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54 Awesome Team Building Ideas in Cincinnati

February 18th, 2015
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Whether a company meets its year-end goals greatly depends on its workforce. Hiring the most qualified individuals is not enough. These individuals need to work successfully with others, regardless of differences in work habits, culture, and personalities. That’s where team building comes into play, adding the essential ingredient to business success.

Team building takes many different forms, from action-packed to philanthropic. But the benefits obtained are the same. Among them are:

  • Improved communications and cooperation among team members because barriers, misconceptions, conflicts, and stereotypes are lifted.
  • A better understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses so team members can work effectively together.
  • Creative problem-solving, decision-making, and positive thinking.
  • A stronger working relationship that allows for critical thinking.
  • Empowerment of team members to contribute to team goals.
  • Enhanced company focus and productivity.

The Greater Cincinnati area is rich in both indoor and outdoor corporate team building opportunities. There are businesses that offer team building activities at their location, and others that will come to your workplace or a rented venue. Companies also can implement their own HR-grown corporate team building exercises based on their type of business and budget.

We’ve shared team building tips in the past, so this list serves as a starting point for brainstorming corporate team building ideas for your company, or for scheduling a team building event in Cincinnati.

Fun, Action Adventures

1. Teams must make fast-paced decisions every day, so one way to strengthen critical thinking is with strategic team building missions of laser tag that require quick thinking and on the fly problem-solving. Laser tag team building at The WEB Extreme Entertainment takes place in the largest, multi-level laser tag arena in the Cincinnati tri-state area. The WEB can accommodate groups of all sizes and will design a program to meet your team’s goals.

Team-oriented laser tag is also available at LazerKraze, with missions requiring different levels of team participation, collaboration, and skills.

2. Competitive go-kart racing is an ideal team builder for developing teamwork, boosting morale, and building confidence. Corporate team building packages are offered at The WEB Extreme Entertainment, home to the only electric indoor track in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Team building indoor karting in gas-powered go-karts is offered by Full Throttle Indoor Karting, which offers go-kart racing events that build endurance, foster teamwork, and strengthen camaraderie.

3. Team challenges can be played out in arcades, where video and arcade games encourage teams to solve problems creatively, resolve challenging situations, and collaborate on tasks to achieve success. Among the arcade centers within 30 miles of Cincinnati offering team building packages are The WEB Extreme Entertainment, GameWorks, and Dave & Buster’s.

4. For a unique team experience, the Cincinnati Circus Company offers a flying trapeze experience that encourages teams to work together more effectively. Flying trapeze instructors teach team members how to fly, building a sense of accomplishment among the team.

5. Rock climbing emphasizes trust, communication, confidence, and leadership. Teams can climb to new heights, literally, at Rock Quest Climbing Center. Half day, full day, and power hour programs are available, with programs customized to meet your company’s needs.

6. Mad Dash, offered at Dave & Buster’s, consists of three, deadline-based missions where teams learn how to accomplish goals within a specified time frame through collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

7. Team Olympics, ideal for large or multiple teams that interact, challenges team members to collaborate on strategy and execution as they compete in different activities, like a volleyball relay, Frisbee golf challenge, and non-athletic challenges. Cincinnati Team Olympics challenges are organized by Corporate Teams, American Outback Adventures & Events, and Team Builders Plus. Indoor and outdoor venue options are available.

8. Elite fighter pilots run the Afterburner Day employee team building program that teaches team members how to execute missions flawlessly in a corporate environment. Participants will plan a real mission and debrief it just like a fighter pilot would. The program, presented by Afterburner Inc., is designed to enhance teamwork, in particular leadership development and communication.

9. Black Ops, an interactive experiential team building program offered by Afterburner Inc., teaches team members “can’t fail” techniques used by elite special operations teams when executing missions in hostile environments. Teams learn how to work as one cohesive unit to complete a project successfully. Tools put into action to ensure success are planning and debriefing, execution, and focused teamwork.

Philanthropic Activities

10. Feeding Works is corporate team building that matters, an initiative created by Freestore Foodbank (FSFB), the largest food bank serving the Cincinnati tri-state area. Medium to large sized companies can develop high performing teams through experiences that combine team building with making an impact on hunger in the community.

Led by professional facilitators, the half day team building experience takes place at the FSFB Mayerson Distribution Center where teams must overcome obstacles and complete the project of packing bags with shelf-stable food items.

11. The Cincinnati Parks system has numerous outdoor team building opportunities where teams volunteer to build a bridge or trail, maintain urban landscapes, remove invasive plants, clean up wooded areas, or paint tables, benches, and flower pots. Tasks teach teams to strategize, collaborate, and think creatively.

