Here at Team Building NYC, we’ve compiled a list of the city’s best company team building activities and company outing ideas, many of which you won’t find on any other list. Note that most of these are corporate team building activities for adults.
We’ve found that NYC is home to not only the best team building companies in America, but the best in the world. And this proliferation is to be expected; many of the world’s most forward thinking companies call the New York City area home, or at least have major operations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Jersey City (or elsewhere in New Jersey) or the surrounding area.
These companies care about improving employee job satisfaction, loyalty and retention, communication and more; and know that these results come from hosting fun corporate events for employees, including company off-sites, team outings, team building retreats and other team activities.
Many organizations that do team building in NYC are constantly on the lookout for new company outing ideas. Included in the list of team building activities below are fun, unusual and creative ideas for your next event. Not all of these companies advertise themselves specifically for corporate team building activities, but where that is the case, they do accommodate private groups and parties, which you can arrange for your team outing. Cool?
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Team Building NYC: Table of Contents
- The Best Team Building Activities in NYC
- Unusual Team Building Activities in NYC
- Fun Team Building Activities in NYC
- Team Building Scavenger Hunts
- NYC Team Building Activities with Food
The Best Team Building Activities in NYC
We searched far and wide to find the best team building activities in NYC. We compared every element, from the “fun factor” to actual team building impact to pricing. The result? We are listing exactly two. Museum Hack is an established team building company with thousands of positive reviews. It’s wicked smart, fun, collaborative, competitive… everything you may want in a team building activity. The Great Guac Off is runner up, and is also a NEW addition to the list. It’s the first time we’ve seen guacamole making as a team building activity, so the novelty may get your attention; and the quality of the event will keep it. Plus the pricing is reasonable. Check these two out before others on the list!
1. Museum Hack – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ [Highest Rated]
Museum Hack is NOT your usual museum experience; the tours are fast paced, full of unique “mind blowing” stories, and include games and activities in the galleries. The New York Times called it “museum tours for people who don’t like museum tours”, but really… if you have a pulse and like mixing fun with learning some cool stuff about art, history and science then you are going to LOVE Museum Hack. The company does 450+ team building activities every year, for clients like Google, Adobe, KPMG, and LEGO, as well as small and medium sized organizations; and they have hundreds of five star reviews. The team building activity is a remixed version of the museum tour, and can be customized to match your company mission, industry and values (for example, Dannon did a history of yogurt tour and Google did “technology through time”). You can also add scavenger hunts, storytelling workshops, an “escape the museum” experience to your corporate event and more. Wine and snacks optional and every guest gets a photo memento of the experience. Highly recommended for your next team building activity in NYC.
2. The Great Guac Off™ – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ [Best New Activity]
The Great Guac Off combines trivia, pun-games and unusual stories, with a fast-paced guacamole making competition — all optimized to be a world class team building activity. It’s also surprisingly FUN; a team from HelloFresh said, “It was more engaging then I thought it was going to be and everyone LOVED it.” The Guac Off team can come to your office or other space to run the event, or you can go to Guac Off locations throughout NYC (usually within a few blocks of your office). The basic package includes snacks and drinks, and is suitable for groups with a wide range of dietary requirements and preferences, including gluten-free, vegan-friendly and other common needs. Options / upgrades include full catering, swag bags, and a customized trophy. Alcohol optional, and really you don’t need it — your team will have a great time. Want to try something new for your next team outing? The Great Guac Off™ could be your ticket to a happy, healthy team.
Unusual Team Building Activities in NYC
Tired of conventional corporate team building activities? Below you’ll find fun, creative and unusual team building activities and corporate event ideas that will add a little excitement back into your office. If you are ready to try something new for your next team outing, consider the activities in this section.
3. Gingerbread Wars™ – 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄 [Holiday Themed]
Gingerbread Wars is a fun team building activity based on a gingerbread house competitions; it’s smart, fun and competitive. At your event, your host will facilitate a number of challenges like Holiday Trivia, Gift Tower and then the ultimate challenge: The Gingerbread of Greatness. Your team will race against the clock, and with the available ingredients, to make an epic and creative gingerbread house. The event is about 1.5 hours total, and can be run anywhere that has tables and a sink to wash-up. Prizes are included, and you can add additional food, trophies, gift bags and a BYOB option.
