At the Best Places to Work, the key drivers of company culture are often things like their mission, people and transparency — but an amazing holiday party certainly doesn’t hurt, either. From ball pits to trapeze artists to scuba-diving Santas and more, these epic celebrations put the average White Elephant gift swap to shame.
Eager to score an invite to one of these lavish shindigs? Check out (and apply to!) the companies below.
SpaceX adds a whole new meaning to “out-of-this-world” holiday parties. In addition to the traditional DJ and dance floor combo, their 2014 soirée included an indoor beach, acrobats, a ball pit, an indoor train, a donut wall and, best of all, an “unclean” room where employees clad in protective painting suits were encouraged to flex their creative muscles by decorating a completely white room from floor to ceiling. The company made such waves with their party that people took to social media to figure out how they could attend. No shortcuts here, though — these parties are limited to employees and plus ones only.
After topping the list of the Best Places to Work in tech, it’s no surprise that Facebook knows how to throw a great party. In 2014, the company set up giant party tents in San Francisco’s AT&T Park for employees to dance the night away, while their party last year pivoted towards a Roaring 20s theme. Highlights included trapeze artists, flappers, gold-plated palm trees and Jazz-era decor that would truly make Gatsby proud.
Photo from Instagram
Google holiday parties have long been the stuff of legends in the corporate world. With over 57,000 employees spread across global offices, Google throws multiple parties around the world each year. In 2014, their People Operations team celebrated at the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum in San Francisco. Employees got their caricatures drawn, posed for pictures seated in a throne carved from ice and played inside a giant inflatable snow globe. Last year, the LA team partied in true Hollywood style at an Indiana Jones-themed party at the Mayan theater. Bay Area Googlers, on the other hand, traded in their jeans and hoodies for cocktail attire at a James Bond style celebration complete with a live band, tarot reader and white vintage Aston Martin out front. We can only imagine that drinks were served shaken, not stirred.
Like Google, Salesforce throws a handful of holiday parties for their tens of thousands of employees around the globe. In 2013, their UK office partied at the London aquarium, complete with scuba-diving Santas, while team members in their Bay Area offices let loose at the California Academy of Sciences where they could stargaze at the planetarium, experience an earthquake simulation and meet Claude, the resident albino alligator. And each year has a surprise performer, from Cyndi Lauper to the Barenaked Ladies. With Salesforce’s aloha spirit, the company’s always down for a good time.
Photo from Facebook
At Delta Air Lines, holiday parties aren’t just about celebrating their employees — they’re also about supporting their community. This year, Delta (along with Massport) celebrated their eighth annual Holiday Wonderland Party at the Logan Airport in Boston, a get together for children from the Make-a-Wish Foundation facing life-threatening illnesses and their families. The kids got to tour a Delta airplane and Massport fire truck, make crafts and, of course, visit Santa. Now that’s the kind of holiday party that employees won’t regret the day after.