15+ Unusual Team Building Activities To Break The Routine

Tired of the same old team building ideas? Check out 15+ great and unusual team building activities to surprise your team members.
15+ Unusual Team Building Activities To Break The Routine
The implementation of team building activities in work environments has proven to have great benefits that positively affect employees and companies alike.

However, most team building exercises that companies use have already been repeated year after year, and there’s a high chance for team members to become tired of them.

This creates the need to find unique, original, and “unusual” ideas before your next meeting starts.

It’s time to give a fun twist to team building events and unleash the potential of these 15+ unusual team building activities.

Having fun with colleagues

What’s an Unusual Team Building Idea?

Let’s forget about typical team building activities and go the extra mile. Standard vs. unusual team activities are similar: they both help to boost the team’s communication skills, time-management knowledge, and employee motivation by completing a thrilling and fun activity.

However, unusual activities are supposed to be different from what team members are used to. These are five key characteristics of unusual team building activities:

  1. Outdoor team building activities that are not your common outdoor activities.
  2. Board games, quizzes, or trivia that involve unusual topics.
  3. Indoor or in-office team building exercises that include new games for your team members.
  4. Oftentimes, unusual team building ideas require team members to go outside their comfort zone.
  5. The magic of unusual indoor or outdoor team building activities relies on the fact that they can be whatever your imagination allows!

Are Unusual Team Building Event Ideas Effective?

Yes - team building activities provide great benefits to both companies and employees. They are a great way to improve employee engagement, bring your team closer together, develop problem-solving skills, boost team bonding, and onboard new employees to the company.

Both in-person and remote teams can enjoy the benefits of unusual team building events, but only if done right. That’s why it’s imperative to analyze the needs of work teams in order to take full advantage of the benefits of team building events.

Collaboration with colleagues

15+ Unusual Team Building Activities That Are Fun

When considering these unusual team building ideas, it’s important to balance and customize your next team building event based on the needs of your whole team.

For example, sometimes it will be smarter to perform 5-minute team building experiences, whereas other times will be best to invest enough time and money into experiencing a unique and exciting activity.

Without further delay, let’s take a look at 15+ big and small team building activities to break out of the routine.

1. Virtual Squid Game

Your turn to survive has arrived - we need to test your team’s communication, logic and teamwork skills to overcome a series of challenges ahead.

Virtual Squid Game is an unusual virtual experience that encourages collaboration and team-building.

Worry not - unlike the popular Squid Games TV Series, there is no violence involved in this game! Forget about usual or virtual escape rooms and try an unusual virtual game instead.

  • Best For: In-person big and medium-sized groups (from 20 to 100).
  • What You Will Need: Virtual Squid Game challenges and materials.
  • How to Play: Complete unique challenges to earn points and improve communication skills. It’s important not to disclose any information about the games ahead of time so team members can have more fun!

2. New Culture Cooking Class

Let’s forget about classic cooking classes, and discover new cultures through their most relevant dishes. Instead of cooking common dishes, take your team members to an Indian, Arabic, or Chinese cooking class and dare to try new flavors. 

  • Best For: All groups.
  • What You Will Need: Decide on the type of food your team is going to cook and gather the required ingredients and materials.
  • How to Play: Learn how to cook unique dishes together by following well-known recipes.

3. Scuba Diving (Underwater Scavenger Hunt)

This might sound like a long shot, but we bet your team members would love to go scuba diving. What’s more, you can add a niche touch of originality to this unusual team building activity by doing an underwater scavenger hunt.

  • Best For: Small and large groups willing to scuba dive.
  • What You Will Need: A scuba dive school and suitable location. In this case, safety is really important.
  • How to Play: Follow the rules of standard scavenger hunts, but underwater. Remember to ensure that each team member is suited and willing to go scuba diving.

4. Circus Classes

There are places that show people how to perform circus activities, and you can take your team members there. This is one of those unique team building activities that people will never forget!

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized in-person groups.
  • What You Will Need: A local provider of circus classes.
  • How to Play: Team members will learn the basics of circus performances, such as balancing on a wire or fire handling. Make sure that all members of the teams are onboard with this activity before booking it.

5. Poker Night

Playing poker is fun, and although not everyone knows how to play it, it is a game that can quickly be taught in just a couple of hours. 

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized groups.
  • What You Will Need: Poker cards and chips. It might be necessary to follow a tutorial on how to play poker for newcomers.
  • How to Play: Play poker together and discover the magic of one of the most famous card games in the world.

6. Do a Flash Mob

Flash mobs are energetic, fun, and will take your team out of their comfort zone. This is one of the most unusual team building activities that companies can take inspiration from.

  • Best For: All group sizes.
  • What You Will Need: Flash mob instructors and willingness from your team.
  • How to Play: Learn how to do a flash mob, rehearse it, and perform it. This team building activity is memorable, unusual, weird, and special, so teams will likely remember it forever!

7. Unique Trivia

Trivias about pop culture or movies are way too common - let’s test your team’s knowledge by taking trivia games one step beyond! Find an interesting and unique topic and organize a trivia team building activity.

  • Best For: All groups, including remote teams.
  • What You Will Need: An interesting and unique trivia topic.
  • How to Play: Ask your team about topics that they like and that are not common. Find a topic that they all know a little bit about, and start a healthy competition of unusual trivia games.

8. Indoor Skydiving

Jumping off a plane is a one-in-a-lifetime experience that's certainly unusual, but companies don’t always have the budget to do it, and teams are not always on board with this idea.

