42 Outdoor Team Building Activity Ideas for Work Groups

| Team Building

42 Outdoor Team Building Activity Ideas for Work Groups featured image

Are you looking for fun work activities to get your colleagues out of the office? Check out this epic list of outdoor team building activity ideas for some inspiration. 

Updated on July 21, 2021

Research from Globoforce found that 89% of employees say that work relationships are important for their overall quality of life. The study also shows that friendships in the office – even just one – can strengthen the employee’s connection with their organization as a whole. Cultivating strong relationships between colleagues enhances the experience people have at work, which in turn makes them happier and more dedicated to their job. Happy employees ultimately benefit businesses – and their bottom line – through higher output and enhanced performance.

Team building is a great way to deepen relationships between colleagues, while also sharpening a variety of skills including problem solving and communication. And getting out of the office and into the fresh air while doing it is a win-win.

So, what kind of outdoor team building activities can you do with your coworkers? There are tons. Check out our epic list of outdoor team building activities, organized by category, to get some inspiration for your next event:

  • Charitable Outdoor Team Building Activities

     

  • Hands-On Outdoor Team Building Activities

     

  • Physical Outdoor Team Building Activities 

     

  • Laid-Back Outdoor Team Building Activities


Charitable Outdoor Team Building Activities 

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1. Random Acts of Kindness 

This philanthropic-themed scavenger hunt team building activity has teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out. The smartphone app-based activity features a mix of 60 photo and video challenges – all teams’ photos will be stored in the app and available for download when the event is over. Here are some examples of challenges you’ll be doing: 

  • In the Bag: Find a local grocery store and help someone bag their items.
  • You’re Awesome!: Write a personal note to a total stranger with an inspiring message on it.
  • Movers & Shakers: Find someone who is moving large items and offer to lend them a hand.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any city. 

2. An Organized Charity Walk/Run

Sign up for a walk/run that benefits a specific cause. If you collect donations, you can contribute proceeds to the event’s supporting organization. Try using a tool like Active Network’s charitable race finder to help you find a race in your area – just set your criteria and then browse through the list.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any city.

3. Charity Bike Buildathon

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While this is traditionally an indoor team building activity, there’s no reason you can’t’ take it outdoors! This charity team building activity will give you and your team the chance to build bicycles for children in need, bond as a group, and get creative with a fun, hands-on activity.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: You can do this activity in a park, field, or even a parking lot and to take in the sunshine! 

4. Tree Planting

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With over 80,000 acres of forests disappearing every day, your team can come together to improve our environment by organizing a corporate tree planting event. Get in touch with a reforestation organization like OneTreePlanted, pull on your boots, and give back to the earth.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Arrange your tree planting activity through a reforestation organization or check with your local city office with regards to tree planting regulations.

5. Flower Pot Decorating

With your colleagues, decorate terracotta pots and plant some seasonal flowers in them. Then, deliver and donate the flower pots to a local nursing home. 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any open outdoor space.

6. Beach Cleanup

Head down to a local beach and spend the day picking up garbage and debris from the shoreline. Make sure to take all the recyclable stuff that you collect to a recycling depot afterwards. Check out Ocean Conservancy’s tips on how to plan your own beach cleanup.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: You don’t need to limit yourself to beaches – the cleanup is just as applicable at lakes, rivers, and even public parks.

7. Feed the People

Prepare care packages filled with items like sandwiches, juice boxes, and fruit, and head out into your community to hand the packages out to those in need. Our Outback team recently put together 200 lunch kits to give out and it was an extremely rewarding experience.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Go out into your community and offer care packages to those in need.

Hands-On Outdoor Team Building Activities

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8. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge

Split into teams and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided – cardboard and tape. Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats across the water!  

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place at any outdoor location that has a safe body of water to swim in. Outdoor pools are ideal but ponds, lakes, and even calmer ocean waters can be perfect for this challenge.

9. Egg Drop

Break your team out into separate groups. Each group will be given a raw egg and supplies to build a protective contraption around the egg. Teams will design their contraptions with one objective in mind – to protect the egg from large falls. Supplies can include things like:

  •  Newspaper
  •  Tape
  •  Pencils
  •  Pipe cleaner
  •  Bubble wrap
  •  Rubber bands
  •  Yarn

Allow teams 20-30 minutes to build their protective contraption. When time runs out, teams will put their contraptions to the test by dropping them all, at the same time, from a high ledge. Ideally, 20-30 feet high. If more than one egg survives the fall, have a tie breaker by increasing the height until one egg remains!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any open outdoor space. You could even do it in your office parking lot. 

