The #1 List of Team Building Activities & Corporate Event Ideas in NYC

New York City is home to many of the best company team building activities in the world. And this proliferation is to be expected; many of the world’s most forward thinking companies call NYC home, or at least have major operations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens 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, and team building retreats.

We’ve compiled a list of the best company team building activities in NYC, many of which you won’t find on any other list. Note that most of these are team building activities for adults, and specifically for work.

Many companies that do team building are constantly on the lookout for something new. Included in the list of activities below are fun and unusual ideas for your next event. Not all of these companies advertise themselves specifically for team building, but where that is the case, they do accommodate private groups and parties, which you can arrange for your team. Cool?

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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 activity 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 company team building at the museum

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 experience 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 and more. Wine and snacks optional and every guest gets a photo memento of the experience. Highly recommended.

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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 experience. 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 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.

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Unusual Team Building Activities in NYC

Tired of the same old conventional team building activities? Below you’ll find fun, 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. Barcade

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.

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4. Kick Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing is another option for your next company outing, 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.

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5. Zoo Hack

Looking for a fun, outdoor activity? Zoo Hack is a new project by the folks at Museum Hack, and is a totally unique 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 games and activities, designed to make sure your employees see the best the zoo has to offer and bond as a team 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!

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6. 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, 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.

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7. Meetup

Instead of just team building amongst 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.

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8. sundays

Going to a nail salon is tot your average team building experience, 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 event, like dinner or a cocktail party.

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9. Swimming!

Within the last few years, the idea of “play” for adults has risen in popularity. 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 fun ideas. There are pools available all over NYC. Remember, no food for 30 minutes before you get in the pool!

Fun Team Building Activities in NYC

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 event ideas for you to consider.

10. TeamBonding

Looking for a classic 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 charitable 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 are available in NYC, as well as most major cities across the United States.

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11. Chelsea Piers

The Chelsea Piers venue is another well known team building option for companies in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 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. If you have a more conservative team or are looking for a more traditional team building experience than Chelsea Piers can be a good option for your next company outing.

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12. Mission Escape Games

No list of 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, and we recommend you check out others because each escape room has its own approach. Mission Escape Games is a good option for teams that like puzzles and problem solving.

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13. Paintball by Indoor Extreme Sports

Paintball is a common 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.

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14. ZogSports

If your team likes to be active and energetic together, then sports are a great option. There are many sports leagues 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.

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15. Big Deal Casino

Show me the money! 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.

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16. Bowlmor Lanes

For years, bowling was the “go to” team building activity for work. Bowlmor Lanes is a typical bowling alley, with a full service bar and food options available. If your company is new to team building, 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.

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17. Paint & Wine

Like escape rooms, paint and wine venues exploded in popularity a few years back. 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.

Team Building Scavenger Hunts

The scavenger hunt is a classic team building activity, which doesn’t mean all scavenger hunts are classical! In NYC there are team building scavenger hunts that offer a unique combination of speed, team work, challenges and more. Scavenger hunts can be great for competitive teams.

18. ScavBoss

The team building scavenger hunt, reimagined. ScavBoss brings your team to a familiar location in NYC, like Grand Central Terminal or the Financial District, and gives them a whole 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.

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19. cityHUNT

Scavenger hunts are a popular option for team building because they are very naturally designed for collaboration and competition. City Hunt can work with large groups, and will split your group into smaller squads to take on the hunt. Scavenger hunts by City Hunt are available in a variety of lengths, and at a variety of locations, so you can contact them for details.

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20. Watson Adventures

Watson Adventures runs both public and private scavenger hunts in NYC. 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, with challenging clues and a race to the finish.

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21. ScatterHunts™

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.

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NYC Team Building Activities with Food

One thing everyone on your team has in common? They all eat! Food based activities can be a great way to bond 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.

22. 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.

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23. 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 experience. 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 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.

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24. Scott’s Pizza Tour

Love pizza? Love tours? We love both, and Scott’s pizza tour is a great option for teams looking to do an outdoor activity 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!

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25. Pizza School

Another pizza themed 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!

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26. Allergic to Salad

If you are looking for a 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.

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27. Aunt Jake’s Pasta Lab

For group sizes of twelve or less, Aunt Jake’s Pasta Lab can be a tasty option. 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.

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28. 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 events, but can be a fun and unique option for an upscale event. 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.

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