Holidays, Party Ideas, Virtual Events

55 Ideas to Make Your Holiday Party Merry & Bright

By Megan Price

Planning an unforgettable holiday celebration can be a big job! If you need some inspiration or just some quick ideas to get started, we’ve got you covered. We have holiday party ideas for every audience, theme, and budget!

To make it easy to tell if a performer or service is a good fit for your event, we’ve created a handy key:

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Perfect for small gatherings

πŸ’Ό Great for corporate events

πŸ§’ Fun for all ages

πŸ’ƒ Better for adults

Serve up some cheer

There’s no time like the holiday season to blow your diet and indulge in tasty treats! Whether you’re planning a sit-down dinner, a mingling event with hors d’oeuvres, or a cocktail party with drinks and desserts, you might need extra hands to ensure all your guests are taken care of.

πŸ’Ό Caterer

πŸ’Ό Waitstaff

πŸ’ƒ Bartender

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Personal chef

πŸ’Ό Strolling table

🍸 Drink idea: A flair bartender or champagne table can make serving a bit more exciting! You can also offer Christmas-themed beverages like Candy Cane Cocktails, Eggnog Martinis, or Spiked Hot Chocolate.

Champagne dress strolling through holiday party
Champagne dress from Prism Artistry

Bring your holiday playlist to life

Sure, you could stream a Spotify holiday playlist on some speakers during your event. But if you want to create truly special memories, live music is the way to go. These talented performers can create the perfect holiday soundtrack with everyone’s favorite Christmas songs!

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Singing guitarist

πŸ§’ Singing pianist

πŸ’Ό Jazz singer

πŸ’ƒ Crooner

πŸ’Ό Soul singer

πŸ’‘ Pro tip: Most musicians will have a whole repertoire of holiday tunes to choose from. But, if you have any special song requests, be sure to give your entertainer plenty of advance notice so they have time to perfect their performance.

Hire a singing guitarist for your holiday party
Hire a singing guitarist like Brandon Crocker

Invite a ghost of Christmas past

Ah, the days of old, when Christmas was full of glitz and glam! Bring back the good times with a blast from the past. These holiday party ideas are especially great for black-tie events where the guests will be dressed to the nines and ready to hit the dance floor!

πŸ’ƒ 1920s era entertainment

πŸ’ƒ 1940s era entertainment

πŸ§’ Doo wop group

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Barbershop quartet

πŸ’Ό Swing band

πŸŽ‰ Party idea: Have your entertainment dress the part! Most era-driven performers have a selection of costumes to choose from that can align with your holiday themed party.

Jazz up your holiday party with a live swing band
Jazz things up with a live band like The Amanda Castro Band

Book a fa-la-la sing-along

As the wonderful Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” A group of festive singers is a great way to get your party into the Christmas spirit. They’ll be sure to sing all your favorite holiday tunes and can help encourage guests to join in.

πŸ§’ Christmas carolers

πŸ§’ A cappella group

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Acoustic band

πŸ’Ό Dueling pianos

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Singing group

🎢 Music tip: There are lots of ways to incorporate singing or caroling groups at your holiday party. They can perform as people arrive, stroll through the event, provide background music as guests mingle, or be the night’s featured entertainment. Many can even dress in costume for a themed party with a classic Dickens vibe!

Christmas carolers in traditional Charles Dickens-style costumes
Consider a singing group like The Candlelight Carolers

Host a classy celebration

Prefer to keep your Christmas party low-key and elegant? A talented soloist or instrumental group is your answer. Their easy-listening holiday repertoire can provide the perfect ambiance for a dinner party or intimate Christmas gathering.

πŸ’ƒ Jazz band

πŸ’Ό String trio

πŸ’Ό Classical pianist

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Harpist

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Saxophone player

πŸ’° Budget tip: If you’re hosting a Christmas party on a budget, a soloist can provide beautiful background music without breaking the bank. For a fuller sound but a bit more cash, an ensemble would be a perfect choice.

Book a saxophone player for your holiday party
Book a saxophonist like B. Courtland

Make merry new friends

A festive new friend can be a great addition to a holiday party! Choose from traditional characters or shake things up with an unexpected visitor. Either way, you’re guaranteed some big smiles and wonderful photo opportunities.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Santa Claus

πŸ§’ Costumed character

πŸ§’ Princess

πŸ’ƒ Stand-up comedian

πŸ’Ό Roast master

πŸŽ… Santa ideas: Santa is a pro at home visits and mall meet-and-greets. But he’s also a great option for corporate events! Ol’ Saint Nick can deliver Christmas cards with bonuses in them, take photos with the team, judge your ugly Christmas sweater contest, host a holiday scavenger hunt or white elephant gift exchange, and more.

