8 Amazing Rhode Island Corporate Outings and Team Building Experiences
May 16, 2023
Although we’re the smallest state, corporate outings and team building activities in Rhode Island are a big part of our business. Here’s why: the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence offers 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, 20,000 square feet of ballroom space, and 23 meeting rooms – and that’s just the start. Providence is an extremely walkable city and the convention center is on the doorstep of great hotels, restaurants, attractions and of course, many of Rhode Island’s leading colleges and universities.
In Newport, meetings are also big business, with four convention hotels plus stunning boutique properties, inns and bed and breakfasts. Smaller corporate meetings and conventions as well as executive and board retreats take advantage of the resort town’s coastal vibe, rich architecture, world-class dining, recreational opportunities and extraordinary surroundings.
When it comes to organizing off site experiences and team-building exercises, Providence and Newport both are ideal. We’re experienced in hosting our food tours to accommodate small private groups to build relationships, share some laughs, bond and boost morale, and best experience the unique flavor of each city.
Downcity Providence Food Tour
“Downcity Providence” refers to the city’s bustling downtown district which is full of restaurants, businesses, and attractions. With nearly four centuries of history under its belt, Providence is an extraordinary destination for corporate outings and team building activities in Rhode Island.
Our Downcity Providence Food Tour is much more than just an opportunity to savor the Capital City’s rich and diverse flavor. It’s a chance to help create better business relationships and create colleague connections that are vital for thriving a work environment while taking in coastal New England cuisine at a center city seafood shack, authentic Taiwanese street food, deceptively vegan eats at the country’s first entirely plant-based food hall, Parisian-inspired desserts at a Providence culinary institution and so much more.
Co-workers can take in sights including the striking neoclassical Rhode Island State House with its marble dome designed by famed early American architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, and the Providence Performing Arts Center, a 1928 movie palace that now stages live shows.
Charter a Classic 12 Meter or Other Sailing Yacht
One of the most iconic corporate outings and team building activities in Rhode Island is not only getting out on the water, but doing so with a little friendly competition. Rhode Island is, after all, the Ocean State, boasting more than 400 miles of coastline.
The legendary America’s Cup races took place off Newport, Rhode Island’s coastline from 1930 to 1983. The oldest and unequivocally one of the most prestigious sporting trophies in the world, the America’s Cup remains part of the very fabric of the City by the Sea today – even the main thoroughfare is named America’s Cup Avenue!
Capturing the spirit of the America’s Cup, corporate and private groups can charter the very 12-meter yachts that raced off Newport’s shoreline from the mouth of Narragansett Bay off Breton Reef in the Atlantic Ocean. Colleagues can build up relationships while learning how to trim the sails and grind the winches, all while being surrounded by the beauty of this quintessential coastal New England destination.
Newport Neighborhood Food Tour
Speaking of Newport, our Newport Neighborhood Food Tours gives co-workers and colleagues an opportunity to experience the City by the Sea like a local while all bonding. If you think Newport’s flavor is all about creamy clam chowder and lobster rolls, think again. Fresh, handmade whole-wheat ramen noodles, from scratch tacos, authentic Jamaican flavor, Asian American fusion and other international flavors permeate Newport’s diverse dining scene – all enjoyed while your employees get to know one another better while having fun in a private group setting.
Our Newport Neighborhood Food Tours are also an outstanding team-building activity as your group will see pre-Colonial era clapboard houses, the City’s historic town center at Washington Square, which is also home to the Colony House built between 1739 and 1741 and seen in feature films including Amistad, Irrational Man admire recently, Hocus Pocus 2. The tour also has a stop on Long Wharf at the foot of Washington Square, which was a Colonial shipping center and by 1680, was a prosperous merchant center.
Explore Architecture on a Providence River Cruise
The Providence River Boat Company operates boat cruises that travel along the waterways of Rhode Island’s capital city. With spectacular views of the downcity skyline, Waterplace Park and the Providence River, you can create an experience that you and your guests will never forget.
On the Providence Architecture Tour, guests take in 300 years of American architectural history as the rivers were the lifeblood of this pivotal industrial city. The 75-minute boat tour is led by the Providence Preservation Society and highlights the stories, sight lines, and unique details that define the Creative Capital from eye-catching landmarks to hidden architectural gems.
Take in The RISD Museum
The RISD Museum (integrated with the famed Rhode Island School of Design) was established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community and is housed in an architecturally alluring building on Main Street in the heart of the city. The RISD Museum’s extensive collection contains more than 100,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to today with more than 2,000 on view at any given time. The rich collection of fine art, design, decorative art objects, and exhibits represent diverse cultures from ancient times to the present.
Corporate groups can rent the RISD Museum for meetings, receptions, dinners, and lectures, though the Grand Gallery is particularly exquisite for related events. Create a sophisticated scavenger hunt that best encapsulates the extraordinary pieces and exhibits to better build connections between team members.
For centuries, Rhode Island has been home to world renowned artists and organized art associations, like the Art Association of Newport, now the Newport Art Museum, which was founded in 1912. This is one of the oldest continuously operating art associations in the country as it started during the art colony and Impressionist movements.
Opportunities for corporate and private groups to channel their inner artist are available at glassblowing studios throughout Rhode Island. Glassblowing is said to date as far back as the1st century BC in the Middle East. For more than 40 years, glassblowing can be observed and learned at Thames Glass Gallery & Studio in Newport. Here, groups can make their own ornament, paperweight, or vase with the careful guidance of an experienced glassblower.
Other studios in Rhode Island include Gather Glass in Federal Hill in Providence, Blackstone River Glass Center in Cumberland and The Glass Station in Wakefield.
Little known fact: world famous glass sculptor Dale Chihuley is a RISD graduate.
Croquet Lessons or a Scavenger Hunt at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Did you know Newport, Rhode Island, is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame? In 1881, the Newport Casino hosted the first men’s U.S. National Men’s Singles Championship lawn tennis tournament. Today, the historic McKim, Mead & White-designed casino is perched on the museum’s lush seven-acre campus surrounded by manicured grounds which include the museum, historic grass courts, indoor competitive courts, the striking Horseshoe Court and Piazza and more.
Standout team building activities here include a scavenger hunt that takes a closer look at some of the 2000 objects displayed (the entire collection is made up of more than 25,000 artifacts and hundreds of thousands of images!). Another option: build relationships or reward employees via croquet lessons or corn hole competition. The International Hall of Fame offers plenty of private spaces to host meetings, presentations and gala events.
Coastal Clean Up with Save the Bay
One of the most impactful team building activities corporate groups and private groups can partake in in Rhode Island is helping the local community via a coastal cleanup experience. Clean Ocean Access in Newport is a grassroots organization that advocates and works for a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all.
Clean Ocean Access works with groups to provide year-round experiential environmental education and outreach opportunities to promote stewardship. Team building opportunities include a coastline clean up in which guides provide equipment to remove small debris from the shoreline in designated areas. At the end, the non-profit organization categorizes and tallies up all the gathered items and provides the total environmental impact made by the group.
Corporate outings and team building activities in Rhode Island are truly one of a kind!