Lifestyle

12 Actually Fun, Non-Cringy Ideas For Your Work Christmas Party In London

December is here, and there’s one thing every employee is looking forward to in their company’s calendar. The end-of-year All Hands meeting? Nope. It’s Christmas party season. If you’ve been tasked with setting up your work Christmas party, or perhaps a Christmas lunch for your team, there’s plenty in London you can enjoy. From alcohol-fuelled games to tamer festive movie showings, let’s leave the sales targets behind for a few hours and actually enjoy the time with these people we spend most of our waking week with.

guests looking up at the bioluminescent set at Avora cocktail experience, which makes for a great christmas party activity in London

Really and truly escape the mundane reality of your day job by heading onto another planet with your colleagues. Avora: New World Cocktail Experience is the newest immersive cocktail adventure from the creators of the famed Alcotraz experience. At this experience, you and your team will enter the world of Avora through a laboratory portal (in matching jumpsuits, no less) and follow an intriguing storyline that’ll see drinking cocktails, encountering ‘Avorians’ and, ultimately, being faced with a moral conundrum. Avora opened in Hoxton just last week (December 2), so be one of the first to experience it with your team.

If you’re not familiar with Phantom Peak, let us bring you up to speed. A great spot in Canada Water for post work drinks, Phantom Peak is an immersive mining town with a whole host of great food and drink options, fun carnival games, and even a lake. This season, it has had a festive makeover: at Phantom Peak Wintermas, you can expect an expanded Old Town, Christmas grotto, and even the opportunity to meet the big man himself. As the sound of carols fill the air, you’ll come to realise all isn’t as perfect as it seems though though… There are 12 new adventure trails to follow, so you and your curious colleagues can find out what’s really going on.

A roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex at Jurassic World: The Exhibition

A bit left field, but why not relive the joy of childhood adventure at your Christmas party, and visit the Jurassic World: The Exhibition in London? We all love a dose of nostalgia at Christmas, after all. The exhibition at London ExCel will bring you face to face with deadly raptors and the infamous T-Rex, alongside less fearsome baby dinosaurs, and other cool elements from the franchise using incredible animatronics, striking set design, atmospheric special effects. The whole thing will reignite your imagination, and isn’t that what the magic of Christmas is all about?

4. Win epic prizes – if you’re lucky – at high-octane Hijingo

the interiors at Hijingo , a multi-sensory bingo venue, perfect for a Christmas party in London

Hijingo, in East London, has taken bingo and made it millennial – which sounds, to us, like a winning Christmas party recipe. The multi-sensory experience combines bingo, live entertainment, motion graphics and a whole lot of fun. You and your colleagues can win big too, with the likes of a European holiday for two up for grabs, alongside other prizes. In between games, there is a bustling bar, serving cocktails, beer, wine and snacks.

5. Fuel the competitive spirit at Bounce

a group of colleagues at Bounce in London for their Christmas party

Any bugbears you need to hash out with your boss? Take it to the table, and let the best (wo)man win at Bounce. With two locations to choose from (Old Street and Holborn), the ping pong bar is guaranteed good vibes, thanks to their cool interiors, upbeat soundtrack, and great games. As a company, you can hire out the whole venue, if you wish, and there are a host of packages you can choose from that include Christmas cocktails, Christmas canapés, and ample games of ping pong, plus shuffleboard, wonderball and beer pong too.

6. Enjoy a night out at The Clapham Grand

a Christmas exterior of party venue The Clapham Grand in London

The Clapham Grand have a whole lot of festive activities this December, catering to a range of interests. If your work lot want to let loose, then make a beeline for one of Clapham Grand’s Christmas Club Nights. Go wild with Drag Race UK icon Tayce on December 10, as she puts on a jaw-dropping set, with some special guests (including TOWIE’s Gemma Collins); or relive the late 90s/early 00s at the garage special on December 17, featuring Artful Dodger and Lisa Maffia! Expect snow machines, balloon drops; the full works!

Woman illuminated in blue dances among a crowd

Another event taking place on December 10 is the Rapturous Xmas Boat Party. The floating nightclub will leave from Westminster Millennium Pier at 7pm, and what lies ahead will be four hours of fabulous night of tunes (live DJs and a booming sound system no less) and London landmark views. Challenge other teams to a dance off on the top deck dance floor and let the Christmas decor and confetti get you into the Christmas spirit. Oh, and there will be a TV (with no sound though) showing the England vs France game live, incase you were worried!

8. Challenge your team to some retro games at Platform

a pizza, Nintendo Switch, beer and prosecco at Platform gaming bar
Image: Charles Audley Photography

Gaming bar Platform offer a lively bottomless brunch in London that makes for a good Christmas party activity: 90 minutes of free-flowing drinks, pizza, and a whole host of retro computer games. Imagine yourself in the World Cup with Fifa, or put your pedal to the metal with Maria Kart at this Shoreditch spot, which has eight gaming booths, each kitted out with a large screen, Playstation and Nintendo Switch, and an extensive video game library.

9. Try your hand at cocktail making at a Bullards’ masterclass

a bullards cocktail with festive lights in the background

While drinking cocktails is fun, making them yourself can be even better – and Bullards in Covent Garden are giving groups a chance to learn how to mix the ideal gin Christmas cocktails. For £60pp, you and the team will create five festive concoctions, including Cranberry and Orange Fizz, and Caramel Pear. Your mixologist guide will provide insights into each cocktail and the world of gin.

10. Sing your heart out in Nonna’s Attico at Bunga Bunga

people singing karaoke at Nonnas Attico in Bunga Bunga Covent Garden
Image: Johnny Stephens Photography

Newly opened at Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden, is Nonna’s Attico – a private karaoke space, perfect for a Christmas party. Styled around a classic Italian nonna’s house (grandma), the area comes complete with a fancy dress truck, a ‘push for prosecco’ button, and you can get pizzas and cocktails from the main bar delivered directly.

11. Combine a Sunday roast with a raucous cabaret at Big Penny Social

an actor standing against a wall with disco balls on the floor at Big Penny Social

If this counts as work, we don’t mind working on a Sunday: The Secret Society of Cabaret will present their ‘A Christmas Cabaret’ on December 11, an ideal leisurely lunch to enjoy with your team. The society created the ‘Secret Society of Sunday Roasts’ series to bring together the much loved British tradition of enjoying a proper roast on a Sunday afternoon and all the excitement of cabaret performances. As you dine, expect to be blown away by jaw-dropping acrobatics, impressive singing, and eye-catching burlesque acts, all taking place at Big Penny Social.

12. Putt the ‘Christmas’ into ‘Christmas party’ at Swingers

christmas interiors at Swingers

Rounding off our list of fun Christmas party ideas in London is Swingers crazy golf courses in the West End and The City. Fuel up on delicious food from well known London brands (such as Patty & Bun and Pizza Pilgrims), then tee up on a range of unique courses as you battle against your colleague for the top spot. There are cocktails aplenty to keep the party going too.