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Fun Teambuilding Activities in Portland, Oregon, That Promote Genuine Team Camaraderie

Lost Plate Food Tours stop on a patio

Scenic, hip and a little quirky, Portland, Oregon, is a one-of-a-kind destination for meetings and events.  

The City of Roses has all of the amenities groups of all sizes require, from sustainability leader Oregon Convention Center to luxury hotel properties and unique venues. The city that prides itself on its “weirdness” also has a plethora of out-of-the-box activities to help teams break out of creative slumps or network while actually having fun.

“Lately, we’ve noticed that meeting planners are seeking turnkey teambuilding activities more and more,” said Desiree Everett, vice president of convention sales at Travel Portland. “One recent example is a group who wanted to go on a donut tasting tour but didn’t have time, so we worked with the tour provider to bring the experience to them—arranging to have the donuts delivered and a guide to walk them through the tasting.  

“We often work with meeting planners to arrange these simple yet memorable experiences for groups,” she added.

From food and wine tours to friendly competition on the courts and super-immersive arts experiences, explore five teambuilding ideas for your next trip to Portland.

Lost Plate Tours

Many people might recognize the phrase, “Keep Portland weird,” which has become a mantra for locals, proud of Portland’s diverse and eclectic culture. Operators at Lost Plate Tours in the city aim to do this through food, showing off the plates and people that make Portland’s cuisine unique.

“Culinary enthusiasts love Lost Plate Tours, which provides a seamless way to experience Portland's eclectic food scene through carefully curated experiences, from food cart tours to donut tastings,” Everett said.

Lost Plate Tours also promises time with the makers, so participants not only learn about the food, they learn about the people behind the plates, too.  

For example, during Portland Food Carts, Pods, and Patios Tour guests will learn about Portland’s massive “food cart” (or food trucks, as they are more commonly known) culture, and have whittled the list down to some of the best during the tour, like a food cart that goes through 1,000 pounds of Oregon potatoes per week to make poutine dishes and more; and one of Portland’s largest food cart pods that sits on the former grounds of the Oregon Hospital for the Insane with Bavarian, Slavic and Burmese dishes.

Coffee and donuts are big business in Portland—it’s actually home to more coffee roasters than anywhere else in the U.S., and 75 locally owned and operated donut shops. Groups can discover some of the best local gems off the common tourist track in the Downtown Portland Coffee & Donut Tour.

Lost Plate works with corporate groups and can accommodate up to 40 people split into smaller groups. Flexible scheduling allows groups to choose the date, time and duration of the tours, too, and Lost Plate can work with planners to incorporate dietary restriction requests and teambuilding elements into the tours, along with hotel transfers.

[Related: Locally Focused Culinary Experiences in the Pacific Northwest]

Willamette Valley Wineries

Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley. Photo courtesy of Travel Portland

A short drive from the city, lush landscapes and more than 700 wineries and tasting rooms await groups in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Located about an hour from Portland and surrounded by the Cascade Range, Oregon Coast Range and Calapooya Mountains, tours and tastings are within easy reach for groups that have time in the schedule for a scenic day trip filled with networking and fun.  

The region is famous for its pinot noirs but has much more to offer and explore for fans of other grapes. Planners have a plethora of guided wine tours to choose from, including many that do customized private tours with transportation options ranging from sustainable EcoShuttles to luxury limousines and coach buses.

[Related: 8 Offsite Event Venues That Make Portland Meetings Shine]

Pips & Bounce

A restaurant, bar and ping pong all rolled into one venue is what you’ll find at Portland’s Pips & Bounce. Arrive on a Friday or Saturday and you’ll even have the opportunity to play “cosmic pong” under the blacklight reminiscent of bowling alleys.  

A trip to Pips & Bounce is a fun, casual teambuilding and networking venue for a group, but planners can take it to the next level and host an event in one of its event spaces. The Club is the largest and can host up to 225 guests, with 10 ping pong tables, two full bars, HD screens, a state-of-the-art sound system and a dedicated service staff. For truly private events, book The Garage Book for groups up to 50 guests, complete with four ping pong tables, a private bar, 250-inch HD projector, state-of-the-art sound system and dedicated service staff. Smaller spaces for groups of up to 20-30 are available as well.

Hand-crafted cocktails, beer taps, sandwiches, pizzas and other shareable apps are available for post-pong fuel, and party menus are also available for event groups.

The People’s Courts

The People's Courts outdoor pickleball courts
Outdoor pickleball courts at The People's Courts.

For the attendees with a playful, competitive side, The People’s Courts in Portland offers all of the trendy group games, from pickleball and bocce ball to disc golf, corn hole, arcade games and more. The facility spans 48,000 square feet and comes with tasty food and drink, too.

Private events are possible at The People’s Courts. Four event spaces and five indoor pickleball courts, six outdoor pickleball courts, five bocce ball courts, six cornhole courts and 10 ping pong tables are at the ready for group rental. Event spaces include private seating and catered buffets, and a menu of various game packages takes the guesswork out of play.  

According to The People’s Courts, custom packages and pricing are available for groups over 100, and buyouts are considered on a case-by-case basis.


Need to bust out of a creative rut during your next group retreat in Portland? An outing to Hopscotch, an immersive, experiential art gallery that opened in the city last summer, might be the ticket. With installations from artists around the world, Hopscotch aims “to elicit a sense of joy and wonder in the spaces we curate, where our guests may participate in a playful manner and explore beyond their day-to-day reality.”

Wind through rooms with suspended lights and surround sound, explore immersive paintings, jump into LED-lit ball pits and more. Unique food and beverage await, too, including cocktails made with Oregon-based spirit companies, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages that are all inspired by the exhibitions. Playful spins on mac and cheese, popcorn, waffles and other snacks are also available.  

Planners can work with the Hopscotch team to schedule outings for their small groups based on times, dates and availability.  


Travel Portland 

Read more meeting and event news in Oregon.

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.