What's the perfect office party?

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Question: "We are planning a summer event for our employees and their families. We could have as many as 400 people attending!  Any party ideas for large groups?  It will probably be a picnic, but if you have had other successful events for large groups or ideas to make a picnic fun for all, I would love to hear from you!" — Marie


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara March 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

We lucked out recently when we were able to take over a space that had a basketball court and a football field (partial field). Because of so much space, we had an open house with a carnival theme as well – with two large bouncy things for the kids, a popcorn and cotton candy machine, snacks, drinks, a DJ, a talent show, games for the kids, etc. It was awesome to see so many kids there, knowing they were all part of our company’s family. It was a hugely successful event. The only regret was we didn’t think to hire someone to clean up afterwards and were there rather late after everyone left to clean up. What a mess!

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Jackeline March 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

All of these ideas sound so fun! I wish my company would do something like this!

My husband use to work for a company who would have a company-wide picnic every year. They had several games for grown ups and kids and gave out awards at the end: water balloon fight, will-barrow race, horse shoe, and three-legged race. For awards, they used old/used CD’s and put put a ribbon through it–my husband and I have received 1st prize every year for the three-legged-race. They usually have a potluck and everyone brings food. Every year, they have a water-dunk and one of the main bosses sits on the hot seat. It’s lots of fun to see everyone out there have a good time.

Hope you got a lot of ideas!

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Linda Cassidy March 16, 2009 at 8:05 am

Why not call a local fun park or water park and see if they can accommodate your group for the whole day. See if they have grill’s to cookout on. Discount price for large group etc…

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Gwen March 16, 2009 at 7:51 am

We had a carnival theme as well. We had a “kiddie” area and some of the big, bouncy blow up things. Then we had a band, and grilled out and people really enjoyed themselves. I work in a long term care facility so we also had our residents and families, and it was awesome to introduce OUR families to the families of our residents. A great time was had by ALL!

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anon March 14, 2009 at 11:00 am

We have ours at the beach-there is a park at the beach that has covered tables, playground, plus a pier for fishing- that way everybody has a great time- either swimming, fishing or just laying on the beach- the company supples the main itmes & people bring a side dish. It always turns out wonderfully.

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Mimi March 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

We rented the zoo in our city. They usually close around 5pm, but they rent out to parties after hours. We literally had the run of the place until dark, which was approx. 9pm. We had to hire out the carousel and booked a live animal show and petting zoo. We also ordered the food through their caterers because they don’t allow outside food into the park. We went with the safari theme and got pith helmets and some other little toys for the kids. It was a great event and people really had great memories.

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Barb G March 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

My last company used to rent a space at a local park each summer. They would have it catered with picnic-type foods (potato salad, pasta salads, baked beans, etc). They rented an inflatable jousting ring from a local party supplier and hired a person to paint faces (which the kids loved).

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T.Cole March 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I work in a large company. In the past we have picnics at the zoo and the amusement park where the company provided the food and issued meal/drink tickets out to employees and familiy members. This set a set time where everyone would come and enjoy the food and still enjoy the sights.

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Anon March 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm

We offer children’s games at our company picnic. Because many of the committee members also have small children and want to be able to enjoy the event without having to “work” the games, we worked out a deal with our local high school. The members of the dance team came to work the games in exchange for a donation by our company which they put towards the purchase of new uniforms. It was a win-win for everyone!

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Vancouver BC March 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Picnics are always a fun summer office gathering idea. Our company does one every year, with up to 800 people attending, including staff members and their immediate families. We do our picnic at a local amusement park. The park has a separate private section for the actual picnic and then we give tickets to the attendees to go on the rides. It is a well loved event. Good luck with your plans.

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Sharilyn March 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm

We have a summer pool party each year where we rent out the pool at our local country club and have it all to ourselves. We provide catered dinner and swimming, volleyball tournament and some other contests for the kids and adults. We have several parties for our employees each year, but this is one of their favorites and is always well attended. I buy a bunch of pool toys at the dollar store and the kids paly with them and then take them home.

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GMS March 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm

If you’re located near a big attraction you could plan something at that venue. The company I work for has gone to 6 Flags Great America a couple of times.

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ANON March 13, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Wow, first of all congratulations on having a budget to have an office party.

Secondly, we recently had an office party (with around 400 attending) and we did a carnival theme complete with cotton candy and popcorn machines, fire twirlers, magicians, palm readers, psychics, games, etc. When they played the games, they won tickets to put into a hopper to win the large prizes such as gift baskets and certificates, TV’s, etc.

Everyone really had a great time! It was money well-spent.

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