As California’s third-biggest city — and the seat of Silicon Valley — San Jose has an out-sized impact on the Bay Area and beyond. From the Googleplex in Mountain View to the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, San Jose’s industries largely comprise science, technology, media, and the arts. There’s even a Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum that’s sure to keep history buffs intrigued. From the hip to the historic, get your team inspired with these 11 fun team building ideas in San Jose.
1. Take a tour of the Winchester Mystery House
Constructed between 1884 and 1922, the Winchester Mystery House is one of the most famous landmarks in San Jose. This massive mansion was built by Sarah Winchester, who inherited her wealth from the Winchester firearm company. Whether or not you believe in the ghost story that inspired its construction, its 161 rooms, 47 fireplaces, and 17 chimneys are a sight to behold.
Today, the Winchester Estate offers several team building and group tour options, including an axe-throwing contest in the stables, an escape room, and an immersive horror experience.
2. Host an activity at a Peerspace venue
If you prefer to host a customized event at a private venue, rent an event space on Peerspace instead. You’ll find hundreds of unique locations all over the Bay Area, from a cat-filled meeting room that can fit up to 12 guests, to a 6,000-sq.ft. retreat in the Redwoods with room for 30. If you need a larger space, you can rent this state-of-the-art theater, an urban winery, or a rural indoor/outdoor venue that can host any of your team building ideas in San Jose.
Some of these venues come with additional amenities, such as furniture, A/V gear, and on-site catering options. If there’s something you need that isn’t included in your booking, you can call up the Peerspace Concierge to have it delivered by a trusted local vendor!
3. Take a cooking class at the Savory Kitchen
Get your team out of the office and into the kitchen with a cooking workshop led by the chefs at the Savory Kitchen. With two locations in San Jose and Cupertino, the Savory Kitchen provides a modern kitchen and restaurant facility where your team can take part in hands-on challenges. Choose from group competitions and Chopped-style contests with mystery ingredients.
4. Let out your frustrations at Break Stuff
Break Stuff describes itself as a “Stress Relief Demolition Center,” making it a fun team building idea in San Jose after a stressful day at the office. You’ll get to demolish televisions, computers, glass bottles, and more in a safe and controlled environment. Each room can fit five people at a time, with group packages available. Bring your own items or select from what’s on hand. Don’t forget to bring some music to provide the perfect soundtrack for smashing stuff!
5. Go on a scavenger hunt with Vine & Seek
Make the most of your proximity to California’s wine country with a scavenger hunt put together by Vine & Seek. They offer team building adventures to some of the region’s bars and wineries, with tastings, trivia, and photo challenges built in. Take a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, or spend a few hours exploring downtown Saratoga for a classy team building idea near San Jose!
6. Explore the redwoods at Mount Hernon Adventures
Ropes courses always make for a great team building idea — especially when they’re located in the redwood forest at Mount Hernon Adventures. Have your pick of three team building options, including a Redwood Canopy Tour with several zip lines and sky bridges, and a Sequoia Aerial Adventure with over 30 high-course challenges. Their team building packages are intended for groups of 25 or fewer, and include a range of activities both on the ground and in the trees.
7. Make art together at Infuse Glass Studio
Instead of breaking glass in a break room, make some glass artwork of your own with the team building workshops offered by Infuse Glass Studio. You’ll work on making a fused glass plate or bowl, with instruction and materials included. Bring your own food and drink to their studio for a two-and-a-half-hour team building session. You can pick up the finished pieces a week after the event.
8. Go for a ride on the San Jose Brew Bike
Take your team for a spin on the San Jose Brew Bike, a 15-seat pedal pub that offers a tour of San Jose on a trip lasting two to three hours. Whether you prefer a food tour, a scavenger hunt, or just plain old sightseeing, this is a great team building idea in San Jose for local and visiting teams. You can explore new parts of the city that you haven’t seen yet, and bring your own food and drink on board for a laid-back outing. Rent two bikes for an activity for up to 30 people.
9. Have a field day at Silver Creek Sportsplex
Active teams will enjoy a day out at the Silver Creek Sportsplex, where you can play everything from kickball and dodgeball, to more unusual games like archery tag and bubble soccer. This is a great option for large groups, especially since there’s room for up to 5000 people indoors and out. You’ll have access to turf fields, multi-sport rinks, an inflatable obstacle course, and more. There are also breakout rooms with Wi-Fi and A/V gear, so you can get some work done along the way.
10. Take an improv class with Comedy Sportz
Team building ideas don’t have to be super-serious. Let your guard down with an improv class offered by Comedy Sportz, one of the leading “business improv” trainers in San Jose. You’ll get the chance to practice your communication skills by building on each other’s work in real time. Choose from leadership workshops, ideation/brainstorming modules, and more.
11. Paint your masterpiece with Valley Painting Parties
Learn to paint like a master with Valley Painting Parties, which offers customized team building workshops at your office or Peerspace venue. Whether you paint a collaborative canvas based on your corporate logo, or provide a photo of your pet to be pre-sketched onto the canvas, you and your team will walk away with a painting you can be proud of. There’s one instructor for every 20 painters, and attendees can bring their own food and drink to enjoy during the session.
Choosing the right team building idea for your group depends on whether you want to focus on adventure, communication, creativity, or something else entirely. These fun team building ideas in San Jose offer a little bit of everything, and are suitable for new and established teams alike. Don’t forget, you can always create your own lineup of activities at a private Peerspace venue near your office, or get out of the city for a team building trip to wine country or the redwoods!