10 Office birthday ideas that don’t involve sheet cake

By Nicole Tinkham

10 Office Birthday Ideas that don't

What does a sheet cake and checking your name off the “sign card” list mean? You got it, another birthday in the office. While the gesture is nice and the cake is always yummy, it’s hard to show enthusiasm when the same exact thing is done for each and every employee. There’s nothing personal about gathering in the office break room while the whole company devours a cake with your name on it. Let’s think outside the box and do something different and FUN! Let’s make birthdays special as if we were kids again! Here are 10 ways to celebrate without a sheet cake (gasp!). Yes, it can be done and we’ll show you how.

1.    Decorate with more than just balloons


Cubicle decorating is a classic but when it’s a special birthday be sure to go ALL OUT!

2.    Make a piñata and make it creative


Most of us haven’t swung at a piñata since we were kids! Be creative with the piñata, having the birthday boy or girl’s interests in mind.

3.    Ice cream bar

Ice cream
Just because we’re dissing birthday cake in this post doesn’t mean all food is out of the question. Get a little creative and do an ice cream bar with all the toppings.

4.    Karaoke break


Rent a karaoke machine for the day and take breaks to have fun and sing. (Please don’t just sing the Happy Birthday song all day!)

5.    It’s not a party without games!


Here’s one we’ve done in the office before and it’s actually really fun. Place a paper plate or piece of paper on top of your head and draw what the instructor says without looking. The results are hysterical!

6.    Decade party

Decade party
Bring back the style of when the birthday boy/girl grew up by having a decade themed party.

7.    Photo booth

Photo booth
Photo booths are big right now at weddings and parties and are so much fun. Be sure to get a lot of random props!

8.    Get out of the office

large get together / fam'ly at picnic table / picnic in the park

If possible, try to get everyone out of the office for lunch even if it’s only a picnic in the parking lot. It’s amazing how much people loosen up when they’re not in the work environment.

9.    Act like a kid again

Bounce house

Rent a bounce house for the day and re-live those childhood birthday parties!

10.    A larger, better version of the birthday card

Message board

ANYTHING can go on the birthday message board (as long as it’s appropriate) except your typical “Happy Birthday”. Write something personal, show the birthday person how much you appreciate what they do around the office, share a story about that person, or draw a doodle.

Office parties will vary depending on the person. If someone in the office is obsessed with a certain TV series, a themed party would be a lot of fun. Always take into consideration the person the party is for. What would they like? If doing something special for each and every birthday in the office is too much, monthly group parties also work but make sure it’s unique and something each person would enjoy. If possible, make it a surprise! It’s so much more exciting that way 🙂

What’s the best office party you ever had? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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