Known for its iconic yellow bridges, Pittsburgh’s location on the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers makes it an important regional hub and cultural center. From Heinz Ketchup to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Pittsburgh’s exports are recognized around the world. But the city isn’t content to rest on its laurels. Pittsburgh’s residents continue to innovate, whether it’s through a top-notch research university or its youth-driven food scene. Explore the best of what this city has to offer with these 11 fun team building ideas in Pittsburgh to entertain and inspire you!
1. Go behind-the-scenes at Kennywood
First, take a trip to one of America’s oldest amusement parks, Kennywood, which started out as a picnic spot in 1898 before installing its first rollercoaster in 1902. Kennywood’s rides make use of the unique hilly terrain for experiences you won’t find anywhere else. On a team building trip, you can take part in a scavenger hunt or a behind-the-scenes tour. Afterwards, enjoy a catered meal at the on-site picnic pavilion. This National Historic Landmark is a Pittsburgh classic!
2. Host a workshop at a Peerspace venue
You might decide to create a unique team building idea from scratch. If you need a space to host your event, rent a venue on Peerspace. You’ll find a range of listings to rent by the day or hour from local hosts, such as this massive former cathedral in Munhall. Or, choose this colorful meeting space with a full kitchen for a team building workshop for up to 12 people.
No matter how big or small your idea, there’s bound to be a Peerspace venue for it. Just search the listings by event type, capacity, and amenities to find a location that suits your needs. If you need something that isn’t available on site — such as a professional caterer or A/V equipment — call up the Concierge service to get a customized quote from a trusted local vendor.
3. Attend an event at the Carnegie Science Center
One of the most memorable attractions in Pittsburgh is the Carnegie Science Center, which has four floors of exhibits, including Roboworld, “the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibition.” Take your pick of several team building options, including a hands-on lesson at the Fab Lab, where you can learn about 3D printing, laser cutting, and more. There’s also a Science After Hours program, a laser show, a lecture series, and a Murder Mystery activity. This is a great team building idea in Pittsburgh that’s sure to provide some intellectual stimulation!
4. Learn to cook with Chop, Wok, and Talk
Dive into Pittsburgh’s culinary scene with a private cooking lesson offered by Chef Dorothy of Chop, Wok, & Talk. You can choose from a small group team building experience for six to 10 participants, or a larger team building challenge for 12 to 40 people. You’ll learn knife skills, sanitation practices, cooking techniques, and more, based on one of six regional cuisines.
5. Get creative with Contemporary Craft
For a different kind of hands-on lesson, head to Contemporary Craft, a nonprofit studio that has been offering workshops to the public since 1971. Their programs include unique crafts such as making paper from hops (a byproduct of brewing beer), pulp painting from recycled fibers, clay sculpting, metalworking, and more. Visit their studio in Upper Lawrenceville, or ask them about mobile programs that they can bring to your office or Peerspace venue.
6. Explore new worlds with Pittsburgh VR
Get hi-tech with Pittsburgh VR, which offers immersive team building experiences using virtual reality technology. Choose from puzzle games like Escape! VR, or educational games, driving games, arcade games, and more. They also have Xbox consoles, Fortnite, and a conference room with a projector, making this a great team building idea for gamers. Bring your own food and drink for a fun after-work outing.
7. Practice your aim at Ace Axe Throwing
Want to alternate video games with some real-life target practice? Next door to Pittsburgh VR is Ace Axe Throwing, so you can take your team here for a double feature — or, if you have a large enough team, swap back and forth between the two activities. This venue is not BYOB, but they have a bar on site and host music nights such as Axes and Acoustics. Buy out the entire venue, or bring their mobile axe throwing setup to your outdoor event space for even more fun!
8. Find your groove with the Pittsburgh Heat Dance Company
While some team building workshops feel like just another day at the office, the Pittsburgh Heat Dance Company does things differently. They believe that teams bond “more organically and far more effectively” when there’s “no explicit lesson about leadership or communication.” With this in mind, you’ll bond by doing — either through dancing, tumbling, or other movement skills.
9. Rally the troops at Steeltown Paintball Park
For a more traditional team building activity, head to the Steeltown Paintball Park, which offers corporate events that encourage teamwork and some friendly competition. This outdoor venue is open rain or shine, and there’s a laser tag course for a lower-impact option. Group bookings include three hours of gameplay, and a picnic area for BYO food and drink.
10. Get on stage at the Steel City Improv Theater
If your team was born for the stage, book a corporate training workshop with Steel City Improv, where you’ll learn to improve your listening skills, presentation skills, communication skills, and more. Whether you work in sales, law, or medicine, the principles you learn through improv will help you build a stronger workplace and healthier company culture for your team.
11. Learn glassmaking at the Pittsburgh Glass Center
Finally, explore Pittsburgh’s artisinal side, with a private workshop taught by experienced glass artists. Their Make-It-Now workshops allow you to learn a new skill in under 15 minutes, with a selection of items you can bring home with you once they cool. Or, you can bring PGC to you, with their mobile glassblowing studio that offers hands-on workshops and demonstrations.
Food, art, culture — Pittsburgh really does have it all. There’s a reason young people and new businesses alike are moving to this affordable but innovative city. Whether you choose one of the activities on this list or design your own team building workshop, browse the local venues on Peerspace to find the perfect location to host your team building activity in Pittsburgh!