9 Cool Retreat Activities in New York City to Bond Your Team
The fast pace of New York City makes it one of the world’s most productive places to work. However, the hustle and bustle can also be a little overwhelming at times, and even the most successful workplaces can use occasional downtime. Whether you’re looking for a rural getaway outside of the city or a swanky venue to host a corporate retreat in downtown Manhattan, we’ll share the best retreat activities in New York City.
Check out the top nine retreat activities in New York City to bond your team, or browse Peerspace for some unique event spaces you won’t find anywhere else. Many of the listed venues include Wi-Fi and A/V options. In addition, you can always ask your local host or call the Peerspace Concierge service for recommendations regarding catering or workshop facilitators. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect place to host a successful retreat.
1. Paint together at the Art Studio NYC
Art classes are a great way for your team to unleash their creativity. What makes the group classes at the Art Studio NYC particularly inspiring is that they’re specifically designed to boost cooperation and confidence on corporate teams. You can choose from programs that focus on problem-solving, brand loyalty, and collaboration. Plus, everyone on your team will leave with a painting or drawing that they can take home or hang in the office. You can attend a class at their studio in NYC, or book one of their expert instructors to come to your office, retreat center, or Peerspace location.
And Art Studio NYC has plenty of satisfied professional clients. In fact, just it from this review by a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers about their team’s time at the studio. “Each person walked away proud of what they had accomplished and having built a stronger team relationship. This is something I will definitely be doing again!”
2. Rent a unique venue on Peerspace
If you want to find a venue that doesn’t exclaim “corporate retreat” — or even if you do — you’ll find a wide range of options available from local hosts on Peerspace. Choose from a SoHO penthouse with a rooftop garden (pictured above) or a stylish outdoor venue steps away from the Hudson. When none of the available retreat activities in New York City appeal to you, then it’s time to plan a workshop at a venue of your choice.
All you’ll have to do is find a workshop leader and a caterer — and Peerspace can help with that, too. Just call up the Concierge service for personalized support with your booking, as well as easy arrangements for a customized, private retreat for your team.
3. Learn a new recipe with Cooking by the Book
Cooking classes are a great way to bring your team together. Not only do you get to collaborate — or compete — on a hands-on project, but you can enjoy the results of your labor, too. Put the spreadsheets away and pull out the recipe books with Cooking by the Book. This incredible retreat idea offers two or three-course culinary team-building workshops in Tribeca. If you’re feeling competitive, take part in the Market Basket Challenge, similar to the Food Network show Chopped. Enjoy your meal at the classy on-site dining room, which seats up to 50. However, you can also bring the whole experience to you by hosting a virtual class at your private Peerspace location.
According to another team that held their retreat at Cooking by the Book: “5 very well-deserved stars for Cooking by the Book! From the fine company, to the incredible kitchen, to the excellent staff, to the awesome food. This was one of my favorite team-building activities I’ve done in some time.”
4. Volunteer with NYC Outward Bound
Outward Bound NYC works to improve the educational prospects of underserved public school students in NYC. They also work with corporate partners to pair youth with groups of adults for team-building exercises and adventures around the city.
Bring an element of community service and physical activity to your retreat with Outward Bound. In fact, you might participate in urban hiking, outdoor rock climbing, and even a catapult-building simulation. Not only will these team exercises bring your team together, but they’ll foster a sense of social responsibility within your company and create connections in your community.
5. Go glamping on Governors Island
For a luxury retreat not far from the city, why not plan a glamping trip with the Collective on Governors Island? You’ll be within sight of Midtown Manhattan but feel a world away once you climb into your comfortable bed in a shared or private tent. Explore the island on a bike or by foot. You’ll also have breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
This is a great retreat activity in New York City if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary. While there, enjoy yoga classes and massages for a relaxing out-of-office experience.
6. Spend the weekend at Tarrytown House Estate
The Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson River has many activities to choose from. Just an hour north of the city, this 26-acre retreat offers cooking challenges, cake-decorating contests, casino nights, and more. Activities like “Restaurant Wars” involve working together to create your own restaurant business, while the “Brilliant Bicycle Build” will teach your team how to create a working bicycle for a child. This could serve as an all-day retreat, but there’s so much to do you may want to spend the whole weekend here!
7. Go bowling at the North Branch Inn
The North Branch Inn is a longer drive from the city, but it’s perfect for a weekend getaway in the Catskills. This rustic hotel has 14 guest rooms, plenty of meeting space, and on-site gourmet catering. In fact, they even have a two-lane bowling alley! Let your team enjoy some unstructured time on the grounds, or schedule guided hikes, yoga lessons, spa treatments, and more.
8. Relax and do yoga on the beach with Yoga Yacht
This one-of-a-kind corporate outing combines an evening cruise from Lower Manhattan all the way to the Rockaways for a 45-minute yoga session on a secluded beach. Plan a standalone trip, or schedule it at the end of a full-day corporate retreat for a relaxing sunset sail. The yacht also offers healthy refreshments and live entertainment. Although only available in the summer months, this is a great escape from the stresses of the office.
9. Get into sync at Drum Cafe
Drum Cafe is a unique team-building experience that uses the power of rhythm to get your team in sync. Choose from a variety of corporate event options. Try DrumStick Interactive to energize and focus your team in 15 minutes. Or, opt for Keynote Address, wherein “the whole group becomes the motivational speech.”
Whether you host the workshop at your office or book an auditorium on Peerspace, Drum Cafe is a great retreat activity in New York City for teams of any size. In Drum Cafe’s own words: “We offer empowerment programming through team building activities for groups and corporate events. Each person gets a hands-on opportunity to contribute to the positive work culture and success of their company or organization.”
10. Host a private Brooklyn brunch in a modern, zen brownstone
What could possibly be better retreat activities in New York City than hosting a brunch with your team? How about hosting one in a gloriously relaxed and modern brownstone space in Ocean Hill? This bright Victorian brownstone has a private backyard complete with oversized terrace and plenty of seating, perfect for kicking back and enjoying a sunny day with your coworkers. Arrange for the Concierge service to deliver an NYC-worthy brunch, and you’re in for the perfect afternoon. Be sure to check out all the photos of this gorgeous home to appreciate all it can offer your retreat!
A Peerspace reviewer who booked this brownstone for her event shared the following about her experience. “Elisabeth was wonderful beyond words- her place is gorgeous and she is the most accommodating host. She went above and beyond to make our event the most beautiful and we would recommend anyone to her- many of our friends already want to go back because of her and her lovely space.”
Peerspace makes retreat activities in New York City even better
New York City attracts talented employees from all over the world. And while it seems that finding something everyone in your workplace will love to do in NYC should be easy, it can actually be challenging to narrow down the options.
Retreat activities in New York City like these are a must to keep your group energized and inspired. Try out one (or more!) of these 10 great retreat ideas, or design your own workshop at a customized Peerspace. Don’t forget to consult the Concierge service should you need anything at your retreat, from catering to furniture and more.
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