Here at Team Building San Francisco we are cataloguing the best team building activities, corporate events and company outing ideas that the Bay Area has to offer.
San Francisco, and the Bay Area, have become a massive tech hub – one that includes some of the best companies in the USA. Thanks to the startups and tech companies that are dominating the scene, there are a lot more corporate-focused team building activities.
If you are new to team building (or team bonding as referregind to by some), here’s what you need to know. Team building is an activity that gathers employees and aims to improve productivity by encouraging them to participate in different corporate activities and events.
Basically, the value of team building is simple – it takes the entire company offsite and develops trust among employees through fun activities and games. According to many credible sources, team building has become a trend among the new companies, whose goal help employees bond and encourage them to trust each other, just like in their corporate roles.
So, why should you try team building in San Francisco?
The answer is pretty simple and straightforward. Team building helps employees build trust, resolves conflicts, increases collaboration and streamlines communication both in and out of the workspace. In a nutshell, it is a win-win strategy for improving corporate spirit on a new level.
Now, there are a lot of team building activities in San Francisco, San Jose and the Bay Area that you and your ‘business crew’ can try out. That’s why we’ve collected the best of what San Francisco has to offer in terms of team bonding.
The Best Team Bonding/Building Exercises To Try In San Francisco
For some, team building means going out and having fun. Others define it best through art or cooking.
In order to find a team building activity that’s tailored to your needs, we have structured the team building activities in San Francisco into several categories. Including: outdoors, scavenger hunts, food/cooking events etc. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- Museum & Art Events
- Food & Cooking
- Holiday Parties
- Escape Games
- Outdoor & Scavenger Hunts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Museum & Art Events
Museums are incredible cultural spaces, which is part of what makes them great for team building. Other factors include prime locations, reasonable admission costs and awesome galleries.
1. Museum Hack
Museum Hack is a renegade museum tour company, which means this is “not your grandma’s museum tour.” The tour guides are performers, entertainers, comedians, musicians and other awesome folks, and they train in the Museum Hack style for three months before ever leading a tour.
Museum Hack has several team building options, including tours that can be customized to match your company industry, mission and values (for example, the yogurt company Dannon did a “history of yogurt” tour, and Google did “technology through time”). You can also do a competitive “Escape the Museum” event or storytelling workshop.
Tours are approximately two hours, and Museum Hack serves groups of all sizes: from very small groups up to 300+ and everything in-between. There are indoor and outdoor options.
Ask for a quote and more information — this really is a world class team building option.
Check out Museum Hack’s website here – museumhack.com.
Third on the list are the drop-in improvement classes at Leela’s. Leela’s combines art and entertainment to help teams express creativity in a many different ways. Located on 925 Mission Street in SF, it’s tailored to companies of all shapes and sizes.
Leela’s performing arts team building activities are one of San Francisco’s most unique. The corporate improv classes at Leela’s encourage communication, self expression, and team building. Your team will laugh, have fun and learn to listen to each other and collaborate too! Aside from being a great place for team building activities, it’s a great place to meet new people and share experiences.
According the website at Leela’s they “teach the skills people need to form smoothly functioning teams that can communicate and innovate in remarkable new ways.”
Check out Leela’s website here – www.leela-sf.com
3. Wine And Canvas Of San Francisco
Drinking wine and painting are now considered among the best arts-oriented team building activities in San Francisco. Taking your company off site for an art lesson matinee, accompanied by the best wine around, is something that relaxing and creative for your employees.
The instructors at Wine & Canvas, Carmen and Ann Marie are phenomenal. Ideal for company gatherings, the classes are informative and encourage bonding. Whether it’s a party or an unofficial team bonding activity, Wine & Canvas will definitely help you make the most of your company gathering.
Wine & Canvas has gained traction over the past few years and was even featured on KDLT News!
Check out Wine and Canvas’ website here – www.wineandcanvas.com
4. Beyond Canvas
Art is one of the most effective ways to stimulate brain activity and offers a number of benefits for mental health. When done in teams, it’s even better – and Beyond Canvas is a great proof for that.