4. Launchy Birds
If you are looking for a wildly fun team building activity then look no further. Launchy Birds is a game, battle, competition, thing, that is specially designed to bring people together. The company uses “construct & destruct” game mechanics where you build a mighty castle, and then launch a strategic and somewhat chaotic attack to tear it down. Launchy Birds is fast paced, spectacularly fun, and will have you smiling, laughing and crying (but they will be tears of joy).
Barcade is a popular bar and arcade combo where you can enjoy drinks and games in one venue. The space is often busy, but if you have a small team or don’t mind a crowd then playing coin games can be a great bit of nostalgia for your next team outing. Because this is a bar, you have access to a variety of beers, cocktails and wine, so each member of your team can choose a drink they like.
6. Zoo Hack
Looking for a fun, outdoor team building activity in NYC? Zoo Hack is a new project by the folks at Museum Hack, and is a totally unusual team building experience at the zoo. You can expect unique, witty stories on topics like tigers, penguins, habitats, feeding time, and insider zoo knowledge you won’t hear anywhere else. Plus an entirely new set of creative games and activities, designed to make sure your employees see the best the zoo has to offer and do some solid team bonding activities while doing so. If you’ve already tried Museum Hack, then we recommend doing a Zoo Hack next; it’s familiar in its quality and charm and different enough that it feels like an entirely new experience. Visiting the zoo with a renegade guide is also a great outdoor option so your team can get some fresh air and light exercise outside the office!
7. VR World
If you haven’t tried virtual reality yet, we highly recommend it! VR World is a fairly new addition to New York City’s attraction scene, with dozens of VR games and activities to choose from. You can bring in your employees for a few hours of team activities, or for an entire day to experiment with this new technology. If you do go to VR World, we recommend adding food and drinks after, as well as some sort of facilitation during the event, because VR is not yet a very collaborative activity (and not often on lists of company outing ideas).
Instead of just planning a team building event for employees, you can host a Meetup and invite your customers, suppliers and community. Connecting people is a great way to create new friendships, foster creativity and promote inclusion. You can host your Meetup at your own office, in a rentable space like Breather, at a restaurant, or in many other locations.
Going to a nail salon is not your average team bonding activity, but this is not your average nail salon. sundays uses non-toxic and vegan polish and offers relaxing meditation while you get your nails done. If you have a small team and want to treat them to a VIP experience then sundays may be a good option. You could also visit the salon before a more formal team building activity, like dinner or a cocktail party.
Within the last few years, the idea of “play” for adults has risen in popularity and is starting to make its way to team activities. Adults are throwing more frisbees, playing more board games, and otherwise engaging in many of their favourite childhood activities. One way to play is swimming, with lessons or pool games like Marco Polo as two creative team building ideas. There are pools available all over NYC. Remember, no food for 30 minutes before you get in the pool!
11. 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial is an important monument and museum in NYC. Visiting the memorial with your team can be a thoughtful and educational experience. There are many fine dining restaurants near the memorial, so you could plan to do dinner after your visit and lead a discussion during the meal. As an alternative, consider making the 9/11 Memorial part of a larger outdoor walking tour with your group.
12. Rubin Museum
The Rubin Museum is a hidden gem in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The Rubin has a powerful collection of art and objects, most from Eastern cultures. There are a number of ways you could do your company offsite at the Rubin. First, you could go on a tour of the museum (Museum Hack, mentioned elsewhere on this list has expert guides that can take you through the space and make the tour itself into a fun a team building activity). Second, instead of working with outside team building companies, the museum has space rentals so you could host your training or meeting or corporate event at the museum and also allow time for your staff to explore the galleries.
