Working in an office all day can be a drag. You get stuck inside and don’t have the chance to take your mind off of work for even a second. It’s time to break out of that routine! Outdoor team building is the perfect way to do just that.
There are so many outdoor team building activities you can try, from kayaking in the nearest lake to enjoying a live concert!
Explore our list below for some ideas if outdoor team building sounds like something you want to do with your team sometime soon!
Outdoor team building is the perfect way to break out of a work routine
Why is team building important?
Team building events will help employees work collaboratively. This is valuable to any organization because it means more effective and efficient projects.
It also creates a better work environment and makes it easier for the company to fill open positions. In short, while teamwork is a good idea no matter where you are, it becomes invaluable in an office setting.
Benefits of hosting an outdoor team building event
Hosting outdoor team building events adds to the culture of your office. First, they are a great way to get away from the everyday tasks and collaborate with coworkers, while getting the head out of the office and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Outdoor team building is also effective to improve communication in the office between coworkers. The different outdoor activities and games organized on those occasions are made to help foster trust among teammates. They make them work together, complete challenges as a unified team, ask for their creativity or even develop their problem solving skills.
How do you plan team building activities?
To organize an unforgettable team building:
- Pick a date
- Find a location with great outdoors that employees will enjoy
- Plan the route in advance ideally within walking distance
- Think about the objective: Do you want to create team bonding or develop a special skill in the workforce?
- Organize the day ahead with activities, games or a friendly competition to stimulate the team members
If you are looking for activities to do during your event, we have a list of some great ones that will keep them busy!
Classic Outdoor Team Building activities and games
Games such as a cornhole tournament, a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course or team barbeque offer nice ways for teams from different backgrounds to get together and build their relationships. So, let’s take some fresh air and build that team, shall we?
1. Scavenger Hunts
We start our list with a great activity for outdoor team building: Scavenger hunts. They are competitive and fun planned events in which teams or individuals hunt for items hidden in a certain area. These items can be anything from scattered clues, to pictures, to challenges to complete, to hidden objects, with a list of things that must be found in order to successfully win the event.
They are a great exercise to teach the participants how to work together and cooperate with one another. Scavenger hunts are an entertaining outdoor activity for groups of all sizes. Participants can play either alone or you can also split the group into teams if many employees are attending.
For companies that can’t organize an in-person outdoor scavenger hunt because of the sanitary restrictions or because of the fact that its team is split over the map, think about setting up a virtual scavenger hunt!
2. Obstacle course
Obstacle courses are great, fun outdoor team-building activities. They provide a variety of physical and mental challenges to work together as a team in a competitive manner. Obstacles can be set up in a range of different ways, allowing for endless variations and creativity. They also provide the opportunity to challenge and push yourself in new ways with every course that is created.
Obstacle courses are also fun because you can sense the competitiveness among your teammates as you try to beat the other person while traversing through the obstacles. You can always find people who are willing to help each other and cooperate with each other throughout the course, which offers an added bonus for less confident people who might need a hand from time to time.
3. Food truck Fair
This outdoor team building idea is perfect for a large group of people. Contact two or more food trucks and set up an outdoor picnic. Everyone can enjoy the traditional outdoor food fair experience for a convivial break from work.
You can even split the group into small teams to compete in different challenges while they enjoy the food!
Pro tip: Choose wisely your location – you’ll need enough space on the ground for all those people around.
4. Tie & Dye project
To organize an arty outdoor activity, you could opt for organizing a Tie and Dye Project. How does that work? Simply, set different stations with all the necessary equipment to dye garments or accessories and gather your team outside – yes, let’s just avoid the painting mess indoors!
Divide the group so that everyone has sufficient space in one station to create its own masterpiece. Let them tie and then dye the end of an old t-shirt, a bandana or even a mask – we heard it was quite fashionable those days! You can even choose a color theme representing your company, so that the employees could proudly wear those later on!
Pro tip: Make sure to plan the correct paint, gloves to protect hands from dye stains, a place to dry the freshly personalized garments.
5. Capture the flag
The outdoor team building game called “Capture the Flag” is truly a classic. As an outdoor team building activity, it’s perfect for larger groups of up to 100 people in size – perfect for those who want to get serious about their outdoor adventures!
