There’s nothing like the boundless energy you feel when you step into New York City. It isn’t called "The City That Never Sleeps" for nothing.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, the city's vibrant atmosphere is the perfect canvas for team building. The unique blend of urban landscapes, green oases, and diverse neighborhoods offers an unmatched playground for those looking to hold team-building activities in NYC.
The need for team-building activities is a given, knowing that it can impact how a team communicates, collaborates, and works toward goals. 61% of team leaders admit that team morale improved after a team-building activity, while 63% say there was a massive boost in team communication.
Virtual coffee chats through a platform like CoffeePals are definitely something that can connect the team on a deeper level. Then, add other in-person and virtual activities here and there, and you’re all set to have a team that feels like they could get through anything together.
In this article, we’ll look at fun team-building activities in NYC — from high-rise adventures and outdoor escapades for in-person events to meaningful conversation starters for hybrid and remote teams.
In-Person Team Building Activities in NYC
The adrenaline rush and the unmistakable good energy that arises when colleagues gather drive the allure of having in-person team-building events in NYC. The palpable sense of togetherness becomes a catalyst for growth, both personally and professionally.
Here are some ideas for in-person team-building activities you can take your team to in New York City.
1. Cooking Classes
What’s a classic way to bring people together? FOOD! But instead of just buying food for the whole team, how about learning how to cook a few dishes together?
Cozymeal offers culinary activities for the entire team, with options like Asian fusion, pasta-making, paella-making, and sushi-making classes. They even host cooking competitions, perfect for groups who want an added challenge.
Afraid that the team might end up wreaking havoc in the kitchen? Then, you can sign up for Cozymeal’s walking food tours around the city instead.
2. Museum Hack
The Big Apple is also a great place to soak in a bit of art and culture through the different museums found all over the city. But why stick to the usual experience of hopping from one place to another, oohing and aahing over beautiful art pieces?
Museum Hack gives your team a unique museum experience, with an experienced guide sharing quirky stories as you explore places like the American Museum of Natural History, the Met, and the Rubin Museum of Art.
The guide also throws icebreakers and mini-games throughout the tour, with fun group photos and other extras that will change how you look at art forever.
3. Paint Nite
Speaking of art, what if you tried to create your own instead of just looking at art?
PaintNite.com brings out the artist in you — even if you have zero experience creating art! Get the team together and follow the steps while having drinks. It’s incredible to see that you all have it in you to create something nice.
Aside from painting, you also have the option to work on crafts through candle-making classes, flower workshops, and more.
4. High Line Scavenger Hunt
The High Line is one of the best examples of the vast impact that public spaces can have on a community. Once an elevated rail line, the High Line has been converted into a hub for arts and culture.
The High Line’s beautiful nooks and crannies make it the perfect place to stage a Scavenger Hunt. Teambuilding.com transforms this iconic park into an exciting maze where the team works together to solve clues and get to the end of the challenge.
5. Pizza School
No matter what side you’re on in the pineapple-on-a-pizza debate, pizza will always be a staple in any team. A pizza goes a long way in boosting team morale, especially on long days when everyone’s trying to beat deadlines and fix system glitches.
So when your team hits NYC, give yourselves a different pizza experience by attending Pizza School, where you’ll learn the biggest secrets in making fantastic pizza. It’s the ultimate gourmet experience that will give you a heightened appreciation for this crowd favorite.
6. Chocolate Tasting
Everyone has a sweet spot for chocolate, so this next activity on the list is always a big hit.
Chocolate Noise lets you taste bean-to-bar goodness with their tasting events, allowing you to experience the chocolate and its sumptuous pairing with tea and wine. This is as fancy as fancy gets, with the chocolates sourced from some of the best chocolate makers from around the world. There’s also a lot of discussion about how these chocolates are made and what makes each of them different, making you appreciate each bite even more.
7. Axe Throwing
If you decide to take the team to a bar somewhere for drinks, darts would be an unsurprising activity to engage in. But invite the team to a night of drinks and axe-throwing, and you’re definitely going to raise a few eyebrows.
Kick Axe is a cabin-themed bar and restaurant where guests can learn the art of axe-throwing. Sounds dangerous? Don’t worry; they have Axe Pros who will walk each team member through the dos and don’ts of the sport.
