Work parties are a time when everyone gets to leave “work” behind and go have fun. Houston’s an awesome city for office and corporate events since there’s a wide variety of things to do for groups of any makeup and size.
Here are 18 epic work party ideas for an awesome time in Houston!
1. Paint and sip
Let your crew get creative at a Sip and Paint Party at Pinot’s Palette. For small groups of a few people, you can join one of the studio’s classes. These 2-hour classes have a pre-set canvas with a specific theme, like nature, pets, fashion, and other colorful themes. So where does the “sip” come in? Pinot’s Palette is a BYOB (bring your own beverage) and they welcome wine, beer, or any beverage of your choice! They even provide glasses and ice!
If you prefer to have a private group painting session, you’ll get a room to yourselves with a top local artist who will guide your group through the painting process. You can choose a canvas design from their library that fits your team’s interests. Pinot’s Palette has a great playlist of music, or you can make your own. Bring in your own food and party decorations. Then everyone can bring home their completed work as a memento of the night!
2. Play an escape game PIC
Throw a thrilling work party by playing an escape room at The Escape Game Houston! In an escape game, your group will be ‘locked’ in a themed room. With just 60 minutes on the clock, you’ll have to work together fast to figure out how to escape. To do this you must solve cryptic puzzles, crack codes, and decipher cryptic clues. Choose from one of several themes like Mission: Mars, where you must repair your spaceship stuck on Mars before the planet is hit by a lethal solar flare. In Gold Rush, locate a stash of hidden gold in an isolated cabin in the woods. And in The Art Heist, recover a priceless Monet painting from an evil curator.
The Escape Game has two locations, City Centre (with five games) and The Galleria (with seven games). Every escape game can accommodate up to 8 players. If your group is small enough, play together in one room, or if you are a larger group, you can play several rooms that can be coordinated to start at the same time. Wrap up your party with some food at a nearby restaurant, like Grimaldi's Pizzeria at CityCentre or Velvet Taco at the Galleria.
3. Go hiking
For teams that are outdoorsy, take the work party outdoors to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. This gorgeous center has five miles of trails so you can do a short hike or a long one. The trails weave through five distinct habitats with flora, fauna, and animals native to them, like prairie, woodland, savanna, wetland, and meadow.
The center’s self-guided Habitat Hikes offer an insider’s look at each habitat as you pass by lovely ponds teaming with wildlife, trees that have their own stories, and other fun points of interest. For larger groups, you can hold a private event at the Arboretum. For an evening event, look into the center's “Sip & Stroll” where your group can enjoy nature while sipping on an adult beverage.
4. See a sporting event
Sports events are a popular choice for corporate outings and luckily, Houston has five professional sports teams. From April to October, the Astros play baseball at Minute Maid Park. Impress your team with a private Pre-Game Tour with visits to the Upper Deck, the Astros Suites, and the bullpen seats, and watch 30 minutes of batting practice. Tickets are $45. You can also see the Texans play football at NRG Stadium, the Dynamo plays soccer at the Shell Energy Stadium, and the Houston Rockets shoot hoops at the Toyota Center.
5. Have a picnic
A work party picnic is easy to have in Houston with its open green parks located throughout the city. A popular location is Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park with lots of fun activities and events you can enjoy as a group, like outdoor concerts and movies. Sam Houston Park has 19 acres of open green space dotted with seven historic homes to visit for fans of architecture.
Inside Memorial Park, the Clay Family Eastern Glades is a pretty spot for a picnic, with views of the lake and pavilion-style barbecues. Menil Park’s canopy of live oak trees will keep your group cool on a hot day, and since there are food vendors nearby you won't even need to carry picnic baskets! Find out about some of the best Houston parks here.
6. Throw a pedal party
For a unique work party in Houston, have a party while pedaling! The Pedal Party takes your group on a private tour around Houston on a group vehicle that looks like a trolley but is entirely pedal-powered so it’s essentially a party bike. The multi-person bike is around the size of a cargo van and travels at a speed of between five to eight miles per hour. It can fit 16 partygoers making it suited to a decent-sized group.
You get to decide what you want to do on the bike whether it's a pub crawl or an unusual and fun group cycling experience! You can liven things up by bringing your own beer or wine along. Choose from routes in the Washington Avenue Corridor, Midtown, Montrose, East Downtown (EaDo), and the White Oak area of the Heights.
7. Take a Houston food tour
Break bread with your colleagues on a Houston food tour. Though you may have tried lots of restaurants and foods in the city, it can't hurt to try new foods or better versions of the foods you like. Plus food tours are an awesome way to learn about the city while sampling its cuisine. The Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston takes you to three restaurants where you will sample 8-9 delicious dishes including traditional Asian novelties, authentic Mexico City cuisine, Italian-American food, and gourmet dessert.
The Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour explores EaDo (East of Downtown) and stops at a bakery, a taco stand, a BBQ restaurant, and other dining establishments. During the tour, your guide will tell you about EADO’s street art scene, architecture, and green spaces.
8. Enjoy the beach
Throw your work party at one of Houston’s nearby beaches. The beaches in Galveston are about an hour away from Houston and you can pick whichever beach offers the kind of atmosphere. East Beach, with parties and live concerts, is a great beach for adults. The Seawall Beaches are in proximity to restaurants, bars, the Pleasure Pier, and more where you can extend your party. Stewart Beach is a great choice for families so if you want to include your coworkers’ spouses and kids, this beach is for you. If you like to regularly include families at your work gatherings, here is an article with 28 Family-Friendly Activities In Houston.