10. Incoming Tide Survival

In this activity, your team is “stranded” on a sand bank and has just 30 minutes before the piranha-filled tide comes in! In order to survive, your team must use ropes and metal or plastic poles to build a structure that holds them all above the ground at once. You don’t actually have to time the activity with the flow of the tide, though – that notion is more meant to fit with the fun theme.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is perfect to do at a sandy beach.

11. Catapult Launchers

Split into teams and, using materials such as popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and milk bottle caps, design and build your own catapult launchers – in 30 minutes or less. Then, line up side-by-side and see which team can launch items like oranges, water balloons, and eggs the furthest!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in a park or any open outdoor space.

Physical Outdoor Team Building Activities 

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12. City Chase

With City Chase, your team will embark on a fun, fast-paced, and high-energy downtown scavenger hunt adventure. Teams will compete to complete 12 rounds of photo, video, trivia, and text message-response challenges focused on famous locations and landmarks in your city.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: On the streets of your hometown–or any city you happen to be visiting with your team!

13. The Amazing Chase

the amazing chase outdoor team building scavenger hunt

 

Inspired by the popular reality TV show The Amazing Race – on which teams race around the world, with each leg of the competition requiring the groups to solve puzzles, interact with locals, and complete challenges – this interactive scavenger hunt has teams following clues around their city and taking on physical and mental challenges to move on to the next destination. This is one of our most popular activities because people get the chance to bond with one another while exploring their location.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any city. It’s a great way to see your location in a new light or explore a new location if, for example, your team is out on a corporate retreat or participating in an out of town conference.

14. Beach Volleyball

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There’s nothing like a little friendly competition out on the court to bring colleagues together. Head to a local beach, set up some nets (most beaches have nets and balls available to rent for a day – or bring your own), split up into teams, and… spike! To make things a little sillier – and a little less competitive – consider using a giant beach volleyball!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place at any beach or park – just make sure to be considerate of your surroundings at busier locations.

15. Hiking

Pick a local trail to explore, gather your coworkers, and enjoy an invigorating day out in nature. You could even start a hike club. One of our Outback team members recently put together a monthly hike club that’s been a hit with members of our team.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Any local hiking trail. Depending on your group, you may want to consider choosing easier or harder hikes to generate more interest. Use a tool like AllTrails to help you find a good spot.

16. Corporate Castaways

corporate castaways suriver-themed outdoor team building game

This hosted activity that will have your group split into “tribes” to tackle fun physical and mental challenges, and compete in a competition inspired by the “Survivor” TV show. Some examples of challenges in this activity include:

  • Jumbled: Working in pairs, tribes will try to collect three hidden sacks that contain letter tiles, which they must use to form a phrase.
  • Tuckered Out: Tribes will go head-to-head as they attempt to be the first to eat an unappealing item of food.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields.

17. Sports Day

Organize a fun-filled day of sports! Split up into a variety of teams and participate in a wide variety of different events running throughout the day. Some of the events that are great to do at a Sports Day include:

  • Potato sack races
  • Tug-of-war
  • Soccer tournament
  • Long jump
  • Relay race

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields.

18. Archery Tag

This unique sport combines elements of combat-type games like dodgeball with archery. Players take aim at each other with (non-lethal) arrows to score points or eliminate opposing team members. Participants can earn points by shooting an opponent, knocking out a target at the opposing teams base, or catching an opponent’s arrow midflight.

Recommended Outdoor Venue:
Check out ArcheryTag to find a location near you!

19. Squirt Gun Fight

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Feel like a kid again with this nostalgic physical outdoor activity. Grab some water guns from your local dollar store (or borrow your kid’s), split into teams, and fire away!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields. You’ll want to make sure that the park or field is big enough so that you don’t accidentally squirt any innocent bystanders.

20. Blind Retriever

In this challenging outdoor activity, teams compete against each other to try to retrieve an object – while blindfolded and in 5 minutes or less! One person is blindfolded on each team and, using only directions and simple commands from their teammates, they must try to find the object before their opponents do. Take turns with each member being blindfolded trying to find an object in a new place. This is a great way for groups to work on communication and leadership skills.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place at any open parks, field, and beach.

21. Ziplining

If your team is filled with adventure seekers, ziplining might be the ideal activity for them! While connected to a cable and a harness, you’ll propel through some of the most scenic areas of your location. There are ziplining companies all across North America, so check out a site like Zipline Rider to find one near you. 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Check your local listings for zipline locations.