Groups are split into two teams and compete against each other by trying to capture as many opponents’ flags as possible, while at the same time defending its own. This game allows the participants to exercise several skills like communication, strategy and leadership.
6. Cornhole Tournament
If you’re looking for an enjoyable outdoor team building activity, consider hosting a cornhole tournament. This activity is usually done outdoors to allow the employees to free their minds under a blue sky!
All you need to do is set up two boards that are 5 feet apart and divide into two teams of 2-4 members. Scoring is easy: any bean bag in the hole scores 3 points, but if it lands on the board it’s only worth 1 point. The team with the most points at the end wins!
7. Chalk or Graffiti Murals
This outdoor team building activity is close to the Tie and Dye painting project, but it’s even more creative. Split your group in small teams and let them work on a wide mural using only chalk or paint colors.
It can be an original design such as one depicting what everyone does at their job or something that represents company values. Take this opportunity to show that the combination of all those individual painted sections ends up finally in a great team mural, witness of the team collaboration in place!
8. Potato Sack Race
A potato sack race is a great team building activity because it allows players to cheer, bond and have fun with their teammates in an entertaining game. Let us explain.
For this activity, team members are split in small groups in order to form a relay race. All participants will have to wear an empty potato sack, forcing them to race with repeated jumps. The first one of each team will go through an obstacle course and come back to her/his team the fastest as he can to pass the relay to the next participant. The second person, on his turn, wears the bag over obstacles too and tries to come back – or better jump back 😉 – as quick as she/he can. When she/he comes back and passes the relay to whoever is next.
It goes on and on until the last participant of the fastest teams crosses over the finish line in first place.
This activity can be done simply in the parking lot of the company or in the nearest park. Trust us, many will love it as they will find their coworkers – or even their own – jumps and falls hilarious, making this race a real win and bonding time for all the team!
9. Company Barbeque
When summer comes, one outdoor team building activity that you should never miss is organizing a company barbeque! Set up this convivial outdoor grilling and prepare some hot dogs and hamburgers. This could even be your opportunity to try something new like shish kebabs or even BBQ tofu – yummy vegetarian option!
The company BBQ will surely bring everyone together and it’s a perfect opportunity to meet and bond with members of the company who aren’t working directly with you.
Pro tip: Let everyone bring their own dish, let them be creative! This way the outdoor team building activity will show company collaboration at its best! 🙂
A great way to organize an activity that goes beyond the company perimeter and bring the company together is to organize a volunteering day.
Organize an outdoor day of community service and help build trails or assist with disaster clean up efforts. You could also bring your help to the food bank in the area. You’ll come back feeling refreshed about your work while knowing you’ve helped make a real difference in someone’s life.
11. Build a human pyramid competition
This outdoor team building activity is great for the whole company! Organize a human pyramid competition and let your coworkers show their skills. The winner will be decided by how many participants can stand on top of one another without falling over.
This is one of the outdoor team building activities that will work better on a grassy ground – Yep, we need to think about cushioning those falls! This team building exercise is great for working on teammates’ collaboration, communication and let’s face it, balance too!
12. Tennis or Volleyball competition
Organize a tennis or volleyball competition. You’ll need to think about the rules and to provide the necessary equipment, but it’s one outdoor team building activity that will leave your employees with lots of memories!
These sportive events might as well motivate them to take a 30 minutes break from the screen which could help the brain to recharge and be more efficient later on. They also incredibly increase collaboration between colleagues.
Pro tip: If you feel this friendly competition is really appreciated by the team, consider implementing this as a weekly get together during lunch break for instance!
Outside of the box Outdoor Team Building ideas
Now that you have taken a look at the classics, let’s take it to the next level. Check out these exciting and/or surprising ideas for your next outdoor team building event!
Geocaching is the connected outdoor team building all about. You need to create a good list of relevant caches in the area and let your employees go hunt for them – this activity will really push some boundaries and make outdoor team building feel like an adventure!
This outdoor game combines treasure hunting with GPS, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something new to organize outdoor team building with your employees. Follow a series of clues and get the final prize! Who knows, it could be something as little as an access code for Netflix!