9. Go golfing
Houston has terrific options for golfing parties with lots of private and public courses throughout the city. Memorial Park Golf Course is considered to be one of the best municipal golf courses in the US. country. It has 18 holes and a storied history -- golf legends like Arnold Palmer and Jack Niklaus played here. It’s reasonably priced and the wide driving ranges won't intimate less experienced players. The Hermann Park Golf Course is a scenic 18-hole golf course where your team can play a few rounds and then relax with some food and drink veranda of the historic clubhouse. For a change of pace, try golfing at night! Beacon Lakes Golf Club offers an 18-hole lighted course located just 20 miles from Downtown Houston.
10. Sing karaoke
Among the most fun corporate party ideas in Houston is to go to a karaoke lounge. Everyone can let loose and belt out familiar tunes together. At Spotlight Karaoke you can rent a private karaoke room, decorate it as you like, bring your own food, or dine on their menu. Spotlight Karaoke has two locations, one at the Galleria and one in Midtown so you can choose the most convenient spot for your party.
11. Take a cooking class
A cooking class is a fantastic way to add some structure to a work gathering, which ensures that everyone will feel part of the occasion. Instead of clustering at a bar into small conversations, your team will spend time together cooking! At Well Done Cooking, your group will cook up a three-course meal from a menu of your choice. Their kitchen can accommodate up to 40 people and your private class will last from two to three hours long depending on the menu.
12. Head to a waterpark
Summertime is the time to have an outdoor corporate event bring the work party to the pool at one of Houston’s waterparks! Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown is the largest waterpark and in addition to several pools and a towering waterslide, Splashtown also has a “lazy river” wave pool with more than a half-million gallons of water plus a whitewater raft ride, slides, and an even a surf ride with artificial waves!
Big Rivers Waterpark also has a huge lazy river, loads of waterslides, and Wild Isle, a floating waterpark and challenge course right in the middle of a lake. For fun out of the water, go on the zip line course, scramble up the five-story climbing wall, or drop from the seven-story bungee jump.
13. Try indoor skydiving
If your co-workers are adrenaline junkies, iFLY Houston will afford a chance to get their thrill kick. iFly is a premier indoor skydiving facility where you can experience what it's like to defy gravity. After receiving training, each person will be strapped into a vertical wind tunnel and feel what it's like to free fall without stepping out of a plane! iFly Houston has corporate event packages where they will customize your event with catered food, including a dedicated space for meetings and even branding opportunities.
If you want to give your colleagues a serious thrill, plan an actual skydiving work party with Skydive Houston or Skydive Spaceland Houston. The aerial views of the city’s skyline and the Gulf of Mexico are breathtaking!
14. Play arcade games
Combine hard cider with a game arcade and you get Cidercade. It has an astounding 275+ arcade games, making it one of Houston's largest arcades. The best classic video games are available, including Super Pac-Man, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and more. Cidercade offers 14 handcrafted hard ciders as well as hard seltzers. Although they don't offer food service, you are welcome to bring your own food, order in delivery, or grab a bite from one of the many changing food trucks located outside.
15. Take a brewery tour
Houston has some of the best breweries around and you and your work party can sample what they have to offer on a brewery tour with Fresh Tap Tours. It’s a smart choice for those who want to visit multiple breweries without a designated driver. Choose from The Townie in downtown Houston, The Beach Bum on Galveston Island, The Connoisseur in Clear Lake, and Galveston or The Forest Ranger in Conroe and the Woodlands.
All of the beer tours stop at three breweries within a four to five hour time span. During your tour, a knowledgeable “beer guru” guide will explain the beer basics, as well as city culture and Houston history. At each of the breweries, you'll drink fresh beer, meet the brewmasters and tour the brewery facilities. Light snacks are included and you are free to bring any food or drinks of your own.
16. Go kayaking
Kayaking as a team is a different kind of idea for your office party and Houston’s Buffalo Bayou waterway makes it easy to try this idea out. Look into rentals from Bayou City Adventures. If you want to learn more about the city, take a tour instead. Buffalo Bayou Partnership offers tours, including a Houston Skyline Tour. If you prefer to take it easy and enjoy the Bayou without exerting effort, take a private pontoon boat tour. The Spirit of the Bayou can hold 21 guests and will take you on a one-and-a-half-hour boat ride through the heart of downtown. Feel free to bring your own food and beverages for a party atmosphere.
17. Do a ropes course
Rope courses are not only a fun office party idea but are also a wonderful team building activity in Houston. Texas TreeVentures is a popular ropes course range designed to be a “challenge by choice.” Everyone can choose one of the 72 rope and obstacle elements they are comfortable traversing.
As the course continues, it becomes more physically challenging at a higher elevation. This way, anyone who doesn't feel sure about moving to a higher elevation can stop along the way. Some activities are meant for team collaboration which will unite your group and add an extra level of fun to your party. Why not rent one of their treehouses equipped with tables and chairs for refreshments you can bring along?
18. Chill out at a beer garden
For smaller groups, Social Beer Garden in Midtown Houston is an awesome place to grab drinks, and play pub games like pool, darts, foosball, and arcade games. Outside there’s a lively scene on the patio. Special theme nights are scheduled and include live music, a silent disco, a burlesque night, and a sports night.
These 18 work party ideas are just the beginning! Take a look at our article on 23 Things To Do At Night in Houston and 22 Best Things To Do For Adults in Houston!