Team Building Chicago is a list of company team building activities, corporate events, and company outings ideas in Chicago. Our team of experts has worked hard to compile this current and comprehensive list of the 25+ best team building activities in and around the Chicago, Aurora, Rockford and Joliet area.
Team building is key when it comes to not just starting but maintaining great teams. Not only will you see your team’s communication, collaboration and problem solving skills improve as a result of corporate team building activities, you’ll also see an increase in employee engagement and overall job satisfaction. The best part is, you can accomplish all of this while also having tons of fun!
Our list covers 25+ fun corporate events and company outing ideas in Chicago from escape rooms to food tours and everything in between. Keep reading to find the perfect company team building activity to match your unique team’s needs and personality!
Team Building Chicago: Table of Contents
- Top Team Building Activities in Chicago
- Other Team Building Activities in Chicago
- Frequently Asked Questions About Team Building in Chicago
Top Team Building Activities in Chicago
There are a variety of factors to consider the quality of team building companies, including the “fun factor”, looking at reviews, accessibility, track record and the actual impact they make. One of the most pertinent ways to evaluate the efficacy of a potential team building activity is by looking for genuine five-star reviews. Below, we’ve include three strong options.
#1 – Museum Hack
Museum Hack’s company team building activities in Chicago are unlike any other. They guarantee the most fun you’ve ever had in a museum (and probably at a corporate event too!). Every tour is full of sassy behind-the-scenes storytelling, epic photo challenges, and interactive games to break the ice and get your team LOLing together. If you want to crank up the difficulty a few notches on your next team outing, check out their Escape the Museum and custom scavenger hunt offerings. The best bit about Museum Hack’s company team building activities is that they can customize the tour route to match your company values and industry. They can talk about ancient health care, tech innovations, extraordinary levels of service in the Roman Empire, and more – the sky’s the limit! Experience the Art Institute of Chicago like you’ve never experienced any museum before, bond with your team and have a ton of fun all at the same time! More info here.
#2 – Super Holiday Party
It’s time to get your jingle on with the awesome folks over at Super Holiday Party! Does your company host an annual office holiday party? If yes, it’s time to shake things up and go big this year with Super Holiday Party. If not, well, it’s time to shake things up and go big this year with Super Holiday Party! Your group will have an amazing time participating in games and mini-challenges and enjoying the pièce de résistance of the night: The Gingerbread of Greatness™, otherwise known as figuring out who in your office has the top gingerbread house making skills. It’s fun, it’s merry, and you’ll leave feeling jollier than ever. If you’re interested, the time to act is now; Super Holiday Party only takes reservations from October through December and space is very limited. More info here.
#3 – Game Night Out
Who doesn’t love a game night as a team building activity?! There’s nothing like a little friendly competition between colleagues to improve communication, teamwork, critical thinking skills, and creativity. Game Night Out’s fun corporate events are next level fun! All the games are original and modeled after classic group party games. You don’t have to worry about choosing which games to play because the whole event will be planned for you down to the order in which to play them. The games are both challenging and familiar. They include a mixture of guessing, logic, skill, strategy, knowledge, and pop-culture, which is a cool opportunity for your next team outing.
Your team’s enthusiastic host will keep the energy up and the good times rolling. Your room will have a beverage fridge, bottle opener/corkscrew, complimentary bottled waters, cups, ice, and cocktail napkins for groups that wish to bring their own drinks and food. Their fun group activities for adults are capped at 24 people. More info here.
#4 – The Great Guac Off™
The Great Guac Off™ is one of the best company team building activities in Chicago! This part guacamole making competition and part team building event may sound a little unusual, but it is challenging, super fun, and very collaborative. You and your team will be split up into small groups to encourage a bit of friendly competition and lots of team bonding. The small teams will then compete to make the best guac (obv) as well as battle it out in mini challenges like trivia for points. The Guac Off team will also talk about storytelling and there will be plenty of avocado puns to go around. The Great Guac Off™ can be hosted anywhere, including the official Chicago Guac Off site or at your office. There is no limit to the amount of people (or fun!) you can have for this fun corporate event. More info here.
Other Team Building Activities in Chicago
Chicago is home to many team building companies, and we’ve include more of these options below. You may find some activities that seem unusual or unconventional and if so then we recommend you give them a try. Team building activities don’t have to be the “same old” or boring and you can score some major points with your team by choosing a fun, new team outing they haven’t tried before.
#5 – Adventure Games Inc.
