Portland is known for its creative culture and DIY spirit. From building bikes to brewing beer, Portlanders like to do things their own way. If you’re looking for a team building experience in the Pacific Northwest, start with this list to find some of the most creative team building ideas in Portland. You can even choose more than one activity and combine them with a Peerspace rental for an all-day outing or company retreat. Regardless of the occasion — a product launch, executive function, birthday party, or anything else — you’ll find a variety of customizable spaces on Peerspace to host your activities.
1. Put a bird on it at WildCraft Studio School
The TV show Portlandia may be a slight exaggeration, but the image of Portland as a crafty, DIY heaven isn’t entirely misplaced. You’ll find experts in all kinds of homemade arts and crafts in Portland, and a workshop with WildCraft Studio school is a great place to start. Learn to make natural dyes that are eco-friendly and safe for your family, or head out to the coast to locate edible seaweed. From handcrafted incense cones to botanical lip tints, WildCraft Studio has a range of unique lessons to choose from. Whether you head outdoors or host the event at your office, the Peerspace Concierge team can even arrange for catering and other team building options for a fully customizable retreat.
2. Create your own company retreat at a Peerspace venue
If you want the freedom to do your own thing and design your outing from the ground up, start by finding the perfect Peerspace venue and choose activities to match. Whether you rent an event space filled with natural light for a team photoshoot or a funky conference room in a downtown hotel, you can call the Peerspace Concierge service to help you out with your booking. They can help you arrange for a professional caterer, furniture rentals, A/V gear, and more.
3. Pedal down the river on a Brew Barge
Portland is situated at the intersection of two rivers — the Columbia and the Willamette — making it the perfect city for an outdoor team building adventure. The Brew Barge will take you on a one-and-a-half-hour tour of the Willamette, letting you drift beneath Portland’s famous bridges as the sun sets over the city. This pedal-powered boat is suitable for all skill levels and groups of up to 14 people. And, of course, you can bring your own beer on board for a fun after-work outing!
4. Visit Portland’s best food trucks on a Forktown tour
Learn about Portland’s food scene on a walking tour through some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. This a great team building idea in Portland for teams visiting from out of town, but even locals will learn something new from it. Choose from tours for specific diets, such as the gluten-free tour, or include beer and cocktails on the “Sippin’ and Strollin’ tour.” You can also request a customized tour to suit your team’s personal tastes and preferred tour location.
5. Learn laser cutting and other skills at the ADX makerspace
ADX, or Art Design Xchange, is a hub for artists, woodworkers, graphic designers, and other creative types in Northeast Portland. ADX offers classes and equipment to members, and it’s available to rent out as an event space for product launches, musical performances, parties, workshops, and more. Coordinate with the team at ADX to request a workshop facilitator to introduce your team to the materials and machinery available at the makerspace.
6. Solve the puzzles at Escapism Portland
Escape rooms are always a great team building idea in Portland. Fortunately, the city has a few different options to choose from, so you won’t get bored of repeat visits. Escapism Portland has four locations featuring six different rooms, and offers team building options so you can split up your team and visit multiple rooms on the same outing. Be sure to book a private party room, or head to a nearby bar after the outing to debrief and discuss what you learned!
7. Hit the trails with Mount Hood Outfitters
Portland is home to some of the best outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. The Mt. Hood Skibowl is just a short drive from the city, and the guides at Mt. Hood Outfitters can lead you on an exciting outdoor adventure anytime of year. Whether you choose to paddle, hike, or ride the alpine slide, you’ll return to the office refreshed and rejuvenated from your time outdoors!
8. Take a climbing lesson at the Portland Rock Gym
For an active outing during the rainy season, head to the Portland Rock Gym for a customized team building workshop on the indoor climbing wall. Choose from an intro to climbing workshop that will teach your team members how to safely belay each other up and down the wall, or learn how to conserve your energy with a technique 101 class. No matter your skill level, the team at Portland Rock Gym will help you learn to work together and overcome your fears.
9. Learn to sew at the Klum House workshop
The Klum House is another great team building idea in Portland for creative types. From sewing to dyeing to making tote bags and leather wallets, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant creative studio. You can host a workshop at their studio or your Peerspace location. Tools and materials are included, and you can add snacks and drinks to your booking as well.
10. Paint pottery at Mimosa Studios
Have an after-hours painting party at Mimosa Studios instead of a standard happy-hour outing at a nearby bar. Up to 25 guests can take part in a private workshop hosted at your office, event space, or at their studio in the Alberta Arts District. Choose from mugs, plates, vases, and other pottery pieces to paint in your own personal style. Mimosa Studios will take care of the glazing and firing, as well as have your food-safe pottery items ready to take home in two to five days.
11. Go windsurfing at Hood River with Big Winds
The Columbia River Gorge is known for having some of the best windsurfing conditions in the world. Take your team to Hood River to enjoy this thrilling outdoor activity with a team building lesson offered by Big Winds. All of the gear you need — wetsuits, helmets, and boards — are included, so you can quickly get onto the water and have a fun bonding experience together. Swing by some of the craft breweries in Hood River to cap off your day.
Portland has developed its quirky reputation for a reason. From modern yurts to A-frame cabins, you’ll find dozens of unique event spaces to host your team building ideas in Portland and the beautiful Pacific Northwest forests. Whether you choose to paint pottery or take a tour of local food trucks, combine your team building outing with a Peerspace rental for a full day of fun!