Fun Virtual Happy Hour Ideas For Work
“So… anyone have fun plans for the weekend?” If your work happy hours are like mine, they’re filled with awkward small talk for an hour, until Jeremy from sales inevitably asks this question and everyone uses it as an opportunity to jump off the call.
No, Jeremy. It’s a pandemic. I’m staying in and ordering pizza, like I have every Friday for the past 3 months. I gave up trying new quarantine recipes six months into working from home. My weekly pizza is my only source of joy.
Are your virtual happy hours as torturous as this? At this point of working from home, we’re all tired of Zoom happy hours. But if your boss still insists on holding them for team bonding, you can do your best to make your happy hours fun.
Instead of sitting through an hour of your coworker explaining every detail of their favorite tv show, fill the time with fun happy hour games. Here are the best virtual happy hour games for every occasion.
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Consider Your Attendees
Before choosing the perfect game for your next Zoom happy hour, figure out who will be attending. If it’s for work, will your boss be attending? Or is it just your work friends? Is it a family happy hour with kids?
The types of games you choose to play at your happy hour will depend on the attendees and the occasion. If there are kids participating, you probably don’t want to play a drinking game. If it’s for a holiday, a themed game could be appropriate.
Match the game to the attendees to ensure your happy hour is successful and fun.
Printable Happy Hour Games
Printable happy hour games are a great option for both work happy hours or family calls. Just send everyone the game before the meeting and have them print it out. (If they have two screens and the proper software, they can also edit the pdfs digitally. This is helpful if they don’t have a printer or prefer to save paper.)
Scavenger Hunts are a classic, fun way to kill time during a Zoom happy hour. And the best part is there are endless options! You can create a list of items that your attendees have to find and show to everyone on the call. Or you can use themed scavenger hunts, like an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt, that requires attendees to find something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Scavenger hunts are great because they require you to get away from your computer for a little while, so you’re not forced to talk for the entire hour. They’re also adaptable for all ages. If your group is competitive, this is the perfect game to try!
If you’ve ever been to a bridal or baby shower, you’re familiar with printable party games. Games like “This or That,” “Over or Under,” or “Scattegories” also work great as entertainment for virtual happy hours. Just make sure the questions are appropriate for your audience! For work events, “Who Knows The Boss” can be a fun way to put the spotlight on the person who’s making you sit through your weekly social event with your coworkers.
You can also play a different type of bingo, like “Find Someone Who.” This works best in a larger group where you don’t know everyone really well. You can learn more about the other attendees as you work to fill out your card before everyone else!
Digital Happy Hour Games
Digital games are ideal for virtual happy hours. You don’t have to worry about whether or not the participants will have a printer, and the work is done for you with the pre-made games.
Host your happy hour on the Houseparty App and you’ll have fun games built right in! You can play Houseparty Heads Up!, Trivia, Quick Draw, and Chips and Guac. If you’re a Fortnite fan, you can even connect your Houseparty and Fortnite accounts and cast your party into your Fortnite game.
This is the perfect option for a smaller group of friends that are all technologically savvy. You’ll all need to download the Houseparty app to meet and play, but with multiple games built into the platform, it makes your job as host super simple.
Virtual Conversation Starter games are a fun way to learn more about the other happy hour attendees. Play Would You Rather, and I guarantee you’ll spend half the time laughing at your coworkers’ choices.
If you’re hosting a family happy hour, play the Virtual Conversation Starters for Kids game. While the questions are designed to be appropriate for young kids, you’ll be surprised how much fun even adults will have answering the questions!
Classic Party Games
It may seem obvious, but classic party games can brighten up your boring virtual happy hour! You may need to make some tweaks to adjust for the digital setting, but these games often require little advanced planning, so they’re perfect for those weeks when you’re too busy to think of games ahead of time.
You may not have played this since your childhood roadtrips, but it can be a fun game when you’re in a pinch and looking to fill some time during a virtual happy hour. One participant will choose an item in their eyesight and describe it to the group, one clue at a time, as they try to guess what it is.
For example, if you have an apple on your kitchen table that’s doubling as your home office work desk, you would say, “I spy, with my little eye, something that is red.” If no one guesses, your next clue might be, “I spy something that is round.” Then, “I spy something that is sweet.” You get the point!
This game can be played anywhere by anybody. Try to stump your coworkers with increasingly difficult items and see how ridiculous their guesses are!
Charades is a fun game to play with any group. Just make sure you have enough space to act out your clues within sight of your computer’s camera. If you don’t have a charades game to pull clues from, you can use an online generator.
