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27 Incredibly Fun Outdoor Team Building Activities for 2021

Published August 11, 2021

outdoor team building activities garden path

Team building is a crucial element of any workplace - strong interpersonal relationships within teams can lead to higher productivity rates, longer employee retention, and a greater sense of employee satisfaction.

Unfortunately, with the pandemic making it unsafe for many indoor activities, many of the tried and true team building activities are no longer an option. That leaves you with two options: virtual and outdoors.

With an overload of virtual everything, a great way to provide an added level of excitement to an already valuable employee team-build is to take it outside!

Outdoor team building activities not only give your team a change of scenery, but they prove the adage that fresh air always does a body, or a team, good.

Of course, you’ll still need to assess outdoor activities to see how they fit with the current pandemic outbreak, state and local laws, and whether or not they can be done in a safe manner for your employees and workplace.

The list of outdoor team building ideas below is a starting point for you to use when planning your next team outing - take it directly from here or be inspired to create a variation of your own.

1. Hang Out on a Ropes Course

The ropes course is a favorite go-to for corporate outdoor team building events. Courses typically challenge participants to trust one another and work together to achieve a common goal (getting to the end without taking a tumble).

Adventurous teams aim for the high ropes course, taking them 15-20 feet above the ground, but a low ropes course provides just as much adversity for those with a healthy fear of heights. Most areas have a course nearby, so take a look to see what types of challenges are offered in your neighborhood.

2. Search and Strategize with an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

outdoor team building activities scavenger hunt Scavify

Inspire your amateur detectives with a curated, outdoor scavenger hunt!  Not only does a scavenger hunt provide a fun opportunity for your employees to engage in some healthy, competitive tasks, new mobile scavenger hunt tools, like Scavify, make it easy to plan and deploy for virtual and outdoor-only options.

Both you and your employees can reap the benefit and the fun of a scavenger hunt that’s tracked on the mobile device that’s already in their pocket, and gets them out running around to find all the clues!

3. Stretch the Legs with a Hiking Excursion

outdoor team building activities hiking

Hiking trails abound in most metropolitan and suburban areas, and this is a great, inexpensive way to get your team out into nature (at any skill or fitness level).  Carve out an afternoon and ask folks to bring their walking or hiking shoes for a few hours of communing with nature on a local trail.

Be sure to check any official websites like the National Parks Service for park guidelines and updates related to COVID-19

4. Organize a Kick Ball Game

Kickball isn't just for the school yard. The rise in popularity of adult leagues makes kickball a great choice for an outdoor team building event. It super easy to organize and will provide an hour or two of great fun for everyone. Simply grab a kickball from Amazon and find a local baseball diamond to use. Split up teams and let the fun begin.

5. Raise Money for Charity with a Local Car Wash

Better for summer months, a car wash fundraiser can be a great cause to unite your team for an afternoon in the sunshine! There are a few resources available to help you plan a carwash fundraiser (doing it for a charitable organization is a great way to add value to the time spent with your team), and your employees will enjoy the time out of the office (and maybe even get their own cars washed at the same time). 

6. Organize a Run or Walkathon

Depending on the inclinations of your office, a 5K or 10K might be a bit too much activity for the group, but there are a number of walkathons hosted throughout the year in every city that give companies a great chance to contribute to a charitable organization while engaging in some team bonding in the process.

Look for events held outside of work hours, and incentivize employee participants with snacks, prizes, and some healthy competition (of who can raise the most money).

7. Bring Out the Speed Demons with Go Karting 

Spending the afternoon at a go-kart track can be a great release for the speed demons in your office.

It’s one of the easiest ways to watch your adult employees go giddy at the concept of racing around the track all afternoon, and you can add-on activities to further the collaborative element, like laser tag or another group, competitive activity (go-kart tracks often have other outdoor team building activities onsite for those who may not be racing).

8. Pack a Picnic

Almost everyone has attended an indoor office potluck - what about taking that outdoors?  Local parks are a great, cost-effective venue for hosting a corporate picnic during the week.  You can reserve space, bring the plates, utensils, and napkins, and then create a sign-up sheet for your team to bring the rest (e.g., beverages, mains, sides, desserts).  Adding a theme to the potluck can give it an added edge, and you might be surprised to see what your team comes up with!

Be sure to adhere to proper social distancing guidelines and safe food handling practices.

9. Practice Your Accuracy with Axe Throwing

As bizarre as it sounds, axe throwing in outdoor venues has been gaining popularity over the last year. It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be, where groups show up, reserve lanes and targets, and the axes start flying (with an emphasis on safety, of course).

Check to see if there’s a venue in your local area, and find out if your employees have what it takes to be a lumberjack.

10. Grow Together with a Community Garden

Community gardens have increased in popularity over the last few years, and they are often open to members of the public to come in and spend some time, planting, weeding, and enjoying a return to a very basic form of food preparation.

Sometimes these gardens even have cooking classes or other educational offerings, which adds another layer of growth to your team as they spend some time helping out. 

11. Explore Botanical Gardens

outdoor team building activities botanical

There are outdoor settings, and then there are places so full of exotic and wonderful plant life that it will make you forget you’re on planet earth. Botanical gardens fall into the latter category, and they make a great setting for outdoor team building activities.

