Six New Ideas for Chicago Corporate Outings

Let’s imagine it’s the moment when you decide it’s time to change up your typical Chicago corporate outing. It is a regular Thursday. You could be eating yet another catered lunch at your desk. You could be standing around at a happy hour at the bar around the corner from the office. Or maybe you’re listening to yet another motivational speaker and feeling less than motivated. In any case, you’re bored at a corporate work event. It is time to spice things up with some fresh ideas for Chicago corporate outings. We have six suggestions to fit any workplace that needs an energy shake up.

Fresh Ideas For Chicago Corporate Outings
Photo courtesy of Backyard Axe Throwing League

Corporate Outing Idea #1: Relieve Tension with Axe Throwing

Instead of sending a(nother?) passive aggressive email, throw an axe instead. At Backyard Axe Throwing League, colleagues can relieve stress productively in a safe space with talented instructors. One big bonus is that it currently costs less than competitor Bad Axe Throwing. No alcohol allowed near the axes at this spot, so it is ideal for teetotaling companies. You are welcome to bring outside food and non-booze beverages, though, making your event a complete evening in one location. BATL describes their facilities as “a cross between a battle cage and a bowling alley”. Along with tunes courtesy of BATL and friendly competition courtesy of an organized tournament for participants, what’s not to love?

Corporate Outing Idea #2: Cook and Sing Together

At Korean barbecue hotspot BellyQ, cook and eat together and even provide your own entertainment in the form of karaoke tunes. Ideal for an office full of independent spirits, at BellyQ you can book private rooms. Stocked with a full bar, the karaoke part of the evening, on top of the delicious eats, will certainly make some memories.  

Corporate Outing Idea #3: Compete Over Cake 

At the renowned culinary institution of Kendall College, they offer corporate events where teams construct and decorate a cake. They call this corporate outing “Let Them Eat Cake.” Particpants are set-up for success with instruction from a professional, trained chef in one of the school’s professional kitchens, along with support from Kendall College students. The chef then judges the teams based on their cake and presentation, maybe there’s a prize, and then you eat the cake. Coworkers can tap into a competitive side with a sprinkle of creativity, making “Let Them Eat Cake” a super cool corporate outing for building interpersonal connections. Kendall College is located on Goose Island on the river, super close to downtown offices. 

Medieval Times Fresh Ideas for Chicago Corporate Outings
Photo courtesy of Medieval Times

Corporate Outing Idea #4: Indulge in Kitschy Nostalgia

Is Game of Thrones is all anybody talks about around the water cooler? Or do your corporate staff meetings ever resemble GoT combat? At Medieval Times  in Schaumburg, you can get dinner and indulge in a little childhood nostalgia with the entertainment. Some may even enjoy a little violent catharsis. Make it happen by booking a private bus, or even a party bus, and make it a fun field trip to the burbs. The Chicago Castle offers special benefits for private corporate groups.

Corporate Outing Idea #5: Laugh with Chicago Improv  

You live in Chicago. And if you haven’t attended an improv show or workshop, I’m not convinced you really live in Chicago. Improv is historic to Chicago, it was born here! For a corporate outing in Chicago, this critical Chicago bucket list item. With iO Theater you can bring your corporate team for a private performance or a workshop designed especially to teach these skills for Chicago corporate outings.  

Fresh Ideas For Chicago Corporate Outings
Guests enjoying stories, food on our Old Polonia and Wicker Park Tour. Photo by Pawel Skrabacz

Corporate Outing Idea #6: Tour Chicago History

Look, obviously there was no way we weren’t going to suggest a private group tour with Chicago Detours. We work with a variety of companies, from small to big and from law firms to tech start-ups. We’ve got walking tours andbus tours, with or without dinner and/or drinks. You can charter a private yacht for a Chicago architectural boat cruise as well. Our historic bar tours are most popular for corporate group outings. Our “Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour” starts right at the Michigan Ave. bridge, walking distance to many downtown offices. For “Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Tour by Bus” we pick you up your office and whisk your corporate team off to explore historic bars in the very historic Bridgeport neighborhood.  

— Morgan Lott, Private Tour Coordinator

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Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

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As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
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Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

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