20 Lunch Activities That Make for Fun Team Building
As the clock strikes noon, fun team building lunch ideas can transform the typical dash to the local restaurant into an engaging team-building opportunity. Imagine converting the standard company lunch into a themed lunch experience—a fun way to break bread and bolster camaraderie among colleagues. This approach is not just for the entire team; it can be tailored for small groups or to welcome new hires.
Building strong teams goes beyond the daily grind, and one of the best ways to do so is through team-building activities that everyone actually enjoys. A company lunch is an excellent way to encourage informal interactions and weave in those crucial relationship-building moments. Instead of the usual quick bite, themed lunches for small groups can foster a sense of community and shared experience.
We’ve curated a list of 20 inventive lunchtime activities that will turn your ordinary midday break into an extraordinary team-building event. Whether it’s crafting together during a DIY meal or sharing laughs over a light-hearted competition, our suggestions are designed to suit every palate and personality. It’s time to gather your entire team, pick up your lunch boxes, and embark on a journey to strengthen bonds over delicious eats. Let’s make every lunch count as a step toward building a more unified and enthusiastic team!
In-Office Lunchtime Activities
Kicking it off right at your own desk, here are some fun office lunch ideas that you can do indoors.
1. Potluck Themes: Around the World
Throw a potluck lunch where every dish has a passport. Each team member brings in something from a different country, and just like that, you’re all taking a taste tour around the world with a full variety of flavors. There’s no better way to share good food, great stories, and maybe even some secret family recipes. Get ready to plate up some delicious lunch and share in the laughs.
2. “Lunch and Learn” Sessions
Grab a bite and get enlightened with “Lunch and Learn.” Anyone from the team can lead a mini-session on something they’re jazzed about. It’s like your own personal TED Talk with sandwiches. Who knew the office could be such a great opportunity to learn about underwater basket weaving? It’s up to you whether you want employees to stick to work topics or if they can present on any topics from their personal lives and hobbies.
3. Office Trivia Challenge
Time to see who’s really been paying attention in those team meetings. An office trivia game can be a hilarious way to test your knowledge about the workplace or just fun facts about each other. It’s a perfect way to break the ice and maybe spark some friendly rivalry.
Outdoor Lunch Break Escapes
When the weather’s nice, why keep the fun cooped up inside? Here’s a good way to take your team building lunch ideas to the great outdoors (and maybe even get some much-needed vitamin D).
4. Picnic in the Park
Nothing says “chill” like a picnic. Find a local park and spread out those checkered blankets. Whether it’s frisbee or just lying back and cloud-watching, getting out of the office can do wonders. It’s all about soaking in the sun and having a good time with the folks you email from two desks away.
5. Community Service Project
Roll up your sleeves and make a difference by doing some community service. Pick up litter, plant a garden, or help out at a food drive. It’s amazing how a bit of giving back can bring everyone together. Plus, you’re doing good for the neighborhood—win-win!
And if you really want to boost team morale with a fun activity, for both small team and large groups, consider a Build-A-Bike.
6. Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Turn lunchtime into an exciting race against the clock with a downtown scavenger hunt. Divide into teams and complete challenges, find specific items, or capture photos at various landmarks. This kind of outing gets everyone moving and injects some friendly competition into the mix. It’s not just about the hunt; it’s about seeing the city through a different lens, collaborating with your teammates, and creating lasting memories. And the best part? You could end the hunt at a favorite eatery where everyone can gather to share their experiences over a well-deserved meal. It’s team building, exercise, and lunch all rolled into one fun-filled package.
7. Food Truck Hopping Extravaganza
Embark on a culinary adventure with your team and hit up the local food truck scene. Food truck hopping is a fantastic way to infuse some excitement into your lunch break and can cater to all tastes. Each team member can choose their own dish from a different truck, and everyone can share and sample a smorgasbord of flavors. It’s not just about eating; it’s about stepping out of the office, getting some fresh air, and engaging in lighthearted debates about which truck whips up the best street food. Plus, it’s a casual way to foster team bonding without the confines of a traditional restaurant setting.
Lunchtime Learning and Development
Who says you can’t mix personal growth with a side of lunch? Just be careful about team building lunch ideas that come off too much like “work.” Make sure to keep it lighthearted. That being said, here are some activities that will feed both your stomach and your brain.
8. Book Club Breaks
Start a book club with your coworkers and catch up on the discussion while you catch up on eating. Whether it’s the latest bestseller or a classic, it’s a great way to share perspectives and get those creative juices flowing over some juice… or coffee.
9. Useful YouTube Video Session
YouTube (when used properly) is a treasure trove of learning and knowledge. Have someone curate some of the most entertaining and educational videos on a work topic, and watch while having everyone enjoy their lunch. Afterwards, you can throw in some discussion and reflection.
Creative and Artistic Lunch Activities
Time to channel your inner artists and add a splash of creativity to your lunch hour. These activities are perfect for those who like to think outside the box and inside the crayon box.
10. Collaborative Art Projects
Why not start a group mural or craft project? It could be a giant canvas in the break room or a digital masterpiece you all add to bit by bit. Create team building lunch ideas like this aren’t just about the end product; it’s the laughs and ‘oops’ moments along the way that really paint the big picture.
