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20+ After-Hours Networking and Company Events That Aren’t Happy Hour

Break up the drinking crew with activities that include everyone

Cara Hutto
Freelance Writer

kristen wiig

Born and raised a Tar Heel, Cara Hutto is a content writer and freelancer who specializes in women's issues, food, and travel.

Getting tired of the same old happy hour routine after work? So are we.

Happy hour is built on a boys' club atmosphere, where business decisions are made over drinks instead of in meetings, and often leads to an exclusive culture. If you’re one of the few women in a male-dominated office, an after-work happy hour can be intimidating and uncomfortable. You also might not drink alcohol at all, which is okay too.

We need to work toward creating workplaces that are more inclusive of all employees, especially women and minorities. It can begin with company events. Switch up your company events so no one feels like an outsider at work.

Here are 21 fun outings that aren’t happy hour:

1. Go to an improv workshop to break the ice and get everyone out of their comfort zone. In an atmosphere where you have to let loose and get silly, everyone is on an even playing field.

2. Book an escape room. You’ll have fun while building team problem-solving skills—a win-win for everyone.

3. Take a swing at putt-putting for some themed friendly competition.

4. Enjoy the weather and have a group picnic in a park or grassy area near the office.

5. If your office is near some good trails, take a hike with your coworkers and play some team-building games if you need a break, like the human knot or the perfect square.

6. Organize a scavenger hunt with activities like taking a picture in front of a specific building or taking a video of a coworker pretending to be a snake. If you live in a big city, take advantage of the outdoor space or plan a smaller hunt within the office.

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7. Volunteer together at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and bond over a shared cause.

8. Have a board game marathon. Designate a few people to bring their favorite board games and have at it. But beware, games like Monopoly and Risk might send you into a competitive black hole.

9. Play a team sport like kickball or tee ball and make sure the teams are relatively evenly gender-distributed.

10. Feeling a little stealthy? Take your coworkers to play a game of laser tag at your local activity center.

11. Throw on your best apron and have a "Chopped challenge." Everyone brings a strange ingredient from home, designated judges can form the challenge baskets, and coworkers can battle it out in the kitchen.

12. Break a sweat and blow off steam at a workout class like cycling or Zumba.

13. Get everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and have a karaoke night. Both duets and solos are encouraged.

14. Have a team outing to an outdoor movie theater. Bonus points if it’s an old movie that no one’s seen.

15. Enroll in a cooking class and learn to make an elaborate French meal with your coworkers.

16. Go to a museum and indulge your inner nerd. Learn about the history of your state together or discuss the meaning behind your favorite artists’ paintings.

Read more: 5 Alternatives to the Same Old Coffee Meeting

17. Go to a sporting event like a big baseball game. Who doesn’t like cheering in a ballpark and eating a good hot dog?

18. If you’re feeling a little wild, take everyone to go indoor skydiving. That’ll surely make memories to last a lifetime in the office.

19. Try your hand at bowling. Take it to the next level and make each team dress up in a certain theme.

20. Channel your inner Simone Biles and have an office Olympics. Divide yourself into teams and compete for prizes in events like desk chair soccer and the pencil javelin.

Read more: 7 Office Games That Give Life to Even the Dreariest of Workplaces

21. Have a potluck where everyone cooks their favorite family recipe and shares—it’s impossible not to bond over a good home cooked meal. Plus, it’s the perfect way to strike up a conversation and get to know someone’s story and background.

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