Take your team on an epic adventure through the Windy City. Want your team to focus on a specific goal during your team building activity? Adventure Games Inc. has you covered with a variety of team bonding adventures, each focused on a different theme. Choose between the following fun activities for employees:
- Strategy and leadership for high level executives and competitive sales teams.
- Creative and visionary for teams with a creative (and theatrical) flare.
- Puzzle and solution for improving your team’s communication and problem solving skills.
- Active and performance for groups who love to play aka, put on a talent show or play childhood field games.
If you are looking for something even more custom, then Adventure Games Inc. offers a “build your own adventure” team building activity where you and your team get to create something totally unique and tailored to what you need! More info here.
#6 – Zoo Hack
Zoo Hack is unlike any team building event you’ve ever experienced. Their unique take on exploring zoos is smart, quirky, super fun, and perfect for teams! They use carefully created icebreakers, games and activities to maximize your team’s engagement, interaction and bonding. Zoo Hack’s events are also wonderfully educational; your team will learn all kinds of wild and crazy facts about the animals and their habitats that you never knew before. Their corporate tours are also very customizable. Zoo Hack’s expert guides will work closely with you to create a company outing that is perfectly matched to you and your team. More info here.
#7 – The Mystery League
In their own words The Mystery League’s fun corporate events, “combine the triumph of breaking a code, the thrill of a good mystery novel, and the adrenaline rush of a playground game of tag.” If that doesn’t sound like a great way to spend some quality team bonding time we don’t know what does!
The Mystery League offers destination games at the Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Harold Washington Library. If those spaces don’t work for your team then they also have games you can do anywhere — they’ll bring the games to your office or any venue you choose for your team bonding.
The Mystery League company team building activities all require true teamwork to solve the puzzles under tight time constraints. Each event also promotes communication, leadership, and pattern recognition — all skills every great team needs. More info here.
#8 – The Game Show Game Show
Have you ever wanted a shot at being on a game show IRL? Does your team love trivia nights? Are they good at recalling important information quickly and under a bit of pressure? If you answered, “Yes!” then this may be a fun corporate event for you.
This is a pretty unusual team building activity. Leave the real world for a few hours and enter a high-energy, fast-paced, technicolor dream landscape of disco balls, sparkly vests, “Spin-It to Win-It” challenges and more.
What’s more? You have the option to customize the game show trivia to match your company’s brand, products and values. You can also end your company team building activities with dinner and or drinks to chat and share your experience. More info here.
#9 – Wrigley Rooftops
Is there anything more “Chicago team building” than catching a baseball game at Wrigley Field (even for locals)? Now you can watch the game and hang out with your team at the same time. Wrigley has not one or two but eleven VIP rooftops you are able to rent out for corporate events. Each one has a unique view, some even of the glorious Chicago skyline, and reservations come with all-inclusive food and drinks.
You’ll want to choose the right space for your team outing depending on your group size. Some of the spaces are more intimate, hosting up to 30, while others can fit as many as 200. It’s also possible to reserve the rooftops for meetings and fun corporate events as they are fully equipped with high speed wifi and top A/V equipment. More info here.
#10 – Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts
Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts are a little bit different than normal scavenger hunts, instead of actually collecting objects your team will be solving witty riddles and following clues. On top of an awesome day spent bonding with your team you’ll also learn a lot about Chicago’s rich culture.
Watson offers a variety of two-hour scavenger hunts full of team building, creative games and trivia. Types of hunts include:
- Murder Mystery Hunts
- Puzzle-filled Escape the Museum Hunts
- Snack-filled Munch Hunts
- Ghost Hunts that feature haunted locations
- Trivia Hunts
- and more!
They also offer customizable content that will get your team communicating, collaborating and most importantly having fun. More info here.
#11 – Furry Room Chicago
This unusual Chicago team building activity may seem a little odd at first but, who among us hasn’t on some occasion wanted to smash a TV (or anything else satisfyingly breakable)? If your team is finishing up a significantly stressful quarter this may just be the perfect fun activity for your employees. It’s pretty simple really. They’ve broken it down into four steps:
- Come as you are (easy enough)
- Suit up in protective gear & crank your fav tunes.
- Choose your weapon and SMASH.
- Leave feeling good!
Book a group event or company offsite to blow off some steam. What are you going to smash? Loads of things like; plates, glasses, TVs, furniture, and more. You can even customize your experience by uploading an image of something onto the objects you’ll be smashing. Maybe your team is trying to overcome an obstacle or reach a goal? Do you want to smash your quarter one goals? Visualize this goal by smashing an image that represents these goals. More info here.
