Team Bonding NYC is a list of team bonding activities, corporate event ideas, company outing ideas, and team events in New York City and the surrounding area.
Why team bonding? Because sometime around the turn of the century, the business world changed. Smart companies started investing in team building activities 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 event ideas.
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 team 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 team building companies on this list provide service throughout the greater NYC area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and even New Jersey. Wherever you are planning your team building activity, this list will help.
Team Bonding NYC: Table of Contents
- The Best Team Bonding Activities in NYC
- Fun Team Bonding Activities & Company Outing Ideas in NYC
- Unusual Team Building Activities in NYC
- Final Thoughts on Team Building in NYC
- Frequently Asked Questions About Team Building in NYC
The Best Team Bonding Activities in NYC
There are many factors that go into a successful team outing, including how fun the event is, how effective it is, the location, pricing, duration, flexibility, and more. When team building for large groups, capacity for the activity 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™
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 guac ingredients are included, and there are options you can add on to your team event for catering and more. You can host the Guac Off at your office or at various locations around NYC and the activity is suitable for all group sizes. Unsure if guacamole is the right team building activity for your group? 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
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, Fraunces Tavern and Brooklyn Museum. You have several options for your team event, including the company’s signature renegade tours, scavenger hunts, and storytelling workshops (which can also be part of a larger corporate event like training or an all-hands meeting). Museum Hack has 127+ five star reviews on Yelp, and many more on TripAdvisor and other platforms. Museum Hack’s team building clients include Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Facebook, Adobe, Google, Stripe and hundreds of other forward thinking organizations.
Fun Team Bonding Activities & Company Outing Ideas in NYC
Since we only listed two team building companies in NYC above, we wanted to include a longer list of team activities for you to review. Below you will find a wide range of NYC team activities and company outing ideas in no particular order, plus some activities that are close to or near NYC. We’ve included some team activities that are best as corporate events and others that are definitely geared toward the team outing crowd. The one thing these activities have in common is they are fun.
3. Gingerbread Wars™
Gingerbread Wars is a holiday themed and wildly fun team building activity based on a gingerbread house making competition. Your event includes everything you need for a successful corporate event, including an awesome host, all the game materials, fun photos, prizes and more. This team event is perfect for the holidays, and you can run it either as a stand-alone team building activity or as your actual company holiday party. Gingerbread Wars runs corporate events anywhere, including at your office, conference center or in their network of rental venues around the city. The event is approximately 90 minutes total, and is perfect for team building for large groups.
Website: Gingerbread Wars
4. Pizza Party
New York City is famous for a variety of foods, but maybe the most famous is pizza. You can host a pizza party for a corporate event either at one of the many restaurants throughout NYC or at your office. One way to up the bonding for your pizza-themed team event is to include icebreaker questions, like those found on this list of icebreaker questions or you could bring cards or similar games to play throughout the event. One more activity idea is to write “gratitude letters” where you supply materials like cards and pens and have each team member write a letter to someone they appreciate, either within or outside the company.
If you like scavenger hunts then you will love ScavBoss, a company that specializes in company offsites and team bonding in NYC. 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 team building activities like photo challenges and role assignments. Another major difference between doing a team event with Scavboss compared 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.
6. Book Club
While not specific to team building in NYC, a book club can be an effective team activity for both local and remote teams. Book clubs are often unsuccessful, so we have a few recommendations to improve the team building potential of yours. First, make sure you “sell” the book to participants, so they actually want to read it. For example: how will this book help the employee develop in his or her career? Next, provide work time where employees can read the book. Finally, make the meetings fun! Add in icebreaker questions, games, activities and discussions or bring food. Another recommendation to up the team bonding success of your book club 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 and bond together.
7. Statue of Liberty Tour
Chances are that most of your employees live 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 experience that is often true of both locals and transplants is that they don’t do the touristy activities, 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 then your team will laugh and enjoy this shared bonding experience together. Difficulty level? Low.
Website: Statue of Liberty
8. Laser Tag
Another fun team building activity in NYC is laser tag. If you work with millennials then chances are pretty good they have done laser tag before, probably at a friend’s birthday when they were 12 or possibly as part of a past corporate event. You can bring back the nostalgia of your employees’ 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 as a team building activity 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. 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. Broadway Show
While there are many challenges and drawbacks of living in NYC, one of the best benefits is access to Broadway. You can often get cheap tickets by seeing a show early in its run or by buying last minute tickets. A Broadway show can be a great team building activity because many people love musicals, and many shows deal with relevant concepts like teamwork, diversity and leadership. We recommend going to a classic like Phantom of the Opera first, and then considering a newer show for future team events.
