Optimist Performance

Team away days are essential to improve communication, boost morale, and spend some fun time outside of the office. Being together in a more relaxed setting can also enhance the team’s sense of belonging. With the holidays around the corner, we wanted to share some tips and ideas about how to make this year’s party even more memorable. 

Christmas Event Activities for your next team away day 

Work Christmas parties are a great way to get away from the office and work-related responsibilities. There are many activities to do together to make your time fun and enjoyable, and we have collected some ideas that could help you make this year’s party more special for you and your team. 

Gingerbread house decorating competition

Most of us love a healthy competition, so why don’t use your Christmas party as an opportunity to make your team work together on something fun? Gingerbread houses can be tedious, especially if you are making them from scratch. Depending on the number of gingerbread houses you need, it may be worth investing in a kit to speed up the process. Working together in teams to decorate the best gingerbread house will inspire creativity, and build communication and teamwork skills. 

Gourmet hot chocolate bar

Who doesn’t love chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream, and candy canes in a cup? Hot chocolate is a classic Christmas beverage for everyone! Although alcohol may be involved at a party, it’s not for everyone. It’s also good to consider those at the party who don’t drink alcohol. Everyone can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

team away dayMerry mystery party

The theme of your event is Christmas but why not add a little mystery to it too? Someone from your office who loves to write could write a mystery story tailored to each person. You could also find a murder mystery kit on Amazon. Have your team dress the part and figure out who murdered Papa Elf. This creative idea will be one for the books!

Holiday photo booth

Hire a photographer or take your own photos to capture your Christmas event! Create a Christmas-themed photo booth. Supply props such as Santa hats, elf ears, and signs to encourage everyone to dress their best. Be sure to get an entire team picture to hang in the office Monday morning.

Holidays around the world

Everyone has their own traditions and learning about someone else’s helps you get to know them better. Hopefully, you have a culturally diverse team. Take the time to explore different recipes and holiday celebrations of others. Create a signup sheet for each person to bring their favourite holiday food or activity to share. This will make your event insightful, unique, and inclusive.

Christmas card making

In the world of technology, sending an email or popping a quick text is quick and simple. Sending snail mail is a dying art. Supply your team with all the materials to design and create a Christmas card. Cardmaking is a low-budget activity. It’s an opportunity for each person to express themselves. You can use this opportunity to express gratitude to someone in your team. 

Team Away Day Venues

A team away day requires planning. There are many important things to do. One of the most important things is finding the best place to host an event. So here are some things for you to consider when planning your Christmas party this year. 


First, finding the right location for your team’s away day is key. Depending on your event, you may be looking to host it locally or out of town. If you’re hosting a local event you should scout out a venue within a reasonable distance from attendees’ homes or workplaces. Also, you’ll need to consider the weather to decide if the location is indoors or out.


Parking is not always ideal which is why it should be considered when planning an event. If there is no parking, you may have to reserve a nearby lot and have a parking fee or include the cost in the ticket price. You should also look at Uber and Lyft discounts offered for events. Sometimes it is convenient for attendees to share rides with one another. Lastly, you could possibly offer valet parking for the event. 

team away day Capacity

When planning an event, you will need to know the capacity of the room. There are fire safety codes that venues must follow. Therefore, a room with a capacity of 500 people can comfortably fit 250 people. 

Services and amenities

There are several things to consider if you are planning to serve food and beverages at your event. First, is there access to a kitchen and can the event be catered? Be sure to go with a venue that serves fabulous food or allows you to bring in outside food vendors for the best attendee experience. Also, find out whether or not you will have access to tables and chairs and whether or not the venue offers a clean-up crew. Some venues provide audio-visual equipment while others require you to bring that yourself. 


Another key component to planning an event is getting a sense of the venue’s layout. You will need to have a rough idea of what activities you will be doing at the event. This will help you determine what type of space you will need. In order to narrow your venue selection down, get a floor plan of the venue or do at least one walk-through and take notes as you go. Consider the traffic flow of your event and the event activities. For example, determine how you will set up the tables and whether or not you will need a stage for a keynote speaker.


The venue needs to be accessible to everyone, including those with special needs. The amenities must be easy to access. You will need to know who your attendees are and their needs so that you can provide the correct and best accommodations possible. 


There is nothing worse than attending an event where it is too loud to comfortably talk and hear others. This is often caused because of the poor acoustics in the venue. A low ceiling may seem more cozy but it will be very loud if it is packed with a large crowd. Acoustics will not make or break a venue but if you have access to patios outside the venue, this can help.

Flexibility on the event date

Being flexible on the event date can be a great way to negotiate with different venues. They may have specific dates on their calendar that they are trying to book. You are more likely to get a discounted price by providing two to three different dates. 

The Optimist view…

Planning your next team away day should not be an overwhelming task. The holidays make the purpose of the event or party simple. Whether you want to go easy or create a different event is up to you, but ultimately, the purpose is to spend time together, get to know one another away from the office and on a more personal level and celebrate a special occasion. 

At Optimist Performance, we love to go out of the norm, this is why we love planning team away days that are like no others. If you want to make this year’s party even more special for your team but feel like you don’t have the time or energy to organise it, get in touch with us and see how we can help you create an unforgettable event for you and your team.