If you have a day of team-building and collaborative events planned, why not host them at your local botanical gardens to reap the benefits of nature and all its splendor as your team retreats to recollect and prepare for upcoming challenges.

There’s plenty to do in any city or town, so set your sights on the outdoors and start exploring!

12. Take a Kayaking or White Water Rafting Trip

Many areas have access to lakes, rivers, or an ocean where you can rent a kayak or joining a white water rafting trip. White water rafting will really bring out the team building aspects because working together is crucial to navigating the river. It doesn't have to be all wild rapids either. You'll usually have access to beginner-level routes that make it fun, a little challenging, but not dangerous. Kayaking is another great way to explore a local area while doing something fun that is easy to organize.

13. Go on an Orienteering Hike to Test Navigation Skills

One of the best activities for building trust and teamwork is an orienteering hike. It’s a great way to get a great workout in, and it’s also an activity that allows you to see how differently everyone interprets the world. One person might think they are heading north, when really they are going northeast or southwest.

This activity is great because it’s low cost, and you can do this anywhere. You will need a map or key to the area before going on an orienteering hike though! When everyone finishes their trail, compare maps and discuss where each person went wrong or right.

14. Play a Game of Volleyball

When it comes to team building, volleyball is an excellent choice. It allows you to get exercise in a fun way while getting your teammates warmed up for the game ahead. You can play on either side of the net when playing volleyball which makes this activity perfect for groups that have different skill levels or abilities. Another great part about having such a variety is that each person gets to be in the spotlight throughout the game.

If you are looking for a great team building activity, try playing volleyball together! You won’t regret it.

15. Playing a Game Ultimate Frisbee

Playing a game of ultimate frisbee with your teammates is also an excellent way to have fun together. It’s a good choice for those who are looking for something different than the typical team building activity, as it can be played anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment.

Playing this game allows you to get exercise in a fun way, and it also helps you to build trust with your teammates. Playing ultimate frisbee is a great way to get exercise while having some friendly competition!

The best part is that everyone will get a chance at playing the game because it’s such an easy sport to learn.

16. Go on a Group Bike Ride Together

This is a great team bonding activity because getting exercise outdoors can help everyone to loosen up. Another benefit again is that this activity doesn’t require any special equipment, and you can take on different types of terrain if you want!

You can do this activity anywhere, but it’s best suited for warmer climates because cold bike rides likely won't be too enjoyable. When you are on your bike, make sure that everyone stays close together and rides in a single file line.

If you want to enjoy some time outdoors with your team members while getting exercise, try doing a group bike ride.

17. Go on an Outdoor Nature Walk

Everyone will find something different about nature walks, but this activity is a great way to get exercise in while enjoying the outdoors. Nature walking can also be done anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment!

The best part of doing an outdoor nature walk with your team members is that it gives everyone time to talk and learn about each other's interests. This is great for developing trust on the team too!

If you are looking for a new team building activity, try going outdoors and exploring nature with your fellow teammates! You will have an adventure while bonding with one another in this process.

18. Play a Game of Soccer

Soccer is an excellent way to keep your team members active and happy. This activity also helps them learn how to work as a group and follow instructions, which can be useful for different types of activities in the future! Playing soccer together allows you to have fun while working out at the same time, so it’s perfect for those who want to get exercise in while having some fun.

If you have a soccer field nearby, try playing this game with your teammates! You will be able to work together as a team and enjoy yourself too.

19. Take on an Outdoor Cooking Class

This can be a great team bonding activity because it will allow you to work together in order to prepare the meal. It’s also a good choice for those who are looking for something different than the traditional team building activities, as this allows everyone to have fun while getting their hands dirty!

If you want an awesome way to work together on a project and enjoy some great food at the same time, take an outdoor cooking class with your teammates!

20. Go on a Camping Trip Together

This is a great team building activity because it allows you to bond with your teammates while doing something that most people enjoy. Going on a camping trip gives everyone the opportunity to be in nature and get some exercise outdoors too, which can help them feel more relaxed! The best part of this outdoor adventure is getting together as a group after dinner and telling stories around the campfire.

Top 10 Outdoor Team Building Activities

Activity Score Effort Price
City Scavenger Hunt 9.0/10 Low $
Kayaking Trip 8.5/10 Med $$$
Go-Kart Racing 8.4/10 Med $$
Kickball Game 7.8/10 Low Free
Charity Car Wash 8.0/10 Med Free
Organize a Run/Walkathon 7.0/10 Low $
Hiking Excursion 7.5/10 Med Free
Team Picnic 7.2/10 Med $
Axe Throwing 7.8/10 Low $$
Ropes Course 7.5/10 Med $$

Looking for More Ideas?

Check out:

1. 10 Team Building Activities for Remote Teams

2. 6 Easy and Effective Virtual Team Building Activities

3. 107 Amazingly Fun Team Building Activities

Contact Scavify

Scavify is the world's most interactive and trusted scavenger hunt app. Contact us today for a demo, free trial, and pricing.

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