Is it just us or do organizers for team events usually have a thousand balls in the air? Whether you’re an office manager, head of events, or simply have been the one assigned with the task – you probably have a lot of other tasks on your plate. Figuring out fun and engaging team building activities in the bay area isn’t the only thing on your to do list! Let’s make this as painless as possible for you.
- First, we’ll explain exactly what team building activities in the Bay Area are and why they are important.
- Next, we’ll go over a few different types of activities to get you started in the right direction.
- Then? A comprehensive guide of different options that will fit your specific needs.
What Are Team Building Activities in the Bay Area?
Team building forges connections between employees. These connections create a sense of camaraderie and accountability between members of your cohort. Teammates want to be successful and collaborative, and not just for their own sakes, but for the sake of the community; to benefit the whole of the team. However, team building activities need to be engaging enough to create these bonds. If your colleagues are sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the event to be over, that sense of camaraderie might not be created as easily.
The Bay Area is known for its rich culture and mesmerizing natural beauty. It’s also the center of the tech industry right now. This combination makes San Francisco and its surrounding areas rich with options to entertain and engage your team. The Bay Area has so much to offer and that absolutely includes effective and enjoyable activities for your employees to participate in as a team.
Why Team Building Activities Are Important Right Now?
The workforce has changed a lot in the past couple of years. Whether your office is completely remote, halfway there, or hiring more new employees to catch up, team building activities can help forge relationships between colleagues. Especially if they otherwise might not have the opportunity to get to know each other. Getting to know each other is the first step to building professional relationships that foster collaboration, respect, and accountability. Plus, you get the added bonus of showing people that their happiness and quality of life is something management cares about.
That being said, the best activities are ones that are easy to find, easy to organize, and are ones that actually engage and entertain folks. People aren’t going to have lively conversations or laughs if they’re bored to tears!
Here’s what Avital Tour have to say about their team building experience:
“Thank you all SO SO SO much for hosting such an incredible event. Each of you made it so much fun and absolutely seamless. The amount of positive feedback following the event was overwhelming.” –Catherine
“I always feel like I have to run everything and in this case….just sat back and enjoyed the ride. What a talent you have. Already wrote people saying we need to book this event for other groups.” –Kathleen Oliver
“…as the organizer, this event went as awesome as I would have hoped. well done on your part.” –Laurie B.
“Avital made me look like a rockstar in front of the team. We had a wonderful time, and it was the perfect end to our time together in NYC. I can’t thank them enough.” –Derek H.
“Talia and the Avital team were so helpful and easy to work with. Having never set something up like this before, I was not sure what to expect or how to decide. The information provided was so thorough and the team was easily able to address all of my questions and concerns.” –Melissa M.
In this guide you will find an array of team building activities in the Bay Area that might suit your specific needs. However, the most important thing most of all is to choose a trusted company to take care of you. Do your research and find reviews if possible. It is important this event is easy, entertaining, and impressive so you and your team will benefit from it!
How To Select The Right Team Building Activity for Your Bay Area Team?
Figuring out the right style of activity is important. For your first step, choose from one of these three types of events: off-site, on-site, and virtual. This will depend on where your team works, your budget, and any time restrictions you may have. This may sound dull, but starting with this logistical step will help you find your team building activity in the Bay Area that much easier!
An off-site activity is one that happens outside of your office, but in person. Imagine things like walking tours, escape rooms, in person classes at a different location. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to an off-site team building activity.
Advantages: Impress your employees with the effort and financial bandwidth put into an experience outside of the workplace. Plus, an off-site can heighten the sense that this is a social activity for fun; outside of the work place environment people might feel more comfortable getting to know each other personally.
Disadvantages: You need to ensure your employees are able to physically get to the off-site location. This can be difficult if some or all of your employees are working remotely.
An on-site activity is one that occurs at your workplace – you can let the experience come to you! This can include someone physically coming to your office to host the event, or having a host via video conferencing. Either way, your employees get to quickly come together, take a load off with a fun game or experience, and get to know each other a little better.
Advantages: No transportation necessary for employees working out of the office – the experience comes to you. And thus, no time is wasted. People can pop into a conference room, enjoy the activity, then be on their way!
Disadvantages: There isn’t as much of a wow factor with employees if an experience comes to them. Think of the difference of seeing a clown perform at a kid’s house for a birthday party versus going to the actual circus!
Virtual events are great if you have a mix of in person and remote workers and especially if everyone is remote! For a virtual team building activity your host gives you an online meeting location and all the team building magic happens right on your laptop or device.
