It’s 2020 (hadn’t you heard?), and one of your company's new years resolutions is to do more team building activities. Everyone gets to cut loose, have some fun outside the office and get to know each other a little bit better.
But finding something that a diverse group of people will actually enjoy doing can be a headache. You don’t want your office event to turn into a party from The Office. Not who you want to be:
At Sift, we feel ya. Here are eight ideas for team building events that your team will actually enjoy. Don't worry, the Sift team is 'testing' these ourselves!
Fowling is one part football, one part bowling and one part beer pong. Teams or individuals face off throwing a football to try and knock over their opponents’ bowling pins. While it sounds easy, finishing off that final pin can be quite a challenge. And be sure to guard your pins with your life, since a wayward football from another game hitting your pins does count.
The best part about fowling is that, chances are, nobody will already be an expert. It also makes a great winter choice – active, but inside, so your team can stay warm. A little nervous about your aim? Don’t worry, the generous bar (with great prices) can take care of that. Good luck getting a Bonk (which is an actual thing in this game)!
Fowling is located inside an awesome warehouse in Hamtramck, Michigan. If you see a whole bunch of graffitied school busses, you’re in the right place.
Address: 3901 Christopher St, Detroit, MI 48211
2. Kart racing
This is the Motor City, so what better way to have some fun than by burning some rubber? Kart2Kart in Sterling Heights has a great facility to indulge in speed. Don’t let the size of the Karts fool you, these things are racing quality and go up to 35 mph.
Your team will have a blast drifting around corners, and at the end of every race detailed reports let you know who had the fastest lap, highest speed, and who wasn't quite the racer they thought they were.
Address: 42705 Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights, MI 48314
3. Axe throwing
Let loose your inner lumberjack! Detroit Axe, located in Ferndale, is a great out-of-the-box location for you and your colleagues to try something new (and just a tad dangerous) together. You’ll have a dedicated axe-master to help you get a *handle* on the proper way to throw an axe. Enjoy some friendly competition, round-robin-style, and see who reigns supreme. There is also a bar, but you might want to save the brews for after the last axe is thrown!
Address: 344 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220
4. Trampoline emporium
Okay, so it's really called AirTime. Whatever you call it, a warehouse-sized trampoline experience is a certified good time. Your team can bounce around in the general trampoline area, or get adventurous and try their luck at front flips and backflips into pits of foam blocks.
Want some friendly competition? How about a basketball dunking contest? The real treat is the trampoline dodgeball where you can attempt to dodge off the walls like Neo in The Matrix (“attempt” being the key term here).
AirTime has four locations in the metro-area: Canton, Shelby, Novi, and Troy.
5. Cooking class at Eastern Market
Eastern Market is famous for being one of the largest and oldest public markets in the nation, but did you know they also have an incubator kitchen? The Eastern Market Community Kitchen is available to food startups looking for a place to build out their business, and now you and your team can take a private cooking class there too! The Sift team recently visited the kitchen and learned how to make 4 different kinds of fresh pasta and sauces. A delicious and collaborative adventure that we highly recommend!
Address: 2934 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207
6. Kayak around Belle Isle
A kayak tour is a serene way to enjoy the beautiful Detroit Riverfront. You and your team can learn about the history of Detroit, see wildlife and enjoy spectacular views of downtown and Belle Isle.
The team at Detroit River Sports gives group instructions on how to kayak, and everyone will pick it up quickly. Still, might want to pack some ziplocks to keep cell phones dry just in case of splashing!
If you want to really amp up the wow-factor for your team, check out their Paddle to Table experience. Enjoy a delicious, locally-sourced meal after your kayak tour, prepared on-site by Coriander Kitchen and Farm.
Call or email ahead to set up a tour for your team. You can’t go wrong– the sunset and canal tours are great!
Address: 14601 Riverside Blvd, Detroit, MI 48215
7. Escape from a room
You and your team are locked in a mysterious room. There’s only one way out - you’ve got to work together to find clues about how to escape!
Escape rooms are like real-life versions of collaborative video games. You and your team will have to use all of your wits to escape the room, whether that be a Max Headroom-themed 80’s game room or a sleek Sherlock-ian study. The rooms are really are a blast, and there are a few locations in Metro Detroit where your team can try to make a getaway.
Detroit: Escape The Room
Royal Oak: The Great Escape
Warren and Ann Arbor: Breakout
8. Bowling + more!
I know what you're thinking: bowling? But trust me, Punch Bowl Social is the most unique bowling alley you’ll ever go to–unique decor, awesome drinks and incredible food (I know, at a bowling alley!) add up for a fun experience. If bowling is not your speed, they’ve also got shuffleboard, ping pong and pinball. The games plus food from the scratch kitchen is a recipe for a fun evening.
While you're downtown, make sure your team checks out the Z Parking Garage. Hidden in the alley and on the floors of the garage is some incredible street art.
Location: 1331 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226
9. Topgolf (with a twist)
The golf course is a classic location for offsite business bonding, but for team members with less experience with the game, the links can feel a bit intimidating. Topgolf can be a fun and less-stressful alternative to 18 holes, and they also offer a variety of team building activities designed to help your crew bond, think strategically, and build trust.
Location: 500 Great Lakes Crossing Dr, Auburn Hills, MI
10. Cheer on the Detroit City Football Club
You don’t need a team full of sports fans to have a great time at a Detroit City Football Club game. The energy on the pitch and in the stands is intoxicating, complete with superfans setting off smoke bombs with every goal and leading the crowd in (occasionally NSFW) chants and songs. There’s much to cheer for, too - DCFC was crowned 2019 Champions of the NPSL semi-pro league, and the team will kick off their first pro season on February 28th. Snag some discounted group tickets and treat your team to a truly Detroit experience (even if it is technically in Hamtramck).
Location: 3201 Roosevelt St. Hamtramck, MI 48212
While these are some great places to checkout, don't forget about the whole reason you're doing this: your team! Have a plan for the day so everyone knows what to do, has fun, and gets to know each other a little better.
Any team building activities in Metro Detroit that we forgot to include in this list? Hit us up @justsift and share your favorites!