#12 – Pinstripes
Located on the Chicago River in the historic River East Arts Center, Pinstripes has some of the best views in the city! It’s also a great place to host your next company offsite. On top of gorgeous views, delicious food, tasty drinks and a high end atmosphere, Pinstripes offers games. Grab a drink and bowl a few games or try your hand a bocce ball. The venue is perfect for casual after work happy hours and team building for large groups. If you have a big team or need to plan your next fun corporate event then Pinstripes is a good option as it can accommodate up to 220 people. More info here.
#13 – Fox in a Box
Fox in a Box offers escape rooms. Escape rooms can notoriously get pretty intense and they rely heavily on trust and communication, which is a good option for team building. They are a strong option for building relationships within new teams, repairing relationships between coworkers and cultivating deeper bonds between team members. For your team outing you can choose from the following four adventures:
- The Bunker. Take a trip to the late 1970s smack dab in the middle of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union. Will your team save the planet from a nuclear warhead?
- The Bank. Every secretly dream of becoming a bank robber (or just wanting to see if you could pull it off!) This room is the one for you. Can you and your team of thieves pull of this great heist?
- The Prison. Innocent and yet sentenced to life in prison? Live out your own Shawshank Redemption scenario in this room.
- Zodiac. You thought the Zodiac killer was dead well he’s back and has taken you are your team captivate. Will you escape in time?
Each room can accommodate 2-6 people which is perfect for small team building groups. They can also host up to 35 people at the same by splitting your team up into smaller groups and spreading out across the different rooms. More info here.
#14 – Escape Artistry
Escape Artistry’s rooms are completely unique in that each one is handcrafted by local Chicago artisans, which makes it one of the fun team building companies in the area. A fully theatrical and immersive experience is sure to test your team’s ability to communicate, work together and remain calm under pressure. Escape Artistry has six fun group activities for adults across two locations.
- The Railcar. Travel to the future, 2055 to be exact, and stop a hijacked train before you crash.
- Operation G.R.A.N.I.E. High stakes puzzles, espionage, and baked goods. Will you solve and close the case on this operation?
- The Dollhouse. Travel back to 1982 to uncover the identity of a glam, b-movie slasher.
- Duck & Cover Classroom. Go back to 1954 and avert a nuclear disaster.
- Detective vs Dillinger. Its 1934 and you and your team need to take down Chicago’s most infamous criminal.
- Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon. The year is 1908 and pirate Dan rules Lake Michigan. Will you steal back the contraband he stole and escape in time?
You and your team have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle, find the key and escape. Are you up to the task? More info here.
#15 – Cozymeal Cooking Classes
Is your team more into food than they are crazy scavenger hunts and escape rooms? Don’t worry Chicago has the perfect thing for you, too! Check out Cozymeal’s company outing ideas to find an awesome cooking experience. Cozymeals will pair your team with a local top chef for a cooking class, food tour or fun team building event. Simply visit their website, select your city, the number of people in your team and you’ll find loads of great event options like:
- Foraging fresh pasta
- Making Sushi from scratch
- Spanish paella party
- Northern Italian handmade pasta
- A cook-off competition
#16 – The Escape Game Chicago
Another team outing option for the iconic escape room experience is The Escape Game in Chicago. They offer five different and totally unique experiences. Which one will you and your team take on?
- The Heist. Recover priceless works of art that have been stolen from a world class museum.
- Prison Break. We’ve gone back in time to 1955 and your team has been wrongfully accused of a crime and sentenced to life in prison. Will you escape?
- Gold Rush. Will you find the hidden gold before the mob does?
- Mission: Mars. If you’ve wondered if you have what it takes to repair a broken spaceship before you’re stranded in space forever? This is your time to prove you can do it.
- Special Ops: Mysterious Market. You and your fellow agents encounter a problem in your investigations. Will you solve this riddle?
Escape rooms are ideal for smaller team outings as each one can accommodate up to 8 players. More info here.
#17 – Art Room Events
Art Room Events has something to offer every company offsite. With at least four wildly different experiences designed for team building we’re sure you’ll find something that works for your team. Check out the list below to get started:
- Speakeasy Murder Mystery Cocktail game. How are your team’s acting skills? You’ll need them (and the costume to go with it) for this three- hour murder mystery.
- Coffee Painting & Tasting. Learn all about coffee brewing methods and create a work of art.
- Tiki Boat Party. Tour lake Michigan or the Chicago River. These tours can accommodate up to 90 people.
- Seasonal Events. Tis the season to do something fun with your team. Check out Pumpkin Carving & Beer Tasting, Card Making Class, Holiday Movie Screening Tea Party, and much more.
