Team building is a great way to get attendees to work together in a more relaxed setting. We’ve put together a list of the top 11 team building experiences in Chicago — from a friendly game of darts to an all-out axe throwing competition — that guarantee your attendees will have fun while bonding and forging deeper work relationships.
1. Punch Bowl Social Chicago
At Punch Bowl Social Chicago, games make for the perfect ice breaker. Rent a VR lounge, bowling lanes, or a karaoke room. Or challenge your attendees to a game of ping-pong or pool. There’s also plenty of old-school arcade and video games. Arrange a buffet with comfort food like homemade chicken and waffles, or pass shareable plates such as roasted chicken quesadillas and hummus.
2. Flight Club
Groups of up to 500 can take part in some friendly competition at Flight Club, the first American outpost of the British concept dedicated to the UK’s favorite pub sport. A games master will look after your group and can arrange team tournaments. And everyone can celebrate their colleagues’ winning shots with instant replay videos. Sample botanical cocktails and share snacks like mini poke tacos and cotton candy (try the rosé flavor).
3. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Chicago
Shuffleboard with a vintage Florida vibe is at the heart of Royal Palms Shuffleboard Chicago. Book a Cabana Party for groups of 10 or more, which includes a mandatory beverage package for all guests. A Royal Palms crew member will provide a free lesson, then your group will have free reign of the regulation-sized shuffleboard courts. Catering can be arranged through a rotating roster of food trucks, plus guests can enjoy tropical drinks and listen to live DJs on the roof deck.
4. BATL – Backyard Axe Throwing League
Put a lumberjack spin on your next team-building event at BATL – Backyard Axe Throwing League in Portage Park. Up to 140 attendees can take their best shots at hitting a wooden bullseye with a flying axe at this indoor throwing facility. No experience is required, and an expert coach will be on hand to instruct your group in safe axe throwing techniques and host a fun tournament in your own private lanes. Flexible menus that include finger food and local beers, wine, and cider are available.
Team members can tap into their competitive side with some fast-paced ping-pong action at AceBounce, where the experience includes live DJ music, craft cocktails, and globally inspired eats for up to 550 guests. Reserve The Parlor (with its own cocktail bar and dedicated bartender) or one of the two semi-private spaces. Book a Games Guru (think game show announcer meets party planner) to run the show — perfect for a tournament-style event.
6. Pinstripes Chicago
At Pinstripes Chicago, the rustic Italian bistro vibe sets the scene for an upscale gathering, while the fun of bowling and bocce creates a relaxed setting for mingling with co-workers. Reserve a bowling lane (up to eight people each) or bocce court (up to 10 people each), followed by a sit-down Italian-American dinner in the flexible ballroom or a private reception space. Group packages for up to 220 people make it easy to plan larger events, combining games and food.
7. WhirlyBall Chicago
Get your game on at WhirlyBall Chicago, which combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars in a fast-paced game. Up to 10 people at a time can play in souped-up bumper cars (called WhirlyBugs) equipped with scoops and wiffle balls. There’s also bowling and laser tag for even more sporting options that are sure to promote team bonding. Book the rooftop terrace for a reception with finger food like pizza and sliders, along with craft beers and cocktails.
8. Lucky Strike Social
Chicago is home to two Lucky Strike Social locations. The new two-story Lucky Strike Social at Wrigleyville features eight bowling lanes, more than 100 electronic games, billiards, ping-pong, and awesome views of Wrigley Field. Lucky Strike Social at Streeterville offers even more gaming, including its new Steel Tip Lounge that features state-of-the-art dart boards with automatic scoring in five suites. Both locations offer private party rooms, gastropub fare, and craft cocktails.
9. The Escape Game Chicago
The Escape Game Chicago offers a unique team building experience with its 60-minute escape rooms. Groups work together to find clues and uncover mysteries to find their way out of five different immersive adventures, with themes like The Heist and Prison Break. Every room features tons of twists, turns, and jaw-dropping surprises around every corner. And The Escape Game Chicago’s dedicated team of event coordinators make booking large groups easy.
Using grains sourced from organic farmers, family-owned KOVAL distillery produces small-batch whiskeys, gins, liqueurs, and specialty spirits that range from white rye whiskey to jasmine liqueur and barreled peach brandy. Arrange for your group to participate in an interactive cocktail class or whiskey workshop. Or plan a private tour with a guide who will discuss KOVAL’s award-winning spirits and offer tastings of a variety of whiskeys and liqueurs. All private events require a minimum of 10 guests, with limited weekend availability.
11. Chicago Dine-Around
For a relaxing all-in-one evening option, combine Chicago’s amazing architecture and cuisine with the renowned Architectural Dining Tour by Chicago Dine-Around. This convenient guided experience includes transportation from your hotel or meeting location and a narrated architectural boat tour along the Chicago River and/or Lake Michigan, followed by dinner at a select restaurant or aboard the ship.