11. “Chopped” Style Cook-off
Bring the excitement of a cooking show right to your workplace. Have team members use a set of random ingredients to whip up something delicious, or at least edible. Set the clock and get cooking. It’s a tasty way to stir up creativity and maybe find out who’s been hiding some chef skills. Alternatively, you could always find an easy recipe online and see who can put the most creative touch on it.
Mind and Body Wellness Activities
It’s not just about feeding your face and your brain—don’t forget your body! These wellness activities are all about getting a bit of movement in and making sure you’re not just seated all day.
12. Group Yoga and Meditation
Unroll those mats and get ready for some deep breathing. A group yoga session or a guided meditation can be the perfect reset button in the middle of a hectic day. It’s a chance to stretch out those muscles and clear the mind. Who knew downward dog could be a team sport?
13. Lunchtime Fitness Challenge
Set up a mini-fitness challenge for the team. Think a light-hearted plank competition, deskercise relay races, or a step-count challenge. It’s about getting a little healthy competition going and having a laugh while doing it. Plus, it’s a great way to burn off that burrito.
Virtual Lunch Ideas for Remote Teams
Remote work shouldn’t mean missing out on the fun. Here’s how you can bring everyone together for some virtual lunchtime bonding, no matter where they’re dialing in from.
14. Online Gaming Sessions
Get the team together for some virtual gaming. Choose games that encourage teamwork, like online escape rooms, strategy games, Pictionary (which is even more hilarious when everyone is forced to draw with a computer mouse or touch pad), or trivia. It’s not just about the win; it’s about how you play the game together.
15. Virtual Lunch Dates
Schedule a video call where everyone eats lunch ‘together’. Encourage everyone to show off their homemade creations or their local takeout. It’s the next best thing to an actual lunch out, and you get to ooh and aah over each other’s sandwiches.
So, even if you’re miles apart, these ideas can create a relaxed atmosphere that makes it feel like everyone’s at the same table.
Brain-Boosting Lunch Hour Games
Lunchtime can also be prime time for giving our brains a little workout. These games are perfect for teams that love a mental challenge and want to have some fun without leaving their desk or home office.
16. Virtual Puzzle Solving
Nothing brings remote employees together like the collective groans and triumphs of solving a puzzle. Whether it’s a complex jigsaw puzzle, Sudoku, or crosswords, tackling a puzzle as a group can be both challenging and rewarding. Set up a shared screen and puzzle away!
17. Lunchtime Language Learning
Why not use the lunch break to learn a few phrases in a new language? Pick a language that interests your team and have everyone learn some basic communication phrases. By the end of it, you could have a multilingual team ready to say “Bon appétit” in a dozen different ways.
18. DIY Desk Trivia
Have team members create their own trivia questions based on their interests or hobbies, and then take turns hosting a quick round of trivia over lunch. It’s a cool way to share a bit about yourselves and learn something new. Plus, it’s always a hoot to see who’s got the most obscure facts up their sleeve.
With these brainy activities, your team will be heading back to work feeling sharp and maybe even a bit smarter, ready to tackle new skills.
Food for Thought: Intellectual Games
Ready to put on your thinking caps and get those neurons firing? These activities are all about tapping into your team’s inner geniuses and having a blast while you’re at it.
19. “Shark Tank” Idea Pitch
Unleash your team’s entrepreneurial spirit with a “Shark Tank”-style idea pitch session. Have team members come up with innovative ideas, products, or services and pitch them to the ‘sharks’ in your company’s conference room—this could be upper management or designated team members. It’s not just about the best ideas, but also about honing those communication skills and thinking big. Who knows? The next office improvement or product innovation could come out of these sessions!
20. Puzzle and Riddle Challenges
Puzzles and riddles are classic for a reason—they’re just plain fun and they get your brain going. Challenge your team with a series of brain teasers, logic puzzles, and riddles. Tackling these as a group encourages everyone to put their heads together, think critically, and find solutions. It’s a great way to see how different minds work together and solve problems, plus there’s nothing like the collective eureka moment when you crack a tough one.
Both these activities will give your team that intellectual spark and maybe even spark some friendly competition.
Conclusion: The Lunchtime Bonding Buffet
Well, there you have it—a smorgasbord of team building lunch ideas designed to strengthen your team while keeping things light, fun, and full of flavor. We’ve looked at ways to bring everyone together, whether you’re in the office, enjoying the great outdoors, or connecting from afar. From creative cook-offs to intellectual brainstorms, there’s something on the menu for every type of team.
Remember, the key ingredient in all these activities is regularity. Making team-building exercises a staple part of your weekly routine can help simmer a strong sense of camaraderie and keep morale on a steady boil. And the best part? These activities aren’t just productive; they’re often the highlight of the workday.
So, go ahead and encourage your company to mix it up. Try different activities and see which ones resonate with your team’s unique palate. After all, the best teams are like the best meals—diverse, well-balanced, and better when shared.
Here’s to turning lunchtime into the heart of team building—may your team’s spirits be as full as their stomachs! Now, go forth and transform that lunch break into your team’s next great adventure. Bon appétit and happy team building!