Advantages: Anyone and everyone can join no matter where they are. As long as you have a device that connects to the internet – you can join this team building activity!
Disadvantages: The obvious disadvantage is that connecting over the internet is never quite the same as connecting live and in person. However, we think you’ll be blown away by how impressive some virtual team building events are (and you can read about them below!).
Our Top Off-Site Bay Area Team Building Picks
We’ve narrowed down some top choices of Bay Area team building activities that are off-site. So, these activities are ones where your team will travel away from your work space to participate in an engaging experience together in person. Read below to see our favorite picks!
North Beach Progressive Meal and Walking Tour
This North Beach food tour thrusts you into this classic neighborhood’s Italian restaurant scene – as well as its history of the most notorious part of San Francisco in the Gold Rush – the Barbary Coast! Let an expert guide take you through four delicious courses at four different institutional neighborhood restaurants. In between each course your guide will walk you through the neighborhood and tell you stories about the area, its people, food and culture. Don’t be shy and upgrade your experience to include beverage pairings at each location.
What’s Included: A progressive meal of four courses at four different iconic restaurants in North Beach with an expert guide to take you on your journey. Drink pairing upgrade optional.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a private North Beach progressive meal and tour for your team.
Escape Room Immersive Experience
A new team building classic! The escape room. This escape room experience at Escapology drives your team to work together and escape from a variety of situations. That’s right – they don’t just put you in a boring room and set you loose. This company provides a few different specialized experiences such as the Mansion Murder storyline where you are locked in a mansion’s drawing room and you’re tasked with escaping the room as well as finding the murderer! Choices also include the Antidote game and the Narco game.
What’s Included: A beautiful lobby introduction, five-star service, and amazingly decorated escape room.
How to Book: Click here to reach out to Escapology to ask about a group event for your group.
Hands-On Happy Hour
Get your group together to learn about the craft of the cocktail. Learn the tricks behind making gourmet drinks such as a smoked peach old fashion or strawberry lemongrass margarita! In this hands-on activity you will go on site to a restaurant or craft cocktail bar. There, you will have an introduction to the types of cocktails you are going to make as well as some cocktail history and trivia. Then, you’ll be guided through making two different craft cocktails (mocktails are an option as well!). Your team will also get to munch on hearty bar snacks served while you enjoy your creations.
What’s Included: Craft two cocktails or mocktails with an expert mixologist’s guidance. Snack on robus bar snacks as you learn, shake, and drink!
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a private interactive cocktail class for your team.
Indoor Putt Putt
Want a more unstructured event where you can simply let your employees enjoy themselves without a guided activity? Then, you have to check out Urban Putt in San Francisco. This ultra hip indoor putt putt course has a fantastic restaurant, arcade, and mini golf course. And, don’t fret if you’re worried this might feel like a Chuck E Cheese! This isn’t your normal kid’s putt putt – the interior is elegant and uber cool to give an adult flair to this time told game.
What’s Included: Depending on your group size your experience will vary.
How to Book: If you have less than 14 guests in your group you can make a reservation here. If you’d like to host a larger group you can inquire here about event reservations.
Interactive Cooking Class
This hands-on cooking class and multi-course dinner is a full meal creation experience – head to toe! Your team will not only learn a few things to take home with them to their own kitchens, but they’ll get to know each other while they embark on this culinary journey. When you arrive you’ll be greeted with welcome cocktails and snacks. Then, let an expert mixologist guide you through making a craft cocktail. While you sip on your creation, you’ll be taught how to make a delicious appetizer. And after all that hard work? You’ll be served an incredible main course and dessert to round out your meal.
What’s Included: Welcome drinks and snacks, hands-on cocktail making, hands-on appetizer making, a hearty main course with beer or wine, a delectable dessert.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a private multi-course cooking class in the Bay Area for your team.
Sail Around the Bay to Angel Island
Spend an entire day on the water living the good life with SF Bay Adventures! Start in Sausalito and board a classic schooner with your team. You’ll glide to Angel Island State Park where you can hike, laize in the sun, or play a lawn game. After some fun in the sun a deluxe BBQ will be waiting for you. Choose from an East Coast lobster experience or a West Coast style grill. After lunch you’ll take another tranquil trip on the boat back to the mainland.
What’s Included: Schooner ride to and from Angel Island from Sausalito, coffee and pastry on your boat ride to Angel Island, and lunch on the island.
How to book: Click here to learn more about SF Bay Adventure’s private events.
