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10 Memorable Virtual Happy Hour Themes to Help You Have Fun

November 21, 2023
| By
Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

10 Memorable Virtual Happy Hour Themes to Help You Have Fun

In our fast-paced digital world with so many distributed online teams, virtual happy hours have become the new frontier for team bonding and socializing. But how do you tap into the pulse of your team to ensure they are happily engaged and stay that way?  From creative costume parties to trivia nights that spark friendly competition, get ready to infuse your virtual get-togethers with a whole load of virtual happy hour themes.

In this article, we share inspiration with 10 memorable virtual happy hour themes to keep things fun and enjoyable.

1. What is the Happy Hour Concept?

The happy hour concept refers to that time of the day — typically in the early evening — when bars, pubs, and restaurants offer discounts on alcoholic beverages to attract customers and foster social relationships. This has evolved to refer to a time when people gather together to unwind and socialize.

2. 10 Best Virtual Happy Hour Themes

2.1. Decades Night

Traveling down memory lane with your teammates might just be the ideal happy hour theme idea you are looking for. Decade Night gives you the avenue to share memorable experiences from a chosen era and bond with your teammates over discussions centered around their nostalgic reminiscences.

To make your “Decades” night more interesting, you and your teammates can dress like notable personalities in the 70s, curate a list of vintage snacks, and center discussions around them. Decade Night creates a lively atmosphere that will make your team interact and have fun together, notwithstanding their location.

2.2. Cocktail Night

Cocktail Night

Cocktail night is a favorite among virtual happy hour themes. And what better way to break the ice than a cocktail in hand and unwinding discussions on high spirits? Prepare a favorite cocktail recipe and encourage your teammates to do the same. During the virtual cocktail night, everyone gets to showcase their mixology skills, share, and learn recipes from each other. 

To add an extra bit of fun to your cocktail night, you can introduce a mixology competition arranged by an awesome virtual teambuilding platform like Hooray Teams that host the entire session and even deliver curated kits to participants’ doorsteps. Your team can engage in lighthearted conversations and share stories about their cocktail recipes and tipsy experiences to create a more friendly atmosphere. 

2.3. Classic Board Game Night

Board games can double up as exciting  virtual happy hour icebreakers and you choose the online versions to play for your team. You can play virtual board games like chess, scrabble, monopoly, and bond during the gameplay. You can make this more interesting by dividing your team into groups that compete to win a prize.

A board game night fosters connection, friendly competition, and teamwork within your team and, overall, breaks the communication barrier within your team. Teammates may even get to form connections and build relationships that will go beyond the workplace by partaking in this event. 

2.4. Book Club

A good way to foster communication between your teammates is through a book discussion. In a virtual book club, everyone engages, shares personal experiences that relate to the theme of the selected book, and have interesting discussions. 

You can make a poll and ask your guest list to pick a book that tickles their fancy from an array of books. This makes it more engaging, as more people will read the book and be able to engage meaningfully.  In addition, virtual happy hour themes like book clubs could also spark new interests in your teammates and make them form a deep connection with each other. 

2.5. Murder Mystery Night

Murder Mystery Night

A good free virtual happy hour with coworkers you can try is a murder mystery. Murder mystery games are very interesting and engaging. You work together with your team to unravel clues, solve puzzles, and identify who the murderer is. 

Overall, the game provides you with a memorable bonding experience and builds the spirit of camaraderie among coworkers. There are various free murder mystery hosted platforms such as Hooray Teams that can help you organize these games to try out, such as Murder at the Manor, Murder in Hollywood, Who killed Papa Roni and more. . 

2.6. Hollywood Red Carpet

The Hollywood red carpet is another interesting happy hour idea for work that you can try out with your co-workers. Have your team members dress in glamorous apparel and showcase their dresses and the inspiration behind them over a video conferencing platform.

If you work remotely, this will give you an avenue to see your teammate's appearances while having fun admiring each other's dresses. You can also create fun categories such as best dressed or the most glamorous appearance awards. This will make your happy hour more interesting and foster an atmosphere of friendship all through

2.7. Tropical Paradise

Tropical Paradise

Tropical Paradise is one of the most engaging Zoom happy hour games you can opt for to give your team a memorable happy hour experience. The tropical paradise theme requires you and your teammate to dress in tropical apparel. 

To give this a real tropical touch, you can play tropical music in the background and set up virtual beach backgrounds. During this event, you can organize tropical food or snack competitions and bond over food, drinks, and engaging discussions. This also gives you and your coworkers a break from work and helps them to unwind during the experience. 

2.8. Karaoke Night

To organize a karaoke night, choose a virtual happy hour platform, curate a list of your coworkers favorite songs, and create a shared playlist. Make a list in the order of people who will take turns singing, and enjoy the memorable experience of watching your coworkers showcase their musical talent.

Karaoke nights rank high among virtual happy hour themes today. You get to form connections with your coworkers over good music and laughs, maintaining a lively atmosphere all through. 

2.9. Costume Party

Costume Party

Virtual costume parties are as enjoyable as the physical ones. Choose a theme for the costume party by asking your team to dress like a historical character from a favorite movie or anime character.  Each member takes turns discussing the character they dress like and having discussions about them. 

You can also incorporate game ideas to introduce a playful atmosphere to your team's happy hour. Costume parties help you find people you can relate to due to their love for a movie or anime character you share. Overall, costume parties are an ideal icebreaker in a workspace.

2.10. DIY Craft Night

If your team is design focused, a DIY craft could be the ideal happy hour theme for you. Apart from improving the creativity of your team members, you also get to have fun with your teammates while exploring your creative instincts. 

To organize this, you can select a craft project that your team members can undertake with readily available materials, after which they show their results to the team. This opens room for communication among team members and promotes a sense of accomplishment.

3. How to Organize a Virtual Team Happy Hour

3.1. Decide on the activity to do

Deciding on a theme is the most important part of organizing a virtual team happy hour. When deciding on an activity, you should look out for interesting games that encompass all your team member’s interest and preference to get maximum engagement. Classic games like bingo or trivia are sure-fire winners that would give your team a memorable bonding experience. 

After choosing from various virtual happy hour themes, you should decide on which virtual platform to use that would accommodate your team and give you a seamless bonding experience. 

3.2. Schedule a date and time

Remember that the more people in attendance, the more fun your happy hour is. So you don't want to choose a time that might be inconvenient for some of your teammates. 

To guarantee the attendance of a majority, you should choose an array of dates and times and let your teammates decide on which they deem convenient. After deciding on a date and time, do well to inform your team beforehand so that they can all prepare for the fun time together.

3.3. Send out invites to your guest list

Now that you've decided on the theme and the time of your happy hour, you should send out invites to your guest list informing them of what to expect during the activity. You can send out a playful email that would strike a chord of excitement in your teammates and make them look forward to the event. 

Also, don’t forget to add a link to your invite message to make the virtual platform easily accessible to your teammates. 

4. FAQs

4.1. What are the other names for virtual happy hour?

A virtual happy hour is a social gathering where people gather on an online conferencing platform to engage in casual conversations. Other names for it are cyber cocktails, web toast, e-happy hour, and digital hangout

4.2. How can I make happy hour fun at work?

You can make your happy hour fun at work by introducing themed events, organizing competitions, recognizing outstanding workers, and asking ice breaker questions.

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