Relaxing music, art, and friendly people is what Beyond Canvas is all about. You’ll learn how to common painting techniques while sipping wine and creating your own masterpiece. The relaxed environment makes this San Francisco art class a great place for team bonding.
Beyond Canvas will inspire the artist within you and help your teams relax, the environment isn’t corporate feeling at all.
Check out Beyond Canvas’ website here – www.beyondcanvas.com
Food & Cooking
Food is a strong enhancer to team building activities because everyone loves to eat, and because energy will be higher when stomachs are full. You could just go out for dinner, but it can be more fun to do a food related team building activity. We’ve included a few of our favorite options below.
5. The Great Guac Off™
The Great Guac Off marries two of the world’s greatest things: mashed avocados and team building. It’s a fun activity that centers around an unusual guacamole making competition. Your event also includes fun games like Punacado and Adult Story Time.
Food and drinks are optional (guac ingredients and dippers are always included). You can also add-on catering to make it a full meal. The Great Guac Off is available both as a day time and evening event, with the most popular time slot being 5pm to 7pm.
Also, Guac Off rents locations around the city and can come to your office anywhere in the Bay Area, so it’s very accessible.
Check out The Great Guac Off’s website here – thegreatguacoff.com/team-building-san-francisco/
6. Gingerbread Wars™
Gingerbread Wars runs FUN team building activities based on a gingerbread house making competition. The standard event is two hours long and includes everything you need for a successful competition: an awesome host, all the game materials, prizes, fun photos and more.
You can host your gingerbread competition anywhere in the Bay Area, including at your office, conference hall or at one of the Gingerbread Wars locations around the city. Add-ons are available like gift bags for your guests, extra snacks, cookie platters, professional photographers and more. You can also do BYOB, which helps make it a cost effective option for your next team building activity.
Check out Gingerbread War’s website here – gingerbreadwars.com
7. Sidewalk Food Tours
Is there a more enjoyable way to see the sights of this beautiful city than through a walking tour that also fills you up with the best local tastes San Francisco has to offer? Learn more about the history, culture, and architecture of San Francisco’s neighborhoods and get up close and personal with the city by sampling tastes from the best of the best of the area’s tough-to-locate food trucks, classic favorites, and mom and pop eateries.
Connect your team through the art of a great stroll, incredible history, and delicious tastes.
Check out Sidewalk Food Tours’ website here – https://sidewalkfoodtours.com/san-francisco/sf-corporate-team-building-tour/
8. Hands On Gourmet
Sometimes, team building events need passion and excitement. Cooking is certainly one of the ways to bring that excitement to your team building activities. Hands On Gourmet is definitely a place worth checking out with your coworkers. You can be your own chef and prepare the food you like. You’ll have all the supplies, techniques, and master chefs to help you. Whether it’s seafood or salads, the kitchen at Hands on Gourmet has what you need.
Bring team bonding to a different level and connect with your coworkers through the power of food. Oh, and the best moment comes when the food you’ve all prepared is ready to be eaten.
Hands On Gourmet is among the best private cooking parties and culinary team building hotspots in San Francisco. They even host culinary team building events in other cities, from Napa to Oakland, Walnut Creek to San Jose and more. You can check out the full list here and become a culinary expert!
Check out Hands On Gourmet’s website here – www.handsongourmet.com
9. Cozymeal Cooking Classes
There are a lot of team bonding courses you can try at Cozymeal Cooking Classes. From caprese salads to ravioli, this place will teach you how to prepare, cook and serve food that wins over your friends’ and co-workers’ stomachs.
The spacious kitchen, friendly chefs and wonderful food is what Cozymeal is all about. Aside from culinary team building, they offer cooking classes for couples and individuals. No matter how experienced in cooking you are, there is someone at Cozymeal for everyone.
Check out Cozymeal’s website here – www.cozymeal.com
10. Parties that Cook
Are you and your coworkers a group that loves cooking?
