Back to Your Ultimate City Guide

Top 12 Chicago Team Building Activities for Work That are Actually Fun

Published by Josh Hirsch.

If you run a company in Chicago where teamwork makes everything possible, you need to find team building activities that are actually fun. Too many employees complain about these forced events that end up feeling awkward and uncomfortable rather than truly helping your workers or project team get to know each other in a friendly way. Forget the tired old ideas. When you choose one of these top 12 options, you know everyone will have a great time, and you will forget a tighter cooperative that can propel your business toward success.

These 12 Chicago team building activities offer a diverse range of possibilities.

Take a fun, delicious food tour

Come together as a team over a shared love of food

1 – Sidewalk Food Tours

Everyone can bond over delicious food, and this Chicago food tour can get people talking and having fun together. This walking tour does not require any great stamina or physical fitness levels, which makes it accessible for any employee. Multiple tour options include various locations, food types, and site-seeing opportunities. Vegetarian options are available.

What are the benefits of choosing a food tour as a team building activity? People have always bonded over a good meal and some drinks. The tastes and experiences get the conversation started but never get in the way of bonding. the experience also includes learning about the greater Chicago area.

Escape Rooms are fun, interactive ways to engage your team

Work together as a team to escape the room

2 – The Escape Game

Escape rooms are all the rage lately for a very good reason. Small teams of people work together to solve problems and escape a mysterious trap before the time limit. This Chicago team building activity can foster a great sense of comradery and represent the type of cooperation and intelligent flexibility you need when everyone is back at work.

This is a wonderful way to get a new project team or office group involved with each other. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and all can figure out where they fit in a helpful way. People love this type of challenge, and they have become one of the favorite things to do for dates and nights out with friends. Why not engage your team more than ever with the same thing?

3 – Watson Scavenger Hunts

Get to know Chicago and each other when you sign up for a team scavenger hunt. Not only will everyone work together to figure out where to go next and what to find, they will learn some great things about the city. When a group of employees have to work together at the office, it is important for them to understand one another’s strengths. A scavenger hunt that solves a mystery can exercise their brain power and foster a true sense of teamwork.

Options are available that suit many different interests. Stroll around the Chicago Loop to discover new and interesting sites, hunt for clues at the art or Field museum, and more. Building a great workplace team requires the ability to collaborate and communicate, two things that this type of event excels at.

enjoy bowling or pool

It’s all fun and games outside of the office

4 – Punch Bowl Social

Would you prefer to focus on socializing and relaxation rather than a wild time with your team building activity? Always make sure that everyone who works together has the opportunity to interact and have a great time if you want the event to be effective. A Chicago-style social offers what they call a grownup playground to explore and enjoy.

Grab some delicious casual food, a few drinks, and explore all the gaming possibilities like bowling, shuffleboard, and a vintage arcade. If your workers feel brave, they might even like to try some karaoke. This team building event puts the focus on socialization and fun. If you want to incorporate more purposeful activity, consider organizing a schedule of competitions.

5 – Whirly Ball

Do you want to foster both team building and a bit of friendly competition? For an active workplace, why not give the unique game of Whirly Ball a try? Everyone jumps into a type of bumper car, grabs a mini lacrosse stick, and the game is on. You cannot help but have fun playing this unique sport. 

Be aware of the different interests and abilities of people in your workplace before choosing such an active event. It may not be suitable for some people, who will end up feeling left out. That is the last thing you want. For those who do not want to get bumped around, and for break times, the place offers delicious food and drinks, too.

6 – Second City Comedy Works

Although less interactive than some of the other team building activities listed here, an evening at this comedy extravaganza will get your team laughing and interacting in new ways. You can book comedy classes for the entire group or sign up for a unique meeting event. Everyone loves a good laugh, but be careful if you have a real joker or someone slightly offensive on your team. Things could get out of hand.

The pro-level comedians that show up there will create routines specifically about your workplace or industry. This gives you the opportunity for hilarious bonding and enjoyment of a great night out.

explore art at a local museum

Delve into the art world

7 – Museum Hack

Try a group museum tour with a difference when you set up your company event with his service. This is a lot different than a regular tour that drones on about paintings and sculptures without much enthusiasm or opportunity for the visitors to interact or enjoy themselves. Instead, this group has developed an adult-friendly way of engaging visitors with unique stories.

Museum Hack will also customize the tour experience to the focus of your company. Work in technology? They will talk about the innovations of different historical cultures. Healthcare? Learn all about how diseases and injuries were treated long ago. There is plenty of time for chatting and interaction while your employees learn.

your team will love rock climbing

Have fun and get active with rock climbing

8 – Brooklyn Boulders

If you have a younger, more active workplace, give rock climbing a try. Perfectly safe and tons of fun, this will get people to challenge themselves and support others during some strenuous activity. The center has multiple levels of climbing walls and activities to choose from.

Obviously, this team building exercise will not suit everyone. Only choose this type of thing if you are sure everyone can feel like they belong and are an integrated part of the group.

9 – The Gameshow

Do you work with a group of quirky people who love to have fun? Consider booking a corporate team building event where everyone gets to experience classic game shows. A sense of fun is required to enjoy this atmosphere, but everyone will get one naturally when they show up and get involved.

Game shows like Wheel of Fortune Cookie and Spin-It-To-Win-It will get people talking, laughing, and bonding while they get to know each other’s skills and interests. People must have a sense of humor and fun to participate successfully.

Painting as a group

Time to get creative

10 – Pinot’s Palette Painting

Creativity is an important part of most office or workplace cultures these days. To truly explore your team’s ability to think and create, why not book a painting party complete with some delicious wine? This works better for smaller groups who want to enjoy a creative endeavor while talking, learning, and getting to know each other away from the office.

How does painting foster team building? Experience how everyone will help each other with ideas, tips, and encouragement. This gives them the chance to truly support one another in a new way that has nothing to do with work.

Cooking classes with you team

Cook as a team!

11 – The Chopping Block

Cooking together is one of the great ways that a team can engage with one another in real ways that matter. This team building cooking class option educates, entertains, and enforces comradery and inclusiveness in a fun way. Everyone can take part in the experience regardless of age, ability, or interest.

team building games with coworkers

Activities your team will ACTUALLY enjoy

12 – Outback Team Building

No, this has nothing to do with eating ribs and bloomin’ onions, and nothing to do with kangaroos and crocodiles. Outback Team Building is a comprehensive provider of all types of corporate and workplace events and activities you can participate in around Chicago and across the country. When you cannot quite figure out what activities your team will like best, you can input things like how much you want to spend, how competitive you want the event, and the activity level of the people who will attend, and get great ideas.

Their team building offers include both educational, active, inexpensive, and charity-focused possibilities. Enjoy a photo scavenger hunt with the Wild Goose Chase, a collaborative Bridge Builders activity perfect for engineers and other creative types, Crime Scene Investigators to stretch the mental muscles, dominos, escape rooms, wheelchair and bike building challenges, and more.

Chicago team building activities run the gamut from educational and elegant to wild and crazy. Make sure the one you choose fits the personalities and interests of the people you work with, and reap the amazing benefits of a fun day out together.