NYC Team Bonding Activities & Company Outing Ideas

Team Bonding NYC is a database of the best team building activities in New York City.

Why team bonding? Because sometime around the turn of the century, the business world changed. Smart companies started investing in team building as a way to improve company culture, and increase job satisfaction and employee retention. Over time, more team building companies came on the scene, offering various options for team outings, company retreats and other corporate events.

Today, there are countless team bonding activities in NYC for you to consider, which is where we come in. We’ve researched, vetted and sorted these activities into helpful categories. Below you’ll find fun team building activities, unusual team building activities, company outing ideas, corporate event ideas, and more.

The Best Team Bonding Activities in NYC

There are many factors that go into a successful team outing, including how fun it is, how effective it is, the location, pricing, duration, flexibility, and more. For large groups, capacity is also an important consideration. However, the best team bonding activities are more than just a collection of characteristics; they have a kind of magic to them; they feel completely natural and not like team building at all.

#1: The Great Guac Off™

A team finishes their Guac Off and shows off their prizes.
The Great Guac Off is our top choice for the best company team building activities in NYC.

The Great Guac Off is a company team building activity that combines a guacamole making competition with a series of fun challenges. All of the ingredients are included, and there are options for catering and more. You can host the Guac Off at your office or at various locations around NYC and it is suitable for all group sizes. Unsure if guacamole is the right activity for your team? EY said, “The event was great and the group really enjoyed the entire event. Jim was energetic and a great host and I would definitely recommend the Great Guac off to my colleagues and other friends looking to host a fun and unique corporate event!”

Website: The Great Guac Off™

#2: Museum Hack

A team on a scavenger hunt at the Brooklyn Museum.
Museum Hack promises to be the most fun you’ll ever have in a museum.

Museum Hack leads team building activities at the best museums in NYC, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, The Rubin and Fraunces Tavern. You have several options for your event, including the company’s signature renegade tours, scavenger hunts, and storytelling workshops. Museum Hack has 127+ five star reviews on Yelp, and many more on TripAdvisor and other platforms. Museum Hack’s clients include Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Facebook, Adobe, Google, Stripe and hundreds of other forward thinking organizations.

Website: Museum Hack

More Team Bonding Activities & Company Outing Ideas in NYC

#3: Times Square Events

Times Square is easily one of NYC’s best known landmarks, up there with Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. What you may not know is that numerous events are held in Times Square which can double as team building events. For example, concerts and other performances are a good opportunity to bring your team out for an experience together, without spending a lot of money. You can also plan your own team building activities in Times Square, for example scavenger hunts and treasure hunts.

Website: Times Square

#4: Pizza Party

NYC is famous for a variety of foods, but maybe the forefront is pizza. You can host a pizza party for a corporate event either at one of the many restaurants throughout the city or at your office. One way to up the “team bonding aspect” for your event is to include icebreaker questions, like those found on this list or you could bring cards or similar games to play throughout the event. One more idea is to do “gratitude letters” where you supply materials like cards and pens and have each team member for a letter to someone they appreciate, either within or outside the company.

#5: ScavBoss

If you like scavenger hunts then you will love ScavBoss. Traditional scavenger hunts run as team building activities tend to be way too difficult and so one or two team members solve all the clues while the others follow along. With ScavBoss, the scavenger hunt is turned on its head, with collaborative elements like photo challenges and role assignments. Another major difference with other scavenger hunts is the setting. ScavBoss hosts its hunts at amazing and historical locations around NYC, such as Central Park, Grand Central Station and the Financial District, plus cool locations in Brooklyn as well.

Website: ScavBoss

#6: Book Club

While not NYC specific, a book club can be an effective team building activity for both local and remote teams. Often book clubs are unsuccessful, so we have a few recommendations to improve yours. First, make sure you “sell” the book to participants, so they actually want to read it. Next, provide work time where employees can read the book. Finally, make the meetings fun! Add in icebreakers, games and discussions or bring food. Another recommendation is that instead of choosing popular books or bestsellers, choose books that are less known. Isaac Asimov, for example, wrote hundreds of nonfiction books on areas like science and history that can be a very productive way to learn together.

#7: Statue of Liberty Tour

Chances are that most of your employees living in the NYC area, either in Manhattan itself or in one of the surrounding boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens. Some of your staff may have grown up in the area, but most of them probably moved to New York from some place else. One thing that is often true of both locals and transplants is that they don’t do the touristy things, for example going to the Statue of Liberty. This tour / trip is perfect for a team outing or a team bonding activity because of the strong symbolism of the statute as well as the amazing facts and stories around it. If you have a great guide, your team will laugh and enjoy this shared bonding experience together. Difficulty level? Low.