Visit this space and share the love for food, while enjoying the lovely decor and various tastes, with your colleagues. With the help of experienced chefs these amazing classes will save you time, money and get you some real quality cooking time.
The team building activities that Parties that Cook offers are amazing. They encourage you to bond with your coworkers over a cheese plates, and wine or a pint of beer. Definitely one of the must-try San Francisco cooking classes.
Check out Parties That Cook’s website here – www.partiesthatcook.com
11. Jordan’s Kitchen
Jordan is a master chef you certainly want to meet. He will give you the hands-on experience with preparing food like you’ve never seen before. You’ll learn new techniques and try new flavors, but most of all you’ll love the team bonding that takes place when your company is offsite for cooking classes.
Jordan is a talented chef and teacher. On top of amazing food he’ll share with you, he will also provide you the best selection of wines to drink as you cook, eat and hang out. That, along with the great vibe in this place, gives you all the ‘inside’ information you need to take your cooking to another level. You can even share some of what you’ve learned in your office kitchen. You can even hire Jordan to cater your private dinner and/or cocktail party.
Or, Check out ‘s website here – www.jordanskitchensf.com
12. Breakthrough Sushi
If you’ve never tried sushi, here’s your chance. Considered to be the ultimate best from the Japanese cuisine, sushi is linked to many health benefits! If you and you coworkers love sushi, Breakthrough Sushi is the perfect place to attend a team building session in San Francisco. Breakthrough Sushi is the place when you can master your knowledge and skills, preparing sushi that will impress your family, friends or relatives.
From hand rolls to many other forms of sushi, you’ll learn necessary techniques, recipes for making sushi rice and even a chance to make your own California and Rainbow Rolls! The best thing is that you’ll share this with your colleagues, and always remember the first time you have made professional sushi under the guidance of a master chef.
Check out Breakthrough Sushi’s website here – www.breakthroughsushi.com
Do you plan holiday parties for your organization? Do your holiday parties double as a team building event? There is a great opportunity to blend the two types of events to make sure everyone has a blast.
14. Super Holiday Party
The only holiday themed activity on our list, Super Holiday Party hosts wildly fun and unique holiday parties for businesses. Each event is 2 – 4 hours, and includes mini-challenges and an epic gingerbread house building competition. You can host your holiday party nearly anywhere, including at your office or event space, or the company can provide a venue for you. Super Holiday Party is also very inclusive: it’s not about Christmas, Hanukkah or any other specific holiday; it’s just about getting people together and having a great time. BYOB and gift bags optional.
Important: Super Holiday Party only runs 3 months out of the year, which means there are limited dates and spaces available. Planning a holiday party? You should get the process started now.
Learn More – https://superholidayparty.com
About ten years ago, Escape Rooms started taking the world by storm. In the Bay Area there are dozens of options for escape games, many of which can be used for corporate team building.
13. Trapped in a Room with a Zombie
If you and your coworkers love The Walking Dead, this is the team building activity for you. Racing against the clock to solve a puzzle and escaping before the zombies attack, is the goal of this awesome San Francisco activity. Fear, clear thinking and cooperation are all required in this game, so it’s perfect for getting your teams to work together. In the end, you will be awarded a detailed analysis of your ‘Zombie Escape Rate’ and how you managed to solve the case.
Do you think you can escape the zombie attack when teamed up with your colleagues?
Check out this Beyond Escape’s website here – www.beyond-escape.com
BreakoutIQ is a one-stop destination for escape games in San Francisco, and presents a great team building opportunity for companies of all sizes. If you are wondering what’s so special about it, there’s a lot. BreakoutIQ is a challenging escape game that encourages competition among coworkers and creative thinking. And yes, it is a great way to boost the morale and excitement.
These games require a lot of teamwork and cooperation, which is why it is a top choice for team bonding events – and your chance to take your company offsite to a great event. Intriguing and exciting are just some of the ways to describe BreakoutIQ. As a bonus, every team gets professional photos, which make for good memories and laughs afterwards.
