Planning a meeting can be stressful—especially if it’s last minute. You are tasked with finding activities that your whole group can participate in; and if you’re planning it last minute, that could pose a problem. Smart Meetings has compiled a list of easy-to-plan activities everyone can enjoy (without breaking the bank).
1. Beach Bonfire:
For a super easy and inexpensive summer activity: plan a beach bonfire. This is a sure “fire” way to take advantage of the summer weather. Do your research on which beaches near you allow bonfires because some don’t. Pack chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers to make s’mores. If your group is in San Francisco, Ocean Beach is right outside Golden Gate Park and has fire pits available. For those in Southern California, Huntington Beach is home to more than 500 concrete fire rings. On the other side of the country, Florida’s Gulf Coast is known for bonfire-friendly beaches.
2. Fruit Picking:
From strawberries to marionberries and cherries—the summer season is all about fruit. Fruit picking is an easy activity that everyone in your group can participate in. With hardly any rules, fruit picking is pretty difficult to mess up. Do some research and see what fruit farms are near your meeting for a sweet team-building activity.
3. Baseball Games:
You may think taking your group to a baseball game would be too expensive, but you can find tickets at a reasonable price and receive a tiered discount depending on the size of your group. Many major league baseball teams offer discounted group packages, merchandise and food upgrades and discounted parking passes. Minor league teams offer big time entertainment at reasonable prices as well. Make it a tailgate to customize the experience.
For active groups, hiking is a popular summer activity. No matter where you are, there’s bound to be a hiking trail of some sort. A picnic with branded water bottles and blankets is one way to refuel before heading back to the starting point!
5. Pottery Painting:
Pottery painting can fire up the creative juices and result in some informal networking. Sit back and relax while painting a mug, bowl or whatever your heart desires. This activity will get you and your group out of the summer heat (even if it’s just for a few hours).
6. Barbeque or Potluck:
A barbeque or potluck is an affordable summer activity that could be as easy as strolling to a nearby park. Pack coolers full of food and drinks and have some fun! Ask each person to bring their favorite food to share with the group and tell the history of the recipe.
7. Wine Tasting:
There now seems to be a wine country in every state. In Sonoma County, many wineries offer meeting spaces, tours and free or discounted tastings. Alexander Valley Winery in Sonoma County boasts an outdoor area for your group to sit and sip. Groups of 10 or fewer are free and if you’re looking to taste their reserves, you can do so for only $10.
8. Movie or Music at the Park or Beach:
Movie and music nights at the park are another way to leverage entertainment already available nearby. Most of the time these events are free and all you need to bring is yourself and something to sit on. In Denver, Stapleton, MCA puts on the Movie on the Green Series at Founders Green Park during the summer. Admission to the movies are free and proceeds from the concession stand go to local non-profits (think about your Corporate Social Responsibility).
Museum Day is Sept. 21 and that means free entry to participating museums around the country! The Smithsonian is one of the many museums participating in Museum Day. This is a perfect day for your group to go explore some cultural exhibits. If your group can’t go that day, many museums offer discounted group rates and don’t require much planning ahead of time.