12. Build staff morale with a team building volunteer project at Gorman Heritage Farm, a working farm in Cincinnati. The 122-acre farm encourages team building through methods and values practiced on the farm. Team members volunteer on projects that involve taking care of the farm’s croplands, gardens, and farm animals.

13. In the Rescue Buddies team building workshop, teams stuff teddy bears that are given by first responders to a child who is impacted by the emergency. The workshop develops problem-solving skills that address strategy and execution. Teams also learn the impact of independent roles and functions on the overall project’s success. The workshop is organized by Charity Team Building Events.

14. Bicycle team building has teams building a bicycle for a local child in need. Organized by Charity Team Building Events, the workshop provides insight into workplace interactions and behaviors, especially when team members come from different business units. Team participants become aware of the different strengths each member brings to the team, learn how to problem solve and resolve issues, and recognize the importance of working in individual teams, as well as part of a larger group.

Structured Activities

15. Scavenger Hunts can be indoors or outdoors and take on any type of theme. They are an ideal structured team building activity that encourages teams to work together to solve clues to complete a goal.

The WEB Extreme Entertainment in Cincinnati and its sister site, Laser WEB in Dayton, offer fun and exhilarating indoor team building scavenger hunts that will strengthen team unity and problem-solving.

The Great Cincinnati Scavenger Hunt, presented by Scavenger Hunt Anywhere, uses downtown Cincinnati as a backdrop for the activity, with answers to clues found on buildings or in businesses in the area.

Additional scavenger hunts in Cincinnati are the Ultimate Quest Scavenger Hunt at Dave & Buster’s, the Hall of Fame Scavenger Hunt presented by the Cincinnati Reds, and a Surrey Scavenger Hunt by Wheel Fun Rentals at Sawyer Point, where team members ride together on a bike and follow a course while solving clues within a specified time period.

There’s also Urban Fear Factor, an old-school scavenger hunt with a bit of Fear Factor, the popular TV show, mixed in. It’s offered by American Outback Adventures & Events and Cincinnati Team Building. Other companies offering corporate scavenger hunts are EnterTRAINment Junction and Stray Boots.

16. Puzzle Rooms are the latest craze in team building activities, offering an excellent way for teams members to learn how to think strategically while under pressure, and to work as a team to achieve the end goal.

In the Cincinnati area, The WEB Extreme Entertainment offers Trapped in a Room with a Zombie, a live action puzzle room adventure where team members have 60 seconds to work together to find clues and solve the puzzle before the zombie is unleashed!

Room Escape Adventures, producers of Trapped in a Room with a Zombie, will reserve a private session for your team in West Chester, Ohio. The company also offers other team building options that utilize leadership, problem-solving and communication skills.

17. GPS geocache helps build stronger teams by enforcing strategic planning and effective communication. Teams complete challenge tasks and locate hidden clues to find the cache. American Outback Adventures & Events coordinates the venues and provides the handheld GPS units.

18. An intergalactic adventure offered by Team Builders Plus requires team members to make quick decisions to prevent an intergalactic enemy from using communication satellites to eradicate the human race. Teams discover the power of teamwork, effective communication, and trust as they improvise, adapt, and negotiate resources. The program can take place at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal or a venue of your choice.

19. Murder mystery theater team building events are offered by numerous venues throughout Cincinnati. Teams collaborate and use problem-solving, analytic, and reasoning skills to figure out which character committed the crime. The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad offers a murder mystery dinner train, the Cincinnati Circus Company offers a murder mystery lunch or dinner, and Venture Up offers themed clueless murder mystery functions.

Educational

20. Culinary teambuilding is designed to build or mend bridges, strengthen work relationships, and encourage teams to innovate. Working in a professional kitchen under the guidance of a culinary expert, the team works together to create a culinary creation.

Corporate culinary teambuilding is offered by the Cincinnati State Midwest Culinary Institute, which requires team members to create a dish that incorporates their individual tastes and personalities, A Forkable Feast, where teams must create a dish using a secret ingredient within a time limit, and The Art of Entertaining, which customizes its interactive, culinary classes to meet your team’s needs.

21. Art-making activities presented by the Cincinnati Art Museum is a corporate teambuilding event that promotes group problem-solving, creative thinking, and working comfortably within a team environment. The Art Inc. program can be customized to your team’s or company’s needs.

Cheers to Art also offers art team building events, with painting sessions taking place in its studio that emphasize attention to detail and relationship building. In addition, Venture Up offers an Art Rageous Paint Fest team building event.