Check out BreakoutIQ’s website here – www.breakoutiq.com
16. PanIQ Escape Room
Brace yourselves, “Prison Break” is back. But this time, the prison is located at 75 Hyde Street and you and your colleagues are the inmates.
PanIQ is another escape room for team building based in San Francisco – one that features awesome decorations and amazing sound effects. The staff are friendly, positive and instructional during the game. There are several escape games to choose from, all of which tailoring to particular interests. With tons of puzzles, mazes, and riddles to choose from, PanIQ won’t let you panic, but will help you find the right answer to each maze.
One of the escape group games called ‘Prison’, resembles an actual prison that you have to escape from. The great thing is that after you solve one of the escape rooms, you can come back for another, which continues the team bonding for your employees.
Check out PanIQ Escape Room’s website here – www.paniqroom.com
EscapeSF took the number 8 spot on the Best Escape Rooms in San Francisco written by locals on Quora. That makes it a great choice for any escape team building games you are considering.
This SF based escape room has a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, which definitely speaks for the quality. There are two team building escape room games at EscapeSF, Escape from Alcatraz and Escape from the Antique Room. Nicely decorated, well maintained and offering a lot when it comes to team building, the activities at EscapeSF are something you’ll want try again and again.
The prices at EscapeSF are also affordable, starting from $139 per room. Each of room is rigged with cameras and microphones through which you speak to the ‘game master’ and (hopefully) escape the room.
Check out Escape’s website here – www.questroomsf.com
That nervous feeling you get when entering this mystery/escape room is just the beginning of the awesome experience you’ll have at Reason. Ideal for fun team building and adventurous teams, each of the rooms shares a different story. The best thing about this escape room game is the multi-sensory experience, which features cryptic puzzles, strange messages and hands-on riddles. Your palms with sweat as you try to solve all the mysteries.
We don’t want to spoil what’s inside Reason, so we can’t many more of its features. In a nutshell: it’s one of the greatest escape room experiences in San Francisco for team bonding.
Reason proves why room escape adventures are great for team building and achieving a team goal while having fun, laughing and trying out new experiences.
Check out Reason’s website here – www.tryreason.com
Outdoor & Scavenger Hunts
You and your coworkers probably spend way too much time inside. Put the out in company outing ideas with one of the options below.
19. Captain Kirk’s San Francisco Sailing
Going sailing with your coworkers as a offsite team building activity is definitely a unique idea – and one that Captain Kirk’s club in San Francisco best. Perfectly organized and with stops by all the major marine landmarks and SF viewpoints, this is definitely one of the most unique team bonding adventures to discover. If you are lucky, you may see dolphins or seals during the cruise!
The most important thing to know is that ‘Captain Kirk’s crew is awesome. The food and drinks they are serving are delicious and the cost is worth every dollar’, reviewer on Yelp.
Check out Captain Kirk’s website here – www.sfbaysail.com
20. Fort Miley Adventure Challenge Course
Team building and bonding activities are at their finest at this adventure club, where climbing and rope courses are a core part of the event. You can try the zip line and trapeze and boost your adrenaline – but most importantly bond with your colleagues and together overcome your most primal fears.
Perfect for group bonding and ideal for companies of all sizes, this adventure club will not only let you hang on the ropes and try their zip lines – but also teach you how to properly master each one of the activities. From obstacles to experiences – this San Francisco challenge course is what your company needs as a weekend activity – to start the next week fresh and full of strength.
Check out their official website here – www.pliprograms.com.
21. The Go Game
According to David Maister, a management expert, companies that invest in team building and promote enthusiasm make more money. Scavenger hunts are one way to do that – and The Go Game is a great example.
The Go Game can handle your entire crew, whether you are 7 or 77 people. It is a great team building event in which you will get to know your coworkers and escape the seriousness that fills your regular work hours. Basically, it’s a game that combines different aspects, exciting tasks and odd assignments .
