Planners dread hearing that the teambuilding activities they arranged for their groups ended up being total bores. Forcing fun and camaraderie can be an easy misstep during meetings.
Wisconsin—which offers many popular meetings destinations throughout the state—has a surprisingly long list of unexpected activities that will actually get your group excited about teambuilding outings.
For groups meeting in Wisconsin’s central and east regions we’ve selected four out-of-the-box, hands-on experiences and adventures for groups that are guaranteed crowd pleasers.
The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park recently launched its new Team Building Adventures.
The Adventure Park at the NEW Zoo offers activities, services and meeting and event space onsite at the 43-acre facility. The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park can accommodate groups of up to 45 people and can get all participants on-course and interactive at one time.
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Activities include climbing, zipping and rappelling across a four-element low ropes course, 16-element high rope course, three-sided climbing tower and a 1,000-foot dual racing zipline.
The teambuilding offerings are designed so groups can choose the level of challenge based on comfort level of the team while also pushing participants to step outside their comfort zones.
According to NEW Zoo & Adventure Park, the Team Building Adventure “allows team members to gain a greater sense of ‘self’ within the group, as well as learn skills and important aspects of the team that they can take back to work and utilize to improve performance.”
The indoor meeting spaces can be used for presentations or meals before or after the on-course experience. Groups are also able to experience the NEW Zoo, as cost of admission is included with the Adventure Park.
Behind-the-scenes tours and activities like feeding the penguins are available to private groups. There is also meeting and event space at the zoo, including the Ski Lodge that can accommodate nearly 200 people and has a meeting room within the venue.
The Social Station—a 15-person, four-wheeled Mega Cycle—offers groups a chance to cruise around downtown Appleton. There are themed tours available to groups, but also teambuilding opportunities.
The cycle is equipped with 10 pedal stations and five non-pedal spots, so small groups can work together to complete missions, such as a photo scavenger hunt.
Social Station Mega Cycle Group Tour, Credit: Social Station
Tours can be tailored to the needs of the group or to a theme of choice. In the past, groups have done mystery and historic tours, music tours that coincided with Appleton’s annual Mile of Music festival or the weekly Thursday night concerts, both during the summer months.
The regular tours offered by Social Station are:
- The Pub and Craft Beer Tour, which includes stops and two to three local establishments downtown.
- The Parks and Scenic tour, which highlights the city’s murals, museums, parks and art galleries.
- Exercise Expeditions, which adds extra fitness options to pedaling with a stop at a park for circuit training or a quick yoga session.
Art Spot is a locally owned business in Oshkosh that offers a space for learning about, making and enjoying art. The facility offers classes in canvas painting, glass, jewelry making, mosaic and glass painting that can be set up for private groups with teambuilding elements included.
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Classes run for about two-and-a-half to three hours, depending on the type of class and group needs. In-house artists lead the instruction and teach the fundamentals of the style of art.
With a minimum of 12 people, private classes can follow the format of the classes regularly offered or can be personalized based on the skill level or goals of the group.
Food and drink can be catered by neighboring restaurant Becket’s.
Opening in the fall of 2019, WhirlyBall entertainment complex will add to Brookfield’s teambuilding offerings.
The company, based in Chicago, offers a space for WhirlyBall, which they describe as a cross between lacrosse, basketball, hockey and bumper cars and played by two five-person teams.
WhirlyBall Game in Progress, Credit: WhirlyBall
This new facility is located Brookfield Square and features two stories and 45,000 square feet of space with two courts as well HyperBowling, a four-lane bowling suite and a multilevel laser tag arena. The onsite, full-service restaurant, Pivot Room, will have an ’80s theme and have a bar area with the capacity for 50 people.
Groups can try their hand at the game for some competition as well as use the patio, terrace or party rooms for private events for up to 250 people.
Hotel and Venue Openings and Renovations in Wisconsin
The Shipyard, a new project that will result in a year-round destination for visitors, residents and groups, announced more details on its offerings. The Shipyard, a Stantec project, will be anchored by a shipping container park that has been designed to host a variety of types of tenants, which may include restaurants, incubator space for startup businesses, local artisans, boutique retail, equipment rentals and short-term housing/vacation rentals.
The Shipyard Container Park (Rendering), Credit: Stantec
In addition, there are several planned attractions, including a beer garden, an urban beach, dog park, marina with boat slips, floating docks, terrace waterfront seating, riverfront promenade and a great lawn with room for a temporary stage.
The Shipyard is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020.
In July 2019, Green Bay celebrated the groundbreaking of the Brown County Expo Center.
The new 127,000-square-foot Expo Center will be constructed on the site of the former Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena and Shopko Hall, next to the Resch Center and across the street from Lambeau Field. The new facility is expected to open in January 2021.
DoubleTree by Hilton Appleton opened in April. The 227-room, full-service hotel features a newly redesigned restaurant, rooms and public spaces, including a renovated front desk area, lobby, grand ballroom, boardrooms and fitness center.
Overall, there is 5,600 square feet of meeting and event space.
Holiday Inn Appleton opened just a few miles from the Appleton International Airport. This new full-service hotel offers meeting room options that can accommodate up to 150 people. There is an indoor pool, fitness facility and Toast to Toast—Breakfast, Bites and Bar.
Home2Suites by Hilton Appleton opened near Fox River Mall and the Expo Center. The 104-room hotel has 1,300 square feet of meeting space. There is also a fitness center, laundry facility, indoor pool, breakfast buffet daily and a 24/7 market.
Extensive renovations and rebranding of the newly renamed Port Washington hotel, The Harborview were completed in July. The 936-room property now features two new meeting rooms and a newly renovated event space overlooking the pool.
New F&B addition, The Beacon Restaurant & Bar, has a seasonal outdoor deck. Newly added and upgraded guest amenities include a business center, fitness center and a marketplace.
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