Fun Team Building Activities in NYC
Corporate team building doesn’t have to be boring. We’ve included the below team building activities as fun options to consider for your next outing. Whether you are planning a corporate retreat, or just a company outing for the day, the below activities offer a broad cross-section of unique and creative event ideas for you to consider.
13. Kick Axe Throwing
Axe Throwing is another option for your next company outing or corporate event, and may be a good fit as a team building activity for adults. At Kick Axe Throwing, your team can throw axes to relieve stress. Kick Axe Throwing includes instructions and lessons on how to throw axes, including safety tips. We recommend going for food and drinks AFTER your event, for safety of course.
14. Team Building Hero
Team Building Hero is a “team building conglomerate” that offers a variety of team building activities in NYC and other cities. An advantage of these offerings is that you can do multiple events with one company, which gives them a chance to get to know you and your preferences better. Team Building Hero’s event types are similar to other companies on this list, including scavenger hunts, museum tours, storytelling workshops, guacamole competitions and more.
15. Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers is another well known venue for corporate team building activities, especially for companies in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but also those coming into NYC from nearby places like New Jersey. Chelsea Piers has a number of options available, including meeting and event space, as well as facilitated corporate events, bowling, laser tag and other sports that may be on your list of company outing ideas. If you have a more conservative team or are looking for a more traditional team building event than Chelsea Piers can be a good option for your next company outing.
16. Mission Escape Games
No list of NYC team building activities is complete without an honourable mention to at least one escape room. Escape rooms took America by storm a few years back, and there remain dozens of options for these events around New York City. Mission Escape Games is just one option that offers team bonding activities, and we recommend you check out others because each escape room has its own creative approach. Mission Escape Games is a good option for teams that like puzzles and problem solving.
17. Paintball by Indoor Extreme Sports
Paintball is a common corporate team building activity because you can arrange the sport in games like “capture the flag” or “king of the hill” where your employees must work together as a team. If you have employees that are excited by competition and won’t mind getting active, sweaty, and a little bruised, then paintball can be a fun idea for your next corporate event. At Indoor Extreme sports a key advantage is that the facilities are covered from the elements, which means your event will continue rain or shine.
18. Paintball Sports, Inc
Paintball Sports, Inc is another paintball option that you could do as a team building activity in the NYC area. The company website mostly shows photos of young men doing paintball, so if that matches your employee demographic then this event could be a good fit for your next team activity or offsite. If you have paintball as the main activity, then you could also facilitate your some of your own team building training like icebreakers before the event and a feedback and observations session afterwards. Also food, because your team is going to work up an appetite running around!
If your team likes to be active and energetic together, then sports are a great option for your corporate event. There are many sports leagues for team building in NYC for you to consider, including softball, volleyball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, badminton and more. If you prefer, you can go for a group yoga class or dance. However, ZogSports is a great option for adults or corporate teams because they collaborate with other corporate groups across the city. You can compete with your suppliers, distributors, competitors and other companies.
20. Big Deal Casino
Show me the money! Amongst all of the company outing ideas on this list, this one may have the most gambling. Casinos are an adult only option for fun team building in NYC. At Big Deal Casino your employees can play their favourite casino games, including blackjack, poker, and roulette. Drinks and snacks are available to complete your corporate event. Big Deal Casino is located in Flatiron. If you like, you could donate any winnings to charity.
21. Bowlmor Lanes
For years, bowling was the “go to” corporate team building activity. Bowlmor Lanes is a typical bowling alley, with a full service bar and food options available. If your company is new to team building events, then Bowlmore Lanes may be a good option because most people have been bowling before and know the drill. We recommend adding icebreakers, trivia and other activities to your event to increase the opportunities for communication.
22. Paint & Wine
Like escape rooms, paint and wine venues exploded in popularity a few years back, with many offering private corporate events. Today, there are many of these venue options around NYC, with Paint Nite as one that is well known. Painting can be a fun group activity because everyone gets to take their art home with them, which they can share with their family and friends. And you don’t have to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh to have fun painting, because the instructors will teach you the basics of mixing and layering paint.
