Planning a corporate outing in New York City may seem easy, given the number of exciting experiences available on every block, but how can you know that you’re planning something right for your team? Fortunately, we at the Great Gotham Challenge have narrowed down your options– some tried and true, some new and unique– to bring you some guaranteed great ideas for your next team outing.
Part scavenger hunt, part escape room, part immersive theater, the Great Gotham Challenge leads teams through the streets of New York City, solving puzzles and uncovering secrets along the way. If you’re looking for a team building event that will sate competitive spirits while also encouraging out of the box thinking, cooperation, and problem solving, there’s no better place to turn to than GGC for your next team outing.
In addition to in person challenges, GGC also offers virtual events for remote teams or groups with limited mobility. Both the in-person and virtual challenges place players into teams of 4-6 people, with no upper limit on the number of teams per game, meaning the whole workplace can join in.
If you’re looking for an easy company outing that offers fresh air and greenery for a minimal cost, consider using Central Park as the location for your next gathering. The larger meadows offer space for a picnic or a game of frisbee, while the more wooded sections are perfect for a nature walk or birdwatching, making this a place that any group can enjoy.
This team outing is more suited to the warmer months, but if your group doesn’t mind the cold, there are still plenty of things to do and see in the winter, like ice skating, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
As the more culinarily inclined know, New York is known for its cuisine, and food trucks are one of the easiest ways to get a diverse taste of the city. Sidewalk Food Tours offers some of the best mobile eateries in Manhattan, promising a tasty treat for all preferences and dietary restrictions.
Eating good food together is a great bonding experience for any group, and the wide array of edible offerings encourages breaking out of your comfort zone and embracing new things.
From the creators of the Great Gotham Challenge comes an immersive murder mystery party like no other. With large scale scenes and individual moments with characters, the puzzles are everywhere in the Mystery in the Mighty Metropolis. Expert improv actors integrate themselves among the guests, dropping clues as to motive, while the party supplies hold secrets of their own.
This event can be adapted to any occasion or locale, from an office holiday party to a seedy speakeasy, and the facilitators will work with you to make the challenge fit your group, making this one of the best team building activities to integrate into an already existing event.
Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty on your next outing! Pottery Studio hosts beginners team building events where everyone can learn to throw clay on a potter’s wheel, bake and decorate their masterpieces, and come away with a new mug, bowl, or vase for the mantelpiece.
Events accommodate 5 to 30 people and take three hours, including instruction, creation, and firing time. Refreshments are included!
The High Line is an elevated walking trail and green space stretching from Hudson Yards down to the Meatpacking District. Once a New York Central Railroad line, this trail now offers historical tours, diverse plant life, and a plethora of restaurants and shops right off the path.
There are a number of wheelchair accessible entrances and exits along the High Line, so the start, end, and overall distance of your jaunt are up to you. The trail itself is entirely wheelchair friendly, with plenty of places to sit along the way.
Image provided courtesy of Beat the Bomb
A unique combo of puzzles, memory games, and feats of dexterity, Beat the Bomb has you racing to, well, beat the bomb! Each success earns you more time towards disabling the explosive, and if you don’t manage to crack it in time, your efforts will blow up colorfully in your face.
Beat the Bomb’s challenges are designed to encourage teamwork, cooperation, and communication, so if you’re looking to emphasize teambuilding on your company outing, this is a great option.
80’s hits? Showtunes? Today’s top 40’s? Everyone has a favorite song to sing along to, and karaoke is the perfect place to share them. New York City boasts a huge number of karaoke rooms, and some establishments like Gagopa Karaoke have rooms that can accommodate up to 30 people so that everyone can get in on the fun.
This is a perfect excursion to pair with a happy hour or a casual dinner, but as most karaoke rooms offer food and drink, it can easily be the main event as well.
Want to learn how to make one of NYC’s most beloved foods? The experts at Pizza School NYC are well versed in the art of corporate team building and have the tools you need for both in person and virtual teams. Pizza School NYC will teach your whole team to give your dough the perfect elasticity, sprinkle the best seasonings in your sauce, and place your toppings like a master. By the end of the session, you’ll be throwing dough like a true capocuoco and digging into the delicious rewards of your hard work.
