Here is our list of the best work happy hour ideas, games & activities for team building.
Work happy hour ideas are fun methods that you can use to encourage workers’ informal socializing as they sip on the drinks of choice. Examples include paint and sip, name the tune, and truth or dare. The purpose of these activities is to enable teams to network and bond with co-workers as they unwind from the workday.
These tips are in-person versions of virtual happy hour ideas and online social events. Happy hours can be a method of improving cooperation in the workplace and having fun with employees at work.
This list includes:
- work happy hour event ideas
- company happy hour games
- team happy hour activities
- team building happy hour ideas
Here we go!
List of work happy hour ideas
Happy hour activities are effective investments for stronger work partnerships. From karaoke competitions to whiskey tastings, here is a list of our best work happy hour ideas, games, and activities.
1. Happy Hour Trivia
A happy hour trivia is a great way to encourage team interaction and boost workers’ morale. Since trivia often happens in pubs, the game is a natural fit for the event. To prepare this activity, you will need to research and prepare questions.
Here are some examples:
- How many balls does a pool ball set have? (16)
- What is the most consumed beverage aside from water? (Tea)
- Who wrote Jurassic Park? (Michael Crichton)
- What’s the world’s most consumed and oldest alcoholic drink? (Beer)
- What is the national animal of Canada? (Beaver)
- How many stars does the European flag have? (12)
- What is the most transplanted organ from living donors? (Kidney)
- Which language is the word ‘Alcohol’ derived from? (Arabic)
- How is the Japanese spirit ‘Sake’ served? (Warm)
Asking team members to prepare trivia questions is also a great way to get a wide variety of interesting and out-of-the-box trivia ideas.
Check out more trivia ideas for adults.
2. Fun icebreaker questions
Ice breaker questions can get employees into the mood to socialize. To get the conversation flowing at your happy hour, prepare a few fun talking points.
- What is your spirit animal, and why?
- What is the kindest act that you have ever done?
- What song describes your mood right now?
- Who is your famous crush?
- If you could eat one food daily, what would it be?
- If you could take three items to an island, what would they be?
- What is your hidden talent?
- Who is your favorite musician?
- Which phone app do you use most?
The best happy hour icebreaker questions are fun, funny, and reveal personal facts. For maximum fun, steer toward light-hearted questions and avoid overly sensitive topics.
Here is an extensive list of icebreaker questions.
If your office has a rooftop or an outdoor space, then take advantage of the environment and host a happy hour picnic. For this experience, let employees bring in picnic blankets. Provide drinks of choice and light snacks. You can engage in light-hearted conversations as you watch the sunset.
For an even more memorable experience, you can partner with a luxury picnic company that will set up a glamorous, photo-worthy spread complete with china, flower arrangements, and fancy fabrics.
4. Cross-department meet and greet
If you are looking for simple and intuitive team building happy hour ideas, then hosting an interdepartmental meet and greet is a great plan. A cross-departmental meet and greet is suitable for companies with a large workforce.
You can bring the entire company together in an ample outdoor space and provide happy hour drinks and snacks. Let workers mingle as they chat amid some good music. The cross-departmental meet and greet activity boosts team bonding across different areas of the organization.
5. Paint and sip
If you want your team to have fun and foster creativity, then you must try a paint and sip. For these events, an artist teaches the group how to create a painting step-by-step while participants snack and drink wine. You can either visit a paint and sip location, or DIY by setting up canvases, noshes, mocktails, cocktails, wines, ice teas, coffee, and snacks. At the end of the event, employees can take home their masterpieces, or hang the pieces in the office.
6. Happy hour scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun work happy hour event ideas that you can use to get employees moving as they sip drinks.
Examples of prompts:
- Find colleagues wearing the same-colored outfits and take a photo
- Take videos of colleagues eating a sandwich with chopsticks
- Find a meme that best describes your mood right now
- Recreate a viral TikTok dance
- Take a goofy group photo
Be sure to choose hunts that foster team bonding and collaboration.
Here are more scavenger hunt ideas for adults.
7. Who’s most likely to
The ‘’who’s most likely to’’ idea is a game where players pose a question and attendees guess the person most likely to do the act.
- Forget their birthday
- Cook the best meal
- Take a month-long road trip
- Win the lottery
- Host sports news
When structuring the game, be sure to leave time for workers to discuss the reasons behind their vote.
Here is a list of starter who’s most likely questions.