22. Running Club

work colleagues doing a run club

Sometimes, the simplest things can be the most effective. Gather your coworkers and go for a light run around your office block, a local park or beach, or a school track. You can chat and bond as you go! If you’re looking to make things more interesting (and have the budget for it), you could provide each running club participant with a FitBit to help track their personal fitness goals or encourage some friendly competition.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: You have endless outdoor location options when it comes to running. Check out Map My Run for a list of running routes in your neighborhood.

23. Paintball

Paintball is a competitive team shooting sport in which players eliminate opponents by hitting them with dye-filled capsules that splatter upon impact. It’s a fast-paced, fun, and exhilarating group activity. Be aware that getting hit by paintballs can be painful, though, and that this activity may not be suitable for all groups.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Check your local listings for paintball locations.

24. California Kickball

This fun game combines soccer and baseball. California Kickball takes the same layout as a baseball game, with four bases around a diamond, and abides by the same basic rules. The big difference is that, rather than pitching and throwing the ball, you kick it as you would a soccer ball. Each team takes turns playing offense and defense.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Any field with a baseball diamond. You may need to book them in advance depending on the time of day and the season. If you can’t find a baseball diamond nearby you could create a makeshift one using Frisbees as bases.

25. Water Balloon Toss

Fill up a bunch of water balloons, split into two teams lined up across from each other, and gently throw the balloons back and forth – but you must take a giant step back with each successful exchange! Last one standing wins.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields. You could even do it in a large parking lot.

26. Wild Goose Chase

wild goose chase outdoor team building scavenger hunt activity

In this smartphone-based scavenger hunt, your group will split into teams and complete fun challenges by taking photos and videos around the city. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity are:

  • Parkour: Take a picture of three team members jumping over an object that’s at least waist-high.
  • Beautiful Mind: Snap a photo of a team member proving a well-known mathematical theorem on a chalkboard.
  • Puppy Love: Take a photo of all of your team members petting a stranger’s dog at the same time.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any city. It’s a great way to see your city in a new light or explore a new city if, for example, your team is out on a corporate retreat or participating in an out of town conference.

27. Capture the Flag

Form two teams. Set up two zones for each team, as well as two “jails” for each, and give each team their own flag. The goal of this childhood-favorite game is to grab the opposite team’s hidden flag and bring it back to your side – if you get tagged in their territory, though, you’re stuck in jail! The first team to steal the other’s flag wins.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields.

28. Ultimate Frisbee

Split up into two teams and toss a frisbee around in this feel-good outdoor activity. Ultimate is a great team sport, especially in that it relies upon a concept called Spirit of the Game – a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on all players. Learn more about the official rules before you play! 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any park or outdoor open space.

29. Kayaking/Canoeing

work teams kayaking together outdoors

Kayaking and canoeing are great ways to get your teammates out into nature. Just be mindful of your group’s skill and comfort levels, so that everyone feels safe. Check your local listings for kayak rentals – most rental places are located at popular paddling spots.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: A quick google search will help you find kayak rentals near you.

30. Freeze Tag

Kick it old school with a fun and simple game of tag. In this iteration, if you get tagged, you’re frozen – until someone who’s not “it” taps your shoulder to unfreeze you! 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields.

31. Rafting

Rafting Adventure - Head out on a whitewater rafting trip with your team, but don’t try this one on your own. Find a professional tour company near you. 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Look for a trusted local rafting company in your area to ensure that everyone in your group stays safe and has fun!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any city. It’s a great way to see your city in a new light or explore a new city if, for example, your team is out on a corporate retreat or participating in an out of town conference.

32. The Mine Field

In a big open outdoor space, sporadically place a number of objects like cones or balls on the ground. Then, have your team split up into groups, with one person from each group blindfolded. The non-blindfolded team members must lead and direct their blindfolded teammate from one side of the space to the other – without stepping on any of the objects!

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for open parks and fields.

Laid-Back Outdoor Team Building Activities

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33. Picnic Party Games

Perfect in between burgers at a company BBQ, this smartphone activity has teams complete as many goofy photo and video challenges as possible before time runs out. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity include: 

  • Catapult Cuisine: Use a utensil to launch a bite-sized food item into another person’s mouth from 10 feet away.
  • Tree Hugger: Snap a photo of someone hugging a tree trunk like a koala bear. Legs and arms must be completely off the ground!
  • Spoon Relay: Participate in a relay race while balancing a small rock on a spoon.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any open park, green space, and beach.