The Go Game is a carefully organized event that happens both indoors and outdoors. It triggers your creativity, fun spirit and is very interactive. Or, as a reviewer on Yelp puts it – “it is ready to transform introverts into extroverts, at least for a while”.
Check out their official website here – www.thegogame.com.
ZogSports is the amateur sports team you have always wanted to join, now available in San Francisco. It is basically an amateur volleyball game with a twist – one that keeps all members of your work crew excited and interested. Even if you don’t know how to play volleyball, the collaborative team building spirit will help you learn some moves.
The greatest part, however, comes when you master the ZogSports game, after which youadvance on to the Wednesday league. In other words, you get to play against other companies and ramp up the team bonding to another level. All of that company offsite experience will help your team learn to play (and work) better together, and its lots of fun!
The engaging events bring teams together through field days, team building, tournaments and parties – all hosted by ZogSports. The game is so popular that it was a part of many news stories and online reviews. One more reason to check it out, right?
Check out their official website here – www.zogsports.com.
23. Foxhound Urban Adventures
According to many people, Foxhound is the hub that offers one of the most entertaining corporate team building/bonding activities in San Francisco.
The concept of the game is an adventure just like the name says – helping you explore some of SF urban landmarks. Get your blood pumping and see how much you and your colleagues actually know about San Francisco. You can recap the stories over a dinner or drinks. The experience will have helped you bond with your crew in a special way, thus improving your communication as a team.
Jericho is the main attraction in this ‘urban adventure’ and a concept that was developed by two college students 15 years ago. In other words, it’s a spy game played by two teams of people in public, but in secret. If you want to read more on Foxhound’s best scavenger hunt called Jericho, click here.
Check out their official website here – www.foxhoundua.com
24. Clash Scavenger Hunts
This scavenger hunt tour is definitely one of the most affordable team building activities in San Francisco, starting at $40 per person. You can eliminate the tension from your office and burn calories while hunting for the treasure.
There are a lot of challenging tasks in this scavenger hunt activity, as well as challenges in coordination. Fortunately for your company, each employee’s leading abilities can shine in this type activity. One main hunt takes place around Union Square (there are other small hunts that occur as well) will encourage you and your colleagues to feel the urban vibes of the city while hunting for rewards.
Check out their official website here – www.clashnow.com
25. Mr. Treasure Hunt
If you want a fully detailed and perfectly organized team building event in San Francisco, Mr. Treasure is a team of guys who would love to help you. The team bonding event forces you and your crew to think creatively, solve problems and answer clues that you can’t answer. Also, there are some questions that require local knowledge, which may be fun for you and your company.
The Mr. Treasure Hunts is an enjoyable adventure where everyone has a great time hanging out and communicating as a group. A lot of the games are played in the Golden Gate Park when the weather is good. Reviewers say this “is a really fit for the character of the games.” The game organizers were also mentioned in the prestigious SFGate. Once again proving that scavenger hunts are always a great way to improve team building and create great memories.
Check out their official website here – www.mrtreasurehunt.com
26. Stray Boots
There are a lot of health benefits of treasure hunting/scavenger hunts, more than may realize. Regularly booked by companies of all sizes, scavenger hunts are a great way to improve the team bonding in the office.
Stray Boots is a great example of that, presenting one of the most fun team building activities you can book in San Francisco. The main concept is a scavenger hunt is exploring the city but here is a unique twist. You can stop along the way to eat, shop or coordinate with your team members. The average time each tour takes is 2 to 3 hours and the North Beach Stray Boots hunt is known to be a favorite
Exploring the hidden parts of the city has never looked so fun with your colleagues next to you.
Check out their official website here – www.strayboots.com
27. Urban Diversion
This social club has a great team of instructors that will bring fun, adventure and unforgettable memories to you and your company. Designed as a perfect team bonding activity, Urban Diversion specializes in a lot of ‘hunts’: from hiking and fishing to skiing, the social level of bonding is very high.
You can bond with your coworkers and break boundaries in communication with the diverse team building activities the team at Urban Diversion. If you have a sense of adventure and like meeting new people, this is the corporate team building activity for you.