8. Word sneak-ins
Word sneak-ins are fun team happy hour activities. You will divide workers into smaller teams for this challenge preferably 10 to 15. Next, give every participant a secret word and instruct them to use the word as many times as they can in a conversation. Participants earn a point every time they use the secret word without other team players noticing. If players recognize the secret word, then the participant loses points.
Examples of secret words:
A tip is to come up with secret words that are not easy to incorporate into regular conversations.
9. Something in common
Something in common is one of the simplest yet fun company happy hour games. For this activity, divide your workers into teams of three to five. Players will share three things in common with other participants within five minutes. To make the activity more interesting, let participants share unusual things in common such as tattoos or same-colored outfits.
For a fun twist on the game, you can combine this challenge with two truths and a lie. Instead of finding three true similarities, teams will come up with two commonalities and invent a fictional third. Teams will then present their claims, and the group must decide which statement is false.
10. This or that
This or that happy hour game is a good idea to encourage interaction. For this activity, you will give participants two options. For instance, participants will choose between waffles and pancakes. Let participants who choose waffles stand while those that chose pancakes remain seated. Participants who get the least votes will take a sip of their happy hour drink.
Here are examples:
- Cats or dogs
- Lunch or dinner
- Tea or coffee
- Beach or woods
- Night owl or early bird
- Vanilla or chocolate
- Dream job or lottery
- Summer or winter
If participants get a tie, then all players drinks. You can also let team members take turns presenting prompts.
Here is a list of This or That questions.
11. Name the tune
Name that tune is among the most interactive team building happy hour ideas. For this game, you will create a song playlist. Then, play a small portion of the song and let participants guess the song. If you have a diverse team, include different music genres to be more inclusive. You can also let participants take turns playing a song from their playlists as other team members take turns guessing the details.
Here is a list of songs about teamwork.
12. Truth or dare
Truth or dare is a classic happy hour game. Participants will either choose to answer a question or do a dare for this activity. You can let the participants ask each other personal questions and issue challenges. Participants who pass on a challenge must sip their drink. However, ensure that the dares and questions are respectful to all participants.
Check out this work-safe truth or dare generator.
13. Never have I ever
Never have I ever is among the most engaging team happy hour activities. For this activity, let all participants hold up their fingers. Then, ask the questions. If a participant has ever performed the act mentioned, they will put one finger down and take a sip of their drink.
Here are some examples:
- Hit snooze more than twice on an alarm
- Played karaoke
- Pranked my parent
- Learned to speak a second language
- Pranked my boss
- Locked my keys in the cars
- Crashed a wedding
The participant who has the most fingers up at the end of the questions is the winner.
Here is a list of work-friendly Never Have I Ever questions.
14. Karaoke competition
A karaoke competition is a fun happy hour activity that will reveal your team’s hidden talents. To prepare for this idea, make a playlist. Then, you can set up a simple stage where participants can perform. You can hook up a proper karaoke machine, or queue up a playlist of instrumental lyric videos on YouTube on a laptop. For an extra special touch, have a box of props like boas, oversized sunglasses, and tamborines on hand.
For a more competitive karaoke session, have a few judges and offer an incentive such as a bottle of wine to the winners.
15. Talent show
Talent shows are activities where workers display their abilities. While teammates may know each other’s work skills, participants might surprise you with their hidden talents. You can encourage workers to share remarkable capabilities like touching their nose with their tongue.
It helps to give attendees’ a heads up about the show to practice, perfect an act, and bring the proper materials. For example, workers can come with painting accessories and make a painting while others sing, play instruments, or dance. Be sure to give willing participants a chance to present their talents.
However, holding an impromptu unusual talent show with dazzling acts like “wiggling ears” can also be a happy hour crowd pleaser.
Here is a list of fun ideas for employee talent shows.
16. Mixology classes
Mixology classes are out-of-the-box work happy hour event ideas. Your workers will appreciate learning how to make a fantastic cocktail. For this activity, you can invite a renowned mixologist to teach tips to make the best cocktails and mocktails. You can also use the class to foster team bonding. After the mixologist session, let team members exchange notes on different cocktails that they have sampled.
Check out this list of virtual mixology classes.
17. Whiskey tasting
Introducing your team to different variants of their drinks of choice is a fun and interactive happy hour idea. You can hire a talented scotch steward or invite a local brewmaster for this activity. These guides can highlight different drinks and let employees sample them as they learn about the history, distilling or fermentation process, and taste notes.
Workers can point out their favorite drinks after the whiskey tasting activity. Be sure to cater to all team players. You can hold wine, tea, and other alcoholic tasting experiences as well.
