THE BEST CORPORATE EVENTS IN CHICAGO: 14 IDEAS FOR PLANNING A PERFECT TEAM BUILDING EVENT/COMPANY OUTING
Corporate events and teambuilding are important to keep company teams functioning and employees happy. But planning corporate events and outings can be difficult. How do you find the perfect activity for such a range of ages and interests, especially on the company credit card? Lucky for us, Chicago provides plenty of options for great teambuilding activities without resorting to trust falls. Here are some of our favorites.
1. BEER TOUR
Our beer tours provide excellent teambuilding options. Companies of all sizes have enjoyed our tours since 2011, including law firms, tech companies, sales teams, accounting firms, and the like. We find that our unique mix of education along with high-quality craft beer tastings really brings groups together. While we include some food, you can add even more, making it the perfect weekday event. We even can offer supersized tours where larger groups can tour at the same time, too. For more information, check out our private tour page or email email@example.com.
Whirlyball is a team game that is a cross between bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball. It is a blast. If you want to bring out a little competition amongst your colleagues in a fun way, Whirlyball could be your answer. They also offer food and drink packages, so you can imbibe and eat together, too. Located in Chicago, Lombard, and Vernon Hills. Click here for more info.
3. MAGIC SHOW HAPPY HOUR
Be the office hero who set up a 3hr cocktail party where professional magicians perform up close. Available only in Chicago, meet the magicians as they perform for your team using your phone or wallet – no magic props and no cutting people in half. Your boss will love how different it is, the open bar, and hors d’oeuvres starting at only $249/ticket. Visit the MagicPenthouse.com to witness the impossible and reserve your spot today.
4. ESCAPE ROOM
Shared stress can bring people together. Escape rooms offer unique challenges where groups solve puzzles together using clues so they can “escape” their room within a set amount of time. Once Pam from HR solves that one riddle, you’ll never question her judgment again.
Here are some well-reviewed options:
- The Escape Game: https://theescapegame.com/Chicago/
- Fox in a Box: http://www.foxinaboxchicago.com
- Room Escape Adventures: https://roomescapeadventures.com/chicago/
- Escape Artistry: https://escape-artistry.com
- EscapeHouse: http://www.escapehousechicago.com
5. PING PONG BAR
This ain’t your grandpa’s ping pong! With fancy, high quality ping-pong bars opening within the last few years, this sport has never been more fun. While hitting balls, you’ll also be able to drink and eat from their high-quality bar menus. Packages are also available. May we suggest a tournament for a little extra competition? Here are some options:
- SPiN Chicago: https://chicago.wearespin.com/
- AceBounce: http://www.acebounce.com/chicago
- Killerspin House: http://www.killerspinhouse.com
6. FOOD TOUR
Like our beer tours, food tours are an awesome way to see the city with all five senses. Chicago Food Planet is our favorite. While all their tours are excellent, check out their Chinatown tour for a unique tour for Chicagoans; you’ll learn something new even if you’ve lived here your entire life. Click here to learn more.
7. GAME SHOW
“Dan from accounting, come on down!” With your very own mock game shows, your group will battle out to see who’s the fastest on the buzzer. Not only will you compete and have fun, but you’ll be able to draw from formats from some of the most popular game shows around. Who will pull out their best Sean Connery impression in Jeopardy, and will they need to report to HR? Here are a couple options:
- The Game Show Game Show: https://www.thegameshowgameshow.com
- The Game Show Gurus: https://gameshowgurus.com
8. TIKI BOAT RENTAL
Everyone who lives in Chicago knows about the architecture boat tours, which are fantastic, but you’ve probably already been on at least one. There are also the boats at Navy Pier, which companies sometimes rent for a fun night out on the water. But why not change it up a bit? Perfect for smaller teams, Tiki boats are available to rent, and offer a way to see Chicago’s lakefront. If the weather is permitting, perhaps you can take a dip in Lake Michigan at the Playpen via the slides that these boats often have. Here are a couple options:
Like ping pong, bowling has gone high end, and the Windy City has excellent bowling alleys conveniently located downtown. These bowling alleys have all the amenities, including food and fully stocked bars. Chicago also has smaller bowling alleys for a more intimate experience and classic bowling alleys, too. However, remember, there are rules, and this isn’t ‘Nam. Don’t go over the line, dude.
- Pinstripes: http://pinstripes.com/chicago-illinois/
- 10pin: http://www.10pinchicago.com
- Burnt City Brewing: https://burntcitybrewing.com/bowling/
- Southport Lanes: https://southportlanes.com
- Lucky Strike: http://www.bowlluckystrike.com/locations/chicago/
- Diversey River Bowl (classic): http://www.drbowl.com
- Fireside Bowl (classic): http://firesidebowl.com
10. SCAVENGER HUNT
With scavenger hunts, your colleagues will be able to get some fresh air and explore the city in fun, competitive way. Teams will race throughout the city solving clues from one location to the next. Not only are these fun, but you’ll also learn about Chicago and its history, too. Here are a couple options:
- cityHUNT: http://cityhunt.com
- Watson Adventures: https://www.watsonadventures.com/public/location/chicago/
11. CHARITY EVENTS
Shared sacrifice can also bring people together and bring some good in this world at the same time. Activities can range from helping young and poor, to education, to assisting the environment, helping the sick and needy, and anything in-between. If you have a favorite charity, you can reach out to them and see if they have projects for you group. Otherwise, here are some that have worked with corporate groups in the past:
- Chicago Cares: https://www.chicagocares.org/
- Great Chicago Food Depository: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org
- Habitat for Humanity: https://www.habitat.org
- City Farm: https://cityfarmchicago.wordpress.com
- Inspiration Corporation: http://www.inspirationcorp.org
- Midtown Education Foundation: http://www.midtown-metro.org
- Chicago Gateway Green: https://www.gatewaygreen.org
- Ronald McDonald House: https://rmhccni.org
- United Way of Metro Chicago: https://uw-mc.org
12. MURDER MYSTERY DINNERS
There was a murder! But who did it? With these role-playing games, you and your colleagues will role play with the assistance of actors, usually over dinner and drinks. Who committed the crime? It was probably Bob in Legal. It’s always Bob. Here are a couple of options:
- The Murder Mystery Co.: https://murdermysterydinnerchicago.com
- The Dinner Detective: https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/chicago/
13. SPORTING EVENTS
Sporting events are always fun, and Chicago has no shortage of professional teams. Group packages are typically available for all area sports. Baseball games, particularly Cubs rooftops, can be very fun with all-inclusive packages. And if your company can afford a suite, you can never go wrong with the dessert cart.
14. INDOOR SKYDIVING
For the more adventurous groups, perhaps indoor skydiving is the way to go. The folks at iFly allow you to simulate skydiving in their indoor wind tunnels. They have facilities in Lincoln Park, Naperville, and Rosemont, so you’ll be able to feel the wind wherever your office may be. Click here to learn more.
I hope you found this post helpful! We would love to have your group for a beer tour, but whatever you decide, have a blast!
BOOK A PRIVATE BEER TOUR HERE!
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