Hoping just to watch and not participate in the axe-throwing? That’s okay! Aside from the wide variety of food and drinks you can enjoy, Kick Axe also has a collection of board games as well as a giant Jenga.
8. Gotham Archery
If axes aren’t your thing, maybe a bow and arrow would suit you better. Gotham Archery can bring out the Katniss Everdeen in you and help you see how good you are at hitting those targets.
Aside from archery, they also teach axe-throwing, knife-throwing, and hatchet-throwing.
9. Chelsea Piers Fitness
Sports and other physical activities are also an excellent way for any team to bond. How about a round of basketball or sand volleyball? Would your team have a go at some of the most challenging rock-climbing walls in the city?
Chelsea Piers offers all of these activities and more. It’s a great way to see each team member’s competitive side and witness how well they work towards victory.
10. Bubble Soccer
What if the team’s not exactly sporty but is game to play a wacky version of a team sport?
Bubble Soccer could get the team up on their feet, running around while having an endless string of laughs. Imagine all team members wearing giant bubble suits, bouncing against each other in an open space. That’s the kind of fun that’s waiting for you here.
There are different ways to play Bubble Ball, so you can choose what kind of gameplay your team would enjoy the most. You can also try all formats by signing up for a 5-game sampler.
11. Hudson River Recreation
Hudson River is a vital part of the New York experience. So why not go down the river and enjoy a few water activities?
Hudson River Recreation offers a number of kayak and pedal board tours, allowing you to explore areas like Sleepy Hollow, Half Moon Bay, and Rye Beach. You can also participate in events like the Sleepy Hollow Oktoberfest Kayak Tour or watch the magical sky change colors in a Sunset Kayak Tour.
12. Indoor Paintball
If shooting games are more your thing, bring everyone into Area 53 for indoor paintball! It’s a great way to blow off some steam while seeing how tactical and strategic your team members are on the playing field.
The 20,000-square-foot arena takes you all through a world of obstacles and different challenges, making you feel like you’re part of a real-life game of Call of Duty.
You can also enter the Adventure Park and enjoy a rope course, zipline, rock climbing, battle beams, and more.
13. The Rage Cage
Especially if you’re working in a high-stress environment, the team might need a little bit more than just paintball to blow off steam. That’s what The Rage Cage offers.
Grab a bat and start smashing random, everyday stuff like computer monitors, speakers, plates, and old VCRs. It’s the perfect opportunity to release all the pent-up frustration from system issues, demanding clients, and other challenges. You’ll be surprised how calm, motivated, and pumped up to start working those team members are even after just half an hour inside a Rage Cage!
14. Dance With Your Co-Twerkers
Get your groove on and dance like there’s no one watching! Sometimes, it takes a shake or two to pull your team spirit up.
The great thing about this dance class is that you also get the chance to request your favorite songs! A DJ is right there, playing music as the instructor leads the steps. Some of your team members might initially feel shy, but once everybody’s warmed up, you might be surprised by what kind of moves everyone can pull off.
15. Beat the Bomb
In the mood for a bomb-ticking mission? Pretend you’re James Bond as you go through laser mazes, solve puzzles, and disarm paint bombs before they blast you with brightly-colored paint!
Beat the Bomb gives you a high-tech playing experience with motion sensors, wall projections, touch screens, and wristband tech that makes the entire experience feel like you’ve stepped straight into a movie or a digital gaming system. It’s the perfect way to get the whole team together and solve a mix of physical and mental challenges.
Team Building for Hybrid and Remote Teams
While in-person team-building activities have a tremendous impact, that doesn’t mean remote and hybrid teams miss out on all the fun. So many remote team-building activities can help build stronger relationships, even if they’re done via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Virtual coffee breaks are amazing team-building activities, especially through platforms like CoffeePals. These virtual chats allow team members to step away from the usual work tasks and spend a few minutes chatting with a colleague.
These casual interactions may not seem like much at first, but they are actually powerful tools for engaging team members. It allows them to meet people who might share the same interests or could teach them something new.
CoffeePals also has a Coffee Maker feature, which drops thought-provoking questions in your team channels. You can get team members to share their answers in your group chat and see different perspectives.
So while you’re planning those team-building activities in NYC, might as well plan something long-term, too! Sign up for a free trial from CoffeePals and see what a huge impact it can have on your team.