27 Creative Team-Building Outing Ideas for Team Bonding
Updated March 16, 2023
Many organizations incorporate team building into the workplace to strengthen relationships and encourage employees to foster creativity. While team-building activities in the office can have the same effect, it also helps to take the group elsewhere.
If you're a team leader or human resources specialist, finding creative team outings can help you improve teamwork and collaboration in the workplace. In this article, we share why team outings are essential and provide a list of creative team outings your group may enjoy.
Why are team outings important?
Team outings are important because they allow employees to connect in different ways than they usually would. These activities help employees improve their productivity, strengthen their relationships and get them into the right frame of mind to tackle a project together. Here are some ideas for your next creative team outing:
1. Escape room
Most cities have an escape room you can visit with your team. These escape rooms are themed, and the goal is to complete specific actions to "escape" the room within the time limit. Your team must use contextual clues to solve challenging puzzles. If you have a large team, break into groups and see who can escape their room the fastest.
2. Ropes course
A ropes course is the modern-day trust fall. It's a great way to connect with your coworkers and place your trust in them as you navigate through treetop obstacles. Employees may find that they rely on each other for guidance and may feel a sense of teamwork and accomplishment when they're done. Those afraid of heights can have just as much fun watching and encouraging their team from the ground.
3. Movie night
Team outings that involve watching movies on the lawn can help team members relax after work. A comedy can make people laugh, which is a natural mood booster, while a thought-provoking movie is one the group can discuss afterward. You can also set up a virtual watch party for remote teams to enjoy a film together.
4. City tour
Even in a familiar city, there is always something new to discover. Sign the group up for a city tour so everyone can take in the sights and learn about the city's history from an expert. Many cities have themed tours that can include everything from breweries and food stalls to museums and parks.
5. Scavenger hunt
There are professional companies you can hire to create scavenger hunts for you so everyone can participate. A group of employees can have the same amount of fun whether they complete the scavenger hunt around the workplace or in a more public location like throughout the city. Employees can group off and try to beat the other team by finishing the scavenger hunt first.
This option is also great for remote teams, as you can participate in virtual scavenger hunts. This can include finding information and items online and uploading pictures from around your office. For example, a virtual scavenger hunt may ask you to upload a picture of your favorite water bottle or the view from your window.
6. Board game tournament
Many board game shops host open play for the public. Book a board game tournament to help employees laugh, develop strategies, and feel nostalgic. Ask team members about their favorite games to ensure everyone has fun.
7. Laser tag
Laser tag is the perfect team outing if you want to introduce some friendly competition to the group. It takes place in a dark room with obstacles and black lights, and the objective is to infiltrate the other team's territory without getting shot at too much.
Geocaching can be a fun adventure for a group of employees. Start by having everyone (or a team leader) download a geocaching app on their mobile phone. This is necessary so you can use GPS to find the geocache hidden at a specific location. Once found, record the item, take pictures to remember the accomplishment and then place the geocache back in the container.
9. Photo challenge
A photo challenge can be like a scavenger hunt where employees have certain spots to visit, but you can also incorporate tasks to encourage the group to have a great time. Not only does the photograph serve as proof of a challenge completion, but it can be fun to look back on later.
10. Learn a new skill
One way to develop camaraderie and build teamwork skills is by planning an outing focused on skill-building. Consider the interests and abilities of the group when choosing which type of skill-building activity may be right for the team. For example, these are some types of classes and skill-building activities in which a team can take part:
Dance class: Dance lessons can be fun and help team members express themselves. Consider asking team members about the types of dance they like.
Music class: A music class may help teams learn to harmonize. You can sign up for a music class that teaches different instruments or provides instructions on how to jam together.
Cooking class: Be sure to ask the team about any potential allergies before considering a cooking class. You can also ask about preferred cuisines before booking the activity.
Art class: A class in painting, woodcutting, photography or calligraphy can help team members nurture their creativity and admire one another's work.
If your team is remote or geographically dispersed, consider an online class so everyone can attend. For example, everyone can join an online cooking class where you create a dish in the comfort of your kitchen. You may also consider an improvisation or dance class in the same format.
