Milwaukee is one of the Midwest’s major cities, a vibrant and culturally diverse city known for its German beer halls, art museums, and historic mansions. Just a few hours north of Chicago, it’s situated on the west side of Lake Michigan, making it a great destination for outdoor lovers who want to explore its many parks, rivers, and recreation areas. If you’re looking for team outing ideas in Milwaukee for your company retreat or after-work happy hour, these indoor and outdoor activities are sure to offer something for any team.
1. Paddle the rivers with Milwaukee Kayak
Milwaukee’s rivers are a great place to start if you’ve never been on a kayak before. These river kayaks are perfect for exploring the city’s urban rivers, and not intended for Lake Michigan. You can rent single and tandem kayaks, canoes, and even paddleboards. This is definitely one of the top team outing ideas in Milwaukee for those who adore the outdoors. They also offer guided tours if you want a more structured outing.
2. Host an activity at a Peerspace venue
Renting your own venue for a team outing is a great option if you want to get out of the office, but still want to have Wi-Fi, A/V gear, and other amenities. Whether it’s a full-day off-site retreat or an after-work happy hour, Peerspace venues offer welcome a change of pace. Choose memorable event spaces all over the city, including a historic firehouse, an art gallery in Riverwest, or this design studio and warehouse close to downtown.
Because you’ll be renting from a local host, you’ll have the opportunity to get creative with your booking. Host a movie screening, craft night, or facilitated workshop in an offbeat event space, then coordinate with the Peerspace Concierge service for catering and other amenities!
3. Take a tour of Milwaukee Brewing Company
Learn about the history of the region’s beer firsthand at the Milwaukee Brewing Company. You and your team can take a tour of their 9th Street brewery, where you’ll see the brewing process up close and get to try some of the company’s seasonal and experimental brews. Depending on the size of your group, you can book a private tour or event at their on-site facilities, which include a tap room, beer hall, and retail store where you can buy beers to-go. See the views from the rooftop lounge, or hang out on the patio!
4. Play table tennis at Trio Lounge
Liven up your happy hour with a table tennis tournament at Trio Lounge, which offers five tables for gameplay, as well as other bar games like shuffleboard and darts. You can book the venue for a private party, or even better, bring a small group to get a private lesson from the lounge’s professional ping-pong coach, Mike Jenders. He can guide you through the best techniques, host a team-building workshop, or organize a competitive elimination tournament.
5. Learn to print at the Bay View Printing Company
Could your team’s graphic design skills use some improvement? Bring them to a class at Bay View Printing Company for a hands-on workshop at this design and letterpress print shop. The most popular class is Drink & Ink, where you can bring your own food and beverages to enjoy while working on an 11×17-inch poster you can take home. They also offer a Milwaukee Map Workshop, in which you’ll learn how to screen print a map of the city. This is a fun outing that provides a creative challenge for teams new to graphic design.
6. Design your own mini-golf course at Nine Below
This DIY mini-golf course is a fun team outing idea in Milwaukee that will get your team working together and thinking creatively! You’ll create your own hole from the available props, then play a nine-hole round of golf, including on the holes designed by other teams. If you have a large group, you can rent out the whole place for a private party and compete against each other. Food is allowed at private parties, and you can order drinks from the bar while you play.
7. Learn about motorcycles at the Harley-Davidson Museum
Even if you’ve never been on a motorcycle, you’ll find something to appreciate at this museum that celebrates the world-famous brand that was founded in Milwaukee in 1903. Learn about the mechanics of a motorcycle engine, see customized models like the Rhinestone Harley, and of course, take a seat and see what it’s feels like to “ride” one via a video simulation. For the best group experience, book a private tour and event space for an off-site team building retreat.
8. Enjoy the outdoors on a Bublr Bike
Leave the motorcycles behind and rent a bike from Bublr, Milwaukee’s local bike-share system. Each bike has three speeds, front and rear lights, and a basket, making them a great choice for a casual team outing. Use them to explore the Oak Leaf Trail, a 125-mile network of bike paths throughout the Milwaukee area and along Lake Michigan. Pay by the minute, or buy a day pass for 24 hours of unlimited rides. Adaptive bikes and dual-seater tricycles are available, too!
9. Make your own cheesehead at the Foamation Factory
Whether or not you’re tired of cheesehead hats depends on how many Packers games you’ve been to! If you’re interested in learning more about this Wisconsin icon, you can book a tour of the Foamation Cheesehead Factory, where you’ll see the production process up close. They also offer hands-on workshops for groups of up to 15 that let you make your very own foam souvenir to take home with you. Custom molds are available for corporate groups as well.
10. Enjoy the music at Jazz in the Park
Every summer, thousands of people gather in Cathedral Square Park for a live music series that includes, not just jazz, but reggae, blues, R&B, and more. The music runs from 6 pm to 9 pm — just the right time for an after-work team outing — with happy-hour drink specials starting at 5 pm. Be sure to come early to grab a spot. Also, bring a few blankets for a picnic.
Milwaukee is a great place for a team outing anytime of year. While some activities are only an option during the summer, you’ll find plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy during the winter, too. These 10 team outing ideas in Milwaukee are a great place to start, and of course, you can browse Peerspace for even more venue ideas to host your own off-site activities.