For many organizations, team building is one of the strongest methods for strengthening communication among colleagues, as well as fostering motivation, productivity, and creativity. Your team will appreciate a change of scenery and respite from the day-to-day routine of the workplace. Companies based in Chicago have a huge number of team building activities available to them. This Midwestern metropolis has got beautiful cityscapes, world-class cuisine, and superlative arts and culture of all kinds. Check out our list of the best team building activities in Chicago — you’re sure to be inspired!
1. Test out cutting-edge tech at Redline VR
Tech companies in particular, take note: a team building experience that incorporates virtual reality is a perfect fit for anyone who’s excited about new technologies. You might even be inspired when you witness the impressive innovations that have produced immersive adventures like these. And Redline VR is a fantastic place to experience it, whether it’s your first time trying it out or you’re an “old hat” at VR. Their team building workshop is based on Howard Gardners’ theory of multiple intelligences and offers opportunities to attempt to defuse a virtual bomb, fly a spaceship on its maiden voyage, and more — all while your team is taking their collaboration and communication to the next level.
2. Book an unforgettable Peerspace
This impressive metropolis contains countless private spaces that would make fabulous choices for a team building event you’re planning yourself. One of the most important elements of that planning process is selecting an event venue — Peerspace makes that a total breeze. Easily find thousands of options (and not just in Chicago, but in hundreds of cities). Listings include numerous high-quality photos of the space and reviews from past clients, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. As the largest marketplace on the web for event spaces, Peerspace is the go-to choice for event planners, whether professional or informal.
3. Wear your artistic hat at Art Room Events
In addition to things like bachelorette parties and private boat parties, Art Room Events offers corporate team building activities that are a great outlet for creativity, not to mention an ideal opportunity for relaxation.
4. Go on a thrilling scavenger hunt with Watson Adventures
Recommended by USA Today, Travel + Leisure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Businessweek, and more, Watson Adventures has earned its well-deserved reputation in its two decades of operation. Having been around for 20 years has given them plenty of time to perfect their scavenger hunts, which include themes like “Murder at the Art Museum,” “the Wizard School,” “Secrets of the Loop,” and more.
5. Show off your problem-solving skills at Room Escape Adventures
Escape rooms are a classic team building activity for a reason. Here’s a perfect example: in Room Escape Adventures’ “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” you’ll be given these instructions: “You will get eaten if you don’t work together as a team… it is that simple.” Can you think of anything more motivating than that level of danger? Once again, you’ll have to rely on communicating among teammates to ensure that you don’t get eaten (or whatever other form of peril your particular escape room entails).
6. Explore the city with Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours
Absolutely Chicago offers tours of art and architecture, museums and the lakefront, fireworks, haunted places, and more; there are also structured scavenger hunt and trivia contest activities if you’d prefer a greater challenge. And how better to appreciate it all then aboard a Segway?
7. Create a work of art with Pearl Paint and Sip
Pearl Paint and Sip boasts that, from the music they play to the paintings they choose, they “put the ‘hip’ in ‘Paint and Sip.’” How better to bond with coworkers than with the relaxing combination of drinks, painting, and great music? It’s as simple as that.
8. Let off some steam with Bad Axe Throwing
If you’re looking for a unique team building idea in Chicago, how about some axe-throwing lessons followed by an exciting team-based tournament?! Bad Axe Throwing is ultra-popular, so they have locations throughout the country, including two locations in Chicago alone: Lake View and West Loop.
9. Use your brain and brawn while playing The Game Show Game Show
One of our most fun, entertaining Chicago team building ideas involves competing against your coworkers in an onstage game show! The Game Show Game Show, as it’s aptly called, involves physical challenges, critical thinking, and much more. Use the adrenaline rush that comes with an exciting bout of competition to connect with your coworkers in a whole new way.
10. Cook up something delicious with The Chopping Block
Especially considering that Chicago’s food scene is world-famous (it was even voted 2017’s “best restaurant city” in the country by Bon Appétit magazine), the city’s perf for food lovers. Experience the culinary awesomeness in a team-oriented, participatory fashion with The Chopping Block’s team building events. Guided by a professional chef, you’ll work with your team to create — and, of course, eat — a delicious meal!
11. Grab a bow and arrow at Chicago Archery
Whether you go with a traditional archery party or an Archery Tag team building event, Chicago Archery is an unbeatable Chicago team building idea for those who enjoy a little bit of athleticism and adventure in a novel form. (And don’t worry, it’s totally safe!)
12. Kayak through the city with Wateriders
You might not expect this to be an option in the midst of the Midwest’s largest city, but you can actually ride a kayak on the river and through the city! A tour with Wateriders is a stunning way to appreciate the beauty of Chicago’s cityscape and while getting to know your coworkers in a new way.
13. Experience phenomenal brews with Chicago Beer Experience
Chicago is known for its craft beer scene — in fact, it’s got the greatest number of breweries in the country, making it “the nation’s brewing capital.” Explore the local establishments that earned the city this impressive title — and taste some truly great beers of multiple styles — by going on one of Chicago Beer Experience’s beer tours along with your team.