Mission District Progressive Meal and Walking Tour
San Francisco’s Mission District is a melting pot of cultures. This directly translates to its deliciously tasty and diverse restaurant scene. From classic Latin dining to new and innovative cuisine, this Mission District progressive meal and tour will take you and your team to eat four different courses at four of the Mission District’s most iconic restaurants. In between each course your veteran guide will walk you through the neighborhood and share its cultures and stories with you. Show your team you put in the extra effort and upgrade to include a beverage pairing at each location.
What’s Included: A progressive meal of four courses at four different iconic restaurants in the Mission District with an expert guide to take you on your journey. Drink pairing upgrade optional.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a private progressive meal and tour in San Francisco’s Mission for your team.
Tyler’s Mystery Tours
This host actually can serve you IRL events, virtual events, and hybrid events depending on what your team needs. But we really like the idea of doing this particular one off site if that’s possible for you and your group. As their site says, “ TMT offers high quality, unique social events. Mixing games, sports, community service, adventure and collaborative learning, we create the perfect combination of activities for your company or group. From company-wide remote team meetings to intimate family gatherings, from bat mitzvahs to bachelor parties, we can accommodate any size, age range or activity level.”
What’s Included: This will vary greatly depending on your needs.
How to Book: Click here to learn more about Tyler’s Mystery Tours.
Our Top On-Site Bay Area Team Building Activities
We gathered our favorite choices for on-site team building activities available in the Bay Area. These will be activities you schedule for your team where the fun comes to you, in your work space. Whether you host it yourself or have professionals come in, you’re going to have a great time with these on-site activity options.
Transform Your Veggies
Lettuce, tell you something. Get your team together and let them get creative while tasting a few new things. It will be unbeetable! With this Bay Area activity, the workshop comes to you. Take an array of vegetables and learn how to pickle them and carve them like food artists! Plus, everyone gets to take home their creations. These employees won’t be fickle pickles if you treat them to this unique workshop.
What’s Included: Hands-on pickling with 2 jars of pickles to take home, veggie sculpture making, team building.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a crafty vegetable team building activity for your team.
Bubble Ball Soccer
Bubble balling has gotten fairly popular over the last ten years and there’s a reason why. Planet Xone provides you with giant bubble ball suits that fit on you securely. Once they’re on, you’re indestructible! You can run into each other, roll on the ground, and when you’re really ready to test yourself, you can have a game of soccer! This company also provides a number of other bubble ball suit games you can choose from.
What’s Included: A choice of which bubble ball game or games your team will play, a mobile gaming arena to be installed anywhere you choose, an experienced Game Marshall to guide the game.
How to Book: Click here to submit an inquiry to Planet Xone about your bubble ball team building game.
Donut and Latte Art Break
Picture this – mid day – you walk into your break room to find a magical, Willy Wonka like display of donuts, toppings, frostings, and decorations. You are treated to a special latte, and you get to learn how to gracefully create latte art after you learn how to create it yourself. Be a good organizer and schedule Avital tours to come and make this dream a reality for you and your colleagues.
What’s Included: Donut decoration bar with a team building bonus activity, a non-dairy milk foaming experiment, a unique non coffee latte creation, all ingredients and tools, an optional expert Avital host.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about this creative delectable treat for your team.
DIY Scavenger Hunt
This do it yourself solution to a team building activity can be particularly exciting if you get your team involved with creating some of the challenges. Go beyond the simple collection of items for this hunt. You can have people complete whacky tasks, create unusual craft pieces or songs, the options are limitless. We suggest you split your company up into teams so people are encouraged to work together and have fun. What we like best about this option is that it is completely customizable and can be as high or low maintenance as you can handle.
What’s Included: This can be as simple as just a Google Sheet with all desired tasks and objects!
How to Book: No booking necessary just make sure your team is ready to show up and get engaged!
Haven’t you heard? Gingerbread houses are OUT. Welcome, the Charcuterie Chalet, Cheese Cottage, and Veggie Villa. Let your savory imagination come out with this engaging hands-on activity. Build the cheesiest structure your mind’s eye can create – and put it into full form with the help of a skilled Avital host. Amp up the stakes and make it a competition to see who’s structure wins!
What’s Included: A Charcuterie Chalet, Cheese Cottage, or Veggie Villa, an edible structure team building competition, all ingredients and tools, an optional expert Avital host.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about this tasty team building activity for your team.
Enclosed Terrarium Class
This option is great for groups of 5 to 100. Allow the inner zen of your team to come out while they each create their own closed terrarium with the guidance of an experienced teacher. Your teacher will also give you tips and tricks to keep your miniature ecosystem thriving for years to come! This activity pays dividends!