Related: 9 Pros and Cons of Virtual Learning
11. Go-kart racing
Find an outdoor track and enjoy go-kart racing as a group. Introducing friendly competition is always great for team building, and racing can accomplish just that. You may be able to find a go-kart track that is alongside an indoor video game arena for extra enjoyment.
12. Obstacle course
Visit a professional obstacle course and group employees into teams so they can race each other to see which group finishes the race first. This builds the team-building aspect of the outing. This is because employees on the same team must help each other and work together to get through the course.
There are a couple of ways to conduct a cookout. You can invite the executive team to cook for all employees, which can boost morale in the workplace, invite employees to compete against each other for a particular dish or introduce a potluck-style cookout to the group where everyone brings in what they'd like.
Potlucks are helpful because they allow team members to try new foods and learn about their colleague's culture and cuisine. If a holiday is near, consider preparing a fun holiday-themed menu. Consider the team and what they're most likely to enjoy. For some groups, brunch might be better than an outdoor cookout.
14. Lunch with other departments
There may not be a lot of opportunities throughout the day to get to know other people from various departments. Consider pairing employees up with someone from another department and treating the pairings to lunch. The two employees can share more about themselves, talk about a specific company initiative or process how they feel they can improve together.
15. Cultural event
Find a cultural event that everyone can attend together. While they usually occur after business hours or on the weekends, these events can expose employees to other cultures' food, traditions and more.
16. Group workout
A group fitness class can fit well with your company culture if you have a focus on health and wellness. Plus, employees can benefit from the endorphins that exercise provides, allowing them to return to the office refreshed and positive. These are some ideas for fun group workouts:
Yoga and stretching
17. Factory tour
If your company produces products for customers, take employees on a factory tour so they can have more knowledge of how everything is made. They can walk away with a fresh perspective and appreciation for the products they sell or market to the public. Some might even have some insights for production improvements.
Everyone has extensive knowledge of a particular subject, whether that's history or pop culture. A team that participates in trivia together leans on each other's knowledge base to score big and win. This can also help your team get to know each other better.
19. Professional development conference
It's common for organizations to send only one or two individuals to a conference, but instead, consider bringing the whole group to a conference from which everyone can benefit. You can share your varying perspectives after. This can also help encourage skill development.
20. Relay races
A relay race is a competition where each team member is responsible for completing a specific action before the next team member can go. This outing adds excitement to the day and helps employees work together toward a shared goal. This can help foster strong relationships and develop team working skills.
21. U-pick farm
Not only does a u-pick farm support local farmers, but it may be a new experience for many employees. Some farms offer educational tours, hayrack rides and free samples. Offer to pay for team members' produce so they can enjoy their goods at home.
22. Mid-afternoon snack
There is something really rewarding about taking a break in the middle of the afternoon for a snack. Offer to take your team to an ice cream shop or bakery so they can pick out something they enjoy. Instead of going right back to the office, savor the time together.
Hiking as a team is fun, even if you don't live in a mountain town. Find a local park that offers a lot of shade and several paths you can traverse together. Hiking also helps improve leadership and communication within the team.
24. Comedy show
There are a lot of benefits to laughing, including releasing tension and improving your mood. Both benefits can help team members connect. After the comedy show, everyone can reminisce about their favorite parts of the act.
25. Concerts or karaoke
If the team loves music, consider planning an outing to a concert. Or, if you have a lot of outgoing members, karaoke can be an excellent option for those who like to make the music themselves. It's good for a lot of laughs, but your employees may also be surprised at the level of talent one member of the team may have for singing.
26. Sporting event
If you live in a city with a major sports team, consider getting tickets to a game so everyone can go together. If one of your employees plays in a league, attend their match as a group so you can rally behind them. You can also encourage teams to join a local sports league together.
27. Day of service
Volunteering can bring a group together in a unique way. Choose a charity to support as a group, then schedule a time you can visit their facilities to work collectively for the greater good of the community. Or you can opt for a community clean-up day to pick up debris or improve the quality of local parks.
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