Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Texas, America’s fourth-largest city has led many lives. At various times, Houston has been a railroad hub, a center for oil production, the site of NASA’s famous Mission Control, and a major player in medicine and technology. Whether you oversee employees at a young tech startup or established company, you’ll face many of the same challenges of forming a cohesive team in a sprawling metropolitan city. Fortunately, there are plenty of retreat activities in Houston for your team to partake in. From sports to science-based activities, we’ve chosen nine of the most exciting things to do in the city that will get your team thinking outside the box and working together successfully.
1. Get behind the wheel at Racing Academy
Located in North Houston, Racing Academy’s go-kart course has everything you need for an effective team-building event. Rent out their 1,200-square-foot meeting space for presentations, then hit the racetrack for a “Karting Grand Prix” or 90-minute “Enduro” relay race. Rent out additional spaces for a catered lunch or dinner on site, including an outdoor deck from which you can see the outdoor racetrack below. This activity is suitable for groups anywhere from 10 to more than 100, and can be customized to fit your company culture and the needs of your team.
2. Create an unconventional retreat at a Peerspace venue
For a customized corporate event, consider booking a Peerspace venue from a local host. You’ll find a range of unique spaces available, from a tropical tiki bar to a two-acre private ranchette, both with pools and outdoor seating areas. Filter your venue search by group size, location, and event type to find a space that’s the perfect fit for the retreat activities you have in mind.
Some locations come with furniture and A/V equipment, and you can always ask your local host or call up the Concierge service for catering, photography, or activity suggestions.
3. Go on a spy mission at the Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston isn’t just for kids. The S.E.C.R.E.T corporate team-building package is a great retreat activity in Houston. It’s ideal for teams of up to 50 to work together to complete challenges and solve clues. As they make their way through a laser maze and try to break computer codes, they’ll improve their communication skills and make decisions as a team. This is a fun outing that features some genuinely challenging puzzles. Cap it off with a catered lunch to turn this three-hour activity into an all-day adventure!
4. Hit a home run at Big League Dreams
If your team includes any baseball fans, they’ll be thrilled to have your corporate retreat at Big League Dreams, which features replicas of famous fields, including Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park. Each of the fields has scoreboards and stadium lights for a realistic game-play experience. In addition to softball and baseball games, you can plan customized activities, such as a picnic, BBQ, outdoor waterslides, and even a casino night!
5. Kayak at Buffalo Bayou
Buffalo Bayou is one of Houston’s most popular outdoor gathering places, with multiple riverside parks meandering through the city. It’s a great venue for a retreat due to its central location and the variety of rental spaces available. Host your event at the Water Works, with its grassy lawn and pavilion, then rent a kayak for some team-building activities on the water.
Buffalo Bayou also offers guided tours and seasonal boat cruises. Visit the Waugh Bat Colony or take a “Foodie Float” to taste test food from local vendors. Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find plenty of fun retreat activities in Houston at Buffalo Bayou to bond your team.
6. Work on a volunteer project with Today’s Harbor
Incorporate community service into your retreat with charity team-building exercises offered by Today’s Harbor, a home for neglected children in La Porte, TX. Participate in activities to boost your own team’s morale, while raising funds or awareness of their mission. They have a range of volunteer opportunities available, from gardening to coaching. This is a great way to add a do-good component to your corporate retreat and give back to the community.
7. Train with horses at the Cowboy Solution
Cowboy Solution offers “experiential learning” exercises involving horses to create memorable team-building lessons for small groups. Your team can take part in one or more of the modules, which focus on unique situations, such as onboarding a new team member or improving safety practices in your workplace. These activities incorporate both the informational and emotional components of communication to build trust and rapport within your team.
8. Spend a weekend at Texas Ranch Life
Enjoy the true Texan experience at Texas Ranch Life, the perfect venue for a multi-day retreat for local or out-of-town teams. With 1,600 acres of land, your team can enjoy the entire space privately, which features multiple meeting rooms and up to 28 on-site bedrooms. Enjoy a continental breakfast and classic Texan BBQ, and treat yourself to some local Lone Star brews.
For team-building activities, choose from horseback riding and fishing, knife-throwing, and even bullwhip cracking. You can end the day with a barn dance featuring a live band and experienced instructors who will teach your team how to waltz, polka, and two-step!
9. Take a workshop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Located in Hermann Park, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has several great activities for corporate teams. Sleuths & Secrets is an after-hours adventure for groups of up to 14. You’ll have one hour to roam the museum in search of clues to a science-themed mystery. Or, try the Expedition Center, a role-playing simulation in which your team navigates a flight to Mars in the year 2076.
The mission will require your team to develop their problem-solving skills, including decision-making, experimentation, damage control, and more. This activity is suitable for up to 40 people and can be combined with catering services and an on-site meeting space.
From training with horses to trying out space simulators, you’ll find dozens of retreat activities in Houston that truly capture the Texan spirit. Regardless of which option you choose, we think your team will enjoy the chance to get out of the office and enjoy their time away from their desks. Don’t forget: if none of these options are quite right, you can always book a venue on Peerspace, then choose your own activities to design the perfect corporate retreat.