Groups can escape to Illinois for a meeting. Or at least check out a local escape room, which is all the rage as far as teambuilding opportunities go in the Prairie State.

Other teambonding options throughout the state include culinary and arts-inspired challenges, learning the skills of circus performers and engaging in an improv workshop created by the same company that produced American treasure Tina Fey.

Chicago 

When convening in the “Windy City,” groups can tap into an experience that aligns them with the likes of Ms. Fey, Alan Alda and Bill Murray via an event with Second City, the famous comedy club and school of improvisation.

“Creating in teams is really, really hard, especially teams of high performers,” said Second City’s Kelly Leonard, executive director of insights and applied improvisation. “But Second City has developed a very specific and practical pedagogy to make teams excel. And those skills are fully transferable from the stage to the workplace.”

Participating in a Second City teambuilding workshop, he added, will arm people with techniques for successful collaboration in the workplace.

Teambuilding events with cooking school The Chopping Block are fun, inspiring and interactive, according to the company’s marketing manager, Andrea Miller.

“We firmly believe that cooking brings people together,” she said. “Not only will your team learn cooking skills they can use in their own kitchens at home, they will learn how to effectively communicate and work together.”

Led by experienced chefs trained to engage and inspire, each event’s topics and objectives are customized to meet the group’s goals, schedule and budget.  

“We will work with you to concoct the perfect menu and experience for your team,” Miller said. “A professional kitchen setting brings people together, gets them working as a team, and in the end you get to enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner together.” 

Chicago Suburbs

Two physical teambuilding options await groups in Chicago’s North Shore, including the Evanston, Ill.-based Actor’s Gymnasium.

“They teach circus arts and performance skills on-site or off-site,” said Gina Speckman, executive director for Chicago’s North Shore CVB. 

Performers from Actor’s Gymnasium, including aerialists, stilt walkers and contortionists, are also available to entertain groups off-site. 

 At Northbrook, Ill.-based Athletico Center, a multiuse sports/events center that also accommodates group functions, teambuilding activities can be arranged to increase problem-solving skills and bolster camaraderie.

An Amazing Race-inspired game is one option, as well as indoor company picnics during which groups can engage in play. 

“Any program can be custom-created to meet specific goals,” Speckman said.

Greater St. Charles is “teeming with group interactivity via arts and entertainment,” according to Vikki J. Myers, destination marketing and community relations manager for the Greater St. Charles CVB.