Whether you’re planning an intimate retreat, a major conference, or an incentive event, bringing the team together in person presents a golden opportunity to plan activities that foster camaraderie, collaboration, and communication.
“A well-designed, carefully organized, and intentional team building activity communicates value and engagement to your team,” says Bobby Mikulas, CEO and co-founder of Kinship Landing, a boutique hotel, cafe/bar, and an event space in downtown Colorado. Springs, Colo. “Showing you care can shape your company’s culture and future performance, so choosing a location that’s professional in creating atmosphere and design is key.”
Keep scrolling for a curated list of 11 inventive team building activities to consider taking your team to a new level…
Photo: Courtesy of Beaverbrook Estate
1. Put your survival skills to the test
Beaverbrook Estate – an illustrious estate in the English countryside known for hosting a handful of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill – has partnered with Bear Grylls Survival Academy to offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities for Teams, from bushcraft to survival skills to teamwork challenges, designed to bring people together. Here, a team of highly trained experts hand-picked by Bear Grylls himself can provide a host of team-building activities, including but not limited to wilderness races, challenges Navigation, Ax Throwing, Sniper Rifle Shooting, Rappelling, Plane Crash Scenario and Sequel.
Photo: Courtesy of Pendry San Diego
2. Surf the waves in San Diego
In partnership with Adventure IO, Pendry San Diego offers a series of locally inspired adventure experiences created and led by professional athletes and local experts for a special gnarly team building activity in San Diego. Groups can explore the city’s best surfing and deep-sea fishing spots with World Surf League legend Damien Hobgood and Salty Crew captain Kody Kessell on a memorable sea outing in San Diego, or catch waves with professional surfboard shaper Chris Clark.Photo: Courtesy of Thompson Seattle
3. Get a group tattoo
Thompson Seattle, the Olson Kundig-designed luxury boutique hotel in downtown Seattle, has launched a “Tattoo Artist-in-Residency” program with various well-known tattoo artists from across the country. The series of immersive and interactive body art experiences (for team members looking for a lasting memory) began with famed local Seattle artist Lolli to great acclaim, followed by Portland-based artist, Alice Kendall. Tattoos are permanent or fade over time, for those looking for something less, well, permanent.
4. DJ for a day
The Hard Rock Hotel New York has tapped into the power of music with Audacy Live, a state-of-the-art performance studio that is part of a branded partnership with the cross-platform audio and entertainment content company. Unique breakout reunion offerings include Scratch DJ Academy’s “Learn to DJ” sessions or Spin Art Stations, where your team can create custom vinyl artwork using real LPs with custom labels commemorating the brand or event. There is also Tracks, a writing session with american idol finalist, singer and songwriter Najah Lewis. Groups can also dance like no one is listening with a silent disco.
Photo: Courtesy of Enchantment Resort5. Walk the desert trails
Located in Sedona’s iconic Boynton Canyon, Enchantment Resort sits on 70 acres surrounded by 360 views of towering buttes and iconic red rocks. With access to over 400 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails through the resort’s Trail House, groups can join a private exploration of some of the desert’s most famous trails with an expert guide tailoring the hike or the ATV excursion for all skill levels and terrain interests.
6. Go silly with a humor workshop
Located on the Lower Cape in Brewster, MA, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is a year-round historic property that offers classic New England charm and luxurious accommodations. The resort also offers unique team building experiences for those looking to create meaningful connections while relaxing. For a bit of spontaneity and laughter, teams can take advantage of Ocean Edge’s improv workshop. Conceived as a television session of Whose line is it anyway?, the workshop encourages participants to let go of everyday stress and get a little silly. It includes various exercises that encourage creativity and fanciful thinking and invites group members to engage in communication and listening skills for up to 90 minutes.
Photo: Courtesy of Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
7. Heal in Hawaii
Located directly across from Kuhio Beach on land once occupied by Queen Lili’uokalani’s summer residence, the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa invites corporate groups to participate in a private Pīkai ceremony in the part of a team building experience that incorporates traditional Hawaiian ocean practice. water purification performed at sea. The ceremony is part of an extensive belief system held by early Hawaiians, whose ceremonies centered on spiritual purification, cleansing, renewal, and connection.
8. The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt
Those looking to strengthen their team communication and problem solving skills can try their hand at the Barnsley Resort Scavenger Hunt. The ultimate goal of this trip is teamwork while racing against the clock through the resort village, historic gardens and mansion ruins. While solving puzzles to navigate the station, each team faces physical and mental challenges that require communication and teamwork to solve. Referees are posted along the way to facilitate challenges and ensure teams return safely.
9. Escape Games in Bonaire
Bee Caribe offers “escape games” on Bonaire that take players on a tour through the Dutch Caribbean island while telling a story based on a historical figure. In teams of two to four, players will solve puzzles along their journey, completing missions that will eventually lead them to a hidden location. Whether visitors are interested in diving, salt history or World War I, the purpose of escape games is to teach people something about Bonaire and allow them to explore nature and island culture by leading them to places they otherwise would not have explored. The games are supported by an advanced app on a smartphone or tablet where the story comes to life with special navigation tools and augmented reality. Each game covers a separate part of the island and its history.Photo: Courtesy of Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
10. Night Golf
Gather the team for a nighttime light-up putting contest or light-up golf in the shadow of Camelback Mountain at the Short Course, located in the serene Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale. The 18-hole, par 3 course has been completely redesigned by renowned golf course architect Forrest Richardson, combining more difficult diamond tees, intermediate square tees and circular tees that are easier for the golfer to select to form its layout of route. Glow golf is available for team building groups of 15 or more.
11. Competitive cooking
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa’s plethora of group-oriented food and beverage activities are perfect for small and large groups. To channel their inner professional chef, teams can participate in a variety of classes such as creating their personal poke bowl, cake-pop making, sushi rolling, mixology, guacamole making, pasta making , etc. Additionally, groups looking to stir the pot with friendly competition can enter a master chef competition where teams of three to five people are tasked with creating a three-course meal under the supervision of various on-site chefs. . If baking is more your team’s style, there’s a Nailed it-style competition where team members can compete to replicate intricate cakes and desserts for a grand prize.