This outdoor game can also bring people closer together while solving riddles in a collaborative way. And you know what? Geocaching is perfect for outdoor team building because it’s not only about the competition but also about developing a sense of community.
14. Rock Climbing
Climbing is outdoor team building to the max! Organize a rock climbing day with your employees and see who can climb higher, faster and stronger.
Rock climbing will help strengthen muscles while also teaching people how they can work together as a team when it comes to outdoor activities like this one. It’ll be difficult for many but that’s also the point: outdoor team building should push boundaries!
Pro tip: If you think this outdoor activity can be too challenging for some people, let them try it first and see if they enjoy it. You better pick an easy rock climbing location to make sure nothing gets out of control, but we are sure everyone will have a great time regardless!
15. Playing Ultimate Frisbee or Flag Football outside with your team
Outdoor team building activities don’t have to be only about physical activity. Organize a game of Ultimate Frisbee or Flag Football with your employees and see your colleagues come together as a team!
This outdoor team building activity will help improve communication skills while having fun in an outdoor setting – you can even make it competitive if you want!
16. Horseback Riding
Another great idea could be to organize a horseback ride with your employees. Make sure you think about hiring a guide for the occasion and to write the instructions and safety measures ahead to prevent anything from happening.
This little horseback adventure is great for the teammates to have a deeper conversation with one another while they can enjoy the scenery. It might also help some people to experience something different and open-up themselves even more!
17. Outdoor Yoga session
Among outdoor team building activities, you might also think of organizing a yoga session with your employees! This outside event isn’t about pushing physical limits or being competitive; instead this focuses on achieving serenity together as colleagues – because yes, they all deserve to release some stress!
Pro tip: Think about renting some mats and booking a person who can lead the class in advance. You could end the session by sharing a cup of fresh tea all together while everyone comes back to her/his senses.
18. Outdoor Concert
Make it more festive with an outdoor concert! This is a great outdoor activity to do as you can get people closer together while enjoying some of their favorite songs.
This is a great way to end an office day and let them know they’ve done well. They’ll feel proud of themselves while listening to this musical parenthesis – it might even make some people dance!
19. Biking together as a team
Biking can be an outdoor activity that will help to build the team in many ways.
Aside from improving their physical health and endurance – You’re welcome! – it might also bring people together while sharing common efforts. Indeed, this can increase their sense of belonging to the same team. It is also a great way to lose stress and explore the outsides of the workplace!
The water lovers will thank you on this one! Organize a kayaking day with your employees and have a good time with your team while teaching them how they can work together.
Yes, kayaking is the perfect challenge to learn how to coordinate two people in a single kayak, as they will try to use their paddle in an efficient and synchronized way.
This outdoor activity will then give your colleagues a new perspective on teamwork while having fun in an outdoor setting. They’ll also appreciate what it feels like to experience something different from their daily routine!
20. Hiking up a summit around the office
Hiking and exploring scenic spots in your area might be another interesting team building idea!
Pick a place that offers fresh air and also a sense of adventure, but that is still nearby the office is possible. If your land is as flat as a pancake, then switch up the hike for a great walk!
The fact that you will invite your teammates to open a door they might have never opened before, can really help bring them closer together. They will be able to share a common and incredible experience all together. They might also help each other to hike up some rocks or overcome some difficult paths.
You’ll be amazed by the positive impacts that it can have on their motivation and sense of belonging in the same team!
Pro tip: If the summit is hard to access, keep in mind that this type of adventure can be challenging for some people. Make sure the team has the correct equipment, one or more guides and that there are several steps in the hike in case some people have to stop!
21. Garden Party
A garden party is an outdoor team building activity that can be a bit more expensive and take longer to plan than the previous ones but it’s still really worth it!
Have an outdoor BBQ, an ice cream corner, a gardening class, a cocktail bar and a dance floor with some music. Invite everyone to join and enjoy this convivial moment as the sun goes down – the spouses and children as well if you want to make it a unique event.
Let everyone enjoy nature and each other’s company over drinks and dessert!
22. Astronomy night and Camping
A night under the stars might be the outdoor activity of your dreams, but is it suitable for a team building outdoor event? Yes, it is!
