A summertime event is a great opportunity to reward your team for their hard work throughout the year. The following are five unique ideas for an awesome office summer party this year.

1. Embrace an Obscure Holiday

It seems as though any given day of the year has been proclaimed in honour of something nowadays — no matter how absurd the cause may be. In fact, the weirder the better!

According to Time and Date’s calendar of fun holidays , highlights in June include Corn on the Cob Day (June 11) and Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 22) while July celebrates both Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13) and Uncommon Musical Instrument Day (July 31). Not to be outdone, August marks the advent of Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2), Tell a Joke Day (August 16), and Eat Outside Day (August 31).

So get the boss to dress up in an ice cream sandwich costume and hand out delicious frozen treats or organize an open mic night for the team to try their hand at stand up comedy. Make a day of it and organize a wacky celebration that gives these weird and wonderful holidays the attention they finally deserve!

2. Unplug and Reconnect on a Corporate Retreat

Getting the team out of the office and possibly even out of town for a few days is a great way to shake off rusty office dynamics and encourage a new level of connection and communication with one another. Many corporate retreat venues offer an all-inclusive event with accommodation, meals, beverages, and activities provided on site.

For example, the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is a 65-hectare working ranch located approximately 2.5 hours west of Kamloops in BC’s beautiful Cariboo region. Activities include horseback riding, roping, hiking and fly fishing in the well-stocked trout pond, as well as an in-house spa and yoga. Meals are served family-style and consist of farm fresh, organic food grown on site. Corporate retreats are fully customizable and can range from high-tech to complete “digital detox.”

3. Field Day Event

We have (mostly) fond memories of those school-organized track and field day events that marked the beginning of summertime as kids. Slathered in sunscreen, most of us were happy to be set free from the classroom, albeit with some reluctance to participate in some of the more challenging field events (is anyone actually good at triple jump?!).

Break out the participation ribbons and have a field day with the team with fun events including:

● Clothes relay – Divide into two teams and line up for a relay. Each team will have a set of oversized clothes at the start line. The first player must put on the clothes, run to a cone and back, undress and tag the next player in the relay game. The next player repeats the process. The first team to go through their line, wins. Next-level variation: Use wet sweatpants instead of oversized clothes.

● Water balloon volleyball – Set up a volleyball net and divide into two teams. Give pairs of players on each team a beach towel. Instead of a volleyball, teams will pass a water balloon back-and-forth using the beach towel to catapult the balloons.

● Pantyhose bowling – Place a tennis ball in one leg of a pair of pantyhose and wrap the rest of the hose around your head. Players make their way down the line, using the hose-tethered wrecking ball to knock over rows of water bottles.

4. Get Totally Ab-Zorbed in Fun!

Looking for something unique for your corporate summer party this year? Look no further than Zorbing, which is where participants roll around land or over the water’s surface whilst inside a giant, inflatable plastic orb. A number of locations across Canada are offering up some human-sized hamster ball fun, such as:

● Bubble Madness , various locations in Ontario and Quebec – Take classic sports such as soccer, and hockey to the next level by strapping on a giant, transparent bumper ball. Your feet remain free to move you across the field of play — as long as you remain upright, that is.

● Bumper Ball Edmonton – With a range of three different sized balls to choose from (a good option if you want to include kids at your summer office event), Bumper Ball Edmonton will help you plan your event with safety and fun in mind. Choose from games like Bumper Ball Sumo and Last Man Standing.

5. Organize an Improv Workshop

In today’s fast-paced corporate landscape, teams need to be nimble and responsive in rapidly changing situations. Sharpen those quick reaction skills with a fun improv workshop that will have employees laughing together while building communication skills and strengthening relationships. You can use a DIY approach and research a few games to play together or you can hire a professional to lead the team through exercises that maximize fun and connection.

For example, Lisa Voth is a Counsellor and Theatre Teacher located in Vancouver who specializes in corporate workshops that delve into the “practice of professional play” using acting, music, performance, and presentation practice to support workplace innovation, satisfaction, and improved health.

A corporate summer event need not be a budget-buster to be successful. A little creativity and a lot of positive energy will go a long way in showing some major appreciation for the hard work that happens all year long.