11 Nontraditional Holiday Celebration Ideas

Switch it up this year from your classic holiday party with these unexpected ideas.

Looking to host a holiday part for your team that's not your typical holiday party? Bring your team together around an experience that isn't just engaging, but genuinely unique, too. 

If you're looking for something a little different, we've got you covered. We've put together a shortlist of a few of our favorite non-holiday, holiday experiences.

Engage your team, foster a sense of unity, and celebrate the end of a great year. Scroll below to discover incredible experiences for teams based in New York, San Francisco, and remote teams, too.

San Francisco Experiences

Scent blending & candle making

Candle shelves and tins

Tap into your creative side with your team in this scent blending and candle making workshop from Moonshot Studio in Noe Valley. Unwind as you build a custom candle that you can use throughout the winter season, or gift to someone you care about. 

Kombucha brewing

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Brew up some kombucha alongside your team this year. Gather in a venue of your choice, and learn the art of making delicious kombucha. Have your team be guided by holistic nutritionist Lila Volkas in this experience that includes an overview of how to make kombucha, plus a lesson with a DIY kombucha kit. This is a delicious, non-alcoholic alternative for the season. 

A photo walk through the city

PhonePhotography_Anna-AlexiaBasile (14)

Go on a photo walk through the streets of San Francisco led by photographer Anna-Alexia Basile. Document the holiday season and see the city through new eyes with your team, while learning tips for taking incredible photos with your phones — including things like training your eye, editing tips, and finding your own style. You'll be left with a selection of incredible images of the city!

Reflect at a beach bonfire


Gather at Ocean Beach for a facilitated bonfire experience. Get geared up for the New Year with a grounding meditation, journaling exercises, and more from Raj.Practice, in a nature-focused experience designed to help your team come together and truly connect to one another. 

New York Experiences

Discover ikebana flower arranging


Discover Ikebana in this workshop — a traditional art form of Japan. Guided by RESOBOX, a Japanese cultural center in New York, you'll learn the Ohara style of Ikebana with your team. Get creative, and create an artful arrangement to brighten up your home or to offer as a gift.

Set your vision for the New Year

thealckitchen5What do you see ahead? In this vision-setting workshop from the Alchemist's Kitchen in SoHo, you and your team will use the elements, moon cycles, and more, to craft a unique and personalized vision for the future ahead. 

Grow an edible microgarden

Screen Shot 2022-11-09 at 10-47-23 PMIt may be cold and wintery outside, but that doesn't mean you can't add a little greenery to your team's life. Learn from Anarchy in a Jar the simple beauty of growing your own food with a microgarden alongside your team. Everyone will take home their own mini-garden — perfect for a gift to themselves or to a loved one.

Train like a ninja

Staff in Rig (1)Make your ninja dreams come true with this unique experience from the New York City Ninja Academy. Alongside your team, train on obstacles from the American Ninja Warrior TV show, in a expert-led, fun-filled, and challenging experience. 

Virtual Experiences

A coffee fortune reading session

Screen Shot 2022-11-09 at 10-53-26 PMTurkish coffee fortune reading is a tradition dating back to the Ottoman Empire — dive into it with a virtual experience. Each member of your team will learn how to make Turkish coffee at home, then Dr. Honeybrew will pick a select number of coffee fortunes to interpret.

Get curious with your team

curiositylab7Discover curiosity and deep connection with a guided workshop from Curiosity Lab. Using the card game Actually Curious, you and your team will learn skills for inclusivity, self-awareness, and resilience. This session is led by New York Times recognized empathy expert Michael Tennant. 

Planting over real conversation

C99851B6-196D-4375-AA39-B06F232BEB73-188198D4-8EB9-4C7D-A700-885D7AE194DC-1We're all a little different — just like plants. In this workshop from Freak Plants, celebrate with your team what makes each one of your unique, all while learning to pot a plant and learning how to care for some new greenery. Keep the plant as a reminder of your own uniqueness, or use it as an opportunity for gifting. 

Customize your holiday party with Marco

Sometimes one special event is just enough for a holiday celebration, but sometimes the perfect combination of experiences can take a holiday party to the next level. 

Last year, Bain created a magical multi-experience event to celebrate as a team in partnership with Marco. More than 500 employees gathered virtually for five exceptional experiences. The event featured holiday-themed cocktails, an exceptional dinner, an interactive magic show, a bake-off, all finished off with a jazz performance from Lilan Kane.

And we're helping dozens of companies plan more traditional, in-person holiday bashes that go beyond Marco’s curated selection of experiences all across SF and NYC.

Learn more and start planning yours today!

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