by Leo McConnell
We’ve all been there – searching for a team-building day in New York City but unsure of how Mother Nature and our company wallets feel about it. Thankfully, there are numerous options for indoor spaces (at a variety of price points) that will keep your team free from wind, rain, cold, and bankruptcy.
There are a variety of warehouses available for daily rent across the city with glorious open spaces that would be perfect for a corporate Olympic style event. (Not REAL Olympics, though I like to think that my athleticism is competitive enough.) You can find places that fit up to 70 people for basically no money, or if you’re planning a bigger event, there are affordable options for events in the 250-guest range. If you need space (and your little cash box does too), this link is the perfect place to start: This link will show you a little selection of warehouses that you can filter by price, size, and even the date of the event. For instance, there’s a small place in King’s County that can fit 50 people for $100/hr, or you can scale it up and fit 6,000 people for $4,000/hr in a massive warehouse by the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Whatever your needs, warehouses in the NY area are a great place to start a day of kick-ass teambuilding.
Cozy Studio Areas ($)
If you are looking for a more personal and comfortable setting for your little office, you, my dear friend, are in luck. There are scattered studios and quaint parlors available for surprisingly nice prices, anywhere below 80 people. These spaces are great for smaller team-building activities like gameshows, more collaborative brainstorming events, or even a day of reflection and group cohesion. For example, here’s a sweet little Woodstock barn that can fit oodles of people both inside and outside. Max capacity is 136 people, and it costs $75/hr—a steal for such a cute location. If you want, follow this link to find similarly friendly areas prepped and ready to go for your corporate day of fun. (Oh, and if you do end up using that Woodstock space, you are contractually obligated to invite me as a guest.)
Classy Ballroom Event Space ($$)
If the other options aren’t up to snuff, check out this great little ballroom in Brooklyn. Comparably, its prices are great for the capacity, and the space itself is super flexible, which is perfect for a dance party, team-building gameshow or Olympic event, or really any corporate pay-cation. If you’re around South Manhattan or Brooklyn, this is a no-brainer. It has 5,000 sq ft. of space, fits up to 275 people, and costs between $1,500 and $2,500 for an all-day event. Classy, affordable, and unique. What’s not to love?
It’s no joke. Renting a boat is a terrific team-building opportunity, a lasting memory, and a perfect opportunity to shout “Land, ho!” at every available opening. And Empire Cruises will give you those opportunities and more, with a variety of boats at a variety of price points (between $65 and $100 per person) and can fit up to 600 people (depending on the boat). Although it might not be great for mid-January, follow this link to explore the corporate event boating packages they offer: https://empirecruises.com/packages/corporate-cruises/
Rent out the Beekman Hotel and Blow All of Your Money in One Day ($$$$$$$$)
Why not? When there is an option to own the entire first floor of the Beekman for a day, it’s silly not to list it. It can fit up to 225 people in a 3,100 sq ft. space, and the cost isn’t public, so it’s going to be expensive (https://www.thebeekman.com/events#event-spaces). However, this place will wine and dine you, take on the classiest of dates—and for a company day of fun, make you feel like the biggest kid on the most expensive playground. Sometimes it is worth the money to give your employees a day they won’t forget in a setting that they will always remember. The Beekman also offers up individual rooms for rent, such as the Kelly Room (1,000 sq ft. and 85 person capacity), Clinton Hall (1,200 sq ft. and 130 person capacity), and more.
Find an Abandoned Hospital or Barrack or Prison or Airfield ($0)
(WARNING: not a real suggestion.) Why pay for a space when you can find a place that’s lost to time and law, riddled with rats, and might collapse in on you at any moment? That sort of thrill can do nothing but bond a team together and foster synergy over how to find a medic in a place without cell reception. Avoid the government and go on the cheapest and scariest team-building time of your life. Cost = probable jail time or severe injury, capacity = 3.5 humans, 700 ghosts: https://www.thrillist.com/lifestyle/new-york/most-insane-abandoned-places-in-nyc)