There comes a certain time of year when making excuses for not attending the company holiday party becomes an artform. From “I’ll be out of town that weekend” to the last minute “I had a flat tire” a lot of people will say anything to get out of going to another office holiday party.
Office parties aren’t exactly known for being fun. That’s a shame because great office parties really do improve employee satisfaction which will affect your employee retention rate.
Planning an office party is an art form. You don’t want to work for a company that has an annual holiday party that leaves people grasping for excuses to get out of coming. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some companies have parties employees wait all year for.
Whether it’s a holiday work party, retirement party, or Employee Appreciation Day, company parties should be an asset, not a burden. Corporate party activities should be fun and help your employees become friends and connect on a more social level.
Corporate events, office parties, and company outings can build friendships, boost morale and even help to increase productivity afterward.
No one really wants to go to an ugly sweater party or do the white elephant thing. If your office has a regular happy hour bar, there is nothing special about going there for an office party. So what should you do to have a successful holiday party?
What makes your get-together stand out is not doing the same old tired thing. You want to plan an event that will be fun for everyone and memorable. That doesn’t mean you have to start planning months in advance to have a good time.
If you are planning without lots of advance notice you don’t want to rent an empty party venue and have to figure out food, decorations, music, and more. Opt for a venue that has an activity that everyone can enjoy that will enrich their interactions.
Here are 10 Last-Minute Ideas for an Epic Office Holiday Party in Cincinnati:
1 ) Archery Dodgeball at Archery Arena
When you are looking for fun games that add a real splash of competition instead of just sitting around a bar all night, try Archery Dodgeball at Archery Games.
This is a cool new twist on the game of dodgeball that you remember from childhood. You divide your officemates up into teams and dodge sponge-tipped arrows! It’s an absolute blast that keeps you having a great time. Your co-workers will talk about this one forever afterward.
You don’t need any special training, but you should be in reasonable shape. You will get plenty of instruction when you arrive and then the games begin! The session lasts for 75 minutes and food and drinks are available for purchase.
Arrive with your group wearing comfortable shoes and clothing and get ready to have fun. The cost is $28 per person.
Archery Arena also offers Nerf Wars for those.
2) Eat and Drink with Cincinnati Food Tours
If you have magazines like “Taste of Home” and “Bon Appetit” laying around your office your crowd will really enjoy the Hyde Park Food and Drink Tour. You learn the history of one of the most well-known parts of the Cincinnati area and you get a great culinary experience.
The one-mile walk has several sit-down stops that showcase local restaurants like Peace, Love and Little Donuts, Dear Restaurant & Butchery, and The Echo. You receive around a medium-sized meal in total with a glass of wine, seltzer or beer included. You can purchase additional drinks if you want to.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you are on your feet for most of the tour. It starts at The Echo and costs $69 per person. The entire tour takes around three hours to complete. Call ahead to make reservations for this tour. The tour operates regardless of weather, aside from extraordinary situations- so bring your umbrella or boots if needed.
3) Play Games at 16-Bit Bar and Arcade
Arcade games and fantastic drinks are on tap at 16-Bit Bar and Arcade. They offer a super fun atmosphere with lots of old-school-style arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, NBA Jam, and Donkey Kong.
The best part is as long as you are drinking you can play for free. Their drinks include classic cocktails, mocktails, and craft beers. There is something for everyone.
Everyone in your party will need to be over 21 and bring legitimate identification to attend. Make sure you choose a designated driver or set up a ride service in advance of your office outing.
4) Go for a Ride with BB Riverboat Cruise
See Cincinnati in a whole new way! Plan your next office party aboard a BB Riverboat Cruise. You will get the most amazing views of downtown Cincinnati from the decks of a BB Riverboat floating down the Ohio River.
The cruise takes you and your co-workers all the way down to Northern Kentucky and back home again. The staff helps you plan the event and you get a vast array of menu and bar options your guests will adore.
This is a unique choice that definitely is memorable. Cruises include a meal, party favors and souvenirs, and entertainment. You can choose from different packages that range from breakfast through dinner and sightseeing. The price starts at $20 per person.
5) Play at The Escape Game Cincinnati
From a heist to deep space you choose a theme and solve puzzles to complete a timed 60-minute game. These are completely immersive games that take you away to another reality. Enjoy the unique hands-on experience for an elevated event with your coworkers.
You must book your Escape Game adventure in advance and you can have a private session for an extra fee. Although the game is an hour, expect closer to two hours with arrival and instructions.
You must arrive about ten minutes early and you will be required to sign a release form before starting the game. The games cost $33.99 per person to play.