The solution? Indoor skydiving!

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized groups.
  • What You Will Need: Booking an indoor skydiving facility.
  • How to Play: Go to the indoor skydiving facility and let your team enjoy the magic of skydiving without risks.

9. Giant Jenga

One of the most fun games that you can play with a team is Jenga. But let’s forget about classic Jenga and turn our focus on Giant Jenga instead. The game is easy to play, and we assure you that everyone will have a great time while doing it.

  • Best For: All group sizes.
  • What You Will Need: DIY Giant Jenga pieces and a local park where you can go to.
  • How to Play: Divide employees into two teams and make them play Giant Jenga. The rules are the same as classic Jenga, so it should be pretty straightforward and unusual at the same time.

10. Lip Sync Battle or Karaoke

Lip sync battles are a fun way to laugh and have a great time with one another. You can gather the entire office and participate in lip sync or karaoke battles - this is one of the easiest-to-do unusual team building ideas. 

  • Best For: Small groups.
  • What You Will Need: A couple of microphones and karaoke software.
  • How to Play: Learn about the favorite songs of your team members, and make them sign them on karaoke or lip sync battles. The result will be amusing!
Karaoke battles with colleagues

11. Blindfolded Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses are usually part of standard outdoor team building activities. However, since we are looking for unusual team building activities, let’s go one step further and play blindfolded obstacle course games instead.

  • Best For: All sizes of in-office groups.
  • What You Will Need: An empty room in the office and a DIY obstacle course.
  • How to Play: Team members will need to sort out the obstacles on the course while blindfolded. Ensure the safety of the course before engaging into this activity.

12. Improv Comedy Show

Are there aspiring comedians on your work team? Let them unleash their full potential! Comedy unites people, and doing an improv comedy show is a great way to establish great relationships with others.

  • Best For: All group sizes - even remote teams can do it too.
  • What You Will Need: If done in person, arrange an office room to resemble a “comedy stand” with a microphone and tables. If done remotely, ask employees to connect via Zoom or another online meeting platform.
  • How to Play: Let your team members unleash their jokes on your coworkers! Just make sure to establish a set of rules where racial or dark-humor jokes are forbidden.

13. Laser Tag

Everybody plays paintball, so it’s time to take your group to a friendly competition of laser tag instead!

Laser tag is more dynamic and “less painful” than paintball, so there’s a high chance for your team to engage in laser tag dynamics.

  • Best For: All group sizes.
  • What You Will Need: A local laser tag facility to go to.
  • How to Play: Divide team members into two groups. The last group standing will win! A great way to make this event more interesting is to invite other teams from other departments and play against them.

14. Unusual Movie Marathon + Trivia

Let’s forget about Marvel or Fast and Furious movies and dig deeper to find unusual movies to watch with your team.

Watching a movie together and then having a small trivia is a great way to create conversation starters with new members of the team.

  • Best For: All in-person group sizes.
  • What You Will Need: Find a truly unusual movie that no one on your team has watched yet.
  • How to Play: Watch the movie together and prepare a short trivia for when the movie ends. This activity should take you between 2 and 3 hours.

15. Paint & Cocktails

Let’s reveal the artistic side of your coworkers and team members with a night of painting & cocktails. Prepare nice cocktails and try to paint something beautiful while you drink cocktails and have a nice and memorable time together.

  • Best For: All group sizes.
  • What You Will Need: Painting materials and cocktail recipes.
  • How to Play: First, prepare cocktails with your team. The more varied and unusual the cocktails, the better. Then, start painting together on blank canvases and see what pops out.

16. Sandcastle Wars

Going to the beach is a common team building activity that companies perform, but starting a great sandcastle war is certainly something unusual.

Divide your team members into different groups based on the group size and make them build unique sandcastles.

Reward the winning team with a grand prize, such as a paid meal or a good bottle of wine!

  • Best For: In-person teams of all sizes.
  • What You Will Need: Materials to build sandcastles and a local beach to go to.
  • How to Play: Go to a local beach and start the contest. Set a time limit for building the sandcastles.

These unusual team building activities are meant to try something new and create a memorable experience for your team members - forget about routine events and provide your company with unique and interesting things to do.


Are Unusual Team Building Activities Mandatory?

Having an unusual team building experience with your team members is a great way to promote good company culture and establish regular corporate events, but they are only useful when everybody wants to participate. According to Forbes, whenever in-person or remote team members don’t want to be part of the next event of a company, then all the benefits for the team building event will go away. Therefore, participating in team building events should never be mandatory.

Is It Advisable to Do an Unusual Team Building Activity with a Remote Team?

If we consider that, according to Ladders, by the end of 2023, 25% of all professions in North America will be remote, then yes, it is important to perform unique team building activities with remote workers in order to maintain productivity, engagement, and motivation of your team virtually.

Author Details

Written by:
Najeeb Khan
Head of Training & Events
Leadership Development, Team Training, Belonging, Diversity & Inclusion, & Innovation
See other articles >

What you should do now

Whenever you're ready...here are a few ways we can help you:

1. Book a team social event. If you'd like to work with us to have more engaging team events, book an event.

Don't know what activity to pick? Use the Team Building Idea Generator for options.

2. If you'd like to learn remote work strategies for free, head to our blog where you'll find several guides and posts.

3. If you'd like to create a offering for companies for a skill that you have, then contact us and let us know.

4. If you know someone who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

More Articles