22. The cardboard boat building challenge has teams building a floatable boat while dealing with actual business situations, like staff changes, project modifications, and material shortages. Problem-solving, construction, strategy, collaboration, and communication skills are emphasized. American Outback Adventures & Events handles all logistics and materials for the event.

Team Builders Plus also offers watercraft building challenges, with teams required to build a raft or other type of watercraft and race it.

23. Team Samurai, offered by Team Builders Plus at a venue of your choice, teaches participants how to apply the principles of martial arts to get the best out of their team. Taught by martial arts instructors who are team building facilitators, the martial arts exercises help team members take advantage of opposites, shatter expectations, capitalize on the group’s strengths, remove old habits, and open their minds to new experiences.

24. Catapult launch, presented by Corporate Teams, can be held at an indoor or outdoor venue of your choice and accommodates any team size. Teams are tasked with constructing a catapult capable of launching up to 30 yards. Teams must use strategic planning, innovation, creativity, performance management, and effective implementation skills to successfully complete the task.

Athletic Action

25. Indoor miniature golf is a fun avenue for encouraging teams to strategize and resolve conflicts. This is especially true for teams competing on the nine-hole, blacklight indoor course at The WEB Extreme Entertainment. Teams have to analyze, collaborate, and use problem-solving skills to successfully maneuver around prehistoric jungle-themed obstacles, twists, and turns.

26. Athletic fitness competitions at DNA Sports Center utilize strategy, teamwork, and the advantages of individual differences while building camaraderie, improving communication, coping with change, and supporting and appreciating team members. Corporate team building fitness challenges are offered in dodgeball, kickball, tug-of-war, and relay races.

In addition, the University of Cincinnati’s Campus Recreation Center offers a team building athletic program that brings team members closer through exercises that use both the mind and body. Different types of activities focus on communication, thinking outside the box, and working comfortably together as a team.

27. Baseball activities offered by the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park put your team’s skills to the test. On-field batting practice, hitting in the batting cages, softball games, and whiffle ball are designed to challenge your team and get them thinking creatively and working together efficiently.

28. Bowling brings out team camaraderie and team building. While the Cincinnati area offers numerous bowling centers, the miniature bowling alley at The WEB Extreme Entertainment allows teams to master problem-solving skills and collaboration of ideas.

29. Paintball combines athleticism with strategy to build teamwork. At Niederman Family Farm, its team builder package is a 4-hour event that includes paintball, corn hole, and sand volleyball. Venture Up also offers paintball team building games at private locations or sets up a portable course at golf courses, parks, ranches, etc.

30. Volleyball team competitions on the outdoor sand volleyball courts at The Sandbar provide the setting for team bonding. The games develop teamwork and strategy skills. Volleyball courts are also offered for team events at Coney Island Park.

31. Basketball scrimmages in the Mayerson JCC gym allow team members to bond, develop trust, strategize, and tap into each other’s advantages. The gym features two, full-size basketball courts, plus bleachers. A basketball court is also available for team events at Coney Island Park.

TV Show Inspired Events

32. The Amazing Chase, based on The Amazing Race, reinforces a team’s problem-solving, strategizing, negotiating, communication, and teamwork skills. As participants become aware of each other’s strengths, they apply them to complete challenges, detours, roadblocks, and interactive tasks to finish the race. The team building event is offered by American Outback Adventures & Events, Team Builders Plus, and Corporate Teams, all of which handle the event’s logistics.

33. CI: The Crime Investigators has team members solving clues and uncovering secrets. The team activity, presented by American Outback Adventures & Events at your workplace or an arranged venue, builds cohesive teams through innovative problem-solving, creativity, and cooperation. Team Builders Plus offers a similar event called CSI: Negative Zero.

34. Minute to Win It has teams working together in a race against the clock to complete simple challenges. Colleagues must work together to figure out the best strategy to get the highest score and assign responsibilities based on each team member’s existing skills. The team building event is offered at a venue of your choosing by Cincinnati Circus Company, American Outback Adventures & Events, Venture Up, and Corporate Teams.

35. Corporate Castaways, based on Survivor, pits team groups against each other as they complete challenges and castaway type activities. Your management group is asked to select members for each tribe from a strategic perspective. Teams then overcome common team issues, such as strategy, trust, communication, and leadership to be the winning team. American Outback Adventures & Events handles all logistics.

Outdoor Experiences

36. Unique animal encounters are incorporated into a casual day of team building at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. With both indoor and outdoor venues, the zoo customizes team activities based on your company’s needs.