Pictionary is another fun game to play during a virtual happy hour. Split into teams and use the white board feature on Zoom to draw your clues. Online generators are perfect for providing an endless supply of clues. But be warned! Drawing on the virtual white board isn’t as easy as you might think.
Name That Tune
Are you obsessed with your latest Spotify playlist? Test your coworkers’ music knowledge and play name that tune. Bring out your inner deejay and play clips of your favorite songs to see who can guess the song first. Try to switch up the genres and popularity of the music to really provide a challenge!
Not every happy hour has to be PG. One of the biggest benefits of virtual happy hours is you don’t have to worry about driving home after! If your boss isn’t joining your party this week or you’re just meeting with friends, these games can be just what you need.
If you’ve never done a power hour, the concept is pretty simple. You drink one shot of beer every minute for an hour. The real fun comes from the videos that cue you to drink.
There are videos for every interest on Youtube. Each one of these hour-long videos is filled with 1-minute video clips from your favorite movies, tv shows, music videos, or even memes. The clips change every minute, and there’s normally a reminder telling you to drink. Trust me, the nostalgia hit you’ll get with these videos will keep you entertained even without alcohol.
It’s super important that you’re responsible when doing a power hour. If you actually drink a shot every minute, that adds up to about six beers in an hour, which is quite a lot. You can alternate shots of beer with water to drink less, or even play with juice or soda. Remembering to drink each minute can be just as hard without alcohol, and you’ll have just as much fun!
Would You Rather is fun sober, but it’s even more fun as a drinking game. To play, everyone takes turns answering the “Would You Rather?” questions. While one person is choosing, everyone else should guess what their choice will be. If you guess wrong, you drink!
Never Have I Ever
To play Never Have I Ever, participants take turns asking each other questions about things they have or have not done. If you have done that thing, you take a drink!
If you’re playing with coworkers, make sure you keep the questions appropriate. Just because you’re drinking doesn’t mean you can break all of HR’s rules.
Tip: Try to make the questions challenging so everyone doesn’t finish their drinks right away. The game is more fun when you learn interesting facts about your coworkers than confirm information you already knew. Look, we all know that everyone’s going to drink if your question is “have you ever lied about being sick to take a day off of work?” Be creative!
Other Happy Hour Activities
If you’re looking for ways to spice up your happy hour or virtual party beyond games, try a group activity. These will take more advanced planning, but they can turn a run-of-the-mill Zoom call into an event you’ll never forget.
Cooking or Cocktail-Making Class
Nothing beats an activity that allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterwards. The key to a successful cooking or cocktail crafting class is to make sure all of the participants have the necessary ingredients beforehand. Either send a list of ingredients for them to purchase with plenty of advanced notice, or if you’re particularly generous (or have a healthy team entertainment budget!) send the ingredients to their home.
Choose one person who’s a great chef or bartender, and have them walk the rest of the group through the steps to make the perfect pizza or tastiest Negroni. Make sure whatever recipe you choose is easy to make, and won’t take too long to put together. Everyone will have so much fun that time will fly by!
Virtual Art Class
Another fun activity is a mini art class. If you’ve ever attended a paint and sip event, you know how fun it could be! Painting might be a bit of a challenge for a virtual happy hour, however, as you’ll have to get a canvas and paint for all of the participants. Instead, try a virtual drawing class, which only requires a piece of paper and a pencil.
To make this a success, a teacher or artist will have to walk the participants through how to draw the piece step-by-step. If you have someone on your team who can do this, that’s fantastic. If not, you can use a site like Easy Drawing Guides to walk you through different drawings. Choose one person to guide the group through the steps, and judge the final products to see who’s the best artist in the group.
Happy Hour Talent Show
Of course, you can also hold a traditional talent show. Ask every participant to prepare a short presentation of their talent for the happy hour, and have everyone vote on a winner! Sure, you’ll probably have a few singers or guitarists, but you’ll also discover some weird talents. You might learn that one of your coworkers is an expert yo-yoer or that another does a spot-on impersonation of Elvis.
Have Fun with Virtual Happy Hour Games
Whichever games you choose, make sure you don’t take yourself too seriously. Virtual happy hours can feel like a chore when you’ve been holding them every week for months, but you should take advantage of getting to see your coworkers or family in a fun setting.
Happy hour games are the perfect opportunity to learn more about your coworkers while letting loose. When else will you learn that your boss prefers eating sushi for the rest of her life to eating tacos? Or that Marie from IT is an expert beatboxer?
With these ideas, you’ll have enough options to keep your happy hours entertaining for months to come. Which game are you most excited to try?