#18 – Chicago Beer Experience
Chicago Beer Experience will guide your team on an unforgettable walking tour through one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods. You won’t only learn all about and taste delicious beer, you’ll also hear fantastic tales of the cities history. Do you know about the 1855 lager beer riots, the German fueled beer expansion in the 1800s, the Prohibition, the mob, and Capone’s days? You will after this team outing! And depending on which of their three tours you choose for your team building activity you’ll also get to sample some mouth watering food including bacon, a Chicago-style hot dog, or Chicago-style pizza. They offer three different tours depending on the time of year and what your team is into:
- Bacon & Brews. Classic Chicago and beer history and how beer is brewed.
- Sin & Suds. Chicago’s sinful past (gambling, gangsters, etc.) and some of the city’s incredible architecture.
- Pioneers & Pints. Pioneers and immigrants who formed these neighborhoods and how beer has been brewed through the ages.
You must have a group of at least six to book a private team building event. Their tours can accommodate up to 18 people on one and if you have a large team you can still be accommodated on two or more tours. More info here.
#19 – Chicago Detours
Want to get to know your team (and your city) on a whole new level? Check out Chicago Detours. They specialize in group experiences that deep dive into Chicago’s architecture, history and unique culture. They have it all — historic bars, Chicago’s food history, interior architecture, real jazz and blues.
Chicago Detours offers private tours for both small and large groups. The small group tour is for one to eight guests and can be done one foot or by vehicle. Company outing ideas include:
- Loop interior architecture tour
- Southside hidden highlights driving tour
- Chicago Highlights: detour 101 driving tour
- cHICAGO jazz, blues & beyond driving tour
If you have nine or more people you’ll want to check out their large private walking, bus and boat tours. They have over 15 different company outing ideas to choose from, so no doubt you’ll find the right fit for your team. More info here.
#20 – Firehouse Team Building
Firehouse Teamventures is the country’s first ever firefighting based corporate events program! They offer experiences for your company team building events that are designed by real firefighters focused on strategy, communication, and fun. Each event is tailored to your team’s goals, abilities and activity level. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of firefighting drills. Yes, their events are bold and adventurous but they are also low impact and safe for participants from ages 12 to 72. They offer programs for any group size up to 500 and even a mobile option if you can’t make it to their space. More info here.
#21 – Whirly Ball
Whirly Ball offers unique all day and half day fun team building activities — that’s right, this is five to eight hours of food, fun and team bonding. The space is available Monday through Friday and you must have 20 or more in your team to plan an event. Depending on which package you book your day will include breakfast, lunch, appetizers, beverages and fun.
What makes this venue so unique for corporate team building in Chicago? Bumper cars! Who doesn’t love zooming around on this classic game? But that’s not all; they also have bowling and laser tag! We’re all probably more familiar with bowling as a team outing, but when is the last time you zoomed around on bumper cars and played a friendly, albeit competitive, game of laser tag with your coworkers? This place is sure to show your team a great time and create some awesome memories in the process! After all, teams who play together stay together. More info here.
#22 – Sidewalk Food Tours Chicago
Do you have any self proclaimed foodies on your team? If so, then you should look for company outing ideas that include food. Take them on a food adventure with Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago. Even if your team doesn’t consider themselves foodies this tour is sure to be a crowd pleaser and one of the best team building activities! Everyone loves to eat good food, amiright? Check out the best restaurants in the area on a three-hour foodie tasting adventure. Sample deep-dish pizza, authentic tapas, iconic American doughnuts, and more. Learn all about the food and how it ties into the neighborhood’s culture. Tour deets:
- Flexible start time (anytime between 11am-6pm)
- Group Size: Up to 100+ people. Minimum of 10 people.
- Vegetarian options at all the food stops.
#23 – Spin
Anyone up for a friendly game of table tennis? Spin, a ping pong social club located in River North, is the perfect place for your company’s next group offsite. With plenty to do, including ping pong (obviously), a photo booth, delicious food, drinks and other team activities your team is sure to have the best time! Spin features include:
- 20 ping pong tables,
- Full service catering & bar + a la carte menu
- Two VIP lounges with ping pong tables & seating
- Center court with bleachers seating & up to 7 ping pong tables
- Heated indoor/outdoor ping pong patio
Take your team building event to the next level with custom prizes and swag. Just send Spin your logo and they’ll create awesome items for your team to take home. Anything goes! Choose from items like ping pong paddles and balls, decals for the tables, custom t-shirts, hats, and sweatbands, custom messages in our photo booth, and gift cards. (Note from Team Building Chicago: swag like this is a cool way to show gratitude to employees.) More info here.