37. Zoo Quest is offered at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden by Team Builders Plus. The competitive treasure hunt equips teams with a special GPS device and a clue sheet of puzzles and riddles. Teams must work together and use quick thinking and strategy skills to navigate through the zoo and its inhabitants to solve the challenge.

38. Adventure Outpost at Winton Woods offers physically and mentally challenging adventure recreation activities that develop character, foster team dynamics, and improve team building skills like problem-solving, leadership, and communication. Among the activities are canoeing, kayaking, low ropes, archery, mobile initiatives, and rock climbing.

39. Amusement park team building events at the 375-acre Kings Island are led by a facilitator who develops a day-long program designed to break down barriers, strengthen teamwork, renew trust, and encourage interaction and camaraderie among team members.

40. Duck tours from Ride the Ducks Newport are ideal for team building exercises to enhance camaraderie and de-stress team members. Team activities are based on the number of team members and your goals.

41. A corn-fusing corn maze treasure hunt is a fun team building corporate event held at Shaw Farms. In order to exit the maze, teams must work together and strategize to find and complete destination spots.

42. Onboard team building events take place with Destiny Yacht Charters, where custom floor plans and audio and video rental equipment can be used to accommodate your onboard team activities. While cruising along the river in the 149 passenger yacht, teams will enjoy the stress-free environment while bonding and learning more about each other.

Indoor Events

43. A U.S. history train journey is the focus of team building exercises offered at EnterTRAINment Junction. A journey through three distinct eras in U.S. history and a funhouse are designed to inspire forward-thinking and creativity among team members.

44. Roller-skating offers team associates the opportunity to establish a deep bond and build strong working relationships. The Fun Factory Roller Rink rents out its roller skating rink to corporations for private team building functions.

45. Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, focuses on collaboration, but as team members search for gold in a simulation of the famous U.S. gold mine, they also reinforce communication, strategy, leadership, and organizational skills. Team Builders Plus handles all the logistics for the game.

46. Minefield is an interactive team building task offered by Strictly Success that simulates working in changing environments where any misstep can cause serious problems. Teams need to strategize and work together to maneuver through a minefield quickly and with the fewest casualties.

47. Building trust and confidence among team members is the goal of the Nocando Spider Webs team building exercise from Strictly Success. Participants have to rely on assistance from their colleagues to successfully maneuver through the portable webs.

Team Building on a Budget

48. The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower challenges the team to work together to build a high structure in 30 minutes using just uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. Recommended by Team Building-Leader for the workplace or a venue of your choosing, the exercise requires team members to apply organization and management principles, and emphasizes time management, planning, research and development, communication, and analytical skills.

49. Play It Forward puts a modern twist on an old concept of paying random acts of kindness forward. Offered by Cincinnati Team Building, the smartphone-powered activity requires team members to use a range of skills as they compete against the clock to complete acts of kindness and good deeds in the Cincinnati area.

50. The Parlor Game, presented by Team Building-Leader, is designed to develop team synergy. First, participants have one minute to look at 40 different items on a display table before they are covered. The facilitator allows 4 minutes to pass before asking individuals to write down all the items they can remember. The total items remembered are written on a flip chart. Individuals then form teams of three and are asked to come up with a group total of items. Participants discover that team results have a bigger impact than individual efforts.

51. Wild Goose Chase is a low-cost, self-hosted digital scavenger hunt recommended by American Outback Adventures & Events and Cincinnati Team Building. The group is divided into teams and instructed to download a free mobile app on their smartphones and complete as many of the listed tasks within the given time frame. Teams that best apply teamwork, problem-solving, strategy, creativity, and communication come out on top.

52. The Great Camera Caper, offered by Cincinnati Team Building and American Outback Adventures & Events, is a budget-friendly, self-hosted digital photo scavenger hunt where individuals must work together as a team, use problem-solving skills, and think creatively to find secret locations and perform tasks and challenges. Teams must manage time and resources to complete the challenges with the limited materials and time given.

53. The Paparazzi Challenge is a low-cost, indoor team building game that mixes current events with pop culture. Missions are provided by American Outback Adventures & Events and Cincinnati Team Building directly to participants’ smartphones. The celebrity and paparazzi-themed challenges test a team’s leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. The game allows teams to think creatively and build stronger relationships.

54. Code Break is ideal for companies with limited time and physical activity restrictions. Via a smartphone app, Cincinnati Team Building provides logic problems, riddles, and brainteasers for team members to solve. Teams need to use deductive reasoning, problem-solving, and teamwork to successfully break the code.

While many opportunities are available for corporate team building in Cincinnati, what’s important is that your company holds team building events regularly to ensure your employees perform well together on projects. After all, a well-functioning team translates into business success.