Website: Broadway Tickets
10. Hot Pot Dinner!
If you haven’t tried hot pot then you are in for a treat. Hot pot is a type of cuisine, often Chinese, where you get a large pot of boiling broth in the middle of the table and then cook fresh meat and veggies yourself. Hot pot also has vegetarian friendly protein options and can be made gluten free. A typical hot pot meal takes about two hours and is a great team event because pretty much everyone loves bonding over food. There are many options for hot pot in NYC, so we’ve included the Yelp link below so you can find one near your office.
Website: Hot Pot Restaurants
11. Launchy Birds
Prepare for complete and utter CHAOS at your next team event. Launchy Birds is the most unpredictable and wildly fun team building activity we’ve ever seen. Your team does a bunch of challenges, but the main event is a competition where your team builds castles out of some pretty weird materials and then launches “birds” across the room to knock the other castles down. Launchy Birds corporate events are fast-paced, a little wild, and perfect for your next team building activity in NYC.
Website: Launchy Birds
12. Zoo Hack
Your fourth grade class trip to the zoo is nothing like an afternoon corporate event with these awesome renegade tour guides. Visit the Central Park Zoo with your coworkers like never before on a wicked smart and super fun team outing. Come hear the crazy stories about the animals, talk conservation, and play some games and do team 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.
13. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a well known way to volunteer, and it is also a great option for team bonding and giving back to your community. Sign your team up for an afternoon of working together and building something important in your neighborhood, like a tiny house. Your team will bond over the shared connection of doing good for the community and improve communication, collaboration, and problem solving skills while they are at it. The tangible benefits to your team of seeing their hard work at the end of the day will also help boost the benefits from this afternoon of company team building.
Website: Habitat for Humanity
Bowling is one of the classing team activities 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 as a venue for your group. Throw in some classic bowling alley grub like chicken tenders and fresh-cut fries and you’ve got all the makings of a fun team outing in NYC without having to put too much effort into planning a major event. We call that a stttttrike!
15. Donation Drive
Doing community work is a great team building activity, but it may not always be feasible for your business. If that’s the case, we have another charitable 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; whichever team collects the most donations will receive a prize! This team event is a great way to involve the entire company and boost communication, collaboration, morale, and positive feelings among your individual teams as they battle it out to earn honors.
16. Chelsea Piers
A list of corporate events, company outing ideas and team building companies in NYC would be lacking if it didn’t include Chelsea Piers. Chelsea Piers offers three full-day or half-day team building 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 team activities; the best choice for you depends on what your goals are for your team event.
Website: Chelsea Piers
17. Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are definitely having a moment as a popular team outing 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, the effort 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
18. 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 (and even for team bonding). 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 at your next team event with an awesome storytelling workshop from Museum Hack.
Website: Storytelling Workshops
19. Murder Mystery Dinner
Looking to try something different for your next corporate event? Take the team building with food option one step further and incorporate a fun activity with a murder mystery team event! You could approach your murder mystery in two different ways: 1) you can find a team building 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 make your team members 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 of these ideas is a good choice as far as company team building activities in New York City go, but keep in mind that not everyone likes to perform!
Website: Murder Mystery Dinners
20. Game Suite
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 company outing 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 at your team event. 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!
21. Painting Night
There are dozens of different art studios and classes in the NYC area and you can pick one of them to unleash your inner creative side and host a fun team event. From wine and painting studios to pottery, there are a variety of artistic activities you can treat your team to for a company outing. Many of these companies cater to hosting fun group activities for adults, so you can rest assured that your team will enjoy an event tailored to their interests (and won’t be an immature or lame team building activity). Make a full day team outing out of the experience and treat your team to a nearby dinner after they worked up an appetite painting or on the pottery wheel!
Website: Adult Art Classes
TeamBonding, the company not the concept, has as much experience with team bonding as anyone else in the team building industry. 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 option to try for your next team outing or even if you want to do a team activity at your office or a conference hall.
Unusual Team Building Activities in NYC
Not every team bonding activity is typical. If you are looking to try something truly different then consider the ideas below.
23. 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 likely be a fun team bonding experience too. Remember, not every company outing has to be an outing; it can be an inning too.
24. Duck, Duck, Goose
Sometimes leaving the office for team building in NYC is a pain because it is difficult to get around the city. This challenge is why team building companies like The Great Guac Off or one of the other corporate event ideas mentioned above can be great to work with, because they bring the fun to you! If you want to put the company outing ideas aside, then there are also various DIY team building games you can play at the office, 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 🤷♂️. Another way you can make Duck, Duck, Goose more of a fun team building activity 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
25. Spa Day
This option is one of the unconventional team activities in NYC, but we think it’s a great option that will really wow your coworkers. Spa-day also a cool company outing idea 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. This experience is an incredible way to reward your team and help boost morale, positive vibes, 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.