#24 – Chicago Dine-Around
Chicago Dine-Around specializes in one-of-a-kind interactive dining experiences for all types of corporate events, including team-building. Chicago Dine-Around is a great option for any size team and can accommodate groups up to 560 guests. They also offer many different kinds of events depending on your teams needs. Corporate events include:
- Progressive dining tour. A journey to three of Chicago’s best restaurants.
- Interactive culinary experience. Learn recipes (like Chicago style pizza) and either make part of your meal or compete in teams.
- Restaurant scavenger hunt and murder mystery challenge. Put your detective skills to work to solve a murder mystery inside the restaurant.
- Escape room dining. How’s a delicious meal from one of Chicago’s best restaurants for a little motivation to complete you escape room challenge?
#25 – The Dinner Detective
Who doesn’t love a good team building murder mystery?! The Dinner Detective is the largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show in Chicago. Their corporate events are held at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown. They’ll also come to you for a very special and custom private event. The dinner shows are unique in that the murder mysteries take place in present day — that means no old time-y outfits and accents. In fact, there will be fabulous actors hidden among you to guide the story along. A murder mystery and four course dinner — what could be better? The Dinner Detective has worked with teams from Universal Studios, Coca Cola, US Army, Air Force, Walt Disney Imagineering and more. More info here.
#26 – iFLY
Have you ever wanted to fly as part of your team outing? Indoor skydiving at iFLY is just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. This thrilling and adrenaline packed event is sure to bond your team on a new and deeper level. By 1) sharing and overcoming your fear and 2) supporting and cheering on your fellow teammates you’ll cultivate trust and build stronger relationships. Cheer on team members as they take their turn inside the world’s most technically advanced body flying tunnels. iFLY offers three packages for teams depending on size as well as an option to buy out the space. More info here.
#27 – Starved Rock State Park
If your team is feeling adventurous and wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city head out on a do-it-yourself unconventional team building activity — a hike at Starved Rock State Park. Starved Rock has over ten miles of trails which wind through eighteen super cool canyons, beautiful waterfalls, and interesting rock formations. Located just 90 minutes outside the city by car, hiking at Starved Rock is a great option for team bonding, not to mention promoting a healthy lifestyle for your employees. If you want to hire a guide to learn a bit about the area the State Park has guides available all year round. The park is open daily from 6:30am to 9pm. More info here.
#28 – Host A Meetup
If you’re looking to connect with more than just your awesome team then you should think about hosting a meetup for your next team bonding activity. By hosting your own meetup you’re able to invite pretty much everyone you want to connect with — from customers, vendors and suppliers, to your local community. These events don’t have to be big and flashy, they just need to be inline with your brand and mission. Whether you choose to host your team building meetup at your office, the park, or a local cafe make sure to create a few games and icebreakers to get people chatting and engaged. This is a great way to not only connect people but also show your community that you appreciate and care about them. More info here.
With so many amazing Chicago team building activities to choose from there is no reason you shouldn’t get at least one company team building activity on your calendar ASAP!
Remember, team building (when done right!) will result in stronger teams, improved communication and collaboration skills, and an overall increase in employee satisfaction and retention.
If you have any questions about company team building activities and corporate event ideas in Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, or other cities in the surrounding area then don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We at Team Building Chicago would love to connect about your company values and specific needs in order to find the perfect team building event for you!
Frequently Asked Questions About Team Building in Chicago
Not every team building activity is created equal, and it’s normal and expected to have questions about them. Below you will find some of the common questions and our answers on this subject.
What is the best Chicago team building activity?
There is no definitive “best team building activity in Chicago”, instead there are several very good options and others that you can also consider. For example, Museum Hack listed above has thousands of five star reviews for their tours in various cities. The Great Guac Off is another strong option, especially because it includes food and is location-flexible which means you can do it either as a company outing or hold it at your office.
Is there a difference between team building and team bonding?
The short answer is, yes, there is a meaningful difference. Team building is typically a business investment in future productivity and collaboration, while team bonding is more about having fun and improving friendships at work. The goals are similar, but the methods can vary. If what you want is a team building activity then choose a company that specializes in that.
What time of year is best for team building activities in Chicago?
In many ways, team building is an all-year effort. However in Chicago you need to be aware of the seasons. During the summer you can do fun outdoor activities, and during the autumn and winter you should take the activities indoors.