Website: Statue of Liberty

#8: Laser Tag

Another fun team bonding activity in NYC is laser tag. If you work with Millennials then chances are pretty good that they have done laser tag before, probably at a friend’s birthday when they were 12. You can bring back the nostalgia of their youth and make it a fun company outing by adding in a pizza party and maybe those $1 McDonald’s ice-cream cones that probably used to be even cheaper. Laser tag can work well for team building because it’s competitive and active, without being overly athletic; it’s a fairly even playing field for everyone. Plus, you’ll find your staff form mini alliances and find other ways to collaborate to win the game… it’s cool! There are a number of laser tag venues that do team building in NYC, so we’ve added a link to Yelp below so you can find one near you.

Website: Laser Tag

#9: Duck, Duck, Goose

Sometimes leaving the office in NYC is a pain because it is difficult to get around the city. This is why team building companies like The Great Guac Off or one of the others mentioned above can be great to work with, because they bring the fun to you! There are also various DIY team building games you can play, like Duck, Duck, Goose. Make the games more competitive by doing two or three challenges in a row and keeping score. You should add in prizes, which don’t have to be expensive or anything but they should be something real (not just a high five). Pretty much everyone loves winning tangible prizes, except for ultra-light packing minimalists who will probably re-gift it, but that’s cool too 🤷‍♂️. Anyhow, another way you can make Duck, Duck, Goose more fun is to have two people counting off the ducks at the same time. Since it’s harder to keep track of two people, there will be more chaos and fun, though you also need to be careful and make sure no-one collides or gets hurt. In case you need a refresher on this game, we’ve added a link to a YouTube video on how to play Duck, Duck, Goose below.

Website: Duck, Duck, Goose

#10: Company Inning

Among all of the company outing ideas in NYC is something a little different, a company inning. You’ve probably heard of stay-cations as a “explore and enjoy your own city” as a fun and cost effective option compared to travelling elsewhere, and a company inning is the office equivalent of this. What can you do to make team building at your office AWESOME? Maybe you could hire a comedian, do a cupcake decorating competition and give everyone a raise all on the same day; you would certainly be popular and it would like be a fun bonding experience too. Remember, not every company outing has to be an outing; it can be an inning too.

#11: TeamBonding

TeamBonding, the company not the concept, has as much experience with team bonding as anyone else in the team building business. TeamBonding offers a wide variety of team building activities in NYC and the surrounding area, with some including competitive elements, scavenger hunts or food. Overall, TeamBonding can be a good choice to try for your next team outing or even if you want to do an activity at your office or a conference hall instead.

Website: TeamBonding

#12: Vandwelling Project

Looking for some unconventional ideas for team bonding in NYC? Why not convert an old van or bus or truck into a dwelling unit? NYC apartments are infamously expensive, so teaching this skill to your employees could be a financial win (though you should look into the laws and consult a lawyer because van dwelling in city limits is probably illegal). This is a cool team building activity because it requires a wide variety of expertise and certainly benefits from substantial team work and collaboration. By the end of your van conversion, your staff should have pretty solid communication skills. There are a number of online communities and sites with how to articles, which you can easily find by searching and we’ve linked to the relevant Wikipedia page below.

Website: Vandwelling

#13: Zoo Hack

Your fourth grade class trip to the zoo is nothing like an afternoon with the animals with these awesome renegade tour guides. Visit the Central Park Zoo with your coworkers like never before. Come hear the crazy stories about the animals, talk conservation, and play some games and activities designed to promote maximum bonding, communication, and collaboration.  You’ll participate in photo challenges, learn more about the back story of the zoo, and have a killer time. Zoo Hack’s guides have all the right koala-fications to make this your best team outing yet.

Website: Zoo Hack

#14: Habitat for Humanity

It’s a well known way to volunteer, but Habitat for Humanity is also great option for coming together as a team and giving back to your community. Sign your team up for an afternoon of working together and building something wonderful in your neighborhood. Your team will bond over the shared connection of doing good for the community and improve communication, collaboration, and problem solving skills. The tangible benefits of seeing their hard work at the end of the day will only help boost the benefits from this afternoon of company team building in New York City.

Website: Habitat for Humanity

#15: Bowling

Bowling is a classic corporate team bonding idea for good reason. When you spend an afternoon at the lanes, your team members will enjoy some friendly competition and a nice change of scenery away from their desks. Bowling is one of our favorite picks for fun group activities for employees! Bonus: Many bowling alleys have started including swanky lounges, which you may be able to rent out for your group for the afternoon to have a nice home base to return to between games. Throw in some classic bowling alley grub and you’ve got all the makings of a fun team outing in NYC without having to put too much effort into planning something major. We call that a double win.

Website: Bowling

#16: Host a donation drive

Doing community work is a great option for team building, but it may not always be feasible for your business. If that’s the case, we have another option for you that doesn’t even require your employees to head out of the building for a day away from their desks. Why not host a donation drive for a local charity of your choice? Encourage friendly competition and collaboration and get the entire business involved by making it a competition among departments; whatever team collects the most donations will receive a prize! This is a great way to involve the entire company and boost communication, collaboration, morale, and positivity among your individual teams as they battle it out to earn honors.