23. Bryant Park Events
Bryan Park is one of the best community parks in NYC, and regularly has events with movies, board games and other fun options. You can take your team to one of these scheduled activities and pickup food from one of the park cafes or a restaurant nearby like Chipotle or sweetgreen. As a DIY option, Bryan Park could be a pretty cheap team building activity. One of the challenges of hosting your team outing at Bryan Park is that there is limited seating during busy times, so if you do decide on this activity then make sure you send someone early to hold a few seats or bring your own (otherwise you may have to get creative).
24. American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in NYC. Though many people may think of this space as a go-to option for school trips, it is also a great option for corporate team building in NYC. The museum is large and has a diverse collection, so you should consider a guided tour to learn about the amazing natural history in the space. We recommend one of the team building companies on this list, Museum Hack for your tour (Museum Hack is a renegade museum tour company that turns the average museum visit into a five-star team building event).
Looking for a classic company team building experience? TeamBonding has helped plan company outings, corporate events and retreats for over a decade. When you book with TeamBonding, you can choose from dozens of team building activities, including charity team building, scavenger hunts, cooking lessons and more. TeamBonding has worked with many Fortune 500 companies as well as startups, and is a fast growing company itself; Inc. 5000 has included TeamBonding on their list of fastest growing private companies in the US for the last five years or so. TeamBonding events and team activities are available in New York City, as well as most major cities across the United States.
26. Super Holiday Party
The only holiday party on our list, Super Holiday Party runs events that can either be a standalone team building activity or your full company holiday party. The party format is a variety of connection games, and mini challenges. The “standard package” includes everything you need: a cool facilitator, game materials, fun group ohotos and prizes. You can also upgrade your event with cookie platters, catering, professional photographers, a BYOB option and more. One important consideration is that Super Holiday Party only operates for three months each year (from October through early January). Available dates and spaces are very limited, so if you want to plan an event then you should get started asap.
Team Building Scavenger Hunts
The scavenger hunt isn’t often seen as a creative team building activity, which doesn’t mean it can’t be one! At Team Building NYC we’ve uncovered the best team building companies offering scavenger hunts with a unique combination of speed, team work, challenges and more. Scavenger hunts can be great for competitive teams.
The team building scavenger hunt, reimagined with a creative twist. ScavBoss brings your team to a familiar location in NYC, like Grand Central Terminal or the Financial District, and gives them a unique, new perspective on it. The scavenger hunts are usually 90 minutes in length and can be extended to two or three hours. The hunts are challenging, and have a “social experience” built in, to encourage collaboration and teamwork amongst your group. If you like, Scavboss can customize your event to end at a pub or restaurant of your choice; providing a seamless transition to the dining part of your company outing.
28. Watson Adventures
Watson Adventures runs both public and private scavenger hunts in NYC, and these hunts can function as corporate team building activities. These scavenger hunts are available at parks, museums and other popular locations. Each hunt has a specific theme, like “murder mystery” and can be customized for your company outing. Scavenger hunts by Watson Adventures will likely match your expectations of a scavenger hunt based team bonding activity, with challenging clues and a race to the finish.
This company has an unusual spin on company scavenger hunts that will surprise, delight and engage your employees. We don’t want to give away the twist, but expect a fast-paced and challenging hunt that breaks down communication barriers and gets people working together. Most scavenger hunts feel rushed and competitive, but ScatterHunts™ is the first hunt we’ve tried that turns this experience on its head, and has you diving into the familiar to discover the unusual. Highly recommend this event as a fun team building activity for adults, and the content is work-friendly. Bonus: You can customize your scavenger hunt, and choose between indoor and outdoor locations; including Central Park, Washington Square Park, Union Square, the High Line and other awesome locations throughout NYC.
NYC Team Building Activities with Food
One thing everyone on your team has in common? They all eat! Food based and creative team building activities can be a great way to do team bonding with your employees. Whether you choose a food prep activity like pizza or guacamole, or just go for dinner, you can “break bread” and create strong relationships between attendees.