34. Mini-Golf

Split into teams and hit the links – the little ones, that is. Mini-golf is a great way to infuse some friendly competition into a decidedly slower-paced activity.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Golf Link features a directory of miniature golf locations across the United States and Canada.  A quick Google search will also help you find mini-golf locations near you.

35. Live Sporting Event

Take your team out to a live sporting event. Check out the game schedules of your local sports teams, pick a game that everyone agrees on, and then enjoy an exciting day of comradery and entertainment. Bonus fun points if you paint your faces the team colors! You can attend major or minor league sports events and even unique sporting events like Roller Derby (if your city has a league). Try to purchase a block of tickets across a few rows or look into a suite so that team members can sit close enough to interact with each other. There are often corporate discounts for this sort of thing, too.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: Live sports venues in your area. Most sporting events offer discounts for corporate groups – alternatively, you could check out Stub Hub for deals.

36. Pebble Mosaic

Head to your local beach, collect rocks, pebbles, and sea glass, and then come together to create your team’s own unique pebble mosaic in the sand or on a grassy patch. You can even make this a charitable team building activity by combining it with a beach clean-up and creating a piece of art using items like bottles that you collect. 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for beaches, parks, and fields.

37. Waterpark and Water Slides

colleagues having fun at a waterpark outdoors

Channel your inner child and head out to a local waterpark with your team for a fun day on the water slides. Especially on a warm day, this can be a great way to beat the heat and bond with your coworkers at the same time.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: The World Waterpark Association’s park finder has a comprehensive list of waterparks located all across North America. 

38. Telescope Stargaze

Split up into teams and build your own telescopes using cardboard tubes (there are tons of simple step-by-step instructions that you can reference online). Then, take turns looking up at the stars, and count how many constellations you can spot. To make things even more spectacular, try lining up your activity date with a meteor shower or another exciting astronomic event. This activity encourages collaboration and communication between teammates and makes for an easygoing way to spend time together.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any open outdoor space.

39. BBQ Potluck

Pick a date, a theme, and a park, and have each member of your team contribute a special dish for a BBQ. Sitting and eating together is one of the best and easiest ways to bond as a group. Make sure to be mindful of any food allergies or sensitivities so that you can be inclusive of all team members.

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for large open parks, fields, and beaches.

40. Badminton

colleague playing badminton together

This easygoing racquet game can be played with or without a net, ideally on grass or sand. All you need is a few badminton racquets, a couple of shuttlecocks, and a sense of team spirit. 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity is ideal for large open parks, fields, and beaches. Be mindful that you will be creating a lot of noise so you may want to do this activity at larger or more secluded outdoor space.

41. Pong Tournament

On a long table top, have two opposing teams each set up 10 cups filled with water in a triangle formation. Then, take turns tossing ping pong balls at the opposite team’s formation. If you land a ball in your opponent’s cup, they must remove that cup. Whoever loses all of their cups first loses the game – and the opposing team wins! Water can also be substituted for beer, depending on your team’s dynamic and preferences. This is usually played in pairs or groups of four, so make a tournament out of it! 

Recommended Outdoor Venue: This activity can take place in any open park or outdoor space.

42. Beach Day

Grab a beach ball, sunscreen, towels, and your colleagues, and go to the beach for an easy day in the sunshine. Some low-key activities you can do while soaking up those rays are:

  • Build a sandcastle
  • Bocce ball
  • Fly a kite
  • Toss a football

  Recommended Outdoor Venue: It’s all in the name. Head to your nearest beach.


Learn More About Outdoor Team Building 

For more information about outdoor team building activities you can do with your colleagues, download your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Team Building or just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.

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Marie Clary
Marie Clary
2 years ago

You have an 11:00 am call with Michelle (Ethicon, Inc.) on 4/4/19 – – we are hosting a Team Building Event at the Old York Winery in NJ (100 people) and would like to do #19 Sports Day and #28 Balloon Toss on Thursday, June 20th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm – – would you be able to accommodate us? Kind regards, Marie Clary (908) 218-2269 Ethicon, Inc.

Jeff
3 months ago

I always like the group ideas like you mentioned – the Pebble Mosaic. This is an activity that is very inclusive. What I like to do is a painting. Everyone gets a piece of paper and paint in full in random – then we put them all together and usually it looks like a mess. Then I show a picture with equal parts divided into however many employees and I say “see what happens when we work alone vs working together, we can make art”. A look of team building activities can get awkward and uncomfortable because of differing abilities… Read more »