Camping under the stars will give you an opportunity to teach people about astronomy and how they can find their way in nature while sleeping outside. They can use this time to bond with their workmates and this is also a great opportunity to clear their head and get back in touch with what’s most important in life.
Plus, at the end of this outdoor team building event you will have all the chance to enjoy a nice dinner around a campfire. It’s so atypical to organize that type of event with work, that believe us, they won’t forget this experience!
One more time, this should help participants to bond while enjoying delicious s’mores that no one can resist!
23. Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is one outdoor activity that will be loved by your employees who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty!
It’s a great way to have some outdoor fun and it can also help them bond both as individuals, but then together in the same team. As they get better at tossing an axe, their confidence grows, and with this, it’s also easier to trust others in the team.
For this outdoor event, you should find an axe throwing place nearby your business office as this needs to be regulated.
24. Plant trees
Planting a tree with your team is an outdoor activity that will strengthen the sense of belonging to this same team, and it also reminds people about the importance of protecting nature. It might have become one cliché outdoor event, but planting trees has so many benefits!
The most important being reforesting our planet but as you will be planting trees, make sure to also plant the seeds of a sense of belonging and closeness in the participants for one another!
25. Beach clean-up day
This outdoor event might not sound very fun, but it’s actually a great way to bond with your teammates.
Beach clean-up days are an opportunity for people from different departments and teams to come together as they work on removing the pollution that we all add in our daily life.
It’s also a good chance for them to take off their shoes, roll up their pants and enjoy the ocean together.
Plus, this outdoor event is a great way to show your employees that you care about preserving our planet too! Just make sure everyone has the right gear for it as well so they can have an awesome experience doing something good with your company.
26. Open-air Rage Room
The open-air rage room is a great way to have some fun, get rid of pent-up anger and release tension! It allows the participants to let go of their emotions while throwing and breaking dishes.
This is a good outdoor team building activity as they will need to find better ways to communicate their feelings rather than just doing it.
Seize this opportunity to develop their problem solving and conflict resolution skills by asking people to open up and communicate with each other.
27. Mini Golf
Mini golf is often seen as a leisure activity but it’s actually an outdoor team building event that will work better than you think!
This outdoor event can be so much more fun if done in teams and the members of each group need to communicate with one another to plan their strategy. It also requires patience and agility which are all great work skills.
Paintballing is a highly entertaining outdoor game that will be played by two or more teams shooting paint at each other.
It’s a great way to get competitive and it can also help your employees realize how much they need their teammates in order to win the game!
It might seem like an outdoor event just for kids but trust us, adults love getting involved too and might even get more competitive!
29. Fun runs
Fun runs are outdoor races that can be for charity or just for leisure. Usually, those are running races but with a surprising twist: wear a disguise, tie two people together, spray color on participants etc.
It’s a great way to get outside and it also helps employees bond together if the fun run is set for teams of several members. The competition will make them want to cooperate even more while running in an exciting environment!
30. Bubble Soccer
Bubble soccer is an outdoor team building activity that requires a lot of space for a lot of fun! It’s played like regular soccer but with inflated bubbles around the players to make it more difficult for them to move and be precise in their actions!
It can help employees learn how to work together better by having one player defend from opponents while another passes or shoots.
This activity is diverting, can end up to be hilarious as the bubbles add a real twist to this common sport and it’s safe for everyone involved.
31. Human size Jenga
This fun game will help participants learn to work together and find ways to communicate so they can build the highest Jenga Tower without breaking it!
It’s all about communication, agility and strategy as the participants need to be really careful with how they move around the tower. It also requires collaboration so they can help the other members of their team to reach higher.
Pro tip: Great and easy team building game, it can even be part of a garden party or company BBQ event!
32. Laser Tag
Laser tag is another outdoor game that’s really great for teams! Laser tags consist of an outdoor game similar to paintball, but with a laser gun.
Your employees will need cooperation and communication skills during the outdoor game so they can take cover, strategize their attacks and be quick on their feet! It’s also great for team building because it requires them to find ways to work together against another group of people.
It will help the participants use their creativity and think outside the box in order to try different strategies against opponents. Plus, this is a really entertaining game and a great chance for them to get outside in order to clear their heads!
