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8 Virtual Team Building Activities In Chicago That Don’t Suck | Sidewalk Food Tours

By: Joshua Hirsch



Team building exercises are a great way to build efficiency and cooperation in the workplace. It’s also a good way to remind your employees that they’re all part of the same team, with the same goal. Not to mention, it’s FUN. 

In today’s climate, team-building exercises are essential since most people are working remotely. It helps to remind them they’re part of a collective and that there are people behind them too. Virtual team building experiences are more and more in Vogue, so let’s take a look at all the awesome virtual team-building exercises you can use in Chicago.

a person sitting at a table with food

1. Virtual Cooking Competition

Chicago has brilliant recipes that are original to the city, and there are a plethora of places to take cooking classes. But with SIDEWALK VIRTUAL COOKING COMPETITION, your kitchen is the only place you need to be. 

Your team would be led by Chopped Champion chef Elza on a series of fantastic dishes they could make, and there’s a competitive twist to it. The laughter and overall fun, as well as the learning experience, is a great team-building experience.

a person holding a cocktail shaker pouring red cocktail into a martini glass

2. Stay In For A Drink

While your favorite bars and clubs may be closed for the moment, you can still get a good drink at home with SIDEWALK MIXOLOGY CLASS. A professional mixologist will teach you how to make your favorite banging cocktails using household items. 

This activity would release stress, and the happy hormones it’ll release would help your team get closer and form a more tight-knit group. The class also constitutes an amazing mental trek through the history of cocktails and alcohols and includes trivia that will spark a bit of healthy competition in your team.

painting a mandala

Take home a masterpiece to remember the day forever!

3. Music And Paint

Group painting is a great way to bond as a team. The laughs, the music, everything around it contributes to bringing good vibes to the group. While most people in Chicago use PEARL PAINT AND SIP for group painting exercises, you can improvise virtually by using coffee. 

Coffee art is a fantastic activity where people use coffee to paint. This activity is usually accompanied by music, and you get the employees to make and vote on a playlist that incorporates everyone’s taste in music and gets them to know each other more via this avenue.


4. Art And Culture

Chicago is home to a lot of incredible art and culture. Here are a sampling of Chicago’s artistic giants that  you can enjoy virtually…

Art Institute Of Chicago 

The art institute of Chicago is home to almost forty thousand authentic art pieces, ranging from Van Gogh’s self-portrait to Lucas Cranach’s painting of Adam and Eve. Your group can take a virtual tour of the facility on their website or download the app and make it easier. It’s an immersive experience that promotes discussions about art and increases the bond in your group.

Oriental Institute 

Maybe what your group needs is a little bit of exotic history to spice things up. The Oriental Institute is a hidden gem in the University of Chicago. This museum holds artifacts from ancient times and forgotten cities like Mesopotamia, Constantinople, Persia, ancient Egypt, and many more. The institute also offers a gyroscopic virtual tour of its facilities online, and your group would have a swell time together going through it. 

Millennium Park 

Your group could be in need of some greenery, and where else but to go but Millennium Park, the green heart of Chicago. Take a video tour with the team and have everyone talk about some of their best experiences in the park. This fosters a healthy understanding of your group.


a hand holding baby feet

5. Play Cutie Pie

A great team-building exercise is the “Cutie pie” exercise, where you have members of the group send in their baby pictures, and then you create a slideshow and make them guess who is who. 

This is an incredibly fun exercise that’ll guarantee team bond like nothing else. You could do this spontaneously or prearrange it so that they know what’s coming. Either way, it’s a great team bonding exercise.

a close up of a person covering their eyes with mouth taped and words "don't lie"

6. Games And Trivia

This activity is great for spurring creative ideas. It’s particularly helpful when having a brainstorming session. Here’s a couple of games

Once Upon A Time 

This game is basically your group telling a story. One person starts, and another person continues the story till it gets to the last person. The caveat is, everyone has just one sentence, and the story has to end with the last person. This game gets the creative juices going, as well as boosts improvisation.

Two Truths One Lie 

Here, the person tells four things about themselves, of which three are true, and one is a lie, and the others are supposed to check which ones are true and which is a lie.


7. Virtual Murder Mystery

THE ESCAPE ROOM is a popular Chicago hang out that fosters team building. Bring that same excitement and buzz to your online group with a virtual murder mystery game that’ll benefit the mind and give your team almost the same benefits as the real-life activity. 

There are over a dozen virtual murder mystery sites out there; most are used for house parties. You can scan and choose one that’ll work for everyone, and that’s appropriate.


8. Virtual Movie Night

You could host a weekly or biweekly movie night where everyone watches a movie together and shares their reactions. Before the day, your team will pick a theme, and you’d draw up a couple of titles, and everyone would vote for which movie to see. 

You could use tools like Teleparty (formerly Netflix party) or Amazon Prime Video Watch Party. The movie will be streamed, and there could be an alternative chat channel where people would drop their hot takes and live reactions.


Wrapping It Up…

Team building exercises build a great team dynamic and ensure your group is connected and committed to the company as a whole. Connecting virtually is essential in this period, not just to combat loneliness among people but also to foster relationships within your group between people who don’t normally work together and those who are in direct contact with each other. This helps to promote efficiency and a healthy work environment.