“There are only two reasons people come to Nashville these days,” Megan said to me. “Bachelorette Parties and Work Conferences.” She and I had only just met — sitting on neighboring stools at the bar — but immediately I agreed...and laughed. As it turned out, she was visiting Nashville for a work conference.
Throughout the past decade, Music City has become more than just a small, country music town; it’s now a major tourism hotspot, and a popular professional destination as well. Not only are major corporate conferences hosting their events right here in Music City, but budding companies and large-scale corporations alike are planting roots in Nashville, opening big, shiny offices in our rapidly-growing town.
And while Nashville has no shortage of bars and honky tonks ripe for an after-work happy hour, we understand that you may want something a bit more substantive when it comes to engaging or impressing your colleagues. Whether it’s a Nashville-specific team-building activity you’re seeking, or a memorable opportunity to impress a prospective new client, the following nine activities will make lasting memories and build strong connections here in Music City.
The 9 Best Activities for Your Next Team Outing
1. Shake things up at Nashville’s Liquor Lab
Try your hand at becoming a bartender! Similar in style and structure to a cooking class, Nashville’s Liquor Lab offers cocktail-making classes for groups. You’ll get the chance to learn from some of Nashville’s most skilled bartenders as they teach you to shake, stir, strain, and ultimately sip some of their favorite, classic drinks.
Whether you’d like to host the event at your office, or you want to plan a team outing to their downtown Nashville laboratory, Liquor Lab promises to have you mixing up delicious drinks in no time. Along with learning the mechanics of making the drink, guests will learn cocktail history, recipe preparation techniques, and have the opportunity to win prizes.
A more intimate and engaging team bonding experience than simply going to a bar, learning how to create cocktails together will build connections and bring your team together. So, skip the traditional bar and instead embark on a team outing to the Liquor Lab!
2. Challenge your crew to solve the Escape Game
You work with your colleagues to solve puzzles every single day, so why not mix things up by solving a puzzle of a different kind? Perfect for teams as petite as three, to groups as large as fifty, The Escape Game is one of Nashville’s most popular team building excursions, designed to help with communication, collaboration, and uncovering individual strengths.
Choose your room before you go (we’ve heard the Prison Break room is particularly tough!), and upon arrival you’ll be presented with your mission. Then, you’ll put your heads together to find the solution in...just 60 minutes! Whether it’s a priceless piece of artwork you need to uncover, or a prison from which you must escape, you’ll all have to work together to find the solution and ultimately get out of that room! Good luck.
3. Get a little local flavor with a private walking food tour
With so many fantastic restaurants to choose from here in Nashville, it can be a challenge to decide upon just one for your next corporate dinner — especially if you’re visiting from out of town. So instead of seeking out the best place to eat in Nashville, why not try a whole bunch of ‘em?
Not only are walking food tours appealing to food-lovers who want to try a wide variety of the city’s local flavors, but they also appeal to travel- and history-buffs too. A Little Local Flavor’s food and sightseeing tours allow you to see Music City through the lens of a native Nashvillian, exploring some of our most significant neighborhoods and buildings, and learning of its storied history all along the way. Get out on the town and experience Music City like a local with A Little Local Flavor’s private group tours!
4. Blow off some steam while throwing axes
Instead of throwing your computer at the wall at the end of a long day, try your hand at throwing axes instead. The latest trend in league sports and team building, throwing axes is like throwing darts...but bigger. And sharper. (And funner).
BATL is Nashville’s first-ever axe throwing arena, located in the heart of historic East Nashville. Teams of six are set up with a coach who shows them the ropes and the rules, and then players are given a sharp axe to haul at the wooden target on the wall. A great way to go head to head with your colleagues, groomsmen, bridesmaids, or family members, you and your crew will love the catharsis of this physical activity. Give it a stab!
5. Pedal together around Music City
Over the past 10 years, Nashville’s infamous Pedal Taverns have become just about as ubiquitous as hot chicken and country music. A human-powered bar-on-wheels, it ain’t no secret why the Pedal Tavern has become one of Nashville’s top tourist attractions: it’s an absolute blast!
Hop on one of these bike bars and simply pedal, sip, and see Music City! Each individual pedal tavern can accommodate up to 15 riders, is equipped with a cooler for storing your adult beverages (Oh, did we mention? It’s BYOB!) and also has an AV hookup so you can blare your latest favorite hits — country music or not — while you cruise around town.
Plus, with a large fleet of bike bars in their arsenal, they have the capability to book groups as large as 150, meaning it’s perfect for your next corporate group outing.
6. Laugh it off at the Third Coast Comedy Club
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and after a long day of meetings or a big-deal presentation, Third Coast Comedy Club might be exactly what the doctor ordered for a little morale boost.
Located in Nashville’s historic Marathon Village, Third Coast is the only brick-and-mortar comedy club in Nashville dedicated to improv comedy. And with shows almost every night of the week, featuring castmates that have been trained all over the country (namely Chicago, New York and Los Angeles) as well as local comics and actors, it’s the best place to brighten your spirits.
Pro tip: they offer classes and workshops, giving you (and your team) the opportunity to take the stage. Want to have a real laugh? Try booking a private class for the ultimate team building experience.
7. Get an inside peek at the music industry with Songbird Tours
Check out Nashville’s most intimate listening room while exploring Music City from the comfort of a 30-seat coach. Perfect for groups fascinated by the music industry or simply eager for an escape from loud, smoky bars, on Songbird Tours you’ll listen to two local songwriters play their original songs from the comfort of a clean, air-conditioned bus.
Not only will the talent tell the stories behind their biggest hits, but guests will see where such songs were born on the legendary Music Row. Between the accomplished writers providing the entertainment, and the knowledgeable host leading the tour, you’ll uncover the vibrant creative culture that makes Nashville unlike any other city in the world.
8. Bake Biscuits with the Southern Belle Biscuit Company
When in the South, do as the southerners do: bake biscuits! Don your apron and head to hostess Maryann Byrd’s kitchen as she teaches you the art of southern biscuit baking. Her Southern Belle Biscuit Kitchen is the perfect place for groups to have some fun while learning about the southern culinary tradition.
Students will watch and learn from Maryann before breaking off into pairs to prepare their own southern biscuits and gravy. This experience gives your group the opportunity to work together and learn new skills while getting a real taste of Nashville. Come on and try it, y’all!
9. Hop on the big pink bus for The NashTrash Tour
Last on the list but most certainly not least, The NashTrash Tour is one of our absolute favorite Nashville attractions. Since 1997 Sherri Lynn and Brenda Kay Jugg have been leading roaring tours of Nashville all aboard their bright-pink school bus. Offering song, dance, and an entire bus-full of laughs, the Jugg Sisters dish the stories about Nashville’s country music legends, this town’s most storied institutions, and the legendary Music Row.
Although bachelor and bachelorette parties are strictly prohibited, corporate groups and private tours are welcome on this hilarious pink bus tour. With a lot of improv, a healthy dose of audience participation, and your own cooler of beer if you’d like (It’s BYOB too!) you’ll become a part of what’s sure to be the most hilarious bus tour you’ve ever taken. All aboard!