6) Visit the Cincinnati Art Climb
Art lovers will enjoy this one-of-a-kind way to appreciate art. Emersion Design and Human Nature designed an amazing space at Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue.
The Cincinnati Art Climb space includes fantastic sculptures that can be viewed from multiple sets of stairs and landings. You can also view the city from the pavilion that sits atop the park.
This is one that does include a lot of walking, so make sure you wear or bring comfortable shoes. The views are gorgeous and it remains open year-round with spectacular decorations during the holiday season.
7) Have Lunch at Paycor Stadium
Book your corporate event at Paycor Stadium. The stadium is home of the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals. The stadium has multiple event venues and you can even include fully catered meals and appearances by the team’s mascot and cheerleaders.
You can also rent a luxury suite to catch a Bengals game live for the ultimate experience. There are lots of options in amenities and catering. There are even dedicated members of staff for the suites.
This is an expensive option as the luxury suites run between $12,000-and $20,000 per game, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience your co-workers will never forget.
8) Explore the City with Cincinnati Scavenger Hunt
You download the app and get in on the game, racing all over the city cracking codes at notable landmarks to win. Way better than a traditional walking tour, this gives your exploration a heightened sense of fun and your co-workers can either get their competitive juices flowing or work in teams to increase cooperation.
The Cincinnati Scavenger Hunt is app-led, but you do have a live interactive host that works with you during your adventure. The tours have themes like Cincy’s Grand City Sights, True America, and Zombie Scavengers, a zombie apocalypse-themed scavenger hunt.
The price of these scavenger hunts starts at $10 per person.
9) Have Drinks at The Righteous Room
While the same old happy hour work bar is not a good idea for an office holiday party, The Righteous Room is a next-level experience for a holiday party at a bar. They have a courtyard that is a private outdoor area that is heated and tented throughout the winter giving you a truly unique outdoor party experience.
There is luscious landscaping and a private bartender to help your party have a sophisticated vibe. The space can accommodate 30 to 60 people and you are welcome to hire a DJ. There is no rental fee for the rooms there but they do have a minimum spend that must be met.
10) Bounce at Altitude Trampoline Park
Altitude Trampoline Park Cincinnati will make you feel like a kid again! Spend some time unleashing your energy on a trampoline.
There are multiple packages available including Celebration Table, Private Party Room, and Book the Park.
All of the packages include a bundle of products like pizza or cake and two hours of jump time for jumpers starting with groups of eight.
Jumpers will need to provide jumping socks. Group packages start at $199.
Tips for Throwing an Epic Office Holiday Party in Cincinnati
Some companies just throw notoriously bad parties in general. If you are the one left in charge of your next office holiday party, it is easy to buck the trend and throw a great party. The only trouble you will have if you follow these tips is that your co-workers will be coming to you to plan all of the office parties and events in the future.
Here are five tips you should follow when planning your office holiday party.
Tip 1: Do Something Different
The basic truth is that no one really wants to go to another stuffy holiday office party. It’s just not any fun. If you want to plan an epic office party, start with doing something different that you don’t just automatically do every year.
Tip 2: Keep Everyone’s Budget in Mind
You probably have a good idea of how much money your co-workers make, but you really don’t know their personal circumstances. Either try to cover the party with petty cash or start a fundraiser in the office. Try not to burden anyone too much with crazy fees to attend an additional event outside of work.
Tip 3: Choose the Right Activity
Depending on where you work you might all go out to a bar twice a week together or a bar may be completely inappropriate. It is important to pick a venue that doesn’t offend any of your co-workers.
Try to pick something fun and active. It is better to build relationships and memories while having a good time than it is sitting around staring at each other trying to force dry conversations.
Tip 4: Outsource Everything
Don’t let your holiday office party become a burden for you or any of your co-workers. Choose a venue that offers food and drinks and games as well. No one wants to have to do a bunch of cooking to attend the party or suffer through trying to come up with several hours’ worth of appropriate games for everyone to play together.
A good venue is one that has decent service, provides everything you need for your party, and keeps everyone entertained for the duration of the event. This leaves you and everyone else free to really enjoy themselves and the venue that you have chosen.
Tip 5: Coordinate Your Date
If you are throwing a holiday office party, don’t forget that choosing dates and times around the holidays can be very complicated. Many people are celebrating different occasions on different days and there is tons of travel going on.
Try to coordinate with your co-workers to pick a time and day that works for as many people as possible. Depending on the number of people involved, you may not be able to include everyone but you do want to try and include as many people as you can.
Kick Back and Enjoy the Party!
Once your party is planned, don’t be too uptight about things. Kick back and enjoy the party or get in on the game. Either way, make this the best holiday office party ever!