You’ll find most of the things you’re looking for in Chicago — from the amazing architecture to the vibrant music scene — and their deep-dish pizza that’s to die for. The third largest city in the US, it’s no wonder people flock here to catch unique experiences.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that Chicago is also one of the best places to have team-building activities.
From indoor fun to outdoor adventures, you’ll never run out of ways to bond with your team in the Windy City. To make it easier for you to get started, we’ve compiled a list of 20 fun team-building activities you shouldn’t miss doing in Chicago.
1. Punch Bowl Social Chicago
Bowling, foosball, karaoke, and more over a few rounds of drinks — if this is your idea of a good time, bring your entire team to Punch Bowl Social!
PBS offers a wide range of games and activities that will have the entire team feeling good. A night out here will also be a good way to blow off some steam, especially if it’s been a stressful season at work.
2. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Chicago
Shuffleboard is another fun game to play over drinks, especially if there’s great music and great company all around. At the Royal Palms, it’s as easy as walking in, renting a court, and having fun with your team.
From food trucks to DJs, this is definitely not your regular shuffleboard club. And if your team is competitive enough, you can even join a league and play as a regular team building activity. If you can win at work, you can probably win here, too!
3. WhirlyBall Chicago
Not a fan of the traditional? Then get your team to play Whirlyball! It’s a mix of hockey, lacrosse, and basketball — with all players riding bumper cars with a top speed of 4mph. Not exactly the speed you need for an ultra adrenaline rush, but its mix of game concepts is more than enough to get the team energy going.
WhirlyBall Chicago also offers lasertag, bowling, and pop-up games in case you’re looking for more things to do.
4. Pinstripes Chicago
Speaking of fun ball games, bocce is another activity your team will enjoy. A classic pastime for Americans, you can now enjoy this lawn game in an action-packed court at Pinstripes where you can enjoy great food and drinks.
Pinstripes also has bowling lanes you can enjoy, in case you get tired of playing with those bocce leather balls.
5. Flight Club
How about a traditional game of darts, but paired with cocktails and food? Flight Club gives you your dedicated play area where your team can celebrate your wins at work and in life.
Flight Club also provides a dedicated host for you and your team if you book ahead of time. This means you won’t have to worry about anything — just show up and start playing!
6. Backyard Axe Throwing League
If throwing darts around is too tame for you, how about throwing around an axe instead?
BATL lets you enjoy the art of axe throwing (in a safe environment, of course) with dedicated coaches teaching you the basics. You can also book a premium experience in case you have a huge enough team so that you can bring out your team members’ competitive side and hold your own tournament.
7. Wateriders Kayak Tour
Have a change of scenery and start exploring Chicago through its waterways. Wateriders offers kayak rentals that give you a beautiful view of Chicago’s architectural beauty.
Choose among their different guided tours — Sunset Paddle, Moonlight Paddle, and even the Navy Pier Fireworks Paddle. You can also organize a private tour just for your team and customize the entire experience.
8. Chicago Scavenger Hunt
Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, Chicago Navy Pier — these are just some of the iconic sites you get to explore on CityHunt’s Chicago Scavenger Hunt.
Enjoy this classic team-building activity while having a taste of the city at the same time. You get to choose the difficulty level too, so let’s see how confident you are with your team’s problem-solving skills.
A few rounds of ping pong at AceBounce might be just what your team needs after an entire week of tough clients and almost missing deadlines! After all, nothing brings a team together like a little competitiveness and some fun game banter.
AceBounce also has beer pong, shuffleboards, and a comprehensive menu of yummy food and drinks.
10. The Raven Room
Formerly called Redline VR, The Raven Room offers virtual reality experiences, with each VR headset loaded with over 50 different escape room games. All games are multiplayer, making it a great team activity.
They also host skeeball parties, which you can enjoy after you’ve aced the virtual escape room challenges.
11. The Escape Game Chicago
If you’d rather solve escape room challenges in real life than through a VR headset, then The Escape Game is the best option for your team.
