Team building activities are great bonding experiences, an icebreaker opportunity for newer team members, and can be stress relieving and chance for your employees to blow off some steam. It’s important that these team building exercises aren’t boring (or repetitive) so that employees will want to attend and be engaged. We came up with some creative team bonding ideas for you and your teams to try because let’s face it… it’s time to escape from Escape The Room. We’ve also include a few of our favorite New York City destinations for inspiration.
1. Interactive Dinners
While teams may love a good (free) meal, they might not love making small talk with Janet from accounting for the entire time. Interactive dinners, with food and a show, are the perfect solution to avoiding those awkward situations. You can try places where they specialized in large party reservations and encourage audience participation.
Little Italy’s Puglia serves up big portions of Italian basics with unlimited beer and wine while performers play the classics and Top 40 on a piano. The entire restaurant ends up dancing on their chairs and then goes back to eating as if nothing happened.
At BATSU!, your team can enjoy a sushi meal while watching improv comedians compete in a Japanese game. The show is considered a “battle” with words and an experience unlike anything sold at the Broadway box office!
2. Physical Activity
Considering jobs consist of people sitting behind their computer screens all day, a great team building activity would encourage everyone to stretch their legs!
Anti-Gravity classes are popping up all over to combine aerial arts with traditional yoga. The classes include silk hammock suspended from the ceiling with instructors walking attendants through various inversions. The courses and yoga moves are meant to lengthen your spine and are an amazing ab workout! (Check out your local Crunch Fitness to schedule!)
If you’re not comfortable trying something new, how about something old? Take it back to the camp days and try rock climbing at either Chelsea Piers or The Cliffs at LIC. These team building games will definitely get some blood pumping and maybe even spark some inner-team competitions.
Another team building activity sparked by nostalgia is laser tag! This physical activity is timely for any season and perfect for all ages. Choose your teams wisely.
3. Performances / Movie Marathons
Movie lovers will rejoice over the opportunity to binge watch at exclusive events. Festivals are a great way to offer your teams an opportunity to see world premieres, celebrity talks, music events, and more.
Each year the Tribeca Film Festival sells passes to exclusive Virtual Arcade exhibits, Interactive Installations, Director Series and Storyteller Talks through hospitality packages and public screening offerings.
Another popular annual event is IFC Theater’s showcase of the animated, live-action and documentary short films nominated each year for Academy Awards. The programs run for a few months out of the year so your team can be prepared for award season.
For a more interactive experience, magic and mentalist fans will be thrilled to know that America’s Got Talent star Oz Pearlman performs regularly at the iPic Fulton Market Movie Theater.
Many Broadway shows and even American Idol winners tour throughout the country. If your team is a big fan of one show, this a great opportunity for a local or cultural outing when they come to your city!
4. Getting Crafty
We’re also providing several options to get those creative juices flowing! One idea is hosting a potluck party where everyone signs up to make a dish and bring it into the office. Once everyone has full plates or stomachs, let the competition begin with a good old fashion game night! Everyone’s true colors come out when playing a board game such as Monolopy.
If you’re not interested in putting several cooks in the kitchen, how about a little DIY? Companies like Craft Jam offer dozens of BYOB and team friendly classes taught by beginner-welcoming teachers. Your team’s next Picasso can have their painting, pottery, or glass etched project showcased on their desk for everyone to compliment! Not only can this help with team building it can help promote creative thinking.
5. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality has been getting plenty of hype so why not take your team to try out some new technology? VR is a great team building experience as most people will be trying something new together for the first time. Virtual Reality Cinemas like Jump Into The Light let groups share in the experience of simulated 3-D environments. The cinemas are set up so everyone can experience a situation on their own or also watch a coworker as they enjoy their trippy experience.
6. Live Music
The shy need not apply to this need option: Gathering everyone for a live music event is guaranteed to bring smiles to everyone faces! Karaoke bars offer both public options as well as private rooms for a more personalized environment. Do you have your go-to song ready?
If not ready to belt out the hits, go see the professionals instead. Not every city is lucky enough to have live music on the street corners like in Nashville but there are bars like Cafe Wha that hosts live music 7 nights a week. Book a reservation for your team and watch them sing along. This sort of thing works great with small teams.
7. More Than a Bar
After work drinks are a classic team building activity but regular happy hour can get a little lame. Rooftop Season is the perfect time to explore bars in new neighborhoods – especially if they have specialty games or drinks!
Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar became a popular happy hour spot when starting pairing ice pops and wine along with their views of NYC’s skyline. Sounds pretty and refreshing for a team building event!
If you’re looking to be more active as you drink, look no further than Axe Throwing. The new trending that combines chill bars with plush sofas and axe-throwing near mounted deer has really kicked off in 2019. This will definitely be a way to spot some hidden talent amongst the team…
8. Community Service
While it is important to have fun and let off steam, it’s also important to give back and help others. Organizations like Impact 4 Good creates engaging corporate events that also benefit and support a local community. Partner with them based on a cause you love, time commitment, and location. This works great with small groups, who can get out of their comfort zone by doing something new and different and helps create effective teams.
We hope these corporate team building ideas have inspired you to have fun with your team and promote good working relationships and improved problem solving. Shared experiences set the tone for the relationships and values your employees carry into the workday. So no matter if you are looking to help a new team work better together, host an event for a smaller team or even a large group, there is a team building activity that can help make a strong team.