You can also become a member of the Urban Diversion team and check into each one of the events they regularly host. From ping pong parties to ski runs on the best slopes in the US, this team of enthusiasts has become a community for adrenaline junkies in San Francisco. One more reason to choose it as your best team building option.
Check out their official website here – www.urbandiversion.com
28. Feet First Eventertainment
Feet First Eventertainment has a variety of awesome team building activities for people looking to get moving, and they have many different locations across San Francisco. Feet First Eventertainment has amazing problem-solving games and activities meant that prove team building is an effective technique to invest in.
But most importantly, Feet First’s focus is all about pedaling, running and hiking. Ready to trim burn calories and refresh you while challenge you to compete with your coworkers? This is an excellent team bonding activity that will more certainly get you energized.
Check out their official website here – www.feetfirstevents.com
29. The Racket
Social games are great ways to learn things about your coworkers. The Racket is a great spot near Palo Alto that hosts events where (cited from Yelp):
“So imagine you find yourself in a rat race with not a whole lot of time, a room full of strangers (and a few friends you know you might especially want to watch out for) and you find out that you need to sell a ton of drugs. Like a bunch of drug deals. Because it turns out that’s your racket, and that’s your way to make things go. Luckily this is a world where little red tokens count as drugs and so things are a might easier than they would be if you normally had to sell this many drugs in this short of time. Also some of these people are cops, but you aren’t sure who. You’ll want to find out, if you can. So suddenly you find yourself feeling out the room quickly and with each new person go from “Hi, what’s your name?” to “Is this a person I can trust?” and/or dealing drugs in a surprisingly short time. You quickly find every little dark corner in the space where you can trade things quickly with people without attracting too much attention.”
You can check out the entire ‘plot’ from a different angle on the official website as well. So, do you think it’s worth it? Definitely. Inspiring creativity, problem-solving and weird ideas, the game will help your bond with your company offsite and create a lot of fun moments.
Check out their official website here – www.theracket.com
If you see graffiti as completely criminal, you may want to change your perspective. According to some reviews, it is proven to be a boon to cities’ economies. Plus, graffiti hunting supports tourism and helps you bond with the city you live and work in. 1AM is best described as the ultimate San Francisco team building art school. It triggers your creative spirit and lets you express yourself on a unique way, on a wall!
1AM’s concept is team bonding through creative painting, which includes painting graffiti on 1AM’s exterior wall or on a takeway canvas. So, if you were scared try your painting skills, don’t be! At 1AM you’ll have an instructor who will teach your team all about graffiti and then help you to paint some of your own. You’ll learn all about graffiti styles, eras and meanings.
1AM’s cool vibe and concept are destined to boost your team’s productivity and help you eliminate any communication barriers. Plus, you’ll learn something about graffiti, which is one of the biggest taboo subjects when it comes to art!
Check out 1Am’s website here – www.1amsf.com.
The best way to find out what team bonding activity is right for your company is to start booking! It is scientifically proven that team building and offsite company activities are the bridge to success in the work space – both on an individual and team level. So, which one of these activities will you book first?
Frequently Asked Questions
To the surprise of no-one, we get a lot of questions about team building in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Instead of answering these questions one by one, we are sharing the most common questions and answers below.
What is the best team building activity in San Francisco / the Bay Area?
Museum Hack leads our list of top team building activities because it has thousands of five star reviews. The company runs unconventional tours of the world’s best museums, including the de Young Fine Arts Museum and SFMOMA in San Francisco. FWIW The Great Guac Off is a close second because everyone loves guacamole.
What is the difference between team building activities, team bonding exercises and company outing ideas?
The primary difference is that team bonding is generally done for fun, while team building can have a more constructive purpose (though it doesn’t have to). Company outing is a fairly generic term that refers to taking your employees off-site.
How can I add team building companies to this list?
Send us a quick email via our contact page and we will be happy to consider your submission. Note that we do not accept paid lists, and your link will be marked no-follow.