What’s Included: All supplies required to create and fill your terrarium, decorations, and a veteran teacher to show you the way.
How to Book: Click here to book your terrarium class for your team today.
The Goat Experience
Connect to your inner farmer and learn about goat milking and cheese making. Yeah, that’s right, you have the chance to milk a goat in front of your coworkers. Talk about getting vulnerable! After your optional goat milking experience, make some ricotta cheese and taste it with gourmet pairings.
What’s Included: Hands-on ricotta cheese making, cheese tasting, an optional goat milking lesson, an optional expert Avital host.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about an all-inclusive goat experience for your team.
Art Class with Painting To Gogh
This company provides on site, off site, and virtual events. However we think this is best suited for them to come to your organization and have your group do this on site. Then, they can have a great piece of art to take home with them! You even get the choice to have a live art teacher guide you along or if you’d rather use a recording that you can pause and start up again any time you’d like. We like the idea of a live artist to work with so you can ask questions, but we also see the benefit of having a recording so you can pause, take a lunch break, or even start up again the next day. This way it can be completely flexible to your needs. Either way your team will have their creative juices flowing and will have a great memento to keep after the class.
What’s Included: All art supplies are shipped to you, trained art teacher live or recorded to guide you along, choice of what type of art you’ll create.
How to Book: Click here to submit an inquiry with Painting To Gogh!
Our Top Virtual Bay Area Team Building Activities
Looking for a virtual experience for your team? Look no further. We found some of the best activities where your whole team can join remotely on their laptop or device. Oh, thank you internet for making our lives so much easier!
Virtual Water Tasting Experience
Let a certified water sommelier show you how different two waters can be. Similar to wine tasting, imagine a water tasting as an elegant experience where participants are encouraged to get in touch with their heightened senses of smell and taste. Water tasting kits are delivered to all guests in premium glass bottles with food pairings included. Your group’s horizons will broaden as you discover the complexities and nuances of waters from around the world.
What’s Included: A tasting with five premium waters (3 still, 2 sparkling) and two food pairings (chocolate and charcuterie), tap water experiment with water testing strip, certified Water Sommelier.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a virtual water tasting experience for your team.
Enchanting Rialto Virtual Visit to Italy
Have you ever had the chance to visit the famous Rialto waterway in Venice, Italy? Now’s your chance to do it virtually with your team! Connected via video call you will explore the area with your guide leading the way. Your guide will also teach you about the history of Venice using multimedia to enhance the experience for everyone watching at home.
What’s Included: Private, live, virtual tour with a local guide.
How to Book: Click here to request a private event experience journeying to Venice waterways!
Virtual Tongue Twister
Discover the magic of miracle berries as you and your group are guided through a flavor tripping extravaganza! In this 45 minute activity, you will experience flavors like never before when you try a miracle berry. This berry temporarily alters your taste buds so that you can experience foods and flavors in ways that you never thought possible.
What’s Included: Tasting kits, miracle berry flavor tripping activity, beanboozled jelly bean game, an Avital flavor expert and guide.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a remote tongue twisting activity for your team.
Hilarious and Historical Trivia Game
This isn’t your normal online trivia game. You’ll have no other than the great Socrates hosting your team for this event as he takes you on a hilarious journey back in time. The main activity is a true or false game – but don’t be fooled – Socrates is as good at lying as if is philosophying!
What’s Included: A 60 minute trivia experience hosted by a Socrates costumed guide to take you on your historical adventure.
How to Book: Click here to book this virtual trivia game for your group.
Virtual Happy Hour
Have your team join a live happy hour remotely while an award winning mixologist teaches you how to create craft cocktails (or mocktails!) with ingredients delivered to guests. You get your choice of which cocktails your group makes and don’t forget optional upgrades! Add snacks, engraved cocktail shakers, and more to elevate your team building activity.
What’s Included: Ingredients to make two cocktails or mocktails (including deluxe garnish), a hands-on and remote cocktail making class, an award winning mixologist to show you the way.
How to Book: Click here to inquire about a virtual happy hour and cocktail class for your team.
This activity isn’t only good for your team as a whole, it’s fantastic for your inner self as well. Join an experienced and certified yoga instructor as they take your team on a zen trip with easy to approach yoga poses. This is great for employees that are experienced in yoga, but also for those that are new to the practice. This activity promotes mental relaxation and physical fitness – so this activity focuses on your employees internal and external wellness. Major points!
What’s Included: A certified yogi instructor, one hour class, no yoga mat or supplies required.
How to Book: Click here to learn more about and sign up for this online yoga class.