For inspiration, check out this list of online alcohol tasting experiences.
18. Snack tasting
Snack tasting is an activity that will enable your team to explore varying global snacks. For this activity, you will need to research popular snacks in different regions. Often, you can buy these options from online retailers, specialty snack stores, or foreign grocery stores. You can also ask your employees for suggestions, especially if you have a diverse team. Be sure to purchase the snacks before the happy hour date since some may not be readily available. Then, rig a setup where employees taste the different snacks and rate them from best to worst.
19. Video game challenge
If you have workers who enjoy playing video games, then your team will enjoy this activity. To begin, set up a video game system to project onto a large screen, and have plenty of controllers ready. Then, group your participants into smaller teams and let them choose the member who will represent them in the game. Have participants who are not playing cheer as their representatives play. If someone beats a level, the entire team gets an extra free drink of their choice.
The video game challenge is fun to play and watch. Video game challenges are among the best company happy hour games that you can use to teach teams healthy competition.
20. Culture show
If you have a diverse workforce, then you have a variety of foreign cultures that the entire team can experience. For the culture show, you can ask your employees to volunteer and guide the team through a foreign culture.
Once you choose the foreign culture, source snacks, and drinks from the selected country. You can make the event more interesting by asking attendees to dress up in cultural clothes. Let workers familiar with the culture teach the team the local language.
Pro tip: For happy hour in particular, have employees teach coworkers toasts in other languages and drinking rituals from other countries.
21. Compliment train
Compliments can go a long way in boosting your team’s morale. And if you are looking for simple team happy hour activities, then you must try the compliment train. For this activity, you will choose one employee and ask them to compliment another worker within two minutes. The complemented employee will compliment another team member until everyone has received a compliment. The compliment train is a great way to make your team smile as they sip on their happy hour drinks and nibble on snacks. This activity is also a simple way to start conversations.
Charades are games where a team member describes an act or an item without using words. Other participants will guess the correct answer. You can prepare by writing prompts that you will give participants to act out.
You can choose specific categories such as:
- Television shows
- Famous places
- Famous figures
Each time a team member guesses the wrong prompt, every participant will sip their drinks. Charades are fun company happy hour games that get the team to loosen up.
Here is a Charades prompt generator.
23. Themed costume night
Fancy dress-up and cocktail events go hand and hand. Your team does not have to wait till Halloween to put on playful costumes. For this activity, you can alert your workforce to carry a costume to work. Workers will change into their costume when you begin the happy hour event.
While buying a funny costume at a store is easier, encourage workers to be creative and make a DIY costume. You can go a notch higher and hold a contest where participants showcase their costumes. Be sure to have a photo booth where workers can take pictures.
24. Book balancing challenge
The book balancing activity is a fun work happy hour idea. After your team takes a few drinks, give every participant a book and let them balance it on their head while standing on one leg for one minute. If the book falls, then the participant sips their drink. You can also instruct participants to hop on one leg for one minute. Another similar challenge that you can do after the team takes a few drinks is the backward alphabet recite.
25. Straight face challenge
It is hard to keep a straight face during happy hour. With workers laughing and giggling, take the opportunity and challenge participants to have a straight face for three minutes, regardless of tjokes. You can read out fun facts, showcase funny videos, and tell jokes. Participants who react or giggle have to drink.
26. Where’s the water?
The ‘’where’s the water’’ work happy hour challenge is best for workers who can handle their alcohol like a champ. For this activity, you will have a selection of five shot glasses. Fill three shot glasses with clear alcoholic drinks and two with water. A participant will choose one glass, take a shot, and state the contents of the glass. Participants will guess whether the team player is lying or telling the truth. If participants make the wrong guess, then they have to take a shot of vodka.
27. Beer pong
Beer pong is another classic happy hour crowd-pleaser. For this activity, you will start by dividing your workers into smaller teams. Then, fill 10 to 15 cups with different drinks such as wine, vodka, and gin. Participants will take turns tossing the ping ball into one of the cups. If the ping ball lands on a cup, the participant will drink the contents.
Employee engagement is a major struggle in companies. Work happy hour ideas, games, and activities will encourage informal socialization, enable workers to bond, and relieve work stress. While alcoholic drinks may be the choice for more workers, be sure to provide non-alcoholic drinks such as tea and soft drinks. Also, encourage responsible and safe drinking. You can offer shared rides for all workers after the happy hour event.
For more inspiration, check out these lists of virtual happy hour cocktail kits and connection activities.