#17: Chelsea Piers

A list of the best team building activities in New York City would be remiss if it didn’t include Chelsea Piers. Chelsea Piers offers three full-day or half-day programs designed to promote collaboration and communication among coworkers. Your group can choose from participating in a Mini Olympics, experiential games, or a hybrid mix of competition and logic-based interactive activities; the best choice for you depends on what your goals are for your company team building event.

Website: Chelsea Piers

#18: Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are definitely have a moment right now, and there are some good reasons for it. Escape rooms are designed to challenge your team members; your group will be locked in a room and tasked with figuring their way out by solving a multitude of clues and puzzles. In order to actually escape, it requires communication, collaboration, team work, creative and critical thinking among participants. For an extra challenge, some escape rooms are designed to be nearly unsolvable, which will provide insight into how your team works together against nearly impossible odds.

Website: Escape Rooms

#19: Storytelling Workshop

Stories are everywhere and knowing how to tell an effective story can set your business light years ahead of the competition. Effective storytelling can help your business in dozens of ways, from attracting interest from customers to piquing the intrigue of a journalist who can provide invaluable press to communicating with potential clients. Learning how to tell your company’s story in a way that captures your desired audience is crucial (and it’s probably something your competitors haven’t done yet). Give your business the edge, give your team members a huge communication boost, and have a little fun on your next team outing with an awesome storytelling workshop from Museum Hack.

Website: Storytelling Workshops

#20: Cozymeal

Food is a universal language for bonding and it’s a great option to come together as a team for your next company outing. Cozymeal offers a variety of different cooking classes and food-related corporate events. Choose from options like learning how to make your own pasta, creating pizzas from scratch, handmade sushi rolls, or even Parisian cooking. Classes can be held at the location of your choice (your office or another preferred venue) or at the chef’s spot. Your team will have a great time bonding over learning a new skill together — and getting to taste the fruits of their labor once it’s done!

Website: Cozymeal

#21: Murder Mystery Dinner

Take the food option one step further and incorporate a fun activity into your next team dinner with a murder mystery team event! You could approach your murder mystery in two different ways: 1) you can find a traditional company that puts on the show, provides a meal, and your team will be treated to good times and laughter as the mystery unwinds and the clues are solved or 2) you can put your team members as the stars of the show. In these murder mysteries, your team members are all assigned an interactive role and will come together to figure out who among them is the killer before debriefing over a meal. Either option is a good choice as far as company team building activities in New York City go, but

Website: Murder Mystery Dinners

#22: Reserve a suite at a game

New York City is home to numerous professional (and semi-pro!) sports teams. Why not reserve a suite and treat your team to a fun evening supporting the local home team? Whether it’s football season or you’re taking your team out to the Subway Series, reserving a suite with a custom menu and drinks is a good way to ensure everyone has a fun time, even if they don’t love sports. Suites ensure your team members won’t have to fight long concession lines and many even come with their own private restroom. Bonus: a suite has a very VIP feel so this is a cool way to say thank you to your team with a company team outing that feels super high end!

#23: Painting Night

There are dozens of different art studios and classes in the NYC area so why not pick one of them to unleash your inner creative side and host a fun company event? From wine and painting studios to pottery, there are a variety of artistic endeavors you can treat your team to. These are all companies who cater to hosting fun group activities for adults, so you can rest assured that your team will enjoy an event tailored to their interests. Make a whole day out of it and treat your team to a nearby dinner after they worked up an appetite painting or on the pottery wheel!

Website: Adult Art Classes

#24: Say thank you with a spa day

This is an unconventional corporate team building idea in NYC, but we think it’s a great option that will really wow your coworkers. It’s also a cool option if you’re looking for a way not to take the entire team out of the office at once. Provide each of your employees with a gift certificate to a local spa and allow them, one by one, to take a personal afternoon out of the office that doesn’t count against their PTO to take advantage of your gift. It’s an incredible way to reward your team and help boost morale, positivity, and engagement. While it’s not traditional company team building, it’s definitely going to have a big pay off as your employees feel valued, appreciated, and grateful.

#25: Lunch and learn

There are so many cool things to learn and lots of people out there who are willing to share their expertise on a variety of subjects! Poll your team members to see what they’re most interested in learning about and then go ahead and find someone to come speak to your team about it! Host it in your conference room with a delicious catered lunch or reserve a room in a local restaurant nearby for an extra VIP feel and come together as a team over a good meal and new information. Learning something new is always a good bonding experience, and this has the added benefit of learning something that’s valuable to your business. We call that a win-win.

Choosing the best company team building activities in New York City can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

We hope our list of the top corporate team building events has helped you figure out what you’re looking to incorporate into your next team outing! All of the companies on our list have been thoroughly vetted to ensure you’re choosing the best NYC has to offer in fun corporate events. If you’re still looking for some help narrowing down the options or figuring out if you should go for a fun, casual day out of the office or set some more concrete goals for your day of team bonding, we’d love to help! Drop us a line and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP to help plan your best team building event in NYC yet. ❤️