Hire a professional Santa for your holiday party
Have a professional Santa like Santa Peacock stop by your holiday party

🀢 Bonus! For some extra fun, invite Santa’s better half! There are many reasons to have Mrs. Claus at your holiday party! She can help Santa with his duties, read stories, or host her own games and activities.

Enjoy a Christmas vacation

Forget a white Christmas and head to the tropics instead! This unique Christmas party idea is sure to be a hit with your guests. Create a holiday oasis complete with the sights and sounds of your favorite island getaway.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Steel drum player

πŸ’Ό Caribbean music

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Ukulele player

πŸ§’ Hula dancer

πŸ’Ό Fire dancer

🌺 Decor idea: Incorporate shells and tropical flowers into your Christmas tree, wreaths, and garlands to blend your island theme with classic holiday decor. You can also ask your performers to adjust their costumes to fit the tropical holiday theme.

Hire hula dancers on GigSalad for a tropical holiday party
Festive hula dancers from Ohana Entertainment

Hire a Christmas circus

They say the holidays can be a circus, so why not embrace that? Spice up your regular festivities and book a performer with mind-boggling talents! Your guests will love seeing something new and exciting at this year’s holiday party.

πŸ’Ό Stilt walker

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Contortionist

πŸ§’ Balancing Act

πŸ’Ό Aerialist

πŸ§’ Juggler

πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈ Planning tip: When planning a holiday party under the big top, make sure you have plenty of room for your performers to move around, mingle with guests, and put on an amazing show. Talk with your entertainment in advance to get their spacing requirements.

Book a juggler for your holiday party entertainment
Jugglers like Eli March can provide excellent holiday entertainment

Put on your dancin’ shoes

Mesmerize your guests with a talented dancer at your Christmas celebration! There’s a dancer for every theme, whether you prefer a family-friendly Nutcracker tribute or a sultry holiday performance.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Belly dancer

πŸ’Ό Dance troupe

πŸ’ƒ Burlesque dancer

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Hoop dancer

πŸ§’ LED dancer

πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ Cool idea: For a more outgoing crowd, see if your dancer would be willing to teach your guests a few of their moves! This is a great way to create some memoriesβ€”and maybe some laughter, too.

Consider burlesque entertainment for an adults-only holiday party
Get risquΓ© with a burlesque performer like Gin Minsky

Book some holiday magic

Santa Claus isn’t the only one who has Christmas magic. Book a professional that can take things to the next level! From strolling magic to mind-bending illusions to mystical fortune-telling, shroud your holiday party in mystery.

πŸ§’ Magician

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Mentalist

πŸ’Ό Illusionist

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Psychic

πŸ’ƒ Tarot reader

🎩 Magic tip: Give your performer some inside information and trivia questions about your party guests. They can work these details into their routine for some extra fun moments that are sure to blow everyone’s minds!

Holiday party idea: Book a magic show!
Magicians like Apollo Magic can shock and amaze at holiday parties!

Focus on the kiddos

If you’re hosting an event for the whole family, it’s always good to have ways to keep the kiddos entertained. These holiday party ideas will provide the perfect distraction so the parents can mingle. And so you can sneak Santa Claus in the back door without any little eyes seeing him!

πŸ§’ Face painter

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Balloon twister

πŸ§’ Clown

πŸ’Ό Trackless train

πŸ§’ Bubble entertainment

πŸŽ„ Theme idea: Ugly sweater parties are perfect for family-friendly events! Encourage your guests of all ages to go all out with silly holiday costumesβ€”the gaudier, the better! And make sure every funny getup is captured with a photo booth filled with Christmas-themed props!

Bubble entertainment can be a fun holiday party idea
Blow their minds with a bubble show from Alluring Bubble Adventures

πŸ‘‰ Looking for more holiday party ideas? Check out these 7 Festive Christmas Party Themes.

Book holiday party entertainment on GigSalad

Whether you’re planning a low-key Christmas gathering, a big festive event, or a fun company holiday party, entertainment is the key to making it truly unforgettable. Book something awesome on GigSalad, and your guests will be talking about your event all year long!

Ready to book something awesome for your holiday party? Find the best musicians, performers, and event services on GigSalad.

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