30. Burrito Fundraiser
Chipotle partners with organizations and other private groups to host burrito fundraisers. You can invite your employees and their families to come enjoy a meal and conversation, and a percentage of the money raised goes to charity. Chipotle has beef, chicken, pork and vegetarian options, plus chips and guacamole for snacking.
31. The Great Guac Off™
The Great Guac Off combines trivia, pun-games and unusual stories, with a fast-paced guacamole making competition — all optimized to be a world class team building activity. It’s also surprisingly FUN; a team from EY said, “The event was great and the group really enjoyed the entire event. Jim was energetic and a great host and I would definitely recommend the Great Guac off to my colleagues and other friends looking to host a fun and unique corporate event!” The Guac Off team can come to your office or other space to run the event, or you can go to Guac Off locations throughout the city (usually within a few blocks of your office). The basic package includes snacks and drinks, and is suitable for groups with a wide range of dietary requirements and preferences, including gluten-free, vegan-friendly and other common needs. Options / upgrades include full catering, swag bags, and a customized trophy. Alcohol optional, and really you don’t need it — your team will have a great time. Want to try something new for your next team outing? The Great Guac Off™ could be your ticket to a happy, healthy team. FYI, The Great Guac Off is a fan favorite here at Team Building NYC.
32. Scott’s Pizza Tour
Love pizza? Love team bonding activities? We love both, and Scott’s pizza tour is a great option for groups looking to do a company outing that involves food. You will tour around the city, either Manhattan or Brooklyn, learning about what makes each type of pizza special, and of course taste testing the options too. Scott’s Pizza Tour has many positive reviews and could be a great fit for hungry teams!
33. Pizza School
Another pizza themed and creative team building activity, Pizza School gives your team an opportunity to learn how to make pizza from scratch. The venue is in the Lower East side, and is great for small teams that want to collaborate on a mission together; the mission being pizza creation. The best part? At the end of the event you will enjoy your fill of pizza!
34. Allergic to Salad
If you are looking for a corporate team building event that includes food that is a little less heavy, consider Allergic to Salad. This organization is on a mission to make salads more accessible to the masses, and offers a variety of private event options. Your team can learn the basics of great salad composition, all while making a healthy and delicious meal to enjoy together.
35. Aunt Jake’s Pasta Lab
For group sizes of twelve or less, Aunt Jake’s Pasta Lab can be a tasty team bonding activity in NYC. You will learn how to make pasta and sauce, the traditional way, and at the end of the event you get to enjoy the meal. Wine and beer are available for your group, so you can have a full “meal experience” without going to a restaurant and learn some new things along the way.
36. Grand Banks
Grand Banks at Pier 25 is “a celebrated oyster bar aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker.” This space isn’t specifically for corporate team building activities or events, but can be a fun and unique option for an upscale event or other company outing. Grand Banks includes food and drinks, with a specialization in oysters and wine. This activity may be a good option for finance companies, law firms and similar organizations that want to keep a more professional and slower pace for their event.
37. Central Park Picnic
Looking for a cheap team event or company outing idea? Not every NYC team building activity requires an outside company to host it. Instead, you can plan your own fun experience, like a team building event or picnic at Central Park. Bring options for meat-eaters, vegetarians and gluten-free folks, plus simple games your team can play like frisbee, bocce ball and cards. A picnic is a great summer event, and weekdays during the day can be an ideal time for your event because the park will be a little less busy.
Team Building NYC: Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question or planning an event? Let us know and we will answer it here! We are happy to answer all your questions about team building, corporate events and company culture.
What is the best team building activity in NYC?
Museum Hack is the #1 team building activity in NYC with 300+ five star reviews. Museum Hack leads unconventional museum tours of NYC museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History.
What is the best NYC team building activity with food?
The Great Guac Off™ is a popular team building option with food. The Great Off is a series of mini challenges together with a guacamole making competition. All ingredients and snacks are included. You can host the Guac Off at your office or various locations around the city.
What are the different types of team building activities?
The types of team building activities include tours, scavenger hunts, activities with food, charity and more.