12 Awesome Team Building Activities in Washington, D.C.
Besides running out of coffee in the office kitchen, coming up with good team building activities is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of modern working life. You want everyone to enjoy themselves without feeling pressured to do so, and to bond over the activity without getting so absorbed they forget to talk – what’s […]
Besides running out of coffee in the office kitchen, coming up with good team building activities is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of modern working life. You want everyone to enjoy themselves without feeling pressured to do so, and to bond over the activity without getting so absorbed they forget to talk – what’s a manager to do?
If you and your team are based in or around Washington, D.C., you’re in luck: this area is overflowing with opportunities to get your colleagues out of the office and into the flow of team building! From classics like escape rooms and bar trivia to exciting new options like crazy golf, this list of team building activities in D.C. truly has something for everyone – and for each activity, we’ve included the best venues in Washington, D.C., so you can skip the research and dive straight into the fun.
1. Have a crazy good time at Swingers
If you’re seeking a more active activity – not to mention a place where you won’t get shushed for talking – some lively indoor mini golf could be the solution! At Swingers Crazy Golf in Dupont Circle, you’ll enjoy a little friendly competition and get to know your team better, all while marveling at Swingers’ lush, botanically inspired interiors and inventive courses. You can even have signature cocktails delivered to you by caddies for a seamless gaming experience – and once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy five-star food from local vendors like Lil’ Succotash and tuTaco. It’s the perfect escape from the busy streets of D.C. and highly convenient for large teams who want to pre-book something fun. Check out the multi-level group packages, or look into Swingers’ private hire option for up to 450 guests.
2. Challenge the team to a bowling match
Bowling is another classic team building activity, and D.C. has some pretty exciting venues for it. We’d recommend the polished Pinstripes in Georgetown, where in addition to high-class bowling, you can also get in a few games of bocce ball, then cap off the night with house-made gelato. Pinstripes also offers seasonal events if you’re looking to double up on team building and your annual office holiday party; for larger teams, you can book a private event in one of their stunning ballrooms. Of course, bowling is the main thing here – and bumpers or no bumpers, you’re sure to have a ball. The contest might get heated, but it’s all part of the fun!
3. Enjoy wine or beer tasting
For a more relaxed team building experience, you might enjoy a wine, beer, or cider tasting at a local brewery or winery. There’s no shortage of these in Washington, D.C., so you can take a team vote or just pick the one that’s closest to your office! Area standouts include Right Proper Brewing, a lively spot offering craft beers and gorgeous murals to admire, as well as private rooms with audio/video capacity for proper retreats. Red Bear Brewing is another cool, casual spot where you can enjoy a board game along with your bespoke beer or cider. On the riverfront, there’s District Winery, a sleek glass-walled space just a stone’s throw from Yards Park. And if your team members are history buffs, you might consider a historical pub crawl through D.C.’s most storied watering holes (bookable through TripAdvisor).
4. Make the most of Rock Creek Park
Finally, for outdoorsy teams, a sunny afternoon in Rock Creek Park is team building gold: accessible, inexpensive and with all sorts of fun activities. You might start with a picnic or a stroll through the expansive woods, just to get people chatting. Then you can break into groups for hiking, biking, tennis or even horseback riding! Your team members will thank you for giving them options, and you’ll all enjoy the refreshing reprieve from the office. After all, it can be hard to relax and connect with others in the urban jungle of Washington, D.C. – but whether you venture into the green oasis of a park, the cultural banquet of a museum, or the immersive party of crazy golf, this list has surely set you up for team building success.
5. Find your zen with a yoga session
If you’re looking for a team building activity that’s a little less high octane and a little more “aaaand breathe…”, maybe a yoga session is what’s in order. Work can be a highly stressful environment, and bringing a bit of mindfulness and meditation to the team might be the key to bonding you closer as colleagues.
6. Cool off by paddle boating
With more athletic team building activities, it can be tough to strike the right balance between getting everyone’s blood pumping and leaving your colleagues drenched in sweat. If you’re worried about your group melting in the D.C. heat, paddle boating on the Potomac is a lovely way to get some exercise and stay cool – just keep the dress code casual, as you’re bound to get splashed! Adventurous teams should pay a visit to Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown, where you can rent canoes and kayaks in addition to paddle boats for exciting journeys along the river. (Look out for their “Dinner at Dusk” events every other week!) Or for a more chilled-out reservoir experience, Tidal Basin Paddle Boats offers paddle boat and swan boat rentals for boating next to the National Mall.
7. Break a sweat with an escape room
If you’d like your team building event to involve creative collaboration while still being fun and memorable, look no further than an escape room. Luckily for managers, these abound in the D.C. area, so you can target just the right atmosphere and difficulty level(s) for your team. Consider booking through an escape room center like The Escape Game, which has locations in both Georgetown and downtown D.C. They offer nine amazing escape rooms – like the darkly enthralling Curse of the Mummy and the wonderfully immersive Titanic Room – as well as flexibility for different group sizes and experience levels. If you end up splitting into multiple rooms, do regroup afterwards to debrief (and talk strategy for next time!).
8. Get creative at a pottery class
Pottery is another great team building activity for stress relief – but where axe throwing and rage rooming are all about destruction, pottery allows your team to channel that energy into creation. This could be ideal if you have a quieter team that still wants to do something hands-on! In terms of location, District Clay in Langdon is the place to be: they offer handbuilding and wheel events for up to 24 people, including a studio tour, instruction and a generous wine-and-cheese happy hour to wind down the day. As you and your coworkers shape the clay, you’ll absolutely find stronger relationships beginning to take shape as well. The slightly misshapen mugs for your office kitchen are just a bonus!
Give back to your community as a team and sign up for some volunteer work together. Not only does volunteer work, like helping at a soup kitchen or holding a fundraiser, help those in need, but also provides a great environment for getting to know each other better. Outdoorsy work, like volunteering on Common Good City Farm, allows your team to connect with local nature and learn new skills, plus you’ll work up a real sweat!
10. Field Day
If you’re a team that lives for competition, Field Day is guaranteed to whip up that competitive edge. Break the ice by getting out of the office setting and embracing your inner child through team games designed to challenge you both mentally and physically. You’ll discover your colleagues are hiding some serious skills, and everyone will have a chance to shine.
11. Food tour
Few things bond people together more than food. If you’ve got a team of foodies who love to explore different cuisines, why not take them on a food tour of the city? DC has many hidden gems, and taking a food tour can help you discover them – maybe you’ll find your next local bar?
12. Go Karting
Got a need for speed? Challenge your team to go-karting, and see which of your colleagues is hiding a secret road rage. The excitement and adrenaline this team building activity will inspire will have you bonding closer with your employees (or know which to avoid on the road!).
Just north of Manhattan lies the NoMad neighborhood, offering a captivating blend of culture and history and famed for its luxurious bars and restaurants. Whether you’re a local looking for a new after-work haunt or a visitor looking to explore the area for the first time, check out our top recommendations for things to do […]
Whether you’re celebrating hump day or the start of the weekend, a trendy DC bar is the perfect place to enjoy your evening. Particularly if you’re in Dupont Circle, there’s no better spot to enjoy a tipple! This area offers an amazing selection of cocktail bars, so you’re sure to find somewhere that caters to […]
Life can get busy, and it can be difficult to fit in time to catch up with friends. If you’ve been messaging your friends on a monthly basis saying “we must meet up soon!” – take this as a sign to book it in! But you need to make sure you have the right setting […]