33. Pedal Tours
Pedal Tours are outdoor events that allow participants to pedal along a designated route on a lake or a river nearby. Here it’s not about competition.
Those tours are nice if you want to see how well your employees enjoy the company of one another and forget about their problems, while pedaling together.
It’s a great outdoor event because it has the best of both words: active and diverting! It also helps the participants feel like tourists in their own city which is always nice to do every once in a while.
Go-Karts are outdoor games that can be a great team building activity. Usually, they’re available in outdoor places and people who participate will need to form teams of at least three members each.
It’s a great outdoor activity because it will be something new for your employees to try. Plus, they’ll need to work together closely so they can get the best time and win races!
It also helps think fast and adapt like they would do in companies’ fast paced environments. They might work on their communication skills too, which are always important in order to have good teamwork.
35. Outdoor movies
What better way to spend a Friday night than with outdoor movies? This team building activity might really please the participants as it will help bring them together when they’re all sitting on the grass, outdoor chairs or just leaning against trees while they watch a movie.
It will also be an interesting way for them to relax after a long week of work in the office and learn what it’s like to enjoy their time outdoors!
36. Roller Skating
Roller skating is a great outdoor activity for your employees. It’s really exciting, active and it will be something different for them to do!
For some, it might mean to find ways to take risks so they can skate as fast as possible. For others, it can also mean to face their fears and ride on those rollers.
Either way, this outdoor event will require participants to communicate and sometimes help each other, which will certainly benefit the team later on.
This activity can take place directly in the parking lot of the business building. Plus, it’s not too expensive and people don’t need any experience in order to participate!
37. Office Olympics
Office Olympics is a great outdoor team building event that will be really popular with the participants.
It’s an outdoor combination of small games where people compete in different events such as races, volleyball and tug of war or even to see who can eat more hot dogs! Usually, the teams are defined by the several departments of the companies.
The different challenges and games that will shape those Olympics are really up to you and can be adapted depending on your business activity, values or team members personalities.
But one thing is sure: It’ll help your employees work together while they’re having fun!
Pro tip: We recommend that you get inspired by the crazy Office Olympics organized by Pam and Jim in The Office! 😉
2nd Pro tip: If you see that this event is recognized and highly appreciated among the teams, it might be a good idea to implement this team building Office Olympics every year, so that the losing teams can actually take the revenge! It might even build up some excitement in the office as people are waiting to compete again.
FAQ Outdoor Team Building
What is the cost of a standard team building event?
The cost of outdoor team building events will depend on the event you’re organizing, the time of the year, the quality of service you want and how many people are participating.
One outdoor activity might be more expensive than another if you book a guide, need equipment or realize one of those out of the box team building! But if you organize everything by yourself and stick with simple games, you might be able to organize a team building event for free!
Is team building an outdoor activity?
Team building can indeed be outdoor activities such as indoor. It all depends on the type of team building you’re organizing.
Some might be more adapted indoors, such as virtual team building, anything that requires paper use or writing/drawing, easy and calm ice breakers.
On the other hand, outdoor team building activities are more fitted to welcome active and dynamic games or anything that should be organized in nature.
What is a good team building activity?
A good team building is one that will allow the group to practice cooperation skills while having fun in a new environment that will hopefully surprise them!
If this is achieved, they can be a very effective way to make sure everyone on your team is engaged, supportive and satisfied.
What are examples of team building?
There are many outdoor team building activities that you can try. Some might be more classic such as the scavenger hunt, the human pyramid or the potato sack race.
Other examples a bit more original might include outdoor movies, Office Olympics, Human size Jenga, yoga session or a hike with your teammates!
With so many options for outdoor team building activities, it has never been easier to choose the right one that will help your company. From a scavenger hunt with prizes and an Office Olympics, we hope you have found something here that works well for your business needs!
The several team building animations we’ve discussed should be pretty easy to organize and provide a fun way for your employees to work together, get active and enjoy some time outside. Remember that they will not only be a way to break the routine but will also help bring people together!
If you are looking for fast team building games, make sure to read our 5-minute team building ideas on our previous blog post!