The Escape Game Chicago has five different escape rooms, with each room catering to different skill levels. If you think your team is too big for just one room, they can assign a dedicated event coordinator to help create the best experience for you.
12. Murder Mystery Party
Everybody loves a thrilling murder mystery, so why not help solve one over dinner?
The Murder Mystery Co. lets out your inner detective, with many themes to choose from, like A Dance With Death, Death of a Gangster, and The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year. The best part is Murder Mystery Co. can set up the event anywhere! This means that you can have the party in the office, at a colleague’s home, or in a private venue you’ve rented out.
13. KOVAL Whiskey Workshop
Whiskey is one of the most classic drinks people look for, no matter the occasion. If your team enjoys a glass or two of this popular drink, then a whiskey workshop might be something that will tickle your fancy.
KOVAL is one of the best distilleries in the world, and their whiskey workshop lets you appreciate their different whiskeys while teaching you the history of American whiskey.
14. Champagne Tasting
How about popping a bottle or two of champagne to celebrate your team’s wins? Pops for Champagne has quite a wide variety of drinks your team can enjoy, from rose champagne to non-vintage.
Sign up for their champagne-tasting series to maximize your drinking experience and find out a bit more about each of the bottles they serve.
15. Chicago Dine-Around
Aside from architecture, what else is there to enjoy in Chicago? The food, of course!
Join Chicago Dine-Around as they take you around the city and let you taste some of the best food Chi-Town has to offer. Their Progressive Dining Tour takes you from one restaurant to another, with different courses served at each stop. Their Architectural Dining Tour shows you the beautiful city skyline aboard a ship, with the tour ending with a fabulous dinner. Or you could be hands-on in preparing your meal by joining their Interactive Culinary Experience.
16. The Chopping Block
While we’re on the subject of food, we all know how food brings people together. So let’s get your team bonding inside the kitchen by joining cooking classes at The Chopping Block.
Spanish tapas, festive family baked treats, chicken and dumplings — you have a wide range of mouthwatering food to choose from.
17. Absolutely Chicago Segway Tour
If you’ve never ridden a segway before, this is the perfect time to do it. These self-balancing machines from Absolutely Chicago Segway Tour are a great way to move around the city and explore some of the best spots with your team.
You can also choose to rent their e-bikes if you want to take the tour using a vehicle that you’re more familiar with. Either way, you’ll definitely appreciate Chicago more once you’ve made a round of the entire city.
18. Chicago Gangster and Ghosts Tour
Chicago’s gangster scene in the ‘20s and ‘30s might have made every alley feel unsafe, but it also inspired films, books, and TV shows that we continue to enjoy now. So why not experience this era through the Chicago Gangster and Ghosts Tour?
From the crimes they committed to the deals they closed, it’s going to be an action-packed tour that could resurrect the ghosts of Capone and Dillinger.
19. 360 Chicago
Ever wondered how Chicago looks like 1,000 feet above ground? 360 Chicago lets you experience that from the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Center.
You can stay on the safe side and enjoy relaxing views of the city from the observation deck. But if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, ride the TILT and see the city facing downward 1,030 feet above ground.
20. Visit Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks, and watching a game in this century-old stadium is one of the best things you can do as a team. Imagine standing in the midst of a place where teams have won victories and supported each other through defeats — there is no more iconic place to celebrate team spirit than right here.
You’ll never run out of things to do in a city like Chicago. But that doesn’t mean you can only build trust and camaraderie within your team by planning one activity after another.
Team building can also happen through your daily work routines. Something as simple as watercooler chats can bring your team closer together.
Virtual coffee breaks are a great place to start if you want your team members to start building stronger relationships with each other. The casual conversations happening during these quick breaks can help them get to know each other beyond the usual work-related conversations.
CoffeePals is a virtual coffee break platform that can help you incorporate these virtual chats into your workspace. Sign up for a free trial now and start building better relationships within your team.