Image provided courtesy of PaintNite
You don’t need to be the next Van Gogh to make something beautiful. Wine and paint classes like those held by PaintNite are perfect for beginners and advanced students alike, making this a great team building activity for all. Skilled artists on staff will lead your group through the process of depicting a beach sunset or a flowering cherry blossom, layer by layer.
Opportunities to mix and mingle are built in while waiting for the paint to set and dry, so there’s plenty of time to compare and compliment each other’s work while also partaking in drinks and snacks. In the end, seeing everyone’s unique touches is a highlight of the experience.
Now that spring has arrived, what better way to enjoy the warm air than to embark on a boat cruise? Circle Line tours boast beautiful views, a fresh breeze, and a lineup of NYC landmarks all year round. They also offer a nighttime tour that shows off the spectacular lights of Manhattan, glinting beautifully off the waves.
In addition to all the regular offerings of a boat tour, Circle Line also offers group catering with customizable menus to suit various tastes and dietary needs, so there’s no need to pack your lunch.
If you’re looking for a challenge in your next company outing, look no further. Escape rooms are plentiful in NYC, and they are one of the best ways to test the communication and problem solving skills of your team while having fun at the same time.
GGC personally recommends escape rooms like The Escape Game and BrainXcape for their top tier puzzles, immersive sets, and engaging plots, but there are plenty of options to choose from!
Image provided courtesy of Museum Hack
An art, history, or science museum can be a great place to gather for a group excursion, but if you want something more engaging than a simple tour, Museum Hack, one of the top rated corporate team building activities in NYC, has got you covered.
Museum Hack’s programs add in scavenger hunts, trivia, and games, to help groups engage with what the museum has to offer. Find their programs in the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, and many more places around NYC.
Part cooking class, part trivia game, part reality show, all tasty. The Great Guac Off is a team building event that has garnered a great deal of praise for the way it combines the camaraderie of cooking and eating together with the friendly competition of a team game.
All ingredients and challenges are provided by their trained facilitators; all you have to do is bring your enthusiasm and your appetite.
Communication is key in the workplace, and learning how to communicate effectively can improve your working relationships. One way to improve communication skills is to take a storytelling workshop, where groups like Storytelling NYC will teach you how to engage and persuade your audience, and make your message memorable.
Since storytelling is something that everyone can do, this is an easy and accessible option for those looking for fun team building activities, and chances are the benefits will carry over into the workplace.
If you’ve got a team full of brainiacs it’s time to put their skills to the test with the Ultimate Trivia Showdown. Rather than standard pub trivia, the hosts of the Ultimate Trivia Showdown come to you– to your office, your happy hour, your holiday party, wherever you need them to be– to put on a contest of wits for as many as 300 players.
The Ultimate Trivia Showdown features multiple styles of trivia, as well as a broad range of subjects, so fast thinkers and slow ponderers are on equal footing. Not only that, but your knowledge of your group and your teammates will be tested, as well as your general knowledge.
Image provided courtesy of Let's Roam
Whether premade or DIY, scavenger hunts are a flexible activity that can pair well with any outing. They're also a great way to get people looking at common sights from a new perspective, like the office conference room or the local happy hour joint.
If you want to leave creating a hunt to the professionals, plenty of team building companies offer custom scavenger hunts. Let's Roam has some great options spread across NYC for a hunt designed to show you places in the city you've never been to.
Sometimes the little kitten on the "hang in there" poster just doesn't cut it for animal therapy. When the cubicle starts feeling like a cage, it can be good to remember that the wild side still exists and that it's right in reach.
There are zoos for every corner of New York, like the centrally located Central Park Zoo, but for the largest and most diverse collection of animals, head up to the Bronx Zoo for your next trip.
For a casual night of fun, the classic team building activities are sometimes the best way to go. Bowling is easy to pair with drinks and conversation, and most bowling alleys also boast an arcade for those who want flashier entertainment.
Among other companies, Bowlero has multiple locations in the NYC metropolitan area, including one right in the heart of Times Square for an easily accessible team outing.
For a unique, exciting corporate event, why not feel the rush of indoor skydiving? iFly provides the thrilling experience of plummeting through the air without the danger of hurling yourself off a plane thousands of feet in the air.
In addition to their main attraction, iFly also offers custom work events with catered food, meeting spaces, and branding opportunities to tailor the experience to you.
Image provided courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden
No matter what time of year you visit, there’s guaranteed to be something in bloom at one of NYC’s 7 botanical gardens. Swing by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the spring to see the cherry blossoms blanketing the ground in pink, stop and smell the Queens Botanical Garden’s roses through summer and fall, or take a winter walk through the New York Botanical Garden to find the witch hazels in bloom.
Many botanical gardens also have event spaces and catering facilities, allowing corporate groups to combine a workday with a nature getaway.
For a high stress work environment, it’s important that company outings be relaxing, leaving employees refreshed and revitalized. Luckily, day spas like Allure specialize in helping people let go of their tensions and worries.
From massages to manicures, there are plenty of options to pamper yourself and your team, and event packages can be made tailored to your needs.
If you’re looking for something sophisticated to treat your group to, a wine tasting event might suit your taste. City Winery offers both tastings and tours of the fruits of their NYC-based winery. Charcuterie and small bites are included in the event.
In addition to its own winery space, City Winery is also home to an all-purpose meeting space, perfect for conferences, work sessions, or just a group celebration.
Image By Alexander Zvir On Pexels
A concert is a great place to gather with friends and colleagues, and in NYC, you can find concerts for all musical tastes and styles nearly every day of the year. For a group with a variety of preferences, a classical orchestra is a classy way to go.
If you're looking for entertainment on a budget, or are unsure of the number of people attending, check out the NYC Parks free summer concert series to see if anything strikes a chord with you.
New York hosts a number of outdoor rinks in the cold winter months, but if you want to get out on the ice any other time of the year, World Ice Arena is one of a handful of indoor skating rinks in the NYC metro area.
In addition to free skating, World Ice Arena also offers beginner ice skating lessons, open hockey hours, and an adults-only coffee club where you can warm up after your time on the rink.
Not all types of theater want you to sit quietly in a darkened auditorium. With immersive theater, the goal is to engage the audience, to make them feel like they're part of the show. Accomplice the Show brings this out of the box experience off the stage and onto the streets of Greenwich Village, guiding participants along on a theatrical adventure.
Not only does their show feature multiple locations, characters, and interactive puzzles, there are also opportunities to have a few drinks and laughs along the way.
Playgrounds aren't just for kids at Urban Air Adventure Park, an indoor trampoline park, ropes course, arcade, and obstacle course. With a host of guided team building activities, Urban Air is the perfect place to promote problem solving and encourage cooperation while having fun.
Of course, if you're just looking for fun, Urban Air's bumper cars, dodgeball arenas, and virtual reality games should keep you plenty entertained.
The purpose of corporate outings and team building activities is not only to take a break from the daily grind of your workplace but also to build relationships between coworkers and foster a better group dynamic.
When choosing from company outing ideas, consider the likes and dislikes of your team members, what interests they might have in common, and what sorts of activities could bring them together. The best team building activity may not be the one everyone's done before, but something new broadens the whole team's horizons.
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"We had high expectations and they were far exceeded. The challenges were difficult, extremely creative, and completely customized to our group. Suffice it to say our group couldn't have possibly had more fun. Thank you for making me look great!"
"I'm always very skeptical of these "team-building" events, but this one was over the top. They successfully handled our 120-person team, with puzzles that were really challenging. The whole experience couldn't have been more engaging!"
"One of our directors told me it was one of the best organized online challenges they've done."
"[The challenge] shattered any expectations I had. For a fully remote event, I expected a bit of cheesy fun, but the production quality is unbelievable. I absolutely recommend everyone to try it."
"To quote one of my teammates: "This [challenge] was mean and hard, and resultantly perfect." Thank you for the stellar experience, service, and fun."
Great Gotham Challenge is like nothing your team has ever experienced. It's challenging, takes mental grit to complete, and starts at $2000 for our most basic, 2-hour in-person experience. If you are looking for something short, simple, and inexpensive, this may not be for you. However, if this sounds intriguing, we can't wait to hear from you via the contact form below.