild SF tours team
The Wild SF Tours team

Ready to bring people closer together? Start here.

Stuck with a “no-pets-allowed” rental agreement? Here’s how to get your fix.

 


Image Credit: Cody Perhamus

Believe it or not, San Francisco was named one of the most dog-friendly cities. With its mild climate and spacious green parks, it can be a haven for your pet. The city’s name is even derived from Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals.

This is all great, but its freaking hard to afford a pet in San Francisco! So what’s a person to do if they just need some animal therapy in their lives? Have no fear, we’ve got the guide for you.

Rent a Dog

This is not a drill, you don’t have to take lifetime responsibility for a dog to hang out with one. Plan some fun things you’d like to do with a furry companion and sign up for Dogo. Dogo links up shelter dogs that could use the socialization with humans that could use some dog socialization. Heck yeah companionship without commitment!

Tea Time with Cats


Image Credit: KitTea Cafe

Visit the city’s very own cat cafe! At KitTea Cat Cafe, sign up for one hour time-slots in the Cat Lounge, which hosts about a dozen resident cats, as well as, a few that are up for adoption. The Cat Lounge is stocked with tons of toys, and if you’d like to take a shortcut to a cat’s heart, you can also purchase small snacks to feed the cats.

Hack the Gig Economy

You probably heard it from your gramps first but, yes, there really is an app for everything these days. Wag is an app that connects dog owners with dog walkers, therefore, not only can you hang out with a dog , but you can even get paid for it! This is a win-win situation.

Attend a Themed Event


Image credit: KFOG.

Lastly, you can hit up some of San Francisco’s animal festivals. Here’s our top three:

CorgiCon
Technically, this started as a meet-up for corgi-owners in the Bay Area, however, once word spread on the Internet, it’s now become a huge event for corgi-owners and not-yet-corgi-owners alike. Nowadays, you can visit Ocean Beach on a CorgiCon day and be surrounded by a sea of corgis. Show up at the right time and you may even be sharing the beach with 600 corgis.

CUESA Goat Festival
Every year, CUESA orchestrates a festival for all things goat. Attend and find yourself learning more about sustainable agriculture, sampling goat cheeses, and petting baby goats! Although the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture has been hosting this festival since 2008, it became an internet sensation when they posted about it on Facebook for the first time in 2015. Within 24 hours, they received thousands of RSVPs and the #goatchella hype was at an all time high. Years after the incident, the festival still holds up as one of the best free events in town. Not baaad.

The San Francisco Sloth Festival
This may be an urban myth, but ever since Goatchella’s success, talks of a Sloth Festival have been in the works. Although the festival has yet to happen, there are 23,000 guests that have RSVP’d on the event’s Facebook page where the organizer has been posting updates. Although it has been moving at a sloth’s pace, the organizers have described it as, “a Educational Interactive Magical Wonderland that merges art installations music,dance and theater into a festival setting.” [sic]. Join the thousands of us praying for this event to happen. Budget permitting, they claim they’ll even try to offer a giant sloth ferris wheel!