26. Lunch and Learn
There are so many cool concepts and skills to learn and many people out there who are willing to share their expertise on a variety of subjects (and as part of your next team event)! 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 the team activities in your conference room with a delicious catered lunch or reserve a room in a local NYC restaurant for an extra VIP feel and come together as a team over a good meal and new information. Learning something new is a good team bonding experience, and this format has the added benefit of learning something that’s valuable to your business. We call that a team building win-win.
27. 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 activities for adults. For example, concerts and other performances are a good opportunity to send your employees on a team outing together, without spending a lot of money. You can also plan your own team activities in Times Square, for example scavenger hunts and treasure hunts.
Website: Times Square
28. Scott’s Pizza Tours
Pretty much everyone loves pizza, which is why team building activities based on a pizza tour can be a great ideas for your next team outing. Bring your team together over a series of slices and stories, learning about what makes pizza, pizza. This corporate event is a little cheesy, ha, but we think you will like the experience a lot. You should know that some of the tour is outside walking from pizza shop to pizza shop, so if you are considering Scott’s Pizza Tours then spring or summer may be the best option to avoid rain and cold.
Website: Scott’s Pizza Tours
29. sweetgreen Picnic
We can nearly guarantee you that everyone on your team loves sweetgreen. Combine this healthy food option in NYC with a team building activity and you might just have a picnic on your hands. You can run your team event as a DIY team outing in Central Park, Bryant Park or one of the other great locations around the city. Add in fun activities, icebreaker questions and other ways to connect and you will have a winner on your hands.
30. Chipotle Charity Event
Chipotle, the burrito company, runs charity fundraisers in partnership with other organizations. You can arrange one of the events for your next team building activity and invite your employees, their families and friends. Burritos and guac are a great way to bring people together and you can also play some team bonding games while you do the event like rock, paper scissors.
31. sundays Nail Salon
This option is not necessarily a team building activity, but is fun team bonding anyways. You can take your team to get a manicure or pedicure before going out for a team dinner. Your team will love the premium service and also feel awesome with clean nails. There are other nail salons in NYC, but none of them are as good as sundays.
32. Beer Tour
Chances are pretty good that at least one person on your team likes drinking beer. If more than two of your employees like beer then you may just have a successful company outing idea on your hands. There are a few guided beer tours of Manhattan and Brooklyn, or you could run your own team activities by visiting a couple of pubs and encouraging everyone to try a new beer. If you go with the second option then you could also choose a bar that has live entertainment or enough space for you to do team building activities.
33. Scatter Hunts
Part scavenger hunt and part work-in-progress, Scatter Hunts is another option for team building scavenger hunts in NYC. The company uses the word “scatter” because this is not your average scavenger hunt. Each team will be given a challenging mission, incomplete clues and not enough time to race to the end. Not for the faint of heart, but Scatter Hunts can be a great option for teams that like puzzles.
Website: Scatter Hunts
Final Thoughts on Team Building in NYC
We hope our list of the best team bonding activities, corporate event ideas and company outing ideas in NYC has helped you! All of the team building companies on our list have been researched to ensure you’re choosing the best NYC has to offer. If you’re still looking for help narrowing down the various team building ideas or figuring out if you should go for a fun, casual team outing or set some more concrete goals then we’d love to help! Send us an email, including “team bonding NYC” or “team building NYC” in the subject line and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP to help plan your best team event in NYC yet. ❤️
Frequently Asked Questions About Team Building in NYC
Below we’ve listed some of the common questions we see about team bonding, team outings and similar corporate events in NYC.
What is the best team building activity in NYC?
The answer to which activity is best is of course subjective and depends on a wide variety of factors and preferences. Objectively, Museum Hack is one of the best team building activities because it has a high number of five star reviews and credible testimonials from hundreds of corporate clients like Facebook, KPMG, Johnson & Johnson & Chipotle. We placed The Great Guac Off higher on our list because it includes food, has a flexible location, and is surprisingly good team building.
Are there more team building companies in NYC?
Short answer is yes! There are dozens and maybe hundreds of companies offering team building in New York City. However, you need to be careful because some of these are not actual team building companies – they are B2C companies that discovered they can earn more money from corporate clients. If a business seems to be only consumer focused AND does not have credible reviews from at least a handful of known companies then you should probably wait until they are a little more sophisticated.
What is the difference between team building, team bonding, team outings, company outings and corporate events?
Big question! Team building is generally considered to be more focused on business metrics like productivity enhancements and increasing cohesion at your work place. Team bonding, in comparison can just be fun and focused on improving communication and interpersonal dynamics. Team outing and company outing are essentially synonymous, though you could consider team outing ideas to be for a specific department or segment of your business while company outing ideas should accommodate everyone at your entire company. Corporate event is the most generic term in this list, because it can mean anything from training to a company offsite, company retreat, holiday party or all-hands meeting.