According to the writers at the Matador Network, Columbus, OH, isn’t just the cultural capital of the Midwest — it’s also where you should turn if you want the cultural perks of living in New York or San Francisco without the price tag. As more young professionals and creative types head to the Midwest, cities like Columbus are seeing a rise in innovative experiences to match. From a new driverless shuttle connecting several downtown stops, to a free outdoor climbing wall that’s open to the public, Columbus offers a taste of what urban living can be. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of team outing ideas in Columbus to help you tap into that creative spirit!
1. Learn new skills at the Idea Foundry
The Idea Foundry is a makerspace for hands-on creators of all kinds. Whether you’re curious to try woodworking or have a passion for 3D printing, chances are the Idea Foundry has a meetup or workshop for you. Their main event space has room for 125 guests, while their “grandstand” can accommodate 75. Browse their calendar to see what kind of activities are available, then plan your own customized event with a trained facilitator. From stained glass-making to virtual reality simulations, this is a versatile team outing idea in Columbus for groups of any size and experience level.
2. Rent a creative event space on Peerspace
Not sure whether to go out or stay in? Peerspace gives you the best of both worlds, with a range of unique event spaces you can rent by the day or hour, with all of the amenities that you’d have back at the office. Plan a “craft & vinyl” party at this downtown art gallery that has its own beer bar and recording studio. Or, rent this cafe and co-working space for an off-site retreat without leaving behind the Wi-Fi and other workplace comforts.
Widen your search to find retreat spaces outside of the city, or call up the Concierge service for help lining up a caterer, professional photographer, or event staff. Peerspace venues are great for corporate photoshoots, awards ceremonies, happy hour activities, and other team outing ideas in Cleveland that just wouldn’t be as fun to host back at the office.
3. Make DIY handicrafts with NatterDoodle
NatterDoodle’s tagline is “Sprinkle Positivity Confetti,” and that should give you a good idea who this team outing is for. If you think your team would love to make handcrafted items that would fit right in in Portland, OR (or on Etsy), a NatterDoodle workshop may be for you. From macrame holiday ornaments to hand-lettered chalkboards, you can choose from dozens of homemade crafts, with materials and instruction included in the cost of your private workshop. Host the event at their studio — which has its own confetti dispenser! — or at a Peerspace venue.
4. Learn to make glass at Glass Axis
For another hands-on workshop idea, visit Glass Axis to try an introductory class in kilnforming, flameworking, and other glassmaking techniques. You can plan a private class for your team, or attend a 50-minute demo in which you’ll see a trained glassblower at work. Depending on which technique you choose, you’ll have the option to make beads, mosaics, and other souvenirs you can take back with you to the office.
5. Take a tour of Land-Grant Brewing Company
For a more relaxed team outing idea in Columbus, arrange for a private tour of the Land-Grant Brewing Company, which offers a range of locally brewed beers. In addition to the tour, you can stick around in the taproom, which features local food trucks and events, such as the Fiergarten Movie Series. Bring blankets to stay warm while enjoying a scary movie outdoors!
6. Attend a pop-up dinner at 1400 Food Lab
1400 Food Lab calls itself a “makerspace for food and drink,” and it’s a great place to go to learn a new skill in their 16,000-sq.ft commercial kitchen. You’ll find a range of workshops available for cooks of all skill levels, from a Thanksgiving Pie Primer to Home Butchery 101. For a different experience altogether, take your team to their “Dining in the Dark” event, a pop-up dinner that features a four-course meal that’s served while all of the dinner guests are blindfolded!
7. Have a “literary picnic” at Thurber House
The Thurber House is a venue that works to connect readers and writers from Columbus and beyond. While they offer book readings and writing workshops throughout the year, one of their highlights is the Summer Literary Picnic series, which features an outdoor book reading and a boxed picnic dinner served on the front lawn of the house.
8. Explore the immersive art of Otherworld
This 32,000-sq.ft. art exhibit features 40 interactive scenes that its creators call a “mixed reality playground.” Thrillist says it’s one of the best new attractions in the entire country, so if you live in Columbus and haven’t visited it yet, now is your chance! Otherworld uses a combination of technology, tactile surfaces, and sculptures to take you on a surreal sensory adventure.
9. Enjoy a Sunday afternoon in the Topiary Park
Ok, it doesn’t have to be a Sunday. But this particular park was inspired by A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, a famous painting by Georges Seurat. Begun in 1989, the park features 54 people — plus several animals and boats — depicted in life-size topiary and modeled after the well-known image of Parisians hanging out on a sunny day on the River Seine. It’s the only park of its kind and a truly memorable place to visit. This is definitely one of the most laid-back team outing ideas in Columbus.
10. Play tabletop games at Kingmakers
Finally, finish off the work week with a trip to Kingmakers Board Game Parlour, where you can enjoy a local beer while playing one of over 400 tabletop games. For only $5 per person, you’ll have access to the entire gaming library — and the support of the staff to help you choose one for your group. Pick an old favorite or learn something new.
We hope you’re as excited about these team outing ideas in Columbus as we are. With its mix of hi-tech experiences and hands-on workshops, you’ll walk away with plenty of new souvenirs to add to your collection. Remember, if you need a space to host your team outing or activity